How to Rewind the Lawnmower Recoil Spring, step by step


If you have problems with your pull cord on your lawnmower, you need to disassemble it. This can be for a broken cord or another repair. If you disassemble the pull cord unit, the recoil spring needs to be pulled out. The next thing you know, you have a recoil spring that has been unwound. Rewinding your lawnmower recoil spring is not a difficult job and can be done in half an hour. There are two methods how to do it, using a rewinding tool, or doing it by hand.

How to Rewind the Lawnmower Recoil Spring by hand, step by step:

  • Step 1: Verify that the recoil is not damaged or broken.
  • Step 2: Clean the recoil spring housing
  • Step 3: Pull the loose recoil spring to tighten it
  • Step 4: Replace the rewound recoil spring in the housing
  • Step 5: Assemble the housing with recoil spring back on the engine
  • Step 6: Test the recoil spring for normal operation
How to Rewind the Lawnmower Recoil Spring, step by step 1

In case you are uncertain about doing it by hand and have access to a rewinding tool, you can use this. The steps are slightly different.

How to rewind the recoil spring using a rewinding tool, step by step:

  • Step 1: Check the condition of the recoil spring
  • Step 2: Wipe away any dust from the housing of the recoil spring.
  • Step 3: Tighten the recoil spring using the tool
  • Step 4: Reinstall the recoil spring housing on the engine.
  • Step 5: Examine that the recoil spring is functioning normally.

Rewinding the lawnmower Recoil Spring by hand, Step-by-Step:

● Step 1: Verify that the recoil is not damaged or broken.

The first step is to make sure that the recoil spring is worth rewinding. If it has been damaged or broken in any way, it needs to be replaced. In such a case, rewinding and using the same spring can cause further issues for your mower, other than the problems with the engine start. 

Confirm that the rewind spring is unattached and can be rewound again. The spring must also have retained its bent ends so that it can firmly be rehoused again in its housing. If this is not the case, you have a broken spring, and it needs to be replaced.

● Step 2: Clean the recoil spring housing

Prepare the recoil spring’s housing by cleaning it thoroughly. Make sure that it is free of all dirt and is not oily either. If the housing is oily, it can cause the spring to fit badly or have more wear than it is supposed to have. It is a good idea to take a picture of the recoil spring in its housing to know how it fits when you reattach it later.

● Step 3: Pull the loose recoil spring to tighten it

Hold the recoil spring firmly between your fingers, with your index finger in the center of the coil, and thumb pinching the recoil spring together. Start to pull on the loose end of the recoil spring slowly now.  The recoil spring should begin to tighten in diameter, with its length being wrapped around the center being held by your index finger. Keep the coil pinched with your thumb to prevent it from unwinding. Keep rolling the loose end of the recoil spring to shorten it in its length until the coil’s diameter is small enough to fit back into the recoil spring housing.

In order to prevent the recoil spring from unwinding use your fingers to hold it in place. A better approach would be to hammer two nails on a board adjacent to each other. You can use these nails to hold the recoil spring in its place by hooking the V-shaped end of the recoil spring in between the nails. This way, you can easily wind the loose end of the recoil spring around the hammered nails on the board without the concern of sudden unwinding if the spring is let go accidentally.

Ensure that the rewound spring’s diameter is comparable to the space in the recoil housing so that it can fit into it. If the diameter is too small, loosen the recoil spring a bit to increase its diameter. If, in contrast, the diameter is too large, you need to pull on the loose end more firmly to decrease its diameter.  

● Step 4: Reattach the rewound recoil spring in the housing

Put the recoil spring back into its housing. The tab at the end of the recoil spring must be aligned with the small spot in the housing. After its aligned, slowly relax the spring by releasing the pressure on it. The recoil spring should ease into its position in the housing properly. Now wind the recoil spring using the starting string in the direction it usually unwinds, adding tension to the spring. So that when released, it will wind itself back into the housing.

● Step 5: Assemble the housing with recoil spring back on the engine

Now the housing, along with the recoil spring, can be replaced back on the engine. While handling the housing, make sure that all the bolts and screws remain intact in their positions. Place a hand firmly above them when inverting the housing. Align the screw holes properly with the holes on the engine and fasten them securely with bolts and screws.

● Step 6: Test the recoil spring for normal operation

If you have followed all the steps mentioned above properly, your recoil spring is now fully functional. Before wrapping up, test the recoil spring for normal operation. Pull it several times. It should work as before, start the engine and then rewind itself.

Rewinding the lawnmower Recoil Spring with a Rewinding Tool, Step-by-Step:

● Step 1: Check the condition of the recoil spring

The very first step is to make sure that it is worth rewinding the recoil spring. If it is damaged or broken, it needs to be replaced. In such a situation, rather than starting the motor, the rewinding and use of the same spring may trigger additional issues.

Confirm that the rewind spring has only been unattached and can be rewind again. The spring must also have its bent ends preserved so that it can be securely rehoused in its housing again. If it doesn’t, you will have a broken spring, and it needs to be replaced.

● Step 2: Wipe away any dust from the housing of the recoil spring

Prepare the recoil spring’s housing by cleaning it thoroughly. Make sure that it is free of all dirt and it is not oily either. If the housing is oily, it will be difficult to fit the recoil spring, and it may have more wear.

● Step 3: Tighten the recoil spring using the tool

Line the inner notch from the rewind tool with the V-shaped end of the recoil spring. Feed the spring through the outside of the spring cap housing and lay it flat on a table or other surface. This will help to hold the spring firmly in place.  Take the tool’s handle and start winding it in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction (the tool works either way). Keep winding it until outwards V-shaped end of the spring is loosely against the spring cap housing.  Once you do that, you need to release the spring’s inner end, pull the handle, and rotate it 90 degrees. It releases the inner end, and the spring is now against the housing’s outer cap, lined up. Pull the lower handle up, squeeze it, and it ejects the spring fully into the housing.

● Step 4: Reinstall the recoil spring housing on the engine

After rewinding, you can reinstall the housing along with the recoil spring back on the engine. Ensure that all the bolts and screws remain intact in their places when handling the housing. Place a hand firmly above them while the housing is inverted. Place the screw holes correctly with the engine holes and firmly fasten them using bolts and screws.

● Step 5: Examine that the recoil spring is functioning normally

If you correctly followed the steps mentioned earlier, your recoil spring should be working fine. Check the recoil spring. Pull it several times. It should start the engine and then rewind itself.

Precautions

  • Safety glasses: Use safety equipment gloves, apron and glasses are musts. If the spring suddenly unwinds, it can do nasty things.
  • Be careful: When pulling the spring out, keep your thumb above it to prevent a sudden pop out of the spring, preventing a harmful situation as it is quite sharp and dangerous for eyes and hands.
  • Flip it carefully: When examining the recoil spring, especially the rotor assembly, make sure the parts do not fall off from their places when flipping it over.
  • Moving parts: Handle moving parts with extra caution.
  • Hot engine: Be careful if the engine is hot. It is better to let the engine cool completely before touching hot parts.

Final Remarks

Recoil spring is a key component to start your lawnmower. It ensures that the flywheel and crankshaft spin fast enough to start the engine. If something is not ok with it, and the pull cord does not rewind it, it isn’t easy to start the mower. Fixing the issue is not difficult, and if you know how to do it will only take 30 minutes or less.

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