One of the more common problems associated with Briggs and Stratton engines and other small engines is the pull rope breaking or becoming disconnected from the motor. Rope pull starters are common on most lawn mowers, including those made by Briggs and Stratton. Do-it-yourselfers can usually repair engines with starter cord problems.
Replacing a Starter Rope
Remove the starter cover from the Briggs and Stratton engine. Most engines have three bolts holding the cover to the engine block. This exposes the underside of the starter cover and the pulley where the starter rope is normally wrapped.
If the rope has pulled loose from the pulley but is otherwise in good shape, it can be reused rather than replaced. If the rope has broken at any other point than where it attaches to the pulley it will need to be replaced. The knots of the splice will not pass through the hole in the starter cover.
Replacement rope is usually a quarter-inch thick but should match the original rope in size and flexibility.
In either case rewinding the starter rope is the same procedure.
Feed the rope through the hole of the starter cover and wrap it around the pulley. Feed the end of the rope through the hole in the pulley. Tie a knot in the rope to prevent it from pulling through the pulley.
Replace the starter cover on the engine and tighten the bolts. Place the pull handle on the outside end of the rope and string the rope through the brackets in the handle, if applicable. Be sure the ratchet of the rope starter assembly fits securely on the lug at the top of the engine.
You can seal the ends of plastic ropes by holding the flame of a match or lighter to the cut end. The fibers will melt together and prevent the rope from unraveling.