Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How to repair a broken pull start cord on a small engine MTD 5 HP snow blower

      The pull cord on my 5 HP MTD snow blower broke inside the winder. I still need this thing this winter and I fixed it in no time using the original cord and little high school geometry. Parts cost: $0.00.

1) Remove the pull cord assembly from the machine. Two ¼ hex head sheet metal screws held this one on.

Take off the cord winder and take it inside to fix

2) Take the part inside to a workbench.
3) The cord is intact and broke near the wind end knot and the cord is in good shape it can be re-used.
4) Measure the full cord length. 143 cm
5) Measure the diameter of the reel. 11.5 cm
6) Now figure out how many times to rotate the winder so the cord will wind up completely after a pull.
Use the geometry formula for the circumference of a circle  C= Pi  D        Pi =3.14
7)  36.11cm = 3.14 (11.5cm)
8)  Divide the full cord length by the circumference.   143 divided by 36.11 = 3.96
9)  We'll round up to 4 turns to get correct number of turns to fully wind the cord back up after the pull.
10)  Wind the mechanism that number of revolutions, stopping when it reaches the handle mount. Insert a screwdriver or other tool to jam the winder in that position.

Stick a screwdriver in there to hold the reel tension and remove the old knot 

11) Remove the old knotted cord end with a needle nose pliers.
12) Cut the broken cord end cleanly with a scissors and melt the end with a match.
13) Feed the cord through the handle (if not already there) and then through the cord hole in the spring loaded reel. Knot it off securely and pull it all the way out till the knot jams on the reel.

After feeding the cord through, tie it off and pull tight. That was easy.

14) Remove the screwdriver jamming the cord reel and watch the cord neatly wind fully back into the reel.



  1. Just try to Remove the pull cord assembly from the machine. Two ¼ hex head sheet metal screws held this one on.
    Briggs & Stratton Parts
    can really improve very nicely.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the comment.

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