B & S Starter Mechanism Interchangability ?


Old 03-10-13, 01:41 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
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B & S Starter Mechanism Interchangability ?

I have resurrected an old Masport mower called a Sprint 38 with B & S motor Model 98902 Type 0385 03 Code 97060451

Problem is every now again while running there's a horrid shrieking noise and the starter cord snakes itself all the way out. If I switch off the motor, remove the spark plug wire and then rotate the blade this way and that I can usually coax the cord back in and with a pull the motor starts up again as normal.

So I took off the whole top cover and noticed this system looks different to other B & S in that there’s a spiral spring which slots into the cover and the other end slots into the plastic cord reel , also the cord reel is located in the cover by metal tabs ala Japanese toy cars of the 1950s . Of course one of the tabs broke when I bent it back.

My question is can I use a more modern top cover i.e. are the newer type of starter mechanisms interchangeable ?
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Old 03-10-13, 09:08 AM
Join Date: May 2006
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In going to Sears Parts Direct, the model number you have is still in play with two variations with some suffix numbers. But both engines have the same parts in the pull start.

I'm thinking maybe the screeching you get is from the clutch ratchet bearing. You may try lubing that thing and see if it makes any difference It's a pretty well sealed setup, but you can probably get something into it with an aerosol can or take it off and drop it into a can of lube.
Old 03-10-13, 11:42 AM
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Yeah, the top is not where your problem is. The problem is in the cranking ratchet. Some lube may help, but it is only temporary, as this part isn't supposed to have lube on it. The best thing to do is take it off and clean the crud out of it and just put a drop or two of oil on the felt pad at the end.
Old 03-30-13, 01:21 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
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Thanks Marbobj and Cheese - you were correct about the ratchet system, dry as a chip. Pulled it apart, cleaned out the crud, a bit of lube and mowed all day without a hitch.

Hadn't come across that type of ball bearing ratchet system in a B&S before - other motors have had the dogs which come out with centrifugal force and engage inside the splines. Live and learn. Thanks again.

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