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Starter cord only pulls 1 foot

Starter only pulls 12'' then gets stuck.  There also appears to be no way to access the recoil mechanism to fix it.

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  • COUGHY_MAN May 11, 2010

    what kind of engine is it? Briggs & Stratton or Tecumseh?



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I have a brand new lawn mower from Home Depot with a Briggs & Stratton engine. I had the same problem when I pulled the cord. Heard a plastic on plastic knock after the cord was pulled one foot. I went to H D and we pulled a mower off the shelf so I could duplicate the problem. I removed the cord from the holder on the handle and allowed it to retract all the way to the engine. I pulled one foot and heard the same knock. It stumped three guys!

The fourth guy said we just weren't pulling hard enough. Pull until it catches and then give it a hard yank and it will start. I got home and pulled hard so that I could attach the cord to the loop on the handle. Once the cord was secure I gave it a good yank (making sure to hold in that choke bar) and it started on the first pull.
Classic operator error!

Posted on Jul 01, 2013

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Most push mowers have 3 bolts on the side of recoil shroud. One in front, (where plug is) and two on side.

Posted on Jun 19, 2009


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Pulley is stuck how do you resolve problem?

Pulley ? What pulley?
If you mean the recoil starter pull cord is stuck it might be a simple fix. Did your machine tip over on its side?
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The upper covers and the fuel tank needs to come off, the starter on most engines is part of the engine cover so this will have to be un bolted and removed with the starter connected

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You will need to take the cover off to get to the recoil, then remove the pull handle do not let go of the cord! Now ease the cord into the reciol but do not let the cord go, now while holding the cord and the recoil spool rotate the spool 1 revelution clockwise, send the cord back up through the case hole and through the pull handle tie the knot in the cord and replace the case if this still isn't enough repeat the process.Dennis

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1 Answer

When I pull the pull cord on my snowblower it doesn seem to engage the starter. the cord retracts after I pull it. It was working fine when I used it yesterday, then today it doesn't seem to catch when I...

Hello, W/D here.

Most of the recoil starters have ball bearings in them, and the centrifugal force that you apply pushes the balls out where they engage pawls and allow the flywheel to be rotated. Since your's is on a snowblower, you may just be stuck, or moisture could be in the mechanism, freezing the ball bearings in place.
The quickest thing to try: Rap the recoil mechanism in the middle of the top, with a rubber hammer. You want to jolt it, without denting it. Try to pull the cord and see if it engages. You can repeat this several times, but try not to dent it.
If the machine is outside, and you believe that the mechanism may have frozen, you can apply heat to it with a hair dryer, and then rap and try.
Try these out and repost if the problem persists.
Best regards, W/D

Feb 03, 2011 | Garden

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