Leaf Blower : Pull-Start Cord
How to do-it-yourself instructional on the repair and modification of a hand-held leaf blower's pull start cord mechanism. Today on Repairs101, or is it yesterday on Repairs101? Yesterday I took this leaf blower outside to clear my yard... I live in Canada. Sometimes the weather's nice. I realize there's a bit of a contradiction here with my claiming to be an environmentalist and using a machine like a 2 stroke leaf blower. The by-laws in my neighbourhood insist that properties be kept in character with one another and everybody in my neighbourhood has manicured lawns. If it was up to me I'd let it all grow over wild and return to state of nature. And much as I want to make the environmentally conscious choice every time, sometimes you have to make some compromises. I also drive this 4x4 when I go off-road, instead of a horse - as much as I love horses. I'll take this nozzle off so it's not such a big ordeal to work with. to drain the fuel out of this for obvious safety reasons. need some Allen Keys to do this job. Generally I'll reach for 1 of these 2 kits -- BONDHUS Gorilla-Proof tools made in the U.S.A., to me that still means made with pride and quality merchandise. Here's another BONDHUS tool that I would strongly recommend just needs something with a good selection. If you're not a serious tool collector -- this is a great place to start. Just take this last screw out of the bottom here. fan housing comes right off just like that. cover here I'm going to take off -- 3 screws 1, 2 and a 3rd one hiding under here. Looks like I've got to remove the impeller in order to service the pull-cord - which is just terrible. there's also a backing ring here to cover this bearing. There you can see they're Torx. They've switched from "Allen" to "Torx". I'm using a tamperproof Torx -- tamperproof has a hole in the centre. entire motor and fuel can and this is the inside of the impeller housing built the pull-start mechanism inside. herein lies the recoil mechanism. I've had trouble with this since day one -- it doesn't recoil properly.there goes the spring out the back. That is unfortunate. This is bad design. This is just terrible. Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? I'm loading the spring into the housing just by winding it in. I am not impressed with the way this machine was designed. Now be very careful, you don't want that to jump on you. the tang on this needs to go in that tang slot right there. I'm just going to drop that in there. line that tang up -- on the back of this reel here there's another slot that the other tang that the tang on the other end lines up to. got the cord as short as possible wrapped around the reel. To pre-load it: turn opposite from which it recoils in other words: in the direction that it pulls out. I'm desperately trying to hold that spring in place with the butt of my hand. so that's through, this pipe passes through here. Push the pull cord out first and then the pipe and then we'll seat this end so I'm just going to shove that through the handle and pull it out a little bit. they had a regular stopper knot -- I like to use a figure 8 knot here. cover on -- that just drops in here that's what's going to keep the spring. This is most uncivilized. Look at that it still doesn't work. Checking that I had the right tension on the spring every time I redid it and I redid it and I redid it again to make sure that I was doing it correctly. in the end it operates exactly the same as it did before. This seems to have been designed to make it as difficult as possible to make a repair. For instance this chainsaw -- 3 screws and you've got the start mechanism in your hand. OK so look at that now: that's a civilized start- cord mechanism. I'm going to put this back together again nice and easy -- I wish it was nice and easy. 21 fasteners: 20 screws and a big fat bolt. And you've got to take the fan off too so that makes 22 when you count the nut on the end of the drive shaft that holds the fan in place. I'm going to make 2 modifications here I'm going to add a little dry lubricant -- just a little bit of dry graphite dust powder on the outside edge here. Besides a whisper of dry lubricant I want to add spacers here and here to push back the cover just a tiny bit. Unfortunately I don't have any washers that are the right size so what I'll do is just take these electrical connections and nip the end of it off with my side-cutters. put that in there like that and then hold onto this end and let that end fly. I'm threading the washer onto the bolt -- this should take care of my spacing problem back this off just enough so that it'll rotate freely. And these home-made washers here they're a nice soft metal that will crush down and conform. Well that's the smoothest it's been yet, it recoils properly. I mean honestly is it reasonable to ask me to take the entire motor and fuel tank off in order to change the pull cord? I'm going to suggest that it's not reasonable.