How to re-seat out­board re­coil springs

Practical Boat Owner - - Contents - Ian Roys­ton, by email

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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!

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