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How to change generator rope?


change generator rope

How to change generator rope?

A generator rope is a starter rope specially used to start generators. But sometimes the generator cannot be started due to a faulty rope. Your generator won’t start until you lift it off the ground.

This can be due to an excessively stiff generator rope caused by worn ropes, stuck pistons, damaged engines, or hydraulically locked engines. The most common cause of rope stiffness is a worn starter rope, which can be solved by opening the recoil starter assembly and replacing it as a whole.

Many other factors can stiffen the generator rope. But every glitch can be solved with some simple methods and tricks that we will share with you in this article. To learn how to change generator ropes, check out the details below.

How does a generator rope works?

It’s best to understand how it works before trying to fix it. That’s why we’ll briefly explain how the starter rope activates the generator, which you can use without damaging the generator and recoil starter components.

Most generator ropes, also known as pull-start systems or kick-start systems, consist of a single rope with a handle attached to one end. One end of the rope, opposite the handle coil in the reel, will be held by the tension provided by the other reel to which the spring is attached.

These interconnected reels, also known as reel assemblies, have one end connected to the crankshaft by a ratchet mechanism, also known as a flywheel clutch.

By pulling on the handle attached to the starter rope, you’ll untie the rope and then create tension in the spring when you engage the clutch when you turn or rotate the crankshaft to start the engine.

When you let go of the handle, the reel that contains the spring will release the tension. It will also recoil the rope, making it ready for another start attempt.

A good fact about the rope is that it’s not directly attached to the crankshaft. When you start the engine, the crankshaft will continue to rotate by violently recoiling the rope, causing damage or injury to the other connecting end.

The old rope was made from a rope with a handle attached to one end and coiled around a notched reel that was attached directly to the crankshaft. Every time you pull on the rope, it will come off the reel, and the crankshaft will continue to spin.

If the engine doesn’t start from this, you’ll need to rewind the wheel with the help of the starter cord and pull it again.

Possible reasons for the generator rope not working properly

Now that you probably know how generator ropes work, it will be easier to understand the real possible problems and their exact solutions.

a) Damaged flywheel

By replacing a broken or even broken flywheel, you can fix the problem. If you don’t think you’re proficient with motors, then you’d better seek professional help.

To do this correctly, you must remove the recoil starter assembly, fan disc, and starter cup.

With the recoil starter assembly removed, the flywheel attached to the crankshaft will be fully visible.

By examining the entire mechanism for any damage or cracks, you will understand why it is not spinning.

If you find any damage, you can easily replace the flywheel and its keys.

b) The engine is hydro-locked

One problem could be the hydro-locked engine. A possible solution would be to remove the spark plug and repetitively pull the cord.

Then clean the chamber and change the oil.

A hydraulic lock occurs when fluid is on top of the piston in the combustion chamber of a generator engine. The liquid can be water, any coolant, gas, or oil.

Since the piston is specifically designed to compress the gas, not liquid, any attempt to use it for a different purpose will damage it.

Another cause could be a faulty carburetor or when gas seeps out of the bowl and leaks back into the combustion chamber from the air filter side.

Storing the generator on an uneven surface can also create this problem.

Alternatively, this possibility could also arise if heavy rain caused the generator to leak.

c) Piston is seized

To fix this, you must ensure you have the right amount of oil in the combustion chamber through the spark plug holes.

Since there is no oil-water leak in the combustion chamber, the piston can get stuck and rust.

The quality and quantity of oil in the generator must be checked to fix the problem.

d) Recoil spring failure

The recoil spring is responsible for retracting the cord back into the starter after the cord has been pulled during the generator start-up phase. This enables the recoil starter to be used again and again.

If this spring fails to operate due to wear or loss of tension, it can seize and break to stop the pull cord or generator cord from retracting the starter.

If the problem is immediate, the cause may be a jammed recoil spring or coming off the pulley. If the problem is evident over an extended period of time and the rope is outside the pulley hub, the cause may be a loss of tension on the recoil spring.


How to change generator rope (Easy to follow steps)

 How to change generator rope

How to change generator rope (Easy to follow steps)

Here are the detailed steps:

1. Remove the bolts securing the cover.

2. Remove the old rope from the handle and cover. You may need a flat-blade screwdriver to stick into the handle to pop it out, and then you can pull the cord out.

3. Now match the old rope with the new one. A trick is to melt the new rope’s ends and make them smooth because the fusion rope can prevent itself from wearing out.

4. Now, grab your new rope, tie a knot at the end, and pull it up to make sure it’s really tight.

5. All you need to do is grab the unknotted end of the rope and grab the recoil assembly. Now you have to thread the rope through it and pull the rope until the knot reaches the spool.

6. Then, insert the unknotted end of the rope through the recoil hole.

7. Now, all you need is the handle. Just pass the string through the handle and tie a knot like before. You insert the knot into the hole in the handle cover.

8. Finally, you only need to tighten the spring on the spool so the string will come back inside. Grab the recoil in your hand and make four turns counterclockwise, be sure to turn the spool as you do this and count where you open the rope off the coil. To make sure the rope is in the reel, you must hold it; once it is, it is simple to return the rope to the recoil.

9. Before installing the recoil unit, spraying some liquid wrench on it is a good idea to lubricate all the moving parts in the recoil unit.

10. Reinstall the cover and install the bolts.

After doing all the above steps, it is best to try starting the engine outside to check if the rope is working properly.


1) What causes generator ropes to be stiff?

Stiff starter ropes on generators can be caused by water-locked engines, frayed ropes, stuck pistons, or damaged flywheels. In most cases, a worn starter rope is usually the cause of rope stiffness, which you can fix by opening the recoil starter assembly and replacing it altogether.

2) What does it mean when a pull start is hard to pull?

The problem may be with the recoil starter itself. A tangled loop or a broken spring could be the problem. In many cases, recoil starters are easily replaced as a single component. Do not attempt to disassemble the starter.

3) How does the pull cord work?

When you pull on the rope, the flywheel spins, rotating the crankshaft and moving the piston. Magnetic coupling on the flywheel causes the spark plug to fire as the piston moves.

4) Why can’t I pull the rope on my lawn mower?

It sounds simple. Something could be stuck on the deck, which means the mower blades won’t turn. If your blade is bolted to the crankshaft and the blade is wedged, the pull cord will not pull. A rock, stick, or garden hose could be the cause.

5) What size starter cord do I need?

For the most common applications, use wire numbered 5 (5/32 inch), 5½ (11/64 inch), or 6 (3/16 inch). Typically, 5½ size rope is used for lawnmowers and snow blower starters.

6) How to measure the start rope?

Pull out your rope and measure it with a caliper near the bottom knot. Measure a few places around and average the measurements; you should be close enough.


So in this post, you learned about how to change the generator rope. If you can still have any questions you can contact our team of professionals at BISON.

If you are looking to purchase generators in bulk, call us at (+86) 13625767514 or contact us online.

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I am a dedicated and enthusiastic salesperson from BISON, and I am here to share my vast experience. Enabling you to receive our expert advice and unparalleled customer service.

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