Gas Lawn Mower Repair


Old 11-24-99, 02:26 PM
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I own a 3 year old Murray pull-start lawn mower and, of course, the pull-string broke today. I removed the sealed coil spring housing and began to wind the coil spring so that it would pull the reattached string (assuming I was going to be able to reattach the string) back into the housing when the piece slipped out of my hand resulting in the coil spring unwinding. Now I can't get the coil spring to catch; as I turn the piece I get no resistance. It spins freely. Does anyone know how to fix this without replacing the entire (expensive looking) housing? Thanks.

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Old 12-12-99, 02:18 AM
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Hello Terry:

I see it's been many moons since you posted your request for help. By now you most likely either got it fix at a local mower repair shop <the best bet> or fix it your self.

Years ago I use to own my own small engine repair business. Explaining here the needed steps to make the repairs would be rather difficult but not totally impossible.

As you have found out, a coiled spring, such as the one in the mower recoil starter, can be difficult to re install.

The best method, without having the proper tool, is to re insert the steel spring back thru the housing from where it is held.

That's the small hole somewhere's around the housing that has a notch in it to lock the spring into place. <Notice the flat steel spring has notched ends.> Thru this hole is where you can push one end of the spring backwards into the housing.

Once the spring is almost fully inside the housing, lock the end into the tab in the hole. Now your ready to tighten the spring.

Rotate the spring holder <which is or should already be inside the housing and frimly attached> clockwise towards the rope hole until it's almost as tight as it will go.

Then attach a vise grips thru one of the incoming air slots in the housing and clamp the spring housing to hold it.

Now push a NEW ROPE thru the rope hole in the housing and thru into the spring housing and out the knot tie hole and tie a small knot. Push the knot down into the knot retaining hole.

Now with your fingers placed thru the air vents in the starter housing, grab the spring and the starter housing and release the vise grips. Slowly release your grip on the spring housing until the rope stops going into the housing.

Now, pull out some rope <a little more then a foot> and again use the vise grips to clamp the spring housing. Put the rope end thru the rope grip, <That rubber thing you hold on to to pull the rope> tie a double knot in the rope then cut off any remaining rope. Release the vise grips and the new rope should fully enter the starter housing.

Note: Some pull rope grips use a steel pin in the handle. If so, tie the rope around this first, then insert it into the gripper.

Re install the starter housing and test.

If the mower starts, mow the lawn. If not, take it to the mower repair shop. Then go home, have a beer and relax the rest of the day. LOL

Good Luck,


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