Can't engage pull start on 1988 Merc 5hp outboard - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2010
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Can't engage pull start on 1988 Merc 5hp outboard

I was considering buying a 1988 Merc 5hp outboard but the owner forgets the way to engage the pull start (if there is a way). The shifter is in neutral, the throttle has no locking device that I can find but the pull rope freewheels when pulled.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-08-2010
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While i could be wrong

Most of the neutral saftey devices dont allow you to pull at all so i think there is a problem with the unit
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Old 10-08-2010
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Sounds like the recoil-start clutch fails to engage. This should be automatic.
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Old 10-08-2010
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Thanks Tomm & Bubb, Unless anyone else knows of a solution I think i'll pass on this purchase.
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Old 10-09-2010
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It's a minor fix, take motor cover off, unbolt the coils (2 long screws hold both on), take the 3 screws out of the recoil assy. and lift it off.

Spray some WD40 or PB on the center lugs (visible when it's off) of the recoil assy. that engage the flywheel and work the rope quickly a few times until they free up. You will see them push out a bit as you pull when they're free. You need to push the neutral safety lever to pull it.

If that doesn't work, take the assy. to a lawnmower/chainsaw repair shop (they usually charge $15-20) and tell them to put a new rope on it (they'll lube and free up the lugs while it's apart)
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Last edited by MacGyverRI; 10-09-2010 at 01:57 AM.
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