How to re-seat outboard recoil springs
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Few DIY jobs can prove as frustrating as trying to manually re-seat wayward recoil springs in outboard pull-starts, not infrequently leading to the purchase of a replacement spring for £20. A simple solution is to fashion a circular wooden former which is 15mm smaller than the spring seating, with a curved cut made in the top edge – the same depth as the width of the spring – which can locate the ‘inside starter’ end of the spring. The former should be long enough that a couple of shoulders can be cut for holding it securely in a vice. With the inside end secured, the spring can then be wound round the former, as tightly as possible, avoiding any ‘stray turns’. When complete, the outside free end must be held in place by a loop of string (or a spare pair of hands). Drilling just inside the wooden former with a small drill bit from inside the spring and exiting the outside and below, four evenly-spaced holes are made around the top edge and thin wire passed through so that the coil is neatly secured in four places (see photo).
The coil is then gently eased off the former and can be placed inside the starter receptacle, after which the four loops of wire can be cut and carefully removed, allowing the coil to expand to its normal size. Then it is a simple matter of re-locating the pull cord former into the inside end of the spring and fastening the pull cord attachment with circlips, etc. Cost, nil: time, 10 minutes!