How to Replace a Pull Cord on a Lawn Mower - featured

How to Replace a Pull Cord on a Lawn Mower?

If you've owned outdoor power equipment for any amount you've time you've probably experience a broken pull cord. This is a fair common part of a manual start mower that tends to break or not work from time to time.

As you can imaging, a lawn mower has various mechanical parts. For example, the pull cord, which you use to activate the motor by turning the crankshaft. Without a pull cord, you cannot start a lawn mower, making it an important part of the machine.

Just like other parts, the pull cord is prone to damage and may need replacement. Here is a guide on how to replace a pull cord on a lawn mower.

Components of a Pull Cord

The major parts of a pull cord housing include:

  • Starter pull rope
  • Pulley
  • Handle
  • Recoil spring

What You Need to Replace the Pull Cord

  • A new pull rope with the exact measurements
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Hand gloves
  • Lighter

You should be able to replace the pull cord in 12-30 minutes. The process is relatively simple, even if you lack experience repairing a lawn mower.

1. Prepare the Work Area

How to Replace a Pull Cord on a Lawn Mower - tools

Clean out a flat surface for the process. Most importantly, ensure you wear hand gloves for protection.

2. Disconnect the Power Cord

Working on an electrical gadget while plugged in exposes you to a high risk of electrocution. Disconnect the lawn mowers, power cord safely from the battery.

3. Remove the Rewind Unit

The rewind unit is easy to notice since it has several openings. These slots are responsible for allowing air to flow into the engine for combustion to occur. The majority of lawn mower models have the rewind unit attached with several screws. Others feature a secondary covering to hinder the device from sucking in dirt and debris.

Find out the screws attached to the rewind housing. Remove the screws using the wrench or screwdriver.

4. Remove the Damaged Pull Cord

The pull cord is located inside the rewind housing, meaning you simply need to flip the housing to locate it. Find the knotted edge of the damaged pull rope. Using the needlenose pliers, hold the edge tight and pull out the cord. The end is usually knotted to keep the rope from pulling out.

You may cautiously try pulling it out with your fingers instead. You will use the edge from which you pulled the damaged cord to insert the new cord. Ensure you have the replacement cord ready with you.

5. Install the New Cord

How to Replace a Pull Cord on a Lawn Mower - briggs and bratton cord

You need to set the spring before you install the new cord. To accomplish this, turn the pulley in the exact direction as you would the cord. If you feel any resistance building up, you are turning in the correct direction.

Then position the pulley so that the holes match up for the pull rope. Put a screwdriver or anything practical into the vent openings to hinder the spring from recoiling.

Tie a big knot on your new cord to prevent it from slipping out. Then enter the pull cord through the same hole you pulled the old cord out. If the new cord is plastic, burn the tip using the lighter or a match. Pull it tight before returning to the previous position.

6. Cut Off Extra Rope

Take out the screwdriver and allow the cord to fasten around the wheel. Once it is in order, cut out any extra cord.

7. Replace the Rewind Unit

Replace the rewind housing to its previous position carefully. Then, reattach and tighten the screws using the wrench or screwdriver. If the pull cord goes up your lawn mower handle, position it appropriately before attaching the pull cord handle.

8. Reconnect the Power and Test the Mower

How to Replace a Pull Cord on a Lawn Mower - man pulling cord

Reconnect the power cord to the battery. Once you are sure everything is in place, turn the mower on to ensure it is functional. Ideally, the mower should function normally.

When to Replace the Pull Cord?

  • The cord does not return to the housing properly
  • The cord is broken or damaged
  • The cord gets stuck in the housing or fails to come out.

Extra Tips for How to Replace A Pull Cord On A Lawn mower

  • Clean your mower. Chances are your lawn mower has not been cleaned thoroughly in a long time. Take the chance to put some grease elbow in the mower and clean the parts.
  • Wear gloves to avoid getting stained or prevent from any cuts. It is important to protect your hands!

Video Tutorial

Wrapping It Up

If you have a large lawn mower unit, ensure you involve an expert mechanic. A professional will help you increase efficiency avoid further damage. Hiring a mechanic might also be a good opportunity to have the expert inspect the mower for any problems and recommend repairs.

What Do You Think?

Got any extra tips on how to replace a pull cord on a lawn mower? Let us know in the comments!

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Image from Briggs & Stratton.

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