Craftsman mower pull cord stuck

Craftsman mower pull cord stuck DEFAULT

The Pull String on My Push Mower Is Locked Up

When a push lawnmower's pull string, or starter rope, locks up, it could mean the engine has a problem, but that usually isn't the case when oil is added to the engine regularly. On a rotary mower, the starting mechanism is connected to the cutting blade, and a buildup of debris on the blade can make starting the mower difficult. The problem also could be with the recoil starter. Unless the engine has seized, you should be mowing after a few minutes.

Simple Fixes

If you have a rotary lawnmower and it's been awhile since you looked underneath it, now is the time to clean old grass and debris from the blade and the underside of the housing. Small rocks can catch between the blade arbor and the housing, preventing the blade from turning; because the blade shaft is connected to the crankshaft, the starter won't turn either. After the mower's underside is clear, pull the starter rope while depressing the brake lever on the handle if a brake lever is present. If you forget to depress the brake lever while pulling the starter rope, the starter won't turn and the engine won't start.

Out of Oil

It's simple to forget to add oil to a four-cycle lawnmower engine, and when it is added, the piston has no lubrication and can seize. If the mower runs out of oil while it's operating, major repairs are the usual result, but if it happens when the engine is cold and you're trying to start it, adding more oil should free the piston. Check the oil dipstick. If it shows that the crankcase is empty, add the recommended oil for your mower. Put on leather work gloves, and gently push the mower blade until it turns, or push the blade from a safe distance by using a stick. After you can spin the blade freely, you should be able to pull the starter rope to start the engine.

Recoil Starter Problems

If the blades are clean and the engine has oil, it may be the recoil starter that is at fault. The starter includes a spring-loaded hub that spins the engine crankshaft and the lawnmower blade when you pull the starter rope. The spring can bind or even break, and it's possible for the rope to cross over itself when it rewinds and get stuck. Removing the starter from the engine housing is a straightforward task in most push mowers, although in some, other engine components, such as the gas tank, may have to be disassembled at the same time.

Repair of the Recoil Starter

After you've loosened the screws holding the starter to the engine housing, it just comes off. In order to access the spring and starter rope, remove the rope from the hub, and remove the hub from the recoil housing. This should be done with care because the spring still may be under tension. After replacing the spring - if that task is necessary - wind the hub until the hole in the center lines up with the hole in the housing. Holding it steady with a screwdriver, feed the rope through both holes, tie a knot and allow the hub to unwind slowly to wind the rope. The starter is then ready to screw back to the engine housing.



Writer Bio

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.


The Pull-Cord on My Lawnmower Is Stuck

If the pull cord on your lawnmower is stuck, you're not going to be cutting the grass with that mower until you fix it. Although it might seem like a big problem, it usually isn't. Even in the worst-case scenario -- the recoil spring is binding or broken -- you shouldn't have to devote more than 30 minutes to the repair. The problem usually is much simpler than that, however.

How a Pull Cord Works

When you pull your lawnmower cord, it spins a hub that is connected to the crankshaft, which spins the lawnmower blade. As the crankshaft spins, an electro-magnetic connection fires the spark plug at the same time that the carburetor injects gas into the combustion chamber. Once the gas ignites, the engine starts operating. The hub around which the cord is wound is connected to the motor housing by a recoil spring that automatically rewinds the cord each time you pull it. When everything is adjusted properly, there shouldn't be any slack in the cord.

Simple Fixes

If you feel significant resistance when pulling the starter cord, start by checking the automatic brake. Many lawnmowers have a lever that automatically stops the engine, and you must depress this lever and hold it down before pulling the starter cord. If this lever isn't at fault, grass and other debris may be preventing the blade, which is connected to the starter coil, from turning. To clear it, pull the wire off the spark plug, tilt the lawnmower back and scrape off the debris using a screwdriver or flat bar. Look for roots and plastic gumming up the blade arbor and remove them as well.

Problems With the Recoil Mechanism

Sometimes the pull cord crosses over itself when rewinding, and when this happens, it can get stuck. You may be able to free it by pulling it gently to coax it out to its full length, then letting it rewind slowly. If that doesn't work, you'll probably have to remove the starter from the engine housing to loosen the tangle. You also must remove the starter to fix a broken or displaced spring, which is evidenced by a failure of the cord to retract. Removing the starter usually is a matter of loosening a few screws, but the procedure varies according to model.

Repairing the Recoil Mechanism

Consult your owner's manual to find the procedure for removing the starter. The procedure seldom is difficult and usually requires only a screwdriver or socket wrench. Once the starter is off, rewind the rope, if it's tangled, and replace or reset the spring. Resetting the spring usually requires separating the hub from the starter cover. To do that, you'll have to remove the cord. After replacing the spring, wind the hub, feed the cord through the holes in the hub and cover, tie a knot and let the hub rewind slowly before replacing the starter.


Writer Bio

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.

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Lawn Mower Starter Cord Won't Pull

Archive: Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

A man pulling the starter cord for a lawn mower.Craftsman 6.0 horsepower 22" side discharge lawn mower won't start: The starter rope simply makes half a turn only. It sounds (metal touching sound at half turn) like something blocking the starter rope from turning in the flywheel.

The manual suggests this could be "Engine flywheel brake is on when control bar is released". And I followed its suggested solution, "Depress control bar to upper handle before pulling starter rope." But it doesn't work at all.

Note: the mower was fine and it refused to allow its starter rope to be pulled again after the engine automatically stopped while mowing. Please help.

David Lee


Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I had a mower that would only pull half way one day, after I had just used it. Turns out the rope was "off track" on the wheel. We had to remove the cover to find this out and re-align the rope. Works fine now. (05/11/2005)

By Michael Carter

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I just had this happen to me and it turns out that the blade was clogged up by the grass, which was very long and thick. Just cleared out the stoppage and it worked again. That's all that was needed in my case. (05/22/2005)

By Pete McDonnell

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Honda rope change is a serious action and challenge. (05/31/2005)

By sefira

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Try to remove the shroud. If it is a Briggs, it will be three 3/8" bolts. Move the flywheel (the thing on top with fins) by hand or with a screwdriver or pry bar. Make sure you safely disconnect the spark plug lead first! It should hopefully free up. if you hear a clunking sound about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way around in revolution you might listen carefully to determine if you have a serious thrown rod (metal on metal sounding clunk) or crankshaft inside the block (engine).

If it does turn freely, you know you have an ordeal with the starter assembly. Take it to a repair shop. If the flywheel turns but is sluggish perhaps you have collected debris amongst the external blade, flywheel, etc. Usually it is line. If it is still sluggish take it to the shop. Another thing you could try at home is to (again disconnect the spark plug lead) and turn the mower blade by hand to determine if you have a broken flywheel key or something more serious.

Before diving into something major do yourself a favor and take it to a repair shop! Hope this helped some. (03/11/2006)

By bubbba mechanic

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Thanks for the tips. This definitely helped me with the problems that I was facing. (05/20/2006)


Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I had the same problem and it was the plastic inserts that catch the wheel when you pull the rope. They're easy to replace and cost very little (even for the entire set-up). Simply take off the top plastic cover/s then the three little bolts on top and flip the tank assembly toward the handle (watch the gas line).

Remove the four bolts that hold the metal housing and flip it over to see the pull assembly. If you unscrew the center bolt it lifts off to see two plastic parts the wing out when you pull the rope. This will allow you to pull out the coil so be careful. If you need parts MandD mower has great prices. (11/10/2007)

By John

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Great suggestions here. This all helped me fix my Briggs push mower. In my case, the starter rope would move when disconnected. The fly wheel would not. I looked under my mower and the blade housing was bent and preventing the blade from turning. Thank you all for the help. Back in business with my old, cheap push mower. (08/16/2008)

By Clay

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14 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Question: Lawn Mower Woes: Starter Cord Won't Pull?

Recently I bought a new Briggs and Stratton 550 series push mower. I pulled it out, assembled it, put oil and gas in, and primed it. When I went to pull the starter cord, it wouldn't budge. Advice? Anything I missed? I followed the owners manual word for word.

By Silas Gold


If you've mowed before and then have problems pulling the cord to get it started, it could be that your mower needs cleaned from underneath where the blade turns. When mowing damp grass, it tends to cake around the bottom and it dries up making it hard for the blade to turn which locks up the pulling cord.

Turn your mower sideways and see if it needs cleaning. Scrape off all dried up grass, then try to start up as usual. Should do the trick. Good Luck! Handy-Mama

I recently bought a Troy Bilt self propelled mower, model TB210. I experienced a similar problem, followed the assembly and set up instructions and the starter cord would come out about 5 inches and not budge. No knots in the cord, and I was holding the blade control bar against the upper handle, as instructed. I checked the blades and realized that I did not extend the handle bar as much as I needed to. There was still about six inches of handle bar extending into the rotating blade area and it was preventing me from pulling the starter cord out fully. Once I readjusted the ends of the handle bar I had no problem.

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Question: Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck?

My Craftsman 6.0 mower pull cord is stuck. I've checked gas, oil, spark plug, and blade. Everything is good on those, but the blade won't turn by hand. What options do I have, or should I take it to a shop?

By vince from Richmond, VA


June 19, 20100 found this helpful

You might try spraying a little WD-40 on whatever part(s) you think are stuck. If that fails, then you'll probably have to take it to the shop.

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 364 Posts
June 20, 20100 found this helpful

The rope sometimes gets stuck on the coil winding mechanism underneath. In this case, you need to take it apart, get a new rope and put the whole thing back together.

I asked my DH and this is what he said. Good luck.
October 5, 20120 found this helpful

Thanks everyone for this thread. I just fixed my Toro mower after reading it. The pull was stuck, metal clank. While my attention had been focused on the motor and pull cord, the mower had actually picked up an old piece of rope which was tightly wound above the blade preventing it from turning..

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Question: Troy Bilt Lawnmower Starter Cord Won't Pull?

I have a Troy Bilt mower, model 12AJ836E011. The starter cord will pull out a few inches then stop. I can jerk it and it will come out a few more inches then stop again, etc., etc. I cleaned under the mower and that didn't help. I tried to remove the cover to see if there was anything lodged on the top, but it is held on by three screws, maybe.

They don't look like Allen screws, because they are not octagon shaped, rather round - like rivets. How can I get the cover off? Or, what else can I look for to get this darned thing started. My neighbors are starting to make nasty comments about my lawn. lol

By Kat


January 19, 20150 found this helpful

Extreme Caution note: FAILURE to disconnect the spark plug when turning the blade may cause the mower to start and cause serious injury especially for mowers that may not have safety devices to prevent accidental starting and subsequent injury from the blade.

Before attempting to clean underneath the mower or turn the blade for any reason, make sure to DISCONNECT the wire connected to the spark plug from the end of the spark plug, making sure none of the metal part touches the spark plug at any time. The end of the spark plug and wire may be very HOT if the engine has been running. Allow it to cool or remove it with pliers or gloves.

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Question: Starter Cord Wouldn't Come Out?

I just bought a Craftsman lawn mower and I am trying to pull the rope and it's not coming out.

By Bharti


January 26, 20150 found this helpful

Are you holding down the safety bar while pulling the cord? Your manual should mention your problem under "trouble shooting".

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Question: Lawn Mower Starter Cable Locked Up?

My starter cable is locked and I am unable to pull the chord to start my lawn mower. I noticed that the oil had dried up. I decided to fill it up with oil, but I need to unlock the jammed or locked starter cable. Even the blade below is stuck. Any suggestions, please?

By Chris


February 23, 20200 found this helpful

You must have a wire wrapped on shaft check if its the problum

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Question: Honda Self Propelled Lawn Mower Cord Won't Pull?

Please, is someone able to help me? 1 day ago I brought a second hand Honda self propelled lawn mower from eBay. I had been told it had recently had a service, (before the winter) and had full tank of petrol and oil. It took a few times to get going, but once going and I got the hang of starting it and using it it was working fine.

I then went over some longer wet grass and it cut out. I am now unable to pull the start cord out any more than a few inches. I checked the underneath and removed all wet grass that was clogging it, but I still can't pull the cord out or the blade to turn. I have removed the cover that holds the cord and when not attached to the mower the cord pulls fine. But whatever that is suppose to turn won't budge. I don't know where the spark plugs are or what to look for.

I am desperately wanting advice as to whether I should return it for refund of £100 or if it's worth while taking it somewhere to be fixed and the possible costs of getting it fixed. It looks well looked after. It has not been left outside or rusted. Please help!

By Charlene

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Question: Lawn Mower Cord Won't Pull Out?

I have a Honda self-propelled lawn mower. At the end of last use, the self-propel stopped and it smelled like burned rubber. I checked the oil, which is fine, checked the blades, no blockage or build-up on inside of mower, and the belt looks fine (I thought the belt might be hung up on something or broken, but it looks O.K.) I can turn the blades manually with no problem. The spark plug is new. The cord is extremely difficult to pull and I can't get it all the way out. Also, when looking under the mower, what is the best way to tip the mower? Lift the front, or turn it on its side?

By Nutty Nana

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Stuck Pull rope on Honda lawn mower

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Stuck cord mower craftsman pull

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Craftsman pull starter fix

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