Several years ago, ecologists and other scientists began discussing the fact that consumers buy new replacement items instead of fixing something when it breaks. Still, some household goods and equipment are just too expensive to replace every time there’s a problem. Take a look at how you can extend the life of your lawnmower by replacing its starter cord and giving your mower a thorough once-over.
1. Remove the Old Cord
Image via Flickr by CCCI
Make sure you have the proper size screw driver on hand. Use it to unscrew the bolts that hold down the covering that houses the cord. Expect your mower to have at least three screws securing the rewind cover. If you find there’s a shroud that holds the rewinding mechanism with rivets, use a drill to remove them. Find all pieces of the broken cord, take it off the pulley, and throw it away. Leaving behind small bits of broken cord can cause problems in the future by getting tangled in your new cord.
2. Install the New Cord
Turn the spring in the direction it goes when you pull on the cord to start the mower. If you turn it in the correct direction, the resistance of the pulley increases as you go. Once the resistance is strong enough to make it difficult to turn, unwind the spring a half to a full revolution to allow the hole in the pulley to match up with the hole in the external housing.
Use a clamp or insert a screwdriver to hold the spring in place. This allows you to put the new cord through the hole in the rewind housing and through the correct point on the pulley. Secure the cord in place with a knot. If you’re using a cord made of nylon, gingerly burn the end to melt the nylon and create a stronger seal.
Remove the clamp or screwdriver but continue to maintain pressure on the pulley. Then, slowly wind the cord onto the pulley. Guard against the cord getting tangled as it goes on.
3. Put it Back Together
Replace the pulley on its proper spot. Run the cord through the proper areas to secure it to the end point, possibly on the mower handle. Cut off any excess cord after its completely on the wheel and the cord is taut without straining the pulley. Put the cord handle from the old cord onto the new rope. Put any coverings or shrouds you removed back over the assembly housing.
4. Check Other Mower Parts
Image via Flickr by pegwinn
Because you’re in the garage or workshop with your tools, it’s an ideal time to check out other aspects of your mower. For example, if you need a new set of wheels, checking online at websites like Overstockwheels is a great place to start. Check out the blade to see if it needs to be sharpened. In some cases, you may just need a new mower, in general.