How to Replace Pull Cord on Lawn Mower?

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You’re trying to start your mower, but the pull cord doesn’t work? What do you do? 

Easy, you replace pull cord following our guide.

But as a user with little to no mechanical experience, this may seem like a challenging endeavor. If that’s the case, then don’t worry – even if you aren’t well-versed in mowers, you can still get the job done.

That’s why you should read our brief yet in-depth guide about how to replace a pull cord from a lawn mower. Whether you’re somewhat familiar or not at all – you can follow this guide and replace the cord.

So, are you eager to find out how? Then keep reading!

Why Replace Pull Cord on Lawn Mower?

replace pull cord

First and foremost – is it even necessary to replace the pull cord? Well, it probably is, as long as:

  • The cord is broken or frayed. Especially if it doesn’t hold to the mower anymore – change it. 
  • The pull cord doesn’t return to the rewind unit or does it too slow – then you probably need to replace it.
  • And finally, if it gets stuck or makes it hard to start the mower, then it also needs to be replaced.

Does the pull rope of your mower match with any of these descriptions? Then you need to get it off and install a new one. Below you’ll learn how. 

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Replace the Pull Cord on Lawn Mower

While this is not a job for anyone, it is still a pretty straightforward endeavor. 

Even then, you need to follow every step to the letter and be safe while doing it if you want to get the job done without drawbacks.

What to Consider:

So, are you ready to start? First, have this in mind: 

  • You will unscrew and separate several small pieces from the machine. To avoid losing them, grab a bucket or small container to place them while working.
  • Several parts from lawnmowers are sharp or too fragile. Be sure to hold and operate them carefully to prevent any damage.
  • Always try reading the mower’s manual (if any) before starting to replace anything. This will get rid of any doubt you may have and prevent you from making mistakes. 

Items You’ll Need

  • Flat-Head & Phillips Screwdrivers
  • Hand Gloves
  • Needle-Nose Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Nut/Ratchet/Drill driver
  • Lighter or Oil (Optional)
  • New Pull Cord (Identical to the old one)

So, did you gather all these items? Then you’re ready to start replacing that pull cord. Follow these steps:

1.Prepare the Mower

replace pull cord

The first you need to do is make sure the mower is ready for the replacement. Otherwise, you may either damage the machine or harm yourself. Here’s how to prepare it:

  • Look for a flat surface in an open area where you can work comfortably and safely. 
  • After placing the lawnmower in such an area, then look for the spark plug cable and get it out. You may also get the spark plug out if you want.
  • Finally, you should drain the gas tank from the machine. This is only necessary if you have to remove the gas tank to reach the pull cord (only some models have this design).

After preparing the mower, you can start taking the mower apart. 

2. Remove the Housing & Rewind

To reach the place where the pull rope connects, you have to get the housing and the rewind unit off. Follow these steps:

  • Start by finding the three to four screws that hold the top housing of the mower. You will need to use the driver for this. 
  • In case your mower has the gas tank on top, then you will have to remove the screws with a screwdriver instead. Get the gas tank out of the way (it should be empty beforehand). You don’t need to disconnect the fuel line, though. 
  • Now you should have the coil or rewind unit in sight. It is usually attached with three or four more screws. These ones go out only with the driver. 
  • Lift the rewind unit from the machine carefully. If it doesn’t go out at first, you may use the flat-head screwdriver to pry it out. Be extra careful if you pry it. 

After getting the rewind unit off, you should have direct access to the old cord attaching point. 

3. Take Away the Old Cord

Getting rid of the old cord will leave the space open for the new one. It is an easy thing to do, but you should still do it properly. Here’s how:

  • Start by removing the old cord by rewinding it from the rewind unit. Just grab the knot and pull it out as far as it goes – cut the remaining piece off.
  • Now you have to remove the knot that attaches the rope to the rewind unit. Do this by flipping the rewind unit and looking for a knotted portion. Grab the needle-nose pliers and get it off. 

The rewinding unit is now ready to receive the new cord. 

4. Prepare the New Cord

replace pull cord

If you bought a new pull rope, then you should be sure it is the proper length for the machine, so it fits inside the mower perfectly. Prepare it this way: 

  • Start by measuring the old cord (if possible). This should give you the ideal length to cut the new one.
  • Then grab the new rope and cut it off as necessary. If you don’t know the length, then leave it like so and cut it later.
  • Next, grab the lighter or oil and prepare the cord for the winding. We recommend lighting up the ends that look frayed or broken to piece them together. Use the oil to moist and reduce the diameter of the ends.

After preparing the cord, you should be ready to set it inside the rewind. 

5. Feed the Cord in the Rewind Unit

You have the cord ready to be inserted into the mower. But you have to do this properly. Follow these tips:

  • Start by connecting the cord into the base of the rewind unit. Be sure not to damage the innerspring or rewinding mechanism while placing the cord. 
  • Then proceed to connect it to the exterior handle (the one you grab when pulling.) After that, you should push the cord into the holes of the rewind. Do this by rewinding the unit.
  • You should do at least 7 rewind turns for the unit to allow the cord to get in. Then place the screwdriver into the slot in the body of the unit. It should prevent it from rewinding.
  • With the winding system on hold, you need to connect the cord to the end of the winding tray and then release the screwdriver. The winder should fasten up, pulling the cord inside the tray.  

The rewinding unit is fed with the cord, so you’re ready to test it out.

6. Reinstall Everything

Before testing the pull cord, you should first reinstall everything you took off before. 

  • If you didn’t cut the rope before, now it’s time to do it. Cut off whatever extra cord hangs from the mower.
  • Then you can start piecing up the mower again. Start by placing the rewind unit. Remember to use the driver and/or wrench as necessary.
  • After the rewind, you may need to install the tank once again. Remember to be careful in case you didn’t empty it out.
  • Proceed by reinstalling the housing or whatever is at last. Tighten everything up nicely and be sure nothing falls off while mowing.
  • Finish by connecting the spark plug and the power cable accordingly. Be sure they’re well connected so you can start the mower quickly.

If everything is in place, then you’re ready to test the new cord. 

7. Test the Pull Cord

how to replace pull cord

Remember, even if it is a new pull cord, you should be careful not to break it while turning the mower one. You can follow our guide on how to start a mower. Also, check these tips:

  • Check that the machine has proper oil and gas in the tank. If there’s enough for it to turn on, then proceed.
  • Grab the pull cord carefully. Be sure it is appropriately retracted.
  • Then pull fast without being too harsh not to break the cord.
  • The machine should have started at once. 
  • If it is an old mower and it doesn’t start at once, then it may have a bad starter. Follow this guide to fix it. 

If the machine turns on, or at least you feel how the pull cord works without staying behind or loosening – then you’ve successfully replaced the pull cord from your mower. 

Replace your Mower’s Pull Cord Now!

So, did you learn how to replace the pull cord on a lawnmower? It doesn’t take a rocket science degree to do so.

But of course, you still need to be extra careful and follow our guide to the letter. Otherwise, you’ll end up damaging yourself or the machine.

Instead, follow our guide and fix that pull rope to get started mowing right away. 

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