Replacing a Push Mower Start Cord ~ Rick's Tips

Hello Everybody! This week, I am faced with a frayed starter pull cord on my Troy Bilt, Brigs & Stratton 670 series, push mower. So I need to figure out how to fix this because if I can’t start it, I can’t use it and my back yard is starting to look like a jungle with all the rain we’ve been having!

It took a while to research how to get this done and I looked high and low for a visual aid to help me understand how to do it. However, to no avail, there was nothing. I have read instructions and done the work here for you. If you have this problem now or in the future, don’t think you have to purchase a new mower. I have shown in this video how you can do it yourself.

The most important thing is to use common sense! Go slowly and use the proper tools. If you have never picked up a screwdriver before, this is probably not the project you should test your skills on. Overall, for an experienced handy person, this will not be too difficult, but it will take time and concentration. You will need to take care to remember where everything came from so it can go back where it belongs.

You can purchase replacement pull cords for mowers at most home improvement centers that sell mowers. However, I try to use what I have on hand and the cord I had in the shed, was equal to what they sell in the store. The replacement comes with the cord and a new plastic pull handle. The cost was around $15.00. I replaced mine for nothing except the time I spent doing it. In the end, my mower works for another day and I helped you understand how to replace this pesky part.

A lawnmower is an investment. Even if you purchased a lower end model, you still spend hard earned money on it. It is important to maintain what you have and keep it working. I certainly don’t think this piece of machinery should be considered disposable, however a lot of people would just chuck it and go buy a new one because it needed a new pull cord or a sharpened blade or a new spark plug, if they could not figure out what the problem was. I know you are probably not those folks, but there are those type of people in the world.

I hope this helps you to fix your mower if you should encounter this particular problem. Now I have decided to rebuild the carburetor on this mower so you know that will be yet another video in the future.

I hope you learned something useful and I hope this helps you!

Have a Handy Week!

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49 thoughts on “Replacing a Push Mower Start Cord ~ Rick's Tips

  1. This video is AWESOME and I used it to take apart the exact same mower you show to reattach the pull cord at the recoil mechanism where it broke at the knot. Those darned rivets, tho. Took it all apart and just saved a bunch of money. I am a handy 72 year old widow and do a lot of stuff on my own with the boys gone. Thank You So Much, dude!

  2. On these series of engines, as long as the rope is not broken, you do NOT need to remove the blower housing (with recoil starter) assembly from the engine. (even if it is broke, it's complicated to explain) It's too hard to explain here but I'll try. Remove the spark plug. (a must, not for safety but so you can turn the engine without fighting compression) Tie your mower's bail (dead man's switch) shut like it is in operation. Pull the rope out as far as it will go. Stick a couple thin screwdrivers down through the "vents" (air intake) to hold the pulley from "recoiling". Remove rope. You may need to pry open a "vent" to get a pair of needle nose pliers down in to grab the rope knot at the pulley to pull it out enough to cut the rope. Remove rope. Now, turn the pulley using the two screwdrivers in the direction of engine rotation until the spring is tight. Back off the pulley until the hole in the pulley matches up with the hole in the rope guide. Stick screwdrivers back in so as to not let it "recoil". Cut your length of rope (7 foot of rope if grip is mounted on mower handlebar) and use #3.5 rope. Don't go any bigger or there will be too much rope for the pulley. Burn end of rope with a lighter and while it's burning, "wipe" it off with a rag so it has a point. Insert "point" of rope through the housing's rope guide into the pulley. Grab end of rope, pull it through to where it's exposed outside the housing. Make a proper knot (not a simple square knot but a "cushion" knot…to hard to explain here) and install grip on other end of rope (also using the "burn and wipe" method. Then, remove the screwdrivers that held the pulley from recoiling/rewinding. Rope should recoil all the way. DONE! This takes like 5 minutes instead of 1/2 hour. I was in the small engine repair business and would charge 1/2 hour labor (cheap!) for a 10 minute job! Of course, I only have 45 years experience…..Oh, if your mower takes more than one pull to start, there's something wrong (choke not closing all the way, primer bulb not priming, carb is plugged, etc.)

  3. Hey Rick. This was the exact problem I had with my mower. Thanks to your video I was able to fix it and add a fancy new pull cord. Thank you again and look forward to watching more videos from you.

  4. Rick rides to the rescue….again! This time,although half of our socket set had mysteriously gone AWOL,my wife and I managed to reset the pull cord tension,resulting in a first time start. Thanks Rick!

  5. Thanks Rick, didn't want to drill out the rivets while scratching my head decided to try Google, never thought of just removing engine cover. Duh. Thanks again.

  6. Thank you so much. This applies perfectly to my Toro recycler. The bolts are even in the same places. I fixed it in 15 mins.

  7. Great video. My Troy Built TB210 mower pull cord broke and your video provided all the answers. I watched it once, had my 11 year old watch ir and we did it in about an hour including the trip to the hardware store for a new rope (and i replaced the bolts). Thanks again for a great video.


  8. Thanks Rick. Your video is the only one that tells the viewer those are rivets and generally cannot be removed. I found the rest of your video the most instructional out there for my older GTS6 Toro lawnmower. Thank you again!

  9. Absolute champion followed ur instructions and after all that taking apart, find out at the end, the pulley mechanism was under the cover lol, but at least I know how to pull the mower apart now, thank you sir

  10. A few things your missing on your video.   you didn't mention the size wrench or screw that you used to loosen and take off the cover.   After you got done you didn't test the pull cord

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