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Rick, Factory Authorized Trainer
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 8063
Experience:  Outdoor Power Equipment technical trainer since 1990, covering eight states.
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How do I remove the clutch assembly from a Craftsman Weed Wacker

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How do I remove the clutch assembly from a Craftsman Weed Wacker Model #316791910? I have removed the shaft assy. and the clutch cover. I have removed all four screws from the front part of the cover (red plastic) and one screw in the rear that seemed to be holding the front and rear covers together but I can't get the front cover off, it is stuck some where and I can't find where.

I have a parts list but it isn't giving me a clue.

So you've removed the front cover and can now see the clutch itself? Is that correct?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes, I have the outside part of the clutch that drives the long rod to the business end exposed. It spins freely. I can just get a glimpse of the weights that, I assume, spin out to engage the clutch . It looks like I have to get the front cover off to go further. I have removed every screw that could hold the cover on but it seems to be stuck. I am afraid to put too much force on the cover because it might break.


My problem is that the motor runs fine but the string end turns very slowly or not at all.. I have checked that the drive gears and drive rod are OK and nothing is binding. .



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Sorry. The cover that I have removed is #33 on the parts list and is identified as the "Clutch cover"The front cover that covers most of the clutch and holds the starter cord is what I can't find a way to remove.



That does sound like the clutch, but be sure to check the drive shaft and gearbox above the cutting head as well. The shaft shouldn't turn if you hold the head still.


If it's the clutch, take a length of clean cord like starter rope and place about 18" in the spark plug hole to function as a piston stop to keep the engine from turning. Leave enough hanging out for easy removal. Down inside the end of the clutch drum where the drive shaft was previously is a screw holding it in place. Depending on age, it will be either a Phillips head or a Torx T-20. I think it's Torx on your unit. Once the drum is off you can use sometimes get a crescent wrench on the center portion of the clutch to remove it. Otherwise, you can use a flat punch and hammer carefully on the center body of the clutch to remove it in the direction the arrow shows. The clutch serves as a flywheel nut.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you run into any problems.

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For this repair you shouldn't need to remove the housing behind the clutch.