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How to Fix the Start Recoil on a Lawnmower

Fixing the start recoil on a lawnmower requires you to remove the top of the engine. Fix the start recoil on a lawnmower with help from an experienced repair technician in this free video clip.


Hi, I'm Mark Sodja, I'm a repair tech at In this video, I'm going to show you how to fix the recoil starter on a lawn mower. We'll get started by removing the starter from the top of the engine. The next thing we need to do, is remove any rope that's till wrapped around the pulley. It's easiest done with a small screwdriver and maybe a pair of needle nose pliers. Let's find the end of the rope and fish it out with the screwdriver and grab it with the pliers. I'll go ahead and pull all of that rope out of the starter. You want to be careful as you do this, because as we pull the rope out, we're putting tension on the pulley. If this pulley were to slip out of my hand, it could potentially hurt. O.k., once I get tot he end of the rope, I'll just secure the pulley by inserting a screwdriver and the starter housing, that'll keep it from recoiling back. Now, pull the rope out and simply cut the knotted end off, then pull the rest of the rope away from the pulley. Now, I want to remove the screwdriver, again being careful to not allow this to recoil back. I want to go ahead and tension that spring all the way up towards the end of it's tension, right there. Then, i want to back off the pulley until the hole in the pulley, for the rope lines up with the opening in the starter housing, and that's right there. Then, I'll insert the screwdriver back in, to hold it in that position. Now, I'll take my new rope and I'll feed it through the opening on the housing and through the opening on the pulley. Go ahead and tie a knot at the end of the rope, and tuck the knot down to the little pocket in the pulley, like that. Now, hold the pulley with my finger, and plot the screwdriver again. Bring it on carefully, allow most of the rope to recoil back into the pulley. I don't want to let all the rope go back in there, I'll leave about two feet or 18 inches sticking out. Again, I'll put the screwdriver in to secure it, we'll tie a temporary knot in the line, then I can remove the screwdriver. Now, we want to take the starter handle and pull any rope out of it that might still be there. I'll insert the new rope through it and again, tie it off with a knot. We'll pull that knot down to the opening on the top of the handle. Now, we can re-install the starter assembly onto the mower. Now, remove that temporary knot and I'll thread the line back up through the eyelet on the handle. And that's how easy it is to fix the recoil starter on a lawn mower.