Page 1 of 1

Recoil spring

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:37 am
by Waggles
Dismantling the recoil starter on my 90, when removing the rope pulley there were no half expected 'Sproing' type noises so all seemed well, however on looking at the spring I think perhaps someone else experienced said 'sproing' and hurriedly just shoved everything back inside!!

I have checked the parts diagram etc but the actual fitting of the spring is not clear. I can see that one of the reinforcing webs on the top inside is different to the others and seems to have a point on it about a quarter of the way in that the outer end of the spring would fit into exactly, my question is, is this correct? should I fit the outer end of the spring there and the rest of it inside the little pegs on the reinforcing legs? secondly, as my spring is just relying on friction against the flywheel cover I take it it is new spring time and as I release the spring from its current home it will 'Sproing' and resist all attempts to wind it back properly?

or is the third option 'They're all like that mate' :lol:

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:25 pm
by 40TPI
Your fitting assumptions are correct. The difficulty comes when you have to pre-wind the spring before placing between the "pegs" as you call them.

Maybe this old thread will help: ... highlight=

Unfortunately I had my hands full at the time and didn't take the usual pictures.....

I'm a bit puzzled on the comment that it is only held in place by friction. The outer end of the spring locates in the housing and the inner end into the back of the rope pulley. And the pulley is held in place by a circlip on the centre peg/spindle. So it is the pulley that physically constrains the spring in position. Are you sure the previous person put all the components back!


Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:42 pm
by Waggles
Thanks Peter. I did search for old links but I guess I typed something wrong.

At the moment the outer end of my spring its outside its proper mounting point and as might be expected just pressing hard against the flywheel cover hence is holding tension purely by friction as there is no proper mount for the end ( Thats why I suspect a previous mechanic had experienced a 'sproing' moment - aka a Seagull 'Oh bugger' moment and just shoved everything back in! All other parts are in their correct places and the thing actually worked OK! I was just dismantling to replace a rather worn looking cord, just as well I did! would much rather find things like this now than at sea!

I have seen pics of new springs and the way they are held with cable ties etc so had a feeling I knew what I was in for! thats now confirmed, I guess the factory had a machine of some kind to wind the springs up and I guess thats what they mean by needing a new one, not that the old is damaged but that it is going to be a s*d to wind up!

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:55 am
by 40TPI
Ah now I understand the friction bit. The rewind is the easy-peasy lemon squeezy bit...... placing it back without any "escape" is the tricky bit! Then again yours is still mainly "located". Is there a possibility you can re-wind without removing ?

On reflection I think not. I think the pulley will have to come out and you will have to start from scratch.... no pun intended.

Just take your time and be careful!


Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:08 am
by Waggles
The pulley is already out so no probs there, and I did release the spring tension before removing it. Don't think it is really feasible to rewind in situ, there is no way to get the outer end onto its proper mounting.

OK seems I will need to construct some kind of jig similar to those mentioned before, If successful I will attempt to photograph it all. I can see I need to think about this down the pub for a bit and try at the weekend ( reckon this is a good '2 pinter' :D ) and of course I need to check the yellow pages for a medieval suite of armour and a 'catering pack' of electric cable ties before starting!

( will seriously take the eye protection etc on board )

If anyone is in Essex at the weekend beware of low flying recoil springs! If you see one I won't ask you try and catch it but if you can tell me where it landed that would be much appreciated! :wink:

Springs that go ping in the night!

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:11 pm
by John@sos
Hi all,
had the same troubles here for years, then in amunst some dealer chandlery I found a spring winder, or about half oF it.

A friend is trying to make the missing part, the centre spindle it rotates on, then we can rewind the things.

Once rewound to the correct diameter, as limited by the special rod clip you get when you buy a new one, you can then secure the spring with light 'rotten cotten'.

Only then is it safe to remove the clip and gingerly place into position, jiggling the rope pulley down on top. When all secured, with that tiny 'c' clip, pull the cord and, hopefully cotton breaks.

Goggles are a good fashion accessory for this one!

good luck.

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:03 pm
by 40TPI
Since doing mine I've seen a couple on the Bay that might have been ex factory packed. They looked as though they were wound up and tied inside a loop of 1/4inch diameter steel rod. Is that how they were shipped as spares John?

The winder sounds interesting. Any chance of a piccy of what you have please?


Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:15 am
by Charles uk
Replacing or repairing starter springs is not realy that difficult, just dirty & fiddley.
If the end has broken off the spring (usually the end that hooks on the outside casting) try bending a new one, if the spring snaps when bending try heating the end with a blow lamp (less than cherry red) until it softens enough to bend a new hook.

Now comes the bit that will cause you to swear, wind the spring tight enough so it will fit in the outer casing, then try to hook on the rope spool part to the end of the spring.
At this point you will understand why the octopus has so many limbs!
Don't expect it to happen on the first try or the third.
Getting the tension right can be sorted later when it's back together, by placing the starter rope in the little notch, and winding it one way or the other until there is sufficient tension to retract the cord in the correct manner.

Before reassembly it's probably wise to replace the cord ( the lawnmower shop always carries this). I use 4mm as you can get an extra turn, better too long than too short. Grease the little guide wheel before replacement.

This is well worth the struggle, when you look at the cost of a new recoil.


Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:35 am
by John@sos
Yes in line with my policy of publishing everything I find out, as soon as Simon and myself have this cracked it will be published. Pics and description of use.

And yes the new springs are retained in a steel rod clip....

Charles is right about re making the little hook on the end too, it is quite easy to do that, if heated first.


Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:43 am
by Waggles
Well I succeeded! :D

Firstly I confess to cheating, I had a new spring! Was talking to my dad about it who said he thought he had one! he did too! It was retained as previously described, withing a 'C' shaped clip fashioned from round bar and secured with two cable clips.

After much thinking and sacrificing a virgin ( had to leave the county for that one ) plus pouring a libation I proceeded as follows. I pushed the two cable clips around until they were no longer over the C clip but would serve as emergency backup 'Sproing' limiters, I then effectively used the C clip in the manner of a piston ring compressor, I left it fitted but lined it all up carefully so I could just push the spring straight out of the clip and into place, and whaddya know, it worked! I could then just cut off the cable clips, fit pulley etc etc.

Fully appreciate I am going to have to leave another gift to the Gods for that stroke of luck but I reckon the great white Seagull in the sky must have been smiling down on me that day ( Do seagulls smile? )

Just leaves me to knock up a winder as mentioned above and pop the old spring in the C clip and I will be ready for the next disaster!