Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
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Did this problem just occur on its own or right after you had work done on it?
Be sure to look at the gear inside the rear drive wheel to make sure that the teeth on it aren't worn out. The key needs to float freely in the end of the axle and make sure that the spring under the key is not broken. The only other thing that might cause a problem is if the pinion gear is directional you may have it on the wrong way. Take a close look at the pinion gear and see if it has an L and R on it, if it does you will want to be sure that when it is installed the L is out toward you when installed on the axle.
There is a small key that sits in a groove or slot in the axle which has a spring under it, the spring is there to push the key up into the center of the pinion gear which makes it drive or operate. If you remove the pinion gear there should be a key in the axle.
Within about 1/2" - 3/4" of the end of the drive axle.
Yes, you can try that. It needs to move up and down freely in the shaft. There is a spring under the key so make sure that you don't loose it if you remove the key. You can also use a screwdriver to help free the key if it is stuck in the axle.
You want to make sure that it is installed properly otherwise it will not work. If you look at the pinion gear do you see an L on one side of it?
Okay, just keep in mind that if you get the machine back together and the left side isn't pulling that it could be a matter of the pinion gear being installed backwards. The pinion gears are both the same part number on this machine, however the gear is normally marked with an L on one side and an R on the other side, the letters would be facing outward on their respective sides of the mower. As long as the key is working freely in the axle and the pinion gear is installed correctly then the machine should operate correctly.
No, I would not take the right side off, it is not currently causing you any problems therefore I don't believe that I would do anything with it.
The spring and flap are part of the engaging mechanism that makes the pull start work. The flap is actually called a starter pawl and it flips out into the starter cup that is on top of the flywheel when you pull the rope. The spring is only to help retract the starter pawl when the rope is released to rewind. You should have a second spring and pawl in the opposite side of the starter pulley right under the top plate that holds the pulley into the housing.