Hard To Pull - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-05-2019, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hard To Pull

i have an older craftsman from the 90's,

it runs great and starts fine with electric start,

the starter is starting to fail, so i had to pull start it a few times, which i did,

when i pull the cord it seems very hard to pull, not easy at all,

is this a problem with the cord/winding assembly itself?....if so, can i lube it somehow?

my other thought is that it might be my drive assembly that is not spinning as freely as it should be?
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-05-2019, 10:23 AM
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Is the auger engaged when trying to start it?

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-05-2019, 11:42 AM
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how does it run and when was the last time it had an oil change? if the recoil is working without sticking i doubt it is the issue.

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post #4 of 7 Old 08-05-2019, 12:35 PM
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does the rope snap back in easily when you pull it or does it retract slowly?

on my pull starts I can remove 3 small bolts , take it off and lubricate the internal spring area and coat the rope with some oil. most of the time this works . if not the spring mechanism may be bad.

( assuming here the engine turns over freely since you said you can start with electric option )

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-05-2019, 04:41 PM
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It could have high compression.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-05-2019, 06:56 PM
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Remove the pull cord housing, see how it turns then, If fine put it back and remove the 2 belts, see how it pulls then.

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post #7 of 7 Old 08-06-2019, 05:11 PM
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I can only tell you how I would begin to chase this down if it were my machine.

First of all, how big an engine are we talking about? If this is an old 10hp SnowKing engine or larger, they require a pretty hard pull when using the recoil starter. Obviously, something like that is going to be a helluva lot harder to turn over than a 5 or 6 hp mower engine.

1 )But, assuming there is an actual problem, start by making sure you don't have a hydrolock issue, which can damage your starter, and could even damage a connecting rod.
Pull the spark plug out and pull the engine over with the recoil starter. Note (especially on the first pull), does a lot of gas spit out of the spark plug hole? Does the engine now turn over freely? It should spin very easily like this.

If you did get a splash of gas coming out, it is likely your carb float is stuck and never closes the needle valve, causing gas to dump into the cylinder. (A hydrolock condition could certainly account for the gradually failing elec. starter).

If it doesn't turn freely at this point, you could have a mechanical issue with the recoil starter itself, or something (more expensive) within the engine. You'll then have to pull the recoil starter off, and test it by pulling the rope. You should only encounter resistance from the starter's internal spring...which is really only enough to recoil the rope.

2) You mentioned this: "...my other thought is that it might be my drive assembly that is not spinning as freely as it should be?...". Probably not likely, but assuming the drive lever on the machine is disengaged, and this machine utilizes a friction wheel transmission, just slip the drive belt off and spin the pulley. It should turn freely, with no rubbing or grinding noise. If not, it's possible the friction wheel is not disengaging from the metal friction disk completely, regardless of the position of the drive lever. But if that were the case, you'd likely see this when you start the machine with the e-starter, as the machine would want to creep....

3) Another possibility is if your engine has a compression relief mechanism that is broken or stuck. These allow the exhaust valve to be cracked open just slightly to relieve compression a little, and make the engine a little easier to turn over manually. Once the engine is running, centrifugal force prevents the mechanism from opening the valve. They can get stuck or broken, so the valve never cracks open though. Depending on the engine, this can make manual starting of a big engine a real s.o.b......

These are some things to start with. Let us know what you've discovered.
Good luck!

If you're looking for guarantees in life, buy yourself a toaster.
--- Clint Eastwood
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