Small engine repair skill level–less than novice

So, I have once again discovered that I’m not exactly a mechanical genius.  Frankly, I’m not a a mechanical adept, let alone journeyman or even a mechanical beginner.  Well, okay, so I’m not THAT bad, I’m just also not that good.

Starting mowing my yard last night, and got about 3/4 of the way done.  Got into the fenced in backyard area, and had to stop to empty my bag.  Unfortunately, my starter cord decided to break from inside the flywheel!  Crank starting lawnmowers are now my enemy.

But I get out my handy dandy trusty socket set, and set upon the housing of the mower.  After removing 9 bolts(using 3 different socket sizes amongst them), I was able to get the unit off.  I spent the next twenty minutes trying to re-feed the starter cable, eventually getting it into the flywheel and knotted. 

Here’s where it got frustrating in the end.  I got the cable wound up to what I thought was sufficient length, got the unit back together, only to find the cable was still not wound far enough in.  Okay, I pulled part of the housing back off, wound it tighter, reseated the housing, and tried to crank.  Got a sputter, but the flywheel didn’t spin back far enough to pull the cable in far enough.

So, now I’m stuck with a mower that won’t start because there’s a too long cable that doesn’t have enough reach.  Sounds weird, right?

Fortunately, I located a service center that’ll get it fixed right up for me if I pull the cable and retractor/flywheel assembly.  Otherwise, if I bring the whole thing in, I’d have to put it in queue, and they are working on devices dropped off over 10 days ago.  I think I can strip it down again this weekend.