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When trying to start lawn mower,engine turns over than locks up when engine fires, pulling starter rope out of your hand and not starting

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The flywheel key could be sheared. This is a problem that occurs if you have hit anything with the blade. It usually takes quite a hit to knock out the flywheel key. Here is a video to help you replace the flywheel key.

Posted on Apr 03, 2011


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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I ran over a rock with my craftman 650 lawn mower and it now makes a funny cranking noise when I try to start it I changed the fly wheel key and it still doesn't start.

When you try to start the engine pulling on the rope, is it easier or harder to pull to turn over the engine? If easier there is internal damage as below, if harder there is internal damage as below. That cranking or grinding sound could be the rope starter or the clutch of the rope start. So when you have the cover off of the flywheel pull on the rope and see if it makes the sound you are hearing and check the clutch that threaded onto the the crank holding the flywheel in place see that it turns in freely in the opposite direction of the engine running.

You may have bent the crank, take the spark plug out, put the mower on it's side with the carburetor on the up side and turn the mower blade by hand and see if you can tell if there is a wobble. While you have the spark plug out, look in the plug hole while turning over the engine to see of the piston is moving up and down. Another possible problem the cam gear could be broken and the valves not opening and closing in time with the crank.

Jan 16, 2015 | Garden

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I have a 3hp briggs & stratton//the pull rope pulls freely//it does not engage the engine and turn the engine over

You probably need to replace the starter recoil. This is not a very expensive fix. Just be aware that this problem is usually caused by having to pull the starter rope excessively because of some other starting problem. Once you replace the recoil, keep your engine running properly.

Sep 07, 2014 | Garden

1 Answer

I cant pull the string to start the mower

pull plug out tie up bail handle see if you can turn engine over by hand if you can pull hard on rope it has jamed if not .move check for locked up mover add oil to cylinder for it to turn over till its free my have to take recoil off to do this if the reciol starter pawls or lock in

Aug 30, 2014 | Garden

1 Answer

Starter rope does not pull out

Either the recoil spring and system is jammed/damaged, or the engine is seized. What equipment is it on? You can find how to remove the pull-start assembly and see what is happening. Remove the spark plug and see if you can rotate the engine by hand (you may have to remove the starter assembly and cover, or if it has an output shaft such as a mower with no clutch, you can carefully turn the blade or shaft with plug OUT.) If the engine can turn, then it would be the starter. Likely it has damaged pawls or the spring has broken. Sometimes on old mowers, the rope jams up in there, or the spring rusts. Even dirt can build up in there from insects or dust.

Jul 19, 2012 | Garden

1 Answer

Toro Electric Start Problem

Remove spark plug and observe condition. Fouled with oil, bad motor. With plug removed pull rope several times to blow out cylinder. Spray WD40 in spark plug hole, pull rope several times see if oil blows out. Spray a lot of starter fluid in spark plug hole, replace plug. Spray starter fluid in air cleaner area of carb, try to start. Replace spark plug, try to start. Ensure oil is full, all mowers have a low oil sensor now. 30w oil. Always use Stabile in gas.

Jul 04, 2012 | Toro Garden

1 Answer

My yard pro lawn mower will not start, when i try to pull start it the crank rope vets pulled back sometimes

Two things to check here, check the blade is tight, it acts as a flywheel so needs to be tight, second, check the flywheel key has not sheared as this will cause the engine to kick back as the timing will be out.

Apr 25, 2012 | Garden

2 Answers

Tecumseh pull start engine on Craftsman Lawn Vac will not pull. Feels like engine is locked up.

the engine is probably not locked ! remove the plug wire, tip up and see if the blade turns. if so, try the rope again. if it wont pull, take top off mower off to investigate the pull rope problem. good-day !

Nov 07, 2011 | Garden

1 Answer

I have an older 21" self propelled mower with a push button starter and pull rope starter. Neither will start engine.I

Need more info on what happens when you try and use the electric start and the rope start- does the engine turn over at all with either one?

Aug 15, 2010 | Mtd Yard - Man 160cc, 21" Self - Propelled...

1 Answer

Pull rope seems to be locked up...won't pull

make sure you can turn the blade by hand, make sure grass isn't stopping the blade after that make sure the break cable isn't bad, sometime's the cable don't disengage the break from the flywheel. Hope this works.

May 23, 2009 | Tecumseh Lawn Boy Push Mowers Insight...

1 Answer

Lawn mower died. Pull rope locked up

remove the spark plug and try to pull the rope. Sometimes the coil can get loose and wedge against the flywheel. if that's not the problem then pour a little oile in the spark plug hole, let it set a bit, if it still won't turn over then you have an internal engine problems. Not very common but it can happen

May 09, 2009 | Garden

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