Anybody remember wind up starters?

exmarApril 24, 2011

Tuned and cranked up the old push mower ('83), it started right up and I was mowing around the barn and hit a rock. Long story short, I'm pretty sure I pretty much sheared the flywheel key. It ran sorta rough and died. Good compression, but tries to kick back. Yep, that's the key.

Anyway, I downloaded the Briggs (92502) parts manual as I'd never bothered to do that. While thumbing through it, I noticed that this is one of the mowers that had an optional "wind up" starter, anyone remember them? You unfolded a crank on top and wound up a spring and then turned a knob to let the spring then spin the engine. Haven't seen or even thought about one of those for a lot of years.

Happy Easter!


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Yep, had one when I was a kid 50 yrs ago. Never had a problem w/ it. May be why they quit making them!! Before that we had the wind the rope around the spool kind of "windup starter", LOL!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 6:58PM
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Yep, the wind up spring would rarely break, usually the engine konked out before the windup broke. I remember them being on the white briggs engines. good thing about them you could just remove the housing windup or pull rope recoil housing and just switch housing assy. use to have about 10 housing assy. laying around. when I broke rope I would just change the housing till I got around to replacing the broke rope.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 8:33PM
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I remember a Jacobsen mower with one of those starters. When the spring-loaded starter finally died, we took it off and installed one of the old teacup-type spools that we manually wound a rope around to pull start the mower. If I remember right (but that was 50+ years ago), the engine was a 1 1/2 HP Briggs. I'm guessing that a 1.5 HP engine in those days was the equivalent of what's called a 6 HP engine today. Thanks, fellow ex-jarhead, for the memory.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 8:53PM
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Yes, I remember them on the white Briggs engines.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Never saw very many on a Briggs, but they were pretty common on Tecumseh, especially Sears.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:44PM
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Recall having the crank style back in the late 50's on a 3.5 Clinton . It never failed during the life of the mower .

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:55AM
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Hmmm, guess I'm not the only fossil out here. Nice trip down memory lane.

Since it still hasn't stopped raining here and the first dry day is "maybe" friday, can't do anything else, so will go out and fix this beast. One of my least favorite thngs to do is remove a flywheel from a briggs where the key is partially sheared. Oh, well, think good thoughts and have big hammer handy.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Well Nice and sunny here this week . Snow is finally melted around the tree line and the grass is beginning to green up in southern exposures. Rain projected for mid week though , guess I had better finish burning the winter damaged saplings and tag alder bushs out back . I think it must be close to Labatts Blue Time , yep I'am pretty sure it is lol . :

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Very interesting.... I took the starter off-had to use two pipe wrenches, one on the shaft above the blade and another no the starter assembly and the key is perfect. Perfect alignment. So, since I was into it, changed the oil, lifted it down from the bench and it started. Ran OK, sounds like a piece of sheet metal is rattling around (;-( ), but it runs and I did a little trimming-way, way too wet, but wanted to try it.

The only thing I found was that the blade which was a "friction fit" held in place by a flat washer and bolt was loose. Added a lock wsher so it wss tight.


Maybe I'll get through another season with it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 3:20PM
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Ok are you talking the flywheel key or the blade adapter key?? Yep, the blade mount bolt being loose sometimes makes pretty good clank until the engine spins up and keeps pressure on it. then when you shut it down or grass puts pressure on it you hear that clank clank sound. I seen some with extra two bolts on the side holding it on to the blade adapter. This keeps the blade from spinning due to the adapter key. Ones with no outside bolts when the blade adapter bolt loosen it alows the blade to spin on the adapter which is held in place by the adapter key until the bolt gets so loose it alows the adapter to spin. By this time is should be making hella clanking sound. This bolt should be checked about every 10 hours or so and at least every oil change?!?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 3:41PM
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Was there ever a mower that was kick started with your foot (similar to old scooter's technology)? I started using power mowers in 1960. The rope was the thing then but I thought there were recoils before the wind-up. loger

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 7:11PM
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Speaking kick start the old washing machines use to have them. remember my grandma kicking when she got tire she put me on it. I remember hand winding ropes, then recoil pull ropes, then crank springs, then back to recoil pull ropes.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 7:12PM
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