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Centrifugal clutch removal on a Craftsman gas trimmer Model # 358.791030? I need access to the start cord.

It would appear I need to remove the clutch to open up the motor housing to replace the pull cord. Is this correct? And if so, how do I remove the clutch?

Craftsman , Hand Gardening Tools
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2 Answers from these members:
Lyle W
This design makes for a very compact and efficient engine assembly but, unfortunately, it does make getting to the start cord a little more difficult.

The fan housing and centrifugal clutch do need to come off.

Looking at the parts illustration


from the

Sears PartsDirect

site you can see the clutch shown as

item 30

. It fits into the clutch drum,

item 58

, and both then go on the crankshaft,

item 46

. Once you remove the nut and screws the clutch cover,

item 59

, will come off.

Then you have to remove the clutch drum, which threads onto the crankshaft. There are special tools for that but often you can use a universal strap-style filter remover or something similar to grip the drum and spin it.

The drum is not on overly tight, it does not have to be since the thread direction means it would have to turn opposite the crankshaft direction for it to loosen, and most times it will come free fairly easily. Some technicians just use a punch or cold chisel and tap it with a hammer, which will work provided you are experienced and careful enough not to damage or mark the surface in the process.

You may find that the engine simply turns over when you try to loosen the drum, in which case you can take some soft rope and feed it into the spark plug hole to prevent the piston moving to the top of the cylinder and returning down. If you did that and the drum still will not loosen, then this particular model crankshaft might turn in the opposite direction from standard and therefore have reverse threads to keep the drum on.

Typically that will be noted in the service information and I found nothing like that in this case, so the drum should loosen like any other. But if it will not break loose relatively easily you might want to try spinning the drum opposite your initial attempts just in case.

If the assembly simply will not come apart, or you have other remaining concerns, feel free to submit another answer here and we will do our best to research more and help further.

Or you may want to consult a professional since replacing the start cord on this model does require so much additional disassembly. You can get more information on professional repairs in your area by calling


by Lyle W Earned 6,475 community points in Craftsman
July 16th, 2008
0 votes
Manage My Life
the clutch housing just seems to spin on the shaft and clutch. does the clutch housing have a screw holding it to the shaft or do you just pry it off? I've stopped the shaft from rotating so that is not an issue.
by Manage My Life
May 25th, 2010
0 votes
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