How to Replace a Log Splitter Recoil Starter



This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the recoil starter on a log splitter. The recoil starter spins the crankshaft to start the engine when you pull the starter rope, and the rope retracts when you release it. If the recoil starter is locked-up when you pull the rope or if the rope won’t retract, replace the recoil starter with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

This repair procedure works for replacing the recoil starter on Craftsman and MTD log splitters.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 15 min.

Parts Required

  • Recoil starter

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Wrench set
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.


 Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Step 1: Disconnect the spark plug wire

Disconnect the spark wire so there's no chance that the log splitter engine could accidentally start.

Step 2: Remove the mounting nuts

Use a wrench to remove the 3 nuts that secure the starter recoil assembly to the engine.

Step 3: Remove the recoil starter assembly

Pull the recoil starter assembly off the 3 threaded posts.

Step 4: Install the new recoil starter assembly

Position the new recoil starter assembly over the 3 threaded posts and reinstall the mounting nuts.

Tighten the nuts firmly.

Step 5: Reconnect the spark plug wire

Connect the spark plug wire to the spark plug.

Step 6: Test the new recoil starter

Pull the recoil starter rope to test the recoil starter operation.