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I have an older 48" Exmark walk behind. Being as it is older, It only has a pull start. The problem I am having is that sometimes it almost rips my hand off when starting it. It rips the handle right out of my hand. I have been told to pull the rope slowly to turn over the engine , then pull to start it. I just spent over $300 in repairs including a tune up. It just seems dangerous. Anyone know what the problem could be or what I can do to keep from getting my fingers ripped off trying to start this thing?

Thanks,

Dan Johnson
 

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I have had the same thing happen to me. It surprises me everytime it happens. It is not just limited to exmark engines, kohler, kawisaki. I do not know what causes it but it hurts.
 

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sounds like the flywheel key is worn, or the timing is off, valve timing could be causing the problem as well.....
 

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I had a Kohler that did it, and it was miserable. Try like you were told to pull it til you get to the point of resistance, then let the recoil go back in, then pull her good. If you still have trouble, look to other problems that were mentioned above.

Jay
 

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It has something to do with the compression release. Mine has caught me off guard a couple of times.
 

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What's the deal with my 12.5 Kohler then? It is super super hard to pull, and when I do get it started it seems that everything wants to come back out of the carb instead of the muffler. I think that the exhaust valve timing is off, because the exhaust is coming out when the intake valve is open. Anyone?
 

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I've had this happen from time to time on various recoil start machines. I thought is was just depending on what part of crankshaft revolution it was on that caused it. It does onlly happen once in a while, not regularly... May not be same situation as yours ???
 

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I have experienced this on my old boss's 13 hp Honda w/b. The engine was trashed already though. He had not changed the oil since we finnished leaves last fall.

There was some kind of gasket leak b/c oil would just ooze down the side of the engine as the day went on. 2 weeks ago the engine lost power and died. When that happened it got loud and like you described earlier, it sounded like the exhaust was coming back out the carb. and air filter and not going out the muffler.

I'd like to know what could be causing these simptoms on your's and my engines.
 

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is the unit a hydro or gear drive? if it is a hydro there are some models with a release to make starting easier. if your model has it, it would be located on the right hande side in the rear of the unit. it is just a chain that pulls out and hooks onto a bolt. hopefully that might help
 
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