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How to Replace a Recoil Starter Spring

How to Replace a Recoil Starter Spring. Like turning over rocks and finding a snake, a top-mounted recoil starter is about a 6-foot strip of spring steel in your engine, just waiting for the housing to be opened and strike at you. Follow these steps to replace a recoil starter spring.

Take Out the Old Spring

Wear eye protection, gloves as well if you can work with them.

Remove the tension before taking out the spring. If the rope is broken, the tension is already gone. If not, cut the rope or remove the rope's handle and let the sheave unwind completely.

Remove the screw in the center to remove the housing. Even though the spring is unwound, it is still a threat, so be careful.

One end of the spring is pin mounted to the sheave. The other end is mounted to the housing. Carefully remove the sheave without pulling the spring from it's circular recess. Once the spring even slightly starts coming out, watch out, it will come all the way. All you can do is jump clear.

Keep a tight grip on the spring and remove it by hand.

Put in the New Spring

Place the outer eye (the one without a bend) onto the pin in the housing.

Coil the new straight spring into the recess.

Use pliers to connect the pin on the sheave to the housing. Keep the eye on the inside end of the spring.

Replace the housing.

Replace A Starter Spring On A Push Mower

Remove the screws from the top of the engine cover. Some lawn mowers may require you to remove the gas tank to better access the recoil assembly. Unscrew the screws from the recoil assembly. Take off the recoil assembly and turn it over. Remove the pulley and the broken starter spring beneath it. Reinstall the new starter spring onto the recoil assembly. Place the pulley over the starter spring and tighten the bolt to secure it. Pull the cord a few times to ensure it properly recoils.


Give yourself plenty of time to get the coil in right. It is tedious work and getting in a hurry puts you at more risk for injury.


Always keep the spring under control. It's just biding it's time.

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