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Can't pull start my Sears Craftsman!

fornutoman's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 24

08-02-04, 05:46 AM   #1  
Can't pull start my Sears Craftsman!

Howdy Forum:

All the trouble started yesterday with my Sears Craftsman 5.5 HP EZ Pull Start mower. I went to start it up and I could hear a clicking sound coming from the top of the mower. I had just sharpened the blade and reattached it to the crankshaft and soon after that I heard the clicking sound. I can't imagine that this is related to my problem, but then again I'm no lawn mower genius.

After I heard the clicking sound for a little while, I then tried to pull start it at that point the pull string did not have any tension on it, eventually becoming completely loose. Looking into the top of the pull start mechanism, I could see that there was a steel collar with a notch that was loose inside. I have not taken the unit apart yet, but it appears that this assembly has loosened up somehow. A parts/assembly diagram would be ideal if you could point me in the right direction.

Here are the numbers:

Sears Model# 917.387160
5.5 HP EZ Pull Eager-1 One Pull Start

Serial number: 041197M-036176

Thanks in advance for your assistance, the grand old forum hasn't let me down yet!

Wakefield, MA

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Azis's Avatar
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08-02-04, 10:18 AM   #2  
Use this link and enter your model # to view a parts list and or diagram. Unfortunatley this model diagram gives no breakdown of the starter rope or assy. If you can find a model # from the engine itself, we may be able to find a better diagram to view online.
The sears site lists the engine for that mower # as 143.975504 which I believe is a tecumseh #...?? If so this link will be useful http://www.cpdonline.com/692509.pdf
If you enter the engine model at the sears site "143.975504" you can find a part #(590694) for the starter assy which can be ordered from sears, about 25 bucks and shipping. Which from my experience with these rewind starters, if you find any broken pieces, mostly if not all plastic, its best to replace the assy.

puey61's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,224

08-02-04, 02:57 PM   #3  
The clicking you heard could certainly be the rewind starter. But lets make sure you attached the blade properly first. Are you sure you centered the blade on the hub properly and torqued it down sufficiently? If so, and the engine has never been run low on oil, remove the rewind starter via two small screws which attach it to the flywheel shroud and inspect it for anything sloppy. If you do find slop and unless you've had experience with rewind starters, I'd take it to a small engine shop for them to repair it. There are service parts available for this...you don't necessarily have to replace the whole assembly. Also, check the starter cup (which it mates to) on the engine and check for any cracks in it (look carefully, they're sometimes hard to see). Let us know how it goes.

Azis's Avatar
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08-02-04, 10:48 PM   #4  
Good point on the blade puey.
However if it is the starter assy and there are any broken parts, you can spend 30 bucks for new to change out with 2 screws or pay maybe 50 to have it done and ruin some mechanics day by having yours rebuilt. These recoil starters in particular are so chincy, if or rather when, they break, I would not trust the core enuff to waste time putting new parts after bad.
Just my "opinion" however

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