The Content Of The Article:

Outboard motors of small and medium power are often equipped with a manual launcher. Their start is sometimes laborious.
To pull too much on the rope, it breaks... and the handle stays in the hand! Here's how to avoid this inconvenience, dangerous at sea.

Outboard boat: repair an engine launcher

Practical advice

Do not wait until the launcher cord breaks to change it. Any string frayed or shredded by friction must be replaced to avoid problems at sea. Replace the original string with one of the same diameter. Too fine, it will lack solidity; too big, it will struggle to lodge in the throat of the pulley.
It is possible to repair in case of damage to the launcher. The flywheel has a groove with a notch. A piece of rope with a knot at the end is housed in the notch, and then wrapped several times around the pulley. By pulling a sharp blow, we can expect the engine start.

Easy repair

The replacement of a launcher cord is an operation which is limited to buying two meters of nylon halyard 3 mm in diameter. The assembly and disassembly require them, the method and a little patience.

How it works?

The body of the launcher comprises a tilting flange carrying a small plastic pinion. The latter is located near the ring gear under the flywheel. It is started by a notched wheel (gear), secured to a grooved pulley around which winds the rope.
● Activated by a handle placed on the control panel, the rope causes rotation of the pulley and the gear. At the same time, the body of the launcher tilts, and the small pinion comes into contact with the ring gear: this causes its rotation and allows the start of the engine after a few tests.
● As soon as the handle is released, a return spring automatically rewinds the rope. This system exists on Johnson, Evinrude and other brands (with some variations).

The repair

It is often limited to replacing the cord, worn or broken.
● The body of the launcher is fixed on the engine block by an axis around which it pivots. Unscrew this axle with the key, as well as a small screw at the front which joins a bracket to the housing. Pull the launcher out of the engine cradle and remove the small sprocket.
● Separate the two main parts: the flange with its central pressure spring and the pulley-notch wheel assembly. Place an 8 mm diameter bolt in the center hole of the flange to prevent the return spring from relaxing.
● Prepare the new rope: make a knot at one end and insert it into the hole provided. Wind tight to tension the return spring, then lock the central nut. Thread the other end of the rope into the engine cradle (in the lower part of the engine block), pass it through the pull handle and make a second knot.
● The re-coupling of the toothed wheel and the flange with its pinion must be done gently: it is necessary to remove the bolt Ø 8 mm and replace it by the axis, which allows to close the two parts of the launcher.
● Finally, screw and tighten the center pin. Fit the fixing screw of the crankcase bracket. It has an oblong hole that allows positioning the small pinion about 1 cm from the ring gear of the steering wheel. Try by pulling on the handle: it must go back to the bottom. Otherwise, the return spring is not sufficiently tight.

Launcher body

Launcher body

On the right, the body of the launcher including the pulley around which the rope is wrapped. When turning, it acts on the small pinion that tilts and meshes with the ring gear of the flywheel.

Unscrew the central axis

Unscrew the central axis

To change the broken or frayed cord, unscrew the center pin on which the caster body pivots. Remove the retaining screw from the front bracket.
Remove the small plastic pinion.

Separate the flange of the grooved pulley

Separate the flange of the grooved pulley

Separate the flange with the pin and the compression spring from the grooved pulley which is secured to a notched wheel and a non-visible return spring. Place a bolt 8 mm in diameter instead of the axis.

Remove the cord

Remove the cord

This bolt avoids the relaxation of the return spring. Remove the cord and prepare the new one: a 3 mm diameter braided nylon braid. Tie a knot and pass the string through the entrance hole.

Wrap the new cord

Wrap the new cord

Mark with a red dot the correct length of the new cord which must be equal to the old one. Wrap it in the groove clockwise, stretching the spring as far as it will go.

Tighten and tie a stopping knot

Tighten and tie a stopping knot

Tighten the nut of the temporary shaft a little to avoid rewinding the rope. Pass it in the hole of the cradle planned for its sliding. Thread the pull handle, then make a stop knot.

Remount the launcher

Remount the launcher

Present next to the two elements of the launcher. Replace the small pinion on the flange axis and replace the bolt with the pin. Internal gearing mates by assembling the two parts.

Tighten, adjust and refit the assembly

Tighten, adjust and refit the assembly

Set up the pinched set by hand. Tighten the center pin with the key, as well as the fixing screw of the retaining bracket, set to approach the small pinion of the ring gear.


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