The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Fixing a walk behind mower rewind starter

Briggs and Stratton rewind starter details

The pull rope on the mower stopped doing its job about 10 minutes after I fixed the rear wheel problem.

Most rewind starters have 2 white plastic fingers that extend out and grab when the rope is being pulled and retract when the rope is released and its spring sucks it back in.

These plastic fingers and the groove designed to hold them are worn, causing the fingers not to extend, and now when you pull on the rope nothing happens.

You can get the whole mechanism for just under 40 dollars from Briggs and Stratton, which is what I ordered. I was able to use sand paper to smooth out the rough parts of the plastic to get it going for now, but I suspect it won't last long due to the deformed groove.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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This particular Craftsman mulching mower has a Briggs and Stratton engine that has a model number of


which can be found engraved on a black metal plate on the metal cover holding the rewind starter and pull rope mechanism.

Comment by mark Sat Jul 16 16:09:09 2011
Personally I would consider most plastics inappropriate for parts like these. They're not wear-resistant enough. Of course these parts when injection moulded in plastic are dirt cheap, which is presumably why they were used.
Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Jul 17 07:39:05 2011
I see what you mean. With that much movement going on, you'd think metal would last a lot longer. I guess that's how things are made nowadays. :-/ Too bad you can't buy a metal replacement part.
Comment by anna Sun Jul 17 07:56:26 2011

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