How to Install Rope on 3.5 Briggs & Stratton Lawn Engine

Written by chris baylor
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How to Install Rope on 3.5 Briggs & Stratton Lawn Engine
Lawnmower (mower image by Tomasz Wojnarowicz from

Most 3.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engines use a pull-rope recoil starter. In time, the rope in this type of starter can break. Changing the pull rope is not a difficult task, as long as the recoil spring is not broken.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3.5 HP Briggs & Stratton engine
  • Recoil Rope
  • 7/16-inch socket with ratchet
  • Cigarette lighter or match
  • 2 large spring clamps

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  1. 1

    Remove the three 7/16-inch bolts that hold the starter shroud to the top of the engine. Lift the starter shroud off of the engine. Turn the shroud upside down and place it on a workbench or table.

  2. 2

    Remove the old rope from the pulley by pulling on the exposed rope knot near the centre of the pulley.

  3. 3

    Check to see that one end of the new starter rope is not frayed. If it is, use a lighter or match to singe the end of the rope and form a clean, pointed end.

  4. 4

    Rotate the recoil pulley clockwise until it will no longer turn. Hold the pulley in place with the two spring clamps.

  5. 5

    Feed the pointed end of the rope through the hole in the starter shroud and into the pulley. Feed it through the pulley and through the hole at the centre of the pulley.

  6. 6

    Pull the rope about a foot through the hole in the centre of the pulley and tie a knot in the end of the rope. Pull the rope so that the knot is tight against the pulley.

  7. 7

    Hold the rope outside of the shroud and release the two clamps holding the pulley. Allow the rope to fill the pulley until it stops turning.

  8. 8

    Pull the rope out about a foot, and clamp the pulley once again with the two clamps.

  9. 9

    Cut and burn the rope about 6 inches from the edge of the shroud. Feed the handle onto the rope, and tie a knot in the end of the rope.

  10. 10

    Release the spring clamps and test the pull handle. Re-attach the shroud to the engine. Attach the spark plug wire to the spark plug and start the engine.

Tips and warnings

  • Use only rope designed to be used as a starter rope.
  • For safety, before attempting any repairs on your small engine, always disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug to ensure that the engine cannot start.

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