Borrowed mower----- Having problem


Old 09-14-01, 08:15 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 211
I borrowed my neighbors push mower yesterday to do some trimming and it was working fine. It then started to "squell" from engine area just a little,just before I was about to stop. I cut it off as intended almost immediately and let it sit for an hour before resuming cutting. When I started it,it cranked fine and ran great for about 5 seconds, then began "squeeling" very loud from top of engine and I noticed the pull rope had shot back out about 6-8 inches and was hanging down from handle mount. I stopped it and pulled out on rope and let go,it went back in all the way on its own. I started it again and it did the same thing again. I watched the rope and when I pulled it,the engine started and the rope went back in as normal.After about 5 seconds,I watched the rope shoot back out,dangling about 6 inches from handle mount and engine began "Squeeling" loudly.It did this 3 consecutive times,same results.I pull the rope,engine cranks,rope goes in,5 seconds,rope shoots back out and engine starts "squeeling" louding. Any ideas and/or suggestions would be appreciated. Is there something I could check,neighbor out of town? Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-15-01, 03:35 AM
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Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
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Hello: CoolBreeze

Sounds like the starter mechanism is sticking to the flywheel. You'll have to remove the starter housing cover and clean it out. Often times debris gets under the cover causing the starter problem.

Without knowing which engine brand the mower has and type of rope pull starter the machine has, the basic idea still remains the same. The starter assembly has to be cleaned out, inspected for damaged parts, lubed and reinstalled.

The starter parts will be installed in the starter cover. The starter cover will come off the engine as a unit and the starter unit will be attached to the inside of the cover. DO NOT disassemble the actual starter.

Once you clean the cover out, lightly oil the moving pulley parts and carefully pull on the starter rope to spread the oil and free-up the rope.

Clean the top of the engine and flywheel using compressed air if you have an air compressor. If you do not have an air compressor, try reversing the shop vacuum.

Some Briggs engines use a starter clutch. This part remains attached to the flywheel when the cover is removed. The starter clutch can be removed from the flywheel.

Notice the oiling hole provided in to top of the clutch. Any type of common motor oil may be used to lube the clutch through this hole. Opening the clutch can also be done but not often advised.

Regards and Good Luck,
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Old 09-15-01, 12:21 PM
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You definitely have a Briggs with a clutch, and it is
starting to seize on the shaft. You may get away
with a drop of oil in the tiny hole at the top.
But taking emery cloth to the shaft would be a better
bet. Take off the top starter shroud and see if the
pull cord is still ok. It may not be, a seized clutch
will bend the spring and break the pulley. Take a 1/4
inch nutdriver and remove the 2 screws holding the
screen and clutch cover on and remove the screen and
clutch cover and the drive/ratchet mechanism. Sand
the shaft with fine emery cloth and spray a cleaner
lube all over, but dry up the excess. Other wise it
will attract dirt. Take out the 6 ball bearings, then
reinstall the ratchet device, then put the bearings
in each of its little areas, and reinstall. If after
you put it all back together, it should still squeal,
replace the clutch. I do that to begin with, because
I don't want a customer to have to bring it back.

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