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Discussion Forum

HELP! 5 HP briggs and stratton tiller will not pull start

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04-05-2001 12:59:33

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I borrowed a 5 Hp briggs abd stratton tiller. I used it fine for a few hours then shut it off. I came back and tried to start it and it was very hard to pull the start cord. I finally started it and then it died when i engaged the tiller. I tried to pull start it again and it wouldnt budge. the pull cord will not budge...HEEEEEEELP!

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steve from mo - hmmm

04-05-2001 13:04:47

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 Re: HELP! 5 HP briggs and stratton tiller will not pull start in reply to castle, 04-05-2001 12:59:33  
If you used it for a few hours did you put oil in it when you refueled? Sure hope so. Some of those can use a lot of oil in a few hours. If not, please check that next.

If there's oil in the crankcase, most likely you have the starter rope jammed in the starter pulley. It's not as serious as a locked up engine but worth taking to a small engine shop unless you are mechanically inclined.

If you are mechanically inclined you will know how to fix the starter rope problem. If not, it's hard on fingers.


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04-05-2001 13:20:23

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 Re: Re: HELP! 5 HP briggs and stratton tiller will not pull start in reply to steve from mo - hmmm, 04-05-2001 13:04:47  
I did put oil in, but i forgot to mention that I thought it was the rope as well, and I took the flywheel portion off, it wasnt the rope binding at all it was the shaft that the flywheel turns. This shaft is surrounded by a rounded housing with ball bearings, it seems as i the ball bearings are jamming, i ook then out and tried replacing them, but it still jams, the bearings are getting jammed.

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john d

04-05-2001 14:29:21

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 Re: Re: Re: HELP! 5 HP briggs and stratton tiller will not pull start in reply to castle, 04-05-2001 13:20:23  
If you're talking about the little round piece about 3" in diameter with a (probably) square stub on the front of it that mounts on the front of the flywheel, that's the starter clutch, and those bearings are supposed to "jam" when the starter rope is pulled. When you pull the starter rope, it attempts to turn this assembly clockwise as you are looking at it. The little ball bearings jam in the inside to spin the crankshaft and flywheel. As the engine (hopefully) starts, the little ball bearings are thrown outward by centrifugal force and release the inner part of this starter clutch. This clutch will also allow the flywheel and crankshaft to spin freely as the engine stops. There is a small hole in the end of the clutch which needs a couple of drops of oil two or three times in the entire life of the engine.

With the starter housing and rope assembly removed, if you can pull the rope and it will turn the inside of the starter housing freely and return by spring power when released, it's okay. If you can turn the starter clutch shaft counter-clockwise freely but it jams when turned clockwise, it's okay.

Remove the sparkplug and see if you can spin the flywheel freely by hand. If you can, and nothing makes terrible noises, the insides of the engine are likely okay. Check for compression by putting your thumb on the spark plug hole and cranking the engine. If it builds up pressure, the compression is okay, meaning the rings and valves are working. Next check for spark. If you've got compression and spark, it's likely a fuel problem.

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04-05-2001 14:53:23

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: HELP! 5 HP briggs and stratton tiller will not pull start in reply to john d, 04-05-2001 14:29:21  
Thanks for your reply, you seem to know exactly what my engine looks like. I have a question though. I with the assembly removed I can pull the rope and it spins freely. I can turn the crankshaft counterclockwise but it will jam if i try to turn it clockwise. but when i put thehousing assembly back on, the rope will still not pull at all. How can this be a compression problem or a fuel problem, will those make the flywheel "freeze" up like that where I am not able to turn it by pulling the rope?

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04-07-2001 05:16:45

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: HELP! 5 HP briggs and stratton tiller will not pull start in reply to castle, 04-05-2001 14:53:23  
I would think if you take plug out and try to move flywheel by hand and can't get it to move, you are looking at some internal problems. Did you check oil BEFORE running it a little or just after? Had an old panel truck once that used a lot of oil. son was driving it one day and i think drove it dry. He said he stopped to put oil in it (still runnig he said). thats when it froze!

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Steve from mo - hmmm again.

04-05-2001 13:25:17

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 Re: Re: Re: HELP! 5 HP briggs and stratton tiller will not pull start in reply to castle, 04-05-2001 13:20:23  
The shaft that stays with the hood is part of the starter, and you probably need a whole new one. They aren't that expensive as these things go. A used hood with a good starter from a salvage engine would be your best bet. Replacing the worn parts on yours would probably cost more than a good used unit.

If it is the bearings on the crankshaft (goes into the engine) then it goes back to a small engine shop.

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