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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Craftsman 536.887990 2 stage blower, and the rope broke. I have removed the housing and have replaced the rope and wound it manually on the pulley. There seems to be no pretension when I rewind the rope (CCW my default choice) in either direction. When I look at the manual, I don't see any type of rewind spring for tensioning the rope. Is this correct, or is it just a matter of winding the rope and installing it back into the blower? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks
 

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before you install the new starter rope, you have to pre tension the spring, which is located between the pulley the rope goes on and the housing it is mounted in. You must wind this pulley 5-7 turns and line up the holes and then feed the new rope through.You can use a pair of vise grips to clamp the pulley in place while installing the rope. Larry
 

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Thanks Dakota, there in lies my question. It seems that whether I turn the reel in either direction, I don't get any spring back which would indicate tensioning. I get the same reaction whether I turn it CW or CCW. The starter dogs do emerge when the reel is turned CW. When I looked at the parts diagram in the manual, I don't see a torsion type spring. Is there something I need to hold to get the spring to load, or what am I missing? Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looking at the parts diagram, I can be more specific. I'm not getting any spring back from the pulley/spring assy when I try to pre tension it when holding the housing. Is there a pressure point that needs to be held besides the housing, or am I now in the market for a new spring assy? My electric starter just went out, so this manual starter has had minimal use. I see its made in China, so I'm not surprised at its quick demise, despite its non use. Anyway, is lubrication or other quick fix a possibility before rebuilding (if that's even possible) if the pulley/spring assy is the problem. Thanks again for your help.
 

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It is possible that it came un hooked... I sent you a video of a tecumseh starter, because it was a craftsman blower. Apparantly ,yours is newer. What engine does it have ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Excellent video. It seems I'm not getting the spring back when I try to rewind the pulley. The spring must be slipping or just happened to coincidentally break at the same time the rope broke and the electric starter decided to go south for the winter. Just to let you know how this calamity is going, I also tried installing a new electric starter, but the gear on the new starter is about 1/4 inch shorter then the original, and won't make contact with the flywheel. At least I'm getting some good exercise shoveling. Any other suggestions or tricks would be appreciated. Thanks for your quick responses, and insight dacota.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's a 9 hp tecumseh, but its different then your video. Would a picture help?
Thanks again.
 

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This is the (crappy ) pic sears website has on your recoil. on the backside of the pulley, there should be a spring, which is coiled around the center of the pulley. one end hooks into the pulley, the other into a notch in the housing. if you cannot load tension on the pulley, you may have to carefully remove it to see what is going on. BE CAREFUL !! the spring will want to unwind as soon as it is out of the housing and can injure you if not retained by hand as you are lifting the pulley out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks dakota, that's my pulley. I see a flat copper tab coming out on one side, and about 2/3 revolution a blank hole. I imagine this is where the other end of the spring that was supposed to attach to the frame. Looks like it became detached perhaps if I turned it the opposite direction that it was meant to be used. Pretty lame. Think it's repairable?
 

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If you can PM me your email address,I can send you a tecumseh engine manual, which covers recoil starters in detail. You will need to have adobe acrobat installed on your computer. it is a free download availeble at www.adobe.com Larry
 

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Before you put the rope in you have to wind the spring up and preload it so that it pulls the rope in. First wind it up 4 to 5 full rotations may be even more then use something like scribe, small screw driver to hold it in place make sure the spot were you put the rope through is lined up with hole of the housing and then put the rope in and tie a knot then hold the reel tight before you remove the scribe or screw driver then let it pull the rope back in.
I hope it makes sense.
Make sure you wind it up enough to pull the full length of the cord back in and use more rope than you need because you can trim of the extra once it is recoiled in.
then when you put the handle on pull it out just a bit and lock the wheel like I mentioned above and trim it of put the handle on and let it go back in.
 

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One possible work around until you get this fixed is to start your engine with a drill. I have heard you can break the nut off, but I think that is mainly with the smaller engines. There are plenty of youtube videos on it. Basically with the recoil off like you already have you just get a big drill with a socket on the end and stick it on the nut that holds the flywheel on behind that starter recoil. It isn't perfect, but might keep you from shoveling until you get that fixed. Just make sure you have your drill set to turn the same direction the rope would pull it. Another option is to wrap a rope around the flywheel, but newer flywheels usually have plastic fins, so that isn't such a good idea anymore.

Just do a search for redneck electric start, or homemade starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I decided to take it to my local small engine guy, as we've got another round of snow coming tomorrow, and I'm busy at work. This wasn't his favorite type to repair, so I feel better paying him $35 to repair it. Thanks so much to dacota and the rest of you responders for your insight and help. As I was meandering around the site, I noticed how quickly you all respond to a post, and the posts I looked at you all were quite thorough. thanks again.
Terry
 

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$35 isn't so bad. Could be well worth it depending on how much trouble he ran into :)
 
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