Re-assemble a Pull-Starter

How-to Matt Gunn

A short article and video tutorial on how to re-assemble a Zenoah pull-starter. This is a "must know" if you ever have to replace a pull cord!




This is actually one of the easier things to do even though some say it’s easier to buy another one! Unless you’ve bought all of your boats ready-to-run and never turned your own wrenches, you can rebuild the pull start and get the slack out of the rope without shortening the string.

If the pull start is sitting in front of you in pieces and the spring has opened up, here’s what to do:

Step one:
Re-coil the spring. You need to hook the end of the coil into a notch on the back of the pulley. Once it’s hooked, begin winding the spring into the pulley while using your thumbs to hold it down.

Step two:
Wrap the starter rope on the pulley. Wrap it counter clockwise until there is a full turn of rope remaining.

Step three:
Place the pulley in the cover. The inside of the spring also has a hook and there is a notch in the middle of the cover. If you gently turn the pulley clockwise while in the cover, it will catch the notch. You will feel a little resistance when it’s hooked. Reinstall the metal ring and the washer, and then screw it down. Pull the pull-starter a few times to seat the rope.

Step four:
Remove the slack from the rope. It sounds hard but is really easy. Use a flathead screwdriver or something to pull the rope past the pulley from the inside. There is a notch (yes, a third notch) on the side of the pulley for the rope to pull through. Then begin to slowly turn the pulley counter clockwise until the remaining rope comes around with the pulley, all the while remaining in the notch. Once it gets around, the remaining rope will fall into the pulley and the slack is removed!

Check out this video which also explains it:

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