Generator ropes are kind of starter ropes specifically used for starting a generator. But sometimes it becomes impossible to pull-start the generator due to some fault in the rope. Your generator won’t be able to start until you lift it off the ground.
It can be due to a stiff generator rope that can result from a frayed cord, a seized piston, hydro locked engine, or a damaged engine. The most common reason for a stiff rope is a frayed starter cord and this can be fixed by opening the recoil start assembly and then replacing it as a whole.
There are many other factors that can take part in making generator rope stiff. But every fault can be fixed by some easy ways and tips that we will share with you in this article. To find out how to change a generator rope, give a detailed look at the information we are going to share below.
How Does A Starter Rope Work?
It is better to know about how a thing works before making any attempt to fix it. That is why we will briefly explain how a generator gets activated by a starter rope and you can use it without damaging the generator as well as the recoil start assembly.
Most of the generator ropes also known as pull start systems or recoil starter systems consist of a rope having a handle attached to one end of the cord. One end of the cord opposite to the handle coil inside the reel will be held by tension provided by another reel attached with a spring.
These interconnecting reels are also called reel assembly, which has one end connected to a crankshaft through a ratcheting mechanism also referred to as freewheel clutch.
By pulling the handle attached to the starter rope, you will uncoil the rope, which then creates tension in the spring while engaging the clutch during turning or spinning the crankshaft to start the engine.
The out reel that contains a spring will release the tension when you release the handle. It will also recoil the rope to make it ready for another start attempt.
One good fact about the rope is not connected to the crankshaft directly. When you will start the engine, the crankshaft will keep on spinning by recoiling the rope in a violent way to cause damage or injury to the other connected end.
While the old rope is made of a cord having a handle attached at one end and the other end is coiled around the notched reel that is directly connected to the crankshaft. Whenever you pull the rope, it will come free of the reel and the crankshaft will keep spinning.
If the engine doesn’t start by this, you will need to rewind the wheel with the help of the starter rope and pull again.
What Could Be The Possible Reason For Generator Rope Not Working
Now you may get the idea about how a generator rope works, it will be easier for you to understand the real possible problems and their accurate solutions. Some common issues associated with generator rope are mentioned below:
Hydro Locked Engine:
Faulty Recoil Spring:
Recoil spring is responsible for retracting the pull cord back into the starter when it is done pulling on it during the starting phase of the generator. This is the thing that enables a recoil starter to be used again and again.
If somehow this spring fails to operate due to worn-out conditions or by losing its tension, it can stuck and also get broken to stop the pull cord or generator rope to retract the starter.
If the problem is immediate, the reason can either be the recoil spring stuck or it came off the pulley. If the problem is noticeable for more time and the rope is outside the pulley hub then the reason can be the lost tension of the recoil spring.
How To Change Generator Rope – Easy Way to Fix it
There are the following important but easy tips you can try to fix the recoil spring issue to start the generator by its rope:
The first thing you can do is to remove the starter from the generator to gain access to the recoil spring as well as the pulley.
You can also remove the bolt from the center of the cap and the pulley on the starter housing. This can be accessed by examining the recoil spring. If somehow it gets stuck, you can easily undo it. If the spring starts uncoiling, you can recoil it again.
If it is broken, you will need to get a new one.
To install the new recoil spring, you will need to place it on the slot provided on the pulley and hold it appropriately. To lessen any chance of spring coming off, you will need to bend the hooks accurately.
Then remove the starter rope and attach its one end to the pulley. When one end is inside the pulley, wind the other end that should reach the next attachment point.
Install the center screw again and also its cap to fasten the pulley to the house of the starter.
Now rotate the pulley to build tension in the recoil spring once again and then let it go to locate its winding and unwinding direction.
Turn the pulley in a direction opposite to unwinding in order to wind it up. When the spring is fully distended, you can insert a screwdriver inside to lock it in its place.
Make a small but tight knot on the rope to hold it. And then remove the screwdriver before removing the cord. In this way, the new spring will start working finely. But be sure to get a quality spring as it often loses its tension if the quality is poor.
Alex Black is a seasoned electrical engineer with a remarkable 8-year track record specializing in appliances, generators, and transfer switches. With extensive hands-on experience in the field, Alex possesses a deep understanding of electrical systems and their intricate workings. Throughout their career, Alex has consistently demonstrated expertise in designing, troubleshooting, and maintaining various electrical appliances.