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Craftsman Gas, walk behind lawnmowermodel #917378980

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Craftsman Mower Model 917.378980 Starter Pull Cord issue

I'm trying to figure out if I need to change my pull cord on my lawn mower or if this is a different issue. 1 out of 5 times, when I pull the cord to start the mower it hard stops half way. When that happens, I have to let the cord go back in and then pull again. This is painful if it stops on you while you are pulling it. However, it starts fine when the cable does come completely out. Whats the fix and do you know what the part # is for it? Thanks in advance.

Posted March 21, 2012


Anna T, March 21, 2012

the pull cord on the craftsman mower should not stop halfway when you pull it out. below are some links that may help to determine if you would like to replace the starter rope yourself or have a qualified technician do it.

FixItUp1, March 21, 2012

anna, do you know what would cause it to do that 1 out of 5 times on average. once it starts, it runs like a champ.

FixItUp1, March 21, 2012

do i need to put on a completely new starter assembly?

Mark T , March 24, 2012

thank you for your question.

i am sorry you are having a problem with the mower. i don’t think the starter is the problem. the starter is nothing more than a pulley, rope, and spring. when you pull the cord, the pawls come out and engage the flywheel cup to turn the engine over. usually when we encounter the problem you are having, it is because of a partially sheared flywheel key. a partially sheared key will cause the engine to kick back when pulling the rope. when you do not expect it, the force of the kick back will rip the pull rope out of your hands. to check the flywheel key you will need to remove the cover on the top of the engine. then remove the starter housing assembly. you should see the flywheel now. remove the nut and the starter cup from the crankshaft. once that is removed, you should be able to see the keyway in the flywheel and the crankshaft. these two keyways should be aligned. if they are not aligned, the key is sheared and needs to be replaced.

i have found a video that shows how to access the flywheel key. click here to watch the video.

i hope this is helpful. please let me know if you need further assistance.

if you do not feel confident repairing this problem yourself, then you can have it repaired by a sears technician. here is a link that will provide the nearest drop-off locations: sears home services .

thank you for using manage my life.

mark t.

FixItUp1, March 24, 2012

thanks mark. do you know the part number for the key replacement? i checked the diagrams on the parts site and the fluwheel area is not in it. thanks

Mark T , March 25, 2012

i will be happy to look that up for you. the flywheel key is key number 24 in the parts break down. it was difficult to find. the part number for the key is 222698s and can be ordered from this link. flywheel key part number 222698s please let me know if you need further assistance. thank you for using manage my life. mark t.

rudy, July 05, 2014

my problem is it jerks back changed the fly wheel key n blades on even pulled plug off n pulled to clear it out what else could it be


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