How to Replace a Tecumseh HS50 Starter Rope

Updated February 21, 2017

Tecumseh manufactures a number of popular small engines for lawnmowers, snowblowers, pressure washers and other small engine applications. The Tecumseh HS50 is a horizontal-shaft engine that is started by pulling on a starter rope. This starter rope can deteriorate with normal use over time. Should it break, replace with a new starter rope in a few moments with some basic hand tools.

Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug by pulling on the rubber boot that covers the tip of the spark plug.

Loosen the bolts that hold the starter shroud onto the engine. Lift the starter shroud off of the engine and place it upside-down on a work table.

Hold the starter shroud with one hand and rotate the pulley in the centre of the shroud counterclockwise until it stops turning. Clamp the pulley in place with a pair of wide-jaw vice grip pliers.

Grasp the knot in the knot hole near the centre of the pulley with a pair of needle nose pliers and pull out the broken section of rope.

Singe the end of the new rope (with the handle on the opposite end) with a cigarette lighter or match to prevent the rope from fraying.

Insert the end of the new rope into the hole in the starter shroud and guide the rope into the pulley toward the knot hole in the centre of the pulley. When the rope appears in the knot hole, grasp it with a pair of needle nose pliers and pull out about 12 inches of rope.

Tie a knot in the exposed end of the rope.

Pull on the rope from outside the starter shroud until the knot in the end of the rope seats firmly into the knot hole. Release the wide-jaw vice grip pliers, allowing the spring-loaded pulley to recoil the rope.

Replace the starter shroud onto the engine and tighten the bolts to lock it in place. Replace the spark plug wire onto the spark plug.


For longer life, always use replacement rope designed for use in small engine rope starters.


To prevent the engine from accidentally firing, always disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug before beginning work on the engine.

Things You'll Need

  • New starter rope with handle
  • Wide-jaw vice grip pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Socket set
  • Lighter or matches
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About the Author

Chris Baylor has been writing about various topics, focusing primarily on woodworking, since 2006. You can see his work in publications such as "Consumer's Digest," where he wrote the 2009 Best Buys for Power Tools and the 2013 Best Buys for Pressure Washers.