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I have a Tohatsu 9hp outboard that I'm having some trouble with. The starter cord snapped, so I removed the recoil housing, replaced the starter cord, and went to get it going again. When I pull the cord to start the engine, it doesn't catch the flywheel. After some troubleshooting, I think the problem is that the plastic piece that is supposed to grab the flyweel cogs is not flipping out after it has pulled the first cog through.

I think the piece should fly out and catch with centrifugal force, so I removed the clips, cleaned, and regreased it to allow it to move more freely. Still has too much pressure on it to snap back out. Any ideas? Am I looking at the wrong part entirely?

I've attached a photo. I'm pointing at the piece that I think is supposed to catch and turn the flywheel. Thanks for any advice!
 

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I have a Tohatsu 9hp outboard that I'm having some trouble with. The starter cord snapped, so I removed the recoil housing, replaced the starter cord, and went to get it going again. When I pull the cord to start the engine, it doesn't catch the flywheel. After some troubleshooting, I think the problem is that the plastic piece that is supposed to grab the flyweel cogs is not flipping out after it has pulled the first cog through.

I think the piece should fly out and catch with centrifugal force, so I removed the clips, cleaned, and regreased it to allow it to move more freely. Still has too much pressure on it to snap back out. Any ideas? Am I looking at the wrong part entirely?

I've attached a photo. I'm pointing at the piece that I think is supposed to catch and turn the flywheel. Thanks for any advice!
Not familiar with your particular motor but have replaced the pull cord on others. IIRC, on some, you have to re-wind the return spring before re-terminating the cord? Kind of hard to see how it works from the picture.

Paul T
 

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Also, any chance you wound the cord backwards when replacing it?
 

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I rewound the cord clockwise; I think that's the correct direction because otherwise the recoil spring inside would not bring the cord back in. It has to tighten the recoil as the rope is pulled in order for it to snap back in - if it were wound counter clockwise it would be releasing tension on the recoil...
 

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I rewound the cord clockwise; I think that's the correct direction because otherwise the recoil spring inside would not bring the cord back in. It has to tighten the recoil as the rope is pulled in order for it to snap back in - if it were wound counter clockwise it would be releasing tension on the recoil...
A shop manual should show assembly diagrams? It appears your re-assembly may be the problem if it worked alright before you worked on it?

Paul T
 

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I think the piece should fly out and catch with centrifugal force, so I removed the clips, cleaned, and regreased it to allow it to move more freely. Still has too much pressure on it to snap back out. Any ideas? Am I looking at the wrong part entirely?
Avoid too much grease which will could cause the pawls to stick and not fly out when the cord is pulled.
 

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Not familiar with your particular motor but have replaced the pull cord on others. IIRC, on some, you have to re-wind the return spring before re-terminating the cord? Kind of hard to see how it works from the picture.

Paul T
I would agree with this assessment. Disassemble it again, inspect all components to make sure nothing got damaged. Rewind and assemble. sometimes you just have to do things twice to get it right. Trust me, this happens a lot in my line of work, a lot of jobs get done twice.
 

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Avoid too much grease which will could cause the pawls to stick and not fly out when the cord is pulled.
On all the ones I worked on there was never any evidence of the factory using grease in the mechanism, nor did I ever put any grease on them, never had any problems except for the cords fraying & wearing out. Grease may not be your friend? :D

Paul T
 
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