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Jon K.
Jon K., Small Engine Diagnostic Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 5818
Experience:  Gold certified Stihl tech, Service Manager for a rental/repair shop.Certified in most small engines
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Recoil starter cord on Tecumseh 5 hp 4 c engine broke. Took

Customer Question

Recoil starter cord on Tecumseh 5 hp 4 c engine broke. Took off flywheel cover, replaced cord, reinstalled cover and flywheel. No longer recoils.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Jon K. replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for choosing Just Answer, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you find the answer you need to resolve your problem.

Here are my standard directions for replacing the rope on your recoil. You need to make sure that you are prewinding the spring before installing the new rope.

Remove the four bolts that hold the recoil housing onto the engine. This is as far as you need to disassemble it. Turn it over and you should see the knot from the old rope get some needle nose pliers if necessary and pull the old rope out by the knot. This is by far the hardest part. Once all the old rope is gone begin to prewind your pulley by turning it in the same direction as if you were pulling out the rope to start it. Wind it up as far as you can until it stops. Now turn it back until the hole in the pulley and the hole in the housing line up. Insert your new rope through the housing hole and straight through he hole in the pulley and tie a knot. Holding onto the rope, allow the spring tension to pull the rope into the housing. Reinstall on your engine.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have turned the pulley approximately 100 revolutions, with no recoil produced. (I turned it in the direction that made the cog fingers extend). Any ideas?
Expert:  Jon K. replied 5 years ago.

One of two things has happened. Either the spring inside has broken or it has come undone from the fingers that hold it together. At each end of the spring there is bend. One end hooks around a tab on the recoil housing, the other end hooks around a tab on the recoil pulley. A lot of these recoils do not come apart, but some do. Some have a screw in the center that you can remove and some have a squeeze tab in the center of them that allows them to come apart.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
That was the answer. On this model (HSK50), the pulley is held to the housing by a plastic cover with a central post that inserts through the pulley into the central hole in the housing. The central post ends in a squeeze tab which snaps into the central hole in the housing. There is a little plastic piece that then snaps between the tabs to hold it in place. The spring had popped off the sheet metal ring that surrounds the central bearing on the housing. I managed to fish that end out of the pulley and seat it back on the housing. The rest of the replacement went as you described. By the way, I found it easiest to thread the cord through the hole by attaching a piece of my wife's sewing thread to the end of the pull cord. I then put a bend in the sewing thread, and fished it through the pulley hole with a bent paperclip. Don't know if that may be a help to someone else. Thanks.
Expert:  Jon K. replied 5 years ago.
Glad to hear that helped you. I like the addition of the sewing thread and paper clip, I will keep that in the memory banks

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