Model #917378840 CRAFTSMAN Walk Behind Lawnmower, Gas

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Question and Answers


How do I change the starter cord on my Craftsman lawnmower?


You need to remove the cover from the top of the engine with the grill in it. There are some screws in the front of the cover holding it on.

Drill the four rivets holding the starter to the metal blower housing on the engine. Remove the starter from the blower housing.

Remove the pulley item 1210 from the starter assembly. Be careful as you remove the pulley to not let the spring item 1211 unwind. Remove any rope left in the pulley and attach the end of the starter rope to the pulley.

Run the rope through the opening at the top of the starter, and install the pulley back into position on the starter housing. Rotate the pulley as you reel the rope inside the pulley. This will put the tension in the spring so it will retract the rope.

The spring on the back of the pulley will unwind violently if it comes off the pulley. It can cut you or puncture you if this happens. Be very careful with the spring as you are doing this.

You will need some small bolts and nuts to replace the starter housing to the top of the engine. You can use pop rivets instead of bolts and nuts if you want.

It is easiest and best to replace the starter assembly when the rope breaks. Most times something inside the starter assembly causes the rope to break. The part number for the complete starter assembly is 497680 and the cost is around $40.00.

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Jimmy K -
Sears Technician
October 27, 2009

How do I change the pull cord on a Craftsman model 917378840 lawnmower?


You will need to remove the engine blower housing. This is the top cover of the engine that the pull starter is attached to.

Drill or cut the rivets out of the starter and remove the starter from the blower housing.

I recommend you replace the complete starter assembly. If something is worn inside the starter assembly and you replace the starter rope, it will break again fairly soon.

The spring that retracts the rope is difficult to work with as you rewind the new rope. It can also be dangerous it it unwinds while you are assembling the rope and pulley.

The new starter assembly has 4 new bolts and nuts to replace the rivets you drilled out.

The part number for the starter assembly is 497680, and the cost is around $35.00.

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Jimmy K -
Sears Technician
March 24, 2009

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