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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

It's me again. Yes, I did get the new auger gears in last year and yes they are still working, in case anyone remembers the Saga of the Stuck Auger Pulley. Thanks for all the help.

Now, the starter rope is wearing out. I can find all kinds of how-to's on replacing a starter rope, but none of them show me how to get the blamed housing off in the first place. The ones I've seen worked on in videos all have these nice, easy-to-see bolts or screws, but not mine!

All I see when I look at the recoil assembly on my Toro 521 with Tecumseh engine (circa 1989-90) are pairs of little HOLES around the outside edge of the housing, near where the edge of it meets the backing plate on the engine.

What are these little holes for? Are there fasteners in them holes? If there are, how do I get them out? If there aren't, what other steps are needed to remove the recoil assembly so I can put in a new rope?

Any help/feedback would be greatly appreciated. The folks on this forum have always been tops.

Thank you.
 

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take a peek around the recoil housing with a flash light or tilt the machine foward on the bucket and you'll see four nuts ( one on each corner of the housing ) that hold it on
 

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Some are riveted. You will need to remove the whole cover. There are 2 small bolts on the bottom of the engine that point up and at an inward angle then there are 2 head bolts on the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
That's a scary thought about the rivets. I wanted at all costs to avoid removing and re-torquing head bolts. I have seen these recoil assemblies for sale. They show the small holes on the rim I mentioned earlier. If there are rivets under these holes, can they be drilled out?

There definitely aren't four nuts on the corners of the housing.

Mine looks something like the pic below. Notice the pair of holes. I think there are four pairs of these around the circumference.
 

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That type of recoil usually has three sheet metal screw that hold it to the shroud assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, Grunt. What a relief to know I just have to hunt for some screws to remove. I wonder why they have two holes side by side? There's probably only one that has a screw behind it. Maybe it's just another thing to confuse you (and send you to the dealer). I should be able to figure out which holes the screws are behind with a flashlight. I bought the starter rope today.

If this works out, I should be good to go before Christmas, when it's supposed to snow yet again.

Thanks to all, and to all a good night.:)
 

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There should be 3 sheet metal screw around the perimeter of the recoil if it looks like this picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Well, that worked out nice.

Solved the mystery of the bolts. There are two holes for each bolt location (one bigger, one smaller). On my recoil, the bolts were in the smaller holes. There SHOULD have been 3 bolts total, like Grunt said, but one was missing... of course, the one I could see. So all I saw was a pair of holes that looked like they might be rivets or have screws inside them or something (it was dark and cold).

Real nice of the assemblers to just say "awe heck, two bolts will hold it."

So, removing the housing was fairly easy, although the bolts have tine 1/4" heads and are hare to get at. Sockets barely fit so I wound up mostly using a little open end wrench.

Luckily the rope had not completely broken, just frayed down to some internal threads, so I had made a knot below the frayed part pending replacement, so the recoil never unwound itself. To replace the rope, I just pulled it all the way out of the housing and stuck a screwdriver between the recoil wheel spokes and the fins on the housing. Then I could take out the old rope and put in the new one (very carefully) without having the spring unwind.

Thanks again for all the help. I think I'll be on this site a few times every winter, what with a 20+ year old snowblower that I don't want to have to replace.

The knowledge and tips here are A1+.
 

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Those sort of situations, it's sometimes nice to have a set of these:

 

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Well, that worked out nice.

Solved the mystery of the bolts. There are two holes for each bolt location (one bigger, one smaller). On my recoil, the bolts were in the smaller holes. There SHOULD have been 3 bolts total, like Grunt said, but one was missing... of course, the one I could see. So all I saw was a pair of holes that looked like they might be rivets or have screws inside them or something (it was dark and cold).

Real nice of the Toro assemblers to just say "awe heck, two bolts will hold it

The knowledge and tips here are A1+.
I believe Tecumseh is the responsible party for leaving a screw/bolt out of their engine. Not Toro.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Those sort of situations, it's sometimes nice to have a set of these:
In this case, even a "nut driver" wouldn't work, because the socket on the end was too thick tow squeeze in. I have one nut driver that accepts sockets. A very handy little tool.

Originally Posted by micah68kj
I believe Tecumseh is the responsible party for leaving a screw/bolt out of their engine. Not Toro.
I think you're right, and I changed the post. Even the snowblowers themselves are usually assembled by the store guys, and the engines probably come with the recoil starters already attached. Thanks for noticing.
 
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