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How to Replace the Starter Cord in Poulan Pro 31cc Trimmer

The starter cord in a Poulan Pro 31cc trimmer operates the rotor when the engine is cold. The starter cord attaches to a pulley and recoil spring, which, when pulled, spin the rotor fast enough to fire off the spark in the engine. Starter cords will stick and break with time and you eventually will need to replace them. Replacement cords come in a standard length and can be found at many home and garden stores.

Switch the Poulan Pro’s start lever so it is in the “Off” position. Undo the four screws holding the starter cord’s cover to the back of the engine. Unhook the cover and turn it upside down to remove the starter cord.

Cut the cord at the base of the plastic handle. Hold the pulley in your hand and lift your thumb up to slowly let out the recoil spring’s tension. Cut the knot on the pulley’s base. Withdraw the old cord and throw it into the trash.

Push the end of the new cord through the pulley’s base. Tie a knot into the end to anchor the cord to the pulley’s base. Push the cord through the hole in the cover and through the base of the handle. Let 3 inches stick out of the handle. Tie a loose knot into the end of cord. Push the knot into the center of the handle. Tug on the cord, at the base of the handle, to pull the knot tight.

Wind the new starter cord clockwise around the pulley. Unwind about 10 inches of cord from the pulley. Pinch a loop into the 10 inches and stick the crossing point straight into the formed slot on the top of the pulley. Hold the cover while wiggling the loop back and forth until the recoil spring catches onto the cord.

Hold the cover while turning the pulley clockwise four to seven times so that the recoil spring is tight, but not over-stretched. Release the loop from the knot and the cord will automatically recoil. If it doesn’t, add one to two more turns to the pulley during the tensioning process.

Lay the cover, with handle out, back onto the rotor. Tighten all four cover screws with the screwdriver.

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