The starter on my horizontal shaft mid sixties mower has started to
chatter while the mower is running. I've seen that kind of business
on outboard engines when I was a kid.
I took the cover and rotating screen off, and five or so ball bearings
dropped out. I didn't look under a magnifying glass, but it basically
looked new, and w/o lubricant inside.
I'm guessing all it needs is some light, perhaps, lithium grease on
the balls to hold them in place whilst I reassemble it?
Tip the engine on its side, so the rewind is on top. Pull the three bolts,
lift the spring assembly off.
Take the clutch asembly apart, and clean the end of the crank shaft, and
inside the almost square thing. Clean with solvent (gasoline, ronsonol,
etc.) and q-tips. Squirt some graphite or silicone into the almost square
sleeve, and slip it on the crank shaft.
Put the five balls in, spaced around. And then the washer that holds the
balls in place. Put the pullcord assembly back on, and then the three bolts.
Tip engine back up.
Although the edger is 40 years old, it has only had about ten or
twelve seasons of use.
I laughed when I put it back together.... it was only then I realized
it's a centrifugal design where the ball or balls near the top engage
due to gravity, then fly out when it starts to spin to disengage the
ratchet assembly. My grease kept them from engaging! Too funny!
It really looked good inside... sparkling, spanking assed clean. All
I found were some tiny dings on the "rewind ratchet" [find 70 in the
parts manual] (or, "sprag", if you will.)
I'll clean it up carefully, give it some graphite this time, and if it
is still burping, try a stone on the dings.
Thanks to all.
The problem was, simply, that the engine shaft required some light
touching up with steel wool and a subsequent application of a very
light Teflon grease (the ratchet appears to be aluminum and was
without corrosion.) Voila! Problem solved. The starter rope had
also broken off. While I had the rewind mechanism apart I noted rust
in some of the weaker areas of the outer cover so I sand blasted it,
gave it a sprayed prime coat followed by a couple of coats of red
spray paint. It's now good for another fifty years. That damn
starter rewind spring was sure difficult to get back into the cover,
but I managed it on the first try. My hands just aren't as strong as
they used to be, but if I did one of these every day I'd be crushing
bones when shaking hands.
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