How To Change Generator Rope? – Easy Way To Fix The Rope

Generator ropes are kind of starter ropes specifically used for starting a generator. But sometimes it becomes impossible to pull-start the generator due to some fault in the rope. Your generator won’t be able to start until you lift it off the ground.

It can be due to a stiff generator rope that can result from a frayed cord, a seized piston, hydro locked engine, or a damaged engine. The most common reason for a stiff rope is a frayed starter cord and this can be fixed by opening the recoil start assembly and then replacing it as a whole.

There are many other factors that can take part in making generator rope stiff. But every fault can be fixed by some easy ways and tips that we will share with you in this article. To find out how to change a generator rope, give a detailed look at the information we are going to share below.

How Does A Starter Rope Work?

It is better to know about how a thing works before making any attempt to fix it. That is why we will briefly explain how a generator gets activated by a starter rope and you can use it without damaging the generator as well as the recoil start assembly.

Most of the generator ropes also known as pull start systems or recoil starter systems consist of a rope having a handle attached to one end of the cord. One end of the cord opposite to the handle coil inside the reel will be held by tension provided by another reel attached with a spring.

These interconnecting reels are also called reel assembly, which has one end connected to a crankshaft through a ratcheting mechanism also referred to as freewheel clutch.

By pulling the handle attached to the starter rope, you will uncoil the rope, which then creates tension in the spring while engaging the clutch during turning or spinning the crankshaft to start the engine.

The out reel that contains a spring will release the tension when you release the handle. It will also recoil the rope to make it ready for another start attempt.

One good fact about the rope is not connected to the crankshaft directly. When you will start the engine, the crankshaft will keep on spinning by recoiling the rope in a violent way to cause damage or injury to the other connected end.

While the old rope is made of a cord having a handle attached at one end and the other end is coiled around the notched reel that is directly connected to the crankshaft. Whenever you pull the rope, it will come free of the reel and the crankshaft will keep spinning.

If the engine doesn’t start by this, you will need to rewind the wheel with the help of the starter rope and pull again.

What Could Be The Possible Reason For Generator Rope Not Working

Now you may get the idea about how a generator rope works, it will be easier for you to understand the real possible problems and their accurate solutions. Some common issues associated with generator rope are mentioned below:

Damage Flywheel:

  • By replacing the damaged or even broken flywheel, you can fix the problem. If you think you are not proficient with motors, then you should better ask for help from a professional.
  • To do this in the right way, you will need to remove the recoil starter assembly, starter cup, and fan disc.
  • After removing the recoil starter assembly, the flywheel connected to the crankshaft will be completely visible to you.
  • By examining the whole mechanism to find out if anything is damaged or cracked you will get to know the cause of its not spinning.
  • If you find any damage, you can easily replace the flywheel and its keys.

Hydro Locked Engine:

  • One problem can be a hydro-locked engine and the possible solution to it will be to take out the sparkplug and then by pulling the rope in a repeated way. Then clear the chamber and also do an oil change.
  • A hydro lock occurs when liquid sits on top of the piston inside the combustion chamber of the engine of the generator. The liquid can be water, any coolant, oil, or gas. As the piston is specifically designed to compress gases but the liquids, any attempt of using it for a different purpose will cause damage to it.
  • Another reason can be a malfunctioning carburetor or when gas seeps through the bowl and leaks out the air filter side back into the combustion chamber.
  • Storing your generator on an uneven surface can also create this problem.
  • Or in case of water leakage in your generator by a rainstorm can also create this possibility.

Seized Piston:

  • To fix this issue, you need to ensure the right amount of oil inside the combustion chamber through a sparkplug hole.
  • Due to a lack of oil-water leakage inside the combustion chamber, a piston can seize up and also catch rust.
  • It is compulsory to inspect the quality as well as the quantity of oil inside your generator to fix the issue.

Faulty Recoil Spring:

Recoil spring is responsible for retracting the pull cord back into the starter when it is done pulling on it during the starting phase of the generator. This is the thing that enables a recoil starter to be used again and again.

If somehow this spring fails to operate due to worn-out condition or by losing its tension, it can stuck and also get broken to stop pull cord or generator rope to retract the starter.

If the problem is immediate, the reason can either be recoil spring stuck or it came off the pulley. If the problem is noticeable for more time and rope is being outside the pulley hub then the reason can be the lost tension of the recoil spring.

How To Change Generator Rope – Easy Way to Fix it

How To Change Generator Rope

There are the following important but easy tips you can try to fix the recoil spring issue to start the generator by its rope:

The first thing you can do is to remove the starter from the generator to gain access to the recoil spring as well as the pulley.

You can also remove the bolt from the center of the cap and the pulley on the starter housing. This can be accessed by examining the recoil spring. If somehow it gets stuck, you can easily undo it. If the spring starts uncoiling, you can recoil it again.

If it is broken, you will need to get a new one.

To install the new recoil spring, you will need to place it on the slot provided on the pulley and hold it appropriately. To lessen any chance of spring coming off, you will need to bend the hooks accurately.

Then remove the starter rope and attach its one end to the pulley. When one end is inside the pulley, wind the other end that should reach the next attachment point.

Install the center screw again and also its cap to fasten the pulley to the house of the starter.

Now rotate the pulley to build tension in the recoil spring once again and then let it go to locate its winding and unwinding direction.

Turn the pulley in a direction opposite to unwinding in order to wind it up. When the spring is fully distended, you can insert a screwdriver inside to lock it in its place.

Make a small but tight knot on the rope to hold it. And then remove the screwdriver before removing the cord. In this way, the new spring will start working finely. But be sure to get a quality spring as it often loses its tension if the quality is poor.

I am a passionate environment engineer, who has been in the solar, and inverter generator industry for years. I have been a part of multiple safety and environment-related courses such as IOSH, Fire Safety, Solid Waste Management, etc. I have been installing solar plants for residential purposes since 2018.

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