Tecumseh starter problem


Old 04-24-07, 04:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Tecumseh starter problem

I have an old craftsman edger with a tecumseh h30 engine on it (H30-35327N). It was smoking and didn't have much power (died a lot). I tore it down and found a badly carboned combustion chamber and a scored cylinder wall. I like fixing things rather than replacing them so I kept watch on e-bay till a 0.010 oversized piston showed up (engine is the old 2 3/8 bore, oversize piston no longer available retail) then bored it out, lapped the valves and put it back together. It's strong as stink now and doesn't smoke (I do need to adjust the govenor though, now runs way too hard at full throttle).

The problem is the recoil starter. It had long been weak, sometimes needing to be hand wound after a failed starting attempt (if it started the vibration of the engine would coil it back in slowly). I tore it down, rewound the spring to tighten it and put in a new rope and and handle (old was frayed). Now for the problem. If I tighten the screw all the way down the starter binds (you can't even pull it). If I leave it loose it's going to eventually back off plus when you bolt it to the blower housing it binds again. Something is wrong! It seems to involve the dog, its binding it is slot in the cup (starter is the stamped steel type as shown on page 38 of the 2-11 HP L Head Tecumseh manual. I have assembled per the drawing and it happens no matter how many times I take it apart and look at it. Am I missing something obvious? I can rebuild the engine but I can't fix a starter with 6 parts? Help!
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Old 04-24-07, 08:34 PM
cheese's Avatar
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Tighten the screw enough to put a good bit of resistance on it. but not enough to totally lock it down. Then pull the rope, then disassemble it and look for the new looking scratches where the parts are rubbing. This will give you an idea of where the clearance issue is (for a starting point).
Old 04-25-07, 05:25 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
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I understand your liking to repair rather than replace but sometimes it just makes more sense, economically, to replace. It sounds as though the starter housing is warped/worn beyond reasonable repair and for just over $30 you can replace the assembly. The Tecumseh part number is 590420A. Your local Tecumseh dealer should have this item on their shelf.
Old 04-25-07, 11:27 AM
msidan's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gouverneur
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I've never had any luck fixing a pull starter (especially tecumseh). Save yourself a lot of time and frustration and get a new one. You might find one cheaper on eBay too.
Old 04-25-07, 02:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Thanks all

..but is wasn't binding before I took it apart. All's well, the paranoid certainty that I had done something wrong and playing with it for another bit revealed the problem. With these starters you either have to install the spring retainer in the pulley then try to catch the spring blind on the cutout on the center post in the housing or install the spring retainer into the housing, catch the spring end then try ro install the pulley blind onto the retainer. I was doing the former and had given the end of the spring a generous curl to try and make sure it caught when I wound it up. I overdid it and the spring end was getting trapped under the little metal lip inboard of where it is supposed to nest. All better now though it's still a little on the weak side even fully wound. I think I saw a new spring on ebay...

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