Text and pictures by Alex Varv

The flash starter is a stored energy device which consists of a very strong spring that it is wound by pulling the hand starter rope.
By the time that almost all rope is pulled our from the starter pulley, the tension of the strong spring will overcome the engine's compression thus
swinging the crankshaft. The amount of power this way released, is stronger than in the classic hand start case and the initial start-up RPMs are higher thus a stronger spark is generated and the engine starts easier.

In this material, we will concentrate only on replacing the starter spring without entering into details of the rest of the mechanism.

As shown in the picture (below) the replacement spring is wound up and held by a round brace.
Having the brace around, the diameter of the spring is just about the diameter of the spring housing in the pulley so it can be easily installed.


                                                         Before installation, we have to cut off the cable tie that secures the brace on the spring


                                                                        Here is a view of the starter pulley and the spring

                              Next, we place the spring on top of the pulley align the hook of the spring with it's socket in the pulley and slightly push the spring down.
                                      Because the brace is in the middle of the spring blade, half of the spring will go into the housing until it is stopped by the brace.


Below, we show how to align the hook of the spring. This is VERY important because when we hammer in the spring, if the hook is not aligned, we will damage the socket.


                           Now it is time to lubricate the spring. We recommend White Lithium Grease. Please make sure that the can is shaken many times to
                                                                  homogenize the grease which is dissolved in an oily liquid but if left undisturbed, it will separate.


Next step:  place a wood block (preferably hard wood / oak) on top of the spring and using a small hammer tap on the spring moving the block 360 degrees. At one point the spring will slide deep enough to be level with the brace. Further tapping is not necessary because the brace will not come off and the spring will not go deeper.


During the next phase, we will use two blocks of hard wood (preferably oak) to further advance the spring in the housing. We place the wood blocks on the outside rim of the spring making sure not to touch the brace. Very important is that again, we have to check if the hook of the spring is aligned with its socket on the pulley. Tapping on the wood blocks, will further advance the spring into the housing and at one moment, the brace will come off.



                         Regardless how carefully and evenly we tapped on the spring, if we take a closer look we will notice that the spring is not evenly seated


                                 To rectify this problem, we again place a wood block on the spring and we tap on it with a hammer moving the block 360 degrees.
          Once this is done, the spring will be approximately even or so it will seem. But at a closer look we will notice that the hook of the spring is not fully seated.
                    This we can resolve using only one block of wood  until the spring is completely seated. The spring should be completely buried in the pulley.
                                                                                      If it is not, it will cause wear of the plastic round plate that covers the spring.


                                                                                                 Correctly seated spring.


 If you want to remove a broken spring from the housing please be advised that the spring is VERY strong and injury may occur. Wear gloves and point
away the spring from your face, body or objects that can be damaged. The spring may pop-out like a bullet with great force. It will be almost impossible to install a new spring without the brace.

I hope you found this material useful.

Alex Varv

Back to Inventions