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Thread: Pull cord won't retract

  1. #11

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    If you loosen the screws that hold the rope rewind mechanism to the engine... does the rope rewind?

  2. #12

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    No, it still required a screwdriver assist.

    I want to go with clean / dry, but I am now looking to this forum for tips on how to re-wind the spring. It came unwound, and I'm having difficulty getting it rewound inside its shallow cup, because my hands don't work so good anymore.


  3. #13

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    Can you post a picture of this mechanism?
    What engine make is it or what model ?? KennyV

  4. #14

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    Will do as soon as I can get my camera from work and take a pic.

    I'll look at the model, etc., then as well.

    Will post back


  5. #15

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    Forgot my camera...
    I finally got the spring re-wound, by starting with the outer coil and working my way in.
    Its all dry now, and I got the rope rewound as well.
    Pulls good, multiple times, without spark plug.
    But when spark plug is installed, it pulls 2-3 times, and hangs in the out position.

    I don't see a flywheel keyway, so I don't suspect that.
    It fires, but hasnt run for more than a couple of seconds.
    Seems to have a kickback

    I cleaned the carb, and the exhaust screen is clean

    What else could I be missing?
    From what I can see of the cylinder walls, they look clean.

    I found a little melted plastic under the clutch, and cleaned that up

    Its a Craftsman, Hedge Trimmer MN 358.769358, 25cc, mfg. in 2006, with 50 hours expected life hours.


  6. #16

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    We have a similar issue with the lawnmower we bought second hand. It worked well, but after so many pills it is extended and won't retract at all.

  7. #17

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    I found my model on the Craftsman parts website, and apparently it does have a flywheel key.

    I will investigate further to see if the key is broken. That would explain the kickback, and perhaps that is the recoil issue as well.

    Its a small flywheel, maybe 5" diameter...
    Do I use a gearpuller, or is it screwed on?

    I can't tell by looking.. I know... pictures, pictures, pictures..........
    I'll post back when I can remember to bring my camera home from work.


  8. #18

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    How do I move this post to the Small Engine repair forum?


  9. #19

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    Model No. is 358.769356.
    Now that the kickback seems to be the problem, any ideas on how I can get this flywheel off to check the key?

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Papaw50; 03-02-2011 at 10:53 PM.

  10. #20

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    Feb 2011

    Re: Pull cord won't retract

    You shouldn't have to take the flywheel off. The spring loaded tabs on top are what engage with the spinner, and they look OK in your pic.

    Sounds like the problem is the spring isn't tensioned enough. I've run into this a hundred times. You have to 'wind up' the plastic piece, with no rope installed (but the spring and everything else is). Then, when it's pretty (but not completely) tight, Hold it By wedging a screwdriver in the space between the white plastic and the metal retainer (that's not the proper way, but it'll get the job done) just enough to hold it once you've aligned the hole in the plastic spinner with the rope outlet.

    Carefully feed the rope into the holes, and tie a knot (or screw in the wedge/lock in a bit, tough to see in the pic). Fish it around to its original position( screw in wedge/lock here), and then remove the screwdriver whilst holding the pull cord, and let it retract. If you have too much rope, you'll run out of spring tension before you run out of rope. Pull it out again till you have decent (but not too much) tension on the starter rope. Re-tie the knot on the handle end. Don't cut the handle end rope untill you know it retracts, and you have enough rope to pull out without hitting the stop.

    It is a royal pain, believe me, but doable.

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