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Discussion Starter #1
I borrowed my neighbor's Snapper 2-stage (roughly 15 years old), and when I went to restart it, I broke the rope inside the housing where it attaches. So I took that round housing off and reattached the rope inside, which was pretty easy to do.

When I put it back together, prewound into place, I pulled the cord and it started fine, but the rope does not get pulled back in. It just hangs out. I did not disassemble any moving parts or anything complicated when I did this, but now the rope is stuck outside the housing and will not rewind, so it is limited to using electric start.

Could I have assembled it wrong, or did I break something? Where is the cheapest place to replace that part if that is necessary?
 

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What brand in the engine?
Yes, if you could post the engine specs and maybe the model # too we may be able to find the problem. Like Ingersoll444 said, it appears as if the spring were broken. I you can get us the engine specs we could probably find a replacement spring or complete recoil starter.
 

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When you say you prewound it did wined it in the direction the way the rope pulls it and how far did you go. Also check the little tab stick out of the side which willbe a flat piece of steellocked into the pulley housing, that is the spring that attaches to the the housing the end attaches on the inside to the pulley.
Pictures would do more help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll have to get the info from my neighbor tomorrow, and take some pictures. It's in his garage, but I'm trying to fix it for him since l pretty much broke it!

When I say prewound, I just mean that after I knotted the end of the rope, I spun the thing so that the rope was wound up before I attached the housing to the blower. (I wish I knew better terminology). I'm pretty sure I wound it in the right direction. The rope comes through a hole in the plastic that is angled heavily so that it is clear which way it gets wound.

When I attached the spring-loaded housing piece to the snowblower, I didn't turn the winder to any specific orientation to line it up with anything on the snowblower. I just lined up the screwholes on the housing. So maybe I didn't do that part right. That's why I was wondering if there are springs inside the removable piece that should wind up the rope, or if the engine somehow rewinds the rope. If the removeable spindle piece should wind the rope, then that part has an issue because when it is off the snowblower, it does not have enough "spring" to wind up the rope.

I'm not sure how I could have broken it, but it was working before I opened it up.
 

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Well there is the problem, 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That does make sense, and I just tried spinning that piece many times and the spring does start to wind up, so tomorrow I will wind it up and tie the knot and put it back together. Thanks a ton, you just saved my neighbor a trip to the shop because he wasn't going to try to figure it out. You guys rock!
 

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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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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.
That's a great idea!!!! All my years of doing those I never thought of cutting it after.
 

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bosmech ,is on to something, pre-wind,,line up the holes,annd...if it's accessible, clamp the thing in place with vice-grip, then thread the rope in the one side, knot, then thread the other eyelet that leaves the starter housing,&once its outside tie a quick loop in the rope.
let us know how ya did
 

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There is actually a hole that is used to hold it in place belive it or not.
Thats how it is done at the factory and repair shops.
The leave extra then pull out some is my trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, it's done. The handle was already tied on, so I just wound it up quite a bit, fed the loose end in and tied the knot, and let it recoil the rope back inside and pull the handle up against the housing.

I think I prewound it enough times that when the rope is coiled up and the handle is up against the housing, preventing the rope from going further inside, the spring is still wound up some. So the handle is being pulled fairly tight when it is in this "resting" state. Is this OK, or was I supposed to wind it so that when the handle is pulled in, the spring is almost back to its non-wound state?

Hopefully it is OK as is, because then I am done. Thanks!
 

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If it pulls the rope all the way in, you are good to go- as long as there is enough rope left to give a decent pull when starting, since I didn't see you say anything about using new rope...
 
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