How to Replace a Lawnmower Pull Cord, step by step


With perfect weather, you plan to go out to give your lawn a nice trim. You use a push mower that has never let you down in all these years. But as soon as you pull the lawnmower’s cord to start the engine, it breaks. The other end is spinning back into the starter assembly. You are not the only one with this problem. It occurs more frequently with older lawnmowers, and in most cases, you have to replace the pull cord. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult job and will not take more than an hour, depending on your experience. Your machine will be up and running again soon.

How to replace a lawnmower pull cord, step by step:

  • Step 1: Get the correct replacement cord.
  • Step 2: Remove the starter assembly
  • Step 3: Detach the damaged pull cord
  • Step 4: Replace the damaged pull rope with a new one.
  • Step 5: Reassemble the components of the lawnmower

There are a few steps that are required to replace the pull cord. However, these steps can differ from model to model. The main task for all models is to reach the pulley within the starter assembly. The pull cord can break down when it’s old or when it’s stuck in the pulley.

This blog post gives you an in-depth explanation of how to fix and replace the pull cord on your lawnmower.

Replacing a lawnmower pull cord, step-by-step:

The entire procedure for replacing a pull cord is detailed below in the form of several steps.

● Step 1: Gather the tools and correct replacement cord

Before we can remove the pull cord, you need to ensure that you have the equipment and materials required for the job. The most important thing is the replacement pull cord. Make sure it suits your lawnmower model. Check the user manual for more information about the part number. If you can not find it, use google to find the correct part.

-Tools required:

It would be best if you had the following equipment at your disposal to help you with the process:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench set
  • Pliers

-Required materials:

Just a few materials are needed to complete the work, which is as follows:

  • New cord
  • Match stick

● Step 2: Unscrew the starter setup

Step 2.1. Location of the pull cord:

The pull cord is attached to the lawnmower’s starter disk. But, first of all, we need to find the starter disk on the lawnmower.

– Step 2.2. Remove the plastic cap:

A lawnmower typically has a plastic cover covering its engine. Loosen the screws holding this plastic cover and remove the plastic cover.

– Step 2.3. Remove the gas tank:

After the plastic cover has been removed successfully, the next step is to take the gas tank out. Loosen the four screws securing the gas tank from the top and the fifth screw from the gas tank’s bottom.

Remove the screw at the bottom and turn the gas tank outwards instead of taking it off.

– Step 2.4. Remove the shroud of the engine:

The final step is to remove the whole engine shroud. Unscrew the bolts holding the engine and lift it off. Now you’ll see the whole starter disk to which the pull cord is connected.

● Step 3: Remove the pull rope

– Step 3.1. Cut the knot on the cord:

Turn the starter assembly over, and you’ll see the old pull cord. Remove the knot on the rope with the aid of pliers.

– Step 3.2. Take out the old pull string:

Take out the old pull string, but be careful because it causes strain on the starter pull cord, and you don’t want to break the starter spring.

-Step 3.3.  Rewind the pulley spring:

If the old pull cord has been removed, rewind the pulley spring in the anticlockwise direction and confirm that the starter spring is not broken. If the spring is broken, you can refer to our article on “How to fix pull cord spring.”

-Step 3.4.  Rotate the pulley in a counter-clockwise direction:

After you have finished inspecting the spring, rotate the pulley in the anticlockwise direction and give it some five rounds.

This step should be done so that the hole on the pulley and the starter housing hole are aligned.

– Step 3.5. Secure the pulley:

The final step is to secure the pulley in this position by putting the screwdriver inside the starter housing. It also keeps you away from unintentional injury as the pulley carries a huge amount of tension at the moment.

● Step 4.  Replace the old pull string with the new one

– Length of the cord:

Many lawnmowers use a size five or a size six cord. However, it is suggested that you calculate your old pull cord’s length and purchase the new rope of the same size and length as prescribed by the manufacturer for your specific model number.

– Step 4.1. Connect the cord to the pull handle:

You need to loop the rope through the pull handle once you have bought the new pull cord.

  • Burn the rope end: Burn one of the ends of the rope with the match stick’s aid and give it a little twist. This step keeps the rope from wearing out.
  • Tie a knot: Now, move this end of the rope through the pull handle and tie a knot to keep the rope from slipping out of it.

– Step 4.2. Connect the new pull cord to the starter housing:

  • Burn the rope’s other end: Take the other end of the rope and burn it with a match stick. Try twisting it so that it forms a pointed end.
  • Connect the string to the starter housing: Pass this pointed end through the starter housing opening. At this end of the rope, tie a knot to keep it from escaping the starter housing.
  • Wind the pull rope: Now remove the screwdriver and let the pulley wind the rope back fully.

● Step 5: Reassemble the components of the lawnmower

We know that after this hectic job, you might be a little tired. But don’t worry, the main job is done, and all you need to do now is reassemble the mower’s parts.

– Step 5.1. To reinstall the engine shroud:

Reassemble the engine shroud by tightening the bolts that keep the shroud in place.

– Step 5.2. Attach the gas tank:

Drive the gas tank back in, tighten the screws at the top and the screws at the bottom of the gas tank with the help of the screwdriver.

– Step 5.3. Connect the plastic cover of the engine:

The final step is to bring the plastic cover back in place by tightening the bolts.

Related Questions:

1. How long is the lawnmower cord supposed to be?

The length of the lawnmower cord depends on the model of the lawnmower. The important thing about the pull cord’s size is that it should not be too thick. It is because a thick pull cord would not rewind around the pulley easily.

Typically, 5, 5.5, or 6 size pull ropes are used.

2. What’s the function of a pull cord?

The pull cord is just like a key, as in the case of a car, since it allows the lawnmower to start. The pull cord is wound around a pulley inside the lawnmower engine. When you pull the cord, the pull cord rotates, and the piston moves. The result is a spark that starts the lawnmower.

3. How to reduce the length of the pull cord?

Often a pull cord of the desired length is not available on the market. Then you need to cut it to the size you want. To do this, first put a mark on this rope according to the length required and then cut the end using a pair of scissors.

Next, using a match stick, burn the end of the rope, just cut and twist it. This step is done to keep the rope from wearing out at that end.

4. Why is my cord stuck?

There are several causes for the pull cord to get stuck. Some of the are listed under:

  • Old grass or debris can be trapped inside the starter pulley.
  • Damaged recoil spring
  • Impaired pull cord

-1. Old grass or debris caught inside the pulley:

Often there’s a build-up of dirt and grass inside the starter pulley. To remove this debris and grass, you need to open the lawnmower’s starter housing by following the steps described above and then clear the debris by using a screwdriver.

-2. Damaged recoil spring:

This problem is rare, but the recoil spring within the starter housing may be broken in some situations. It would be best if you inspected the starter housing, in this case, to figure out the issue.

-3. Impaired pull cord:

A lawnmower that has been in use for a very long time has a high risk of getting its pull cord damaged. You can refer to the article above to fix this issue.

Final Remarks:

The pull cord of a lawnmower is one of the parts of a lawnmower that you need to start it. Without it, you will have a hard time start your lawnmower and cut the grass in your backyard. To repair the pull cord, one must enter the starter housing inside the lawnmower engine. The above article is a step-by-step guide for fixing the pull cord. During the procedure described above, wear some safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from accidental injury. The cord uses a spring with a lot of force to retract itself. You do not want to get something in your eye if the spring suddenly breaks or gets loose. Regularly check the pull cord for damage, so you can replace it before it breaks.

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