The pull cord broke when trying to start our lawn mower and then made an awful metal clanking noise afterwards. I pulled the cover off to replace the pull cord and the spring has broken and is loose in the recoil. I would try to rewind it but I cannot get the recoil starter off the mount because something is jammed and wont let it loose. What should i do?
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Re: broken spring in recoil starter on lawn mower
While I have not done this on newer model lawn mowers, I have replaced recoil springs in the past. Here's what I did: First you need to pull the spark plug wire off so the engine will not start. Then block the flywheel with a piece of wood to keep it from turning. Then, using another piece of wood such as a short (6-8 inch) hardwood dowel placed against the ears of the recoil drive, and drive it in a reverse direction (clockwise) with a hammer to knock it loose. It may take several sharp blows to break it loose. The recoil drive is reverse threaded to keep it from coming loose when the engine is running. Once the drive is loose, remove it to get access to the recoil spring which must be replaced if it is broken. With a new spring in place, rethread the recoil drive counter clockwise until it is finger tight. Then, tighten it down with one sharp blow against the wooden dowel.
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I have had this situation before on a lawnmower. I didn't have a craftsman, but is probably the same issue. Basically, the spring that recoils the cord back in either broke or came unwound. When the mower is not running, the cogs on the pull chord keeps the cord from coming out. When the mower is running, the spring is not wound enough to hold the chord in and thus releases or doesn't hold it in.
Try pulling the pull chord assembly off and rewind the spring.
You probably have spring problem. You will have to pull the starter shroud off. Eigther the spring is broke or there is debris or rust binding things, if your lucky its the latter, clean and lubricate.
If this is like most simple mowers (using briggs & stratton engines and some others) the recoil starter is in an assembly which is spot welded onto a metal cover. You may have to first remove a plastic shroud (which might include the gas tank - which should have a shut-off valve). Then you should be able to remove the metal cover that includes the recoil starter. When you get that off you will see a plastic spool that holds the cord. This spool is probably held in place by a couple of metal tabs that are bent down. Bend those tabs up with pliers. Underneath the spool is a spiral spring that provides the recoil. Take careful note of how this all goes together. Buy a new cord (available by the foot at a hardware store) and wrap it around the plastic spool. Use a piece of tape to hold the end of the new cord above the spool so you can thread it through the hole in the metal housing later. Put the spring and the spool in place, then wind the spool to put tension on the spring - about 5 turns in the direction that would push the string out through the hole. Once you have the spring "wound up" remove the tape and thread the end of the cord through the hole. Now bend those metal tabs back down. Put the handle on the cord end (or tie a knot) to keep the spring from pulling the end of the cord back through the hole. Reassemble the rest and you are in business.
Please note ! patients is required with this one !
Hi, remove the recoil top cover with the recoil attached. ( DO NOT TAKE OUT THE SPOOL OR YOU COULD HAVE THE SPRING GET YOU IN THE FACE)
Remove old cord.
With your new cord lace it through the recoil spool centre hole with a knott on the end.
now depending if the recoil winds in clockwise when spool is facing you wind the cord around it a few times by turning the spool clockwise,
Then put the cord in the notch at the side of the spool & wind the spool & cord anticlockwise about twice the number of turns of cord (this should tension the spring).
Take your end of the cord & lace it through the hole outside of the casing & fit you pull handle.
But hold the spool firmly untill the cord has a good knott on the end of it.
(Sometimes I see the guys here putting a loop in the cord to stop it sliping in while they tie a knott on the end of the handle.)