Never disassembled lawn mower - what makes the cord go slack?

Pulled the Honda/Craftsman cord to start 'er up, and the cord has very little tension on the return stroke.
http://i.cubeupload.com/q5oXeb.jpg
Pull stroke seems reasonably normal but the string won't rewind all the way.
Leaves about a foot to a foot and a half loose. What makes it go tight? Springs?
Pulled the cord, and the string doesn't go back. I can coax it back most of the way, but then when I pull again, it doesn't go back.
Any debugging hints?
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Danny D. wrote:

Yes, there's a spring, obviously. The idea (starting fresh) is to wind the spring up manually, hold it (tie it off) so you can attach the cord, and then let it reel in the cord to see whether the tension was appropriate. In your case, you obviously have the alternative choice to shorten the cord--but do it right and re-install the cord as suggested above. Probably a video of the process on youtube. Good luck!
Bill
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On Sun, 12 Mar 2017 22:06:44 -0400, Bill wrote:

It's the first pull of the season out here in California after lots of rain.
The thing was outside (no shed ... gotta build a shed some day) all winter. Pulled it a hundred times, without it getting better (or worse).
What would make the spring give up the ghost from sitting idle all winter?
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On Sun, 12 Mar 2017 19:25:34 -0700, Oren wrote:

I just got back inside after using it to mow the lawn a bit.
Even though I got it started, the cord was only half tight when the motor was running, and then pulling it again to restart whenever I stopped showed the same thing.
So it's not really the motor that winds the string, although when the motor is running, the string is semi tighter.
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 02:12:33 -0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

RUST?. Try this before condeming the pring. Remove the spark plug and rotate the engine backwards. Does the rope wind in? If so the clutch id stiff. In either case the starter housing needs to come off. If just stiff youcan lubricate it. DO NOT shorten the rope!!!
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On Sun, 12 Mar 2017 23:51:35 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I just saw this, and I agree with you.
http://i.cubeupload.com/EUxywq.jpg
I can see rust on the end of the spring.
I'll put some oil in there and work it back and forth to see if that helps.
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On 3/12/17 8:54 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Maybe a good cleaning would help. Is the cord wet? Maybe it has expanded a bit.
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On Sun, 12 Mar 2017 21:30:22 -0500, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Cord is dry as we've had days of dry weather, but I'll pull the cowling tomorrow and snap a few pictures.
I'll also change the oil and dump the old gas out as it has been in there all winter outside.
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On 3/12/17 9:51 PM, Danny D. wrote:

There's a parts diagram here: <http://www.boats.net/parts/search/Honda/Lawn%20Mower/0/HR216%20SXA%20LAWN%20MOWER,%20JPN,%20VIN%23%20MACR-1000001/RECOIL%20STARTER/parts.html
Or: http://alturl.com/fefnj
I didn't look to see if it's the same brand as yours. It's intended just to show you how they're made. I think they're pretty much alike.
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On Sun, 12 Mar 2017 22:05:17 -0500, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Thanks for that parts diagram where I can see the coiled spring (item #8) which is a sixteen-dollar part I can probably get at Sears. The sticker for the Craftsman number seems gone so I will have to dig for paperwork to find the right model.
The lawn mower was bought at either OSH or Sears, probably OSH, around 2012 or so.
Remaining stickers say it's a 161cm "Troy-Bilt" 21" self-propelled push mower with a Honda label on top (if that's not an oxymoron).
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On 3/12/17 10:30 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Amazon and Ebay have the whole assemblies.
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 03:30:20 -0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

TroyBuilt is now ( or has been) using Honda motors in place of Tecumseh on some models -Troy Bilt is made now by MTD
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:10:29 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Thanks for that motor-manufacturer information as I bought it, as I recall, because I love Honda motors (I'm not too good with maintenance so I need a better-built motor).
BTW, what do you think this hose-bib-like plastic socket is on the right of the picture on the red deck of the lawn mower. What is that two-inch tall plastic thing on the deck actually for?
http://i.cubeupload.com/cPHCDO.jpg
Likewise, what does the red plastic insert in the gas cap hole do?
http://i.cubeupload.com/S8NA9d.jpg
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 23:02:58 -0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

I can't open the pictures but I suppose you are likely looking at the washout port on the deck.

Again, can't open the picture but suspect you are seeing the baffle that stops guel from sloshing at the filler and also makes it easier to see how full the gas is. - also possibly a filter. (on my Bolton Ghi-Honda clone it's a filter.
Later TroyBilts are now using Power-Mor engines - designed by MTD and built in China - apparently not BAD engines, but not Hondas.
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 22:49:43 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Here's a closer shot of what you think may be a "washout port":
http://i.cubeupload.com/Ob4CCl.jpg
Seems like overkill for something that can be flipped over like this:
http://i.cubeupload.com/Qp7d3S.jpg

The red baffle is too big and only half round, so it's not a filter, but it might be an anti-slosher.
I hate those gas can nozzles (as I'm sure you do too), so I just remove them and pour into a funnel and make a mess no matter how I pour the gas.

I have a few Honda tool engines, and I think they're great! I'm a believer in both Honda and Husqvarna.
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 01:54:33 -0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

The spring is likely broken.. Either that or the clutch is gummed up.
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wrote:

When pulling the cord to start, do NOT pull the cord out to the very end of its travel.
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:13:20 -0400, "Phil Kangas"

Which is why I said DO NOT shorten the rope!!
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 17:55:44 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I took the top off:
http://i.cubeupload.com/bIuR7B.jpg
And then the coiled-spring assembly:
http://i.cubeupload.com/EUxywq.jpg
Nothing seems wrong other than there is too much friction. I suspect the spring rusted being left outside all winter. I suspect the rust is causing the friction. Mea culpa.
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On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 22:55:01 -0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Sprat the "clutch", the pivot/axle and the spring with something like PB Blaster and work it in Then something like fluid film - or mabee LPS2 - a light grease to keep it dry and free.
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