JLO 252 Recoil Assembly

Barrie Graham shows us how to restore a recoil from the JLO.

Tools required:  1 straight screwdriver; long straight 1/4"punch;
vise grip; electrical tape, white cloth 

    The first step  in the total rebuild of the JLO recoil is to remove
the pull handle.  If your recoil is off of your machine, then the handle
is already off and the cable is probably well inside.  Don't fret, I
would have you do that any way.  It saves a lot of skinned knuckles. 

    Flip the recoil onto its face with the guts facing up.  Remove the
four socket cap screws  with lock washers.(part # 215) 

    Slowly lift off the cover plate (part  #214), giving special care
not to misplace the small parts which are now loose.  There should be
four small cups and two brake springs.  Each brake spring has a cup on
each end.  Place these small  parts on a white cloth to easily keep
track of  them.  The two starter pawls can be unhooked with their
respective springs and set aside.  If the pawl spring is broken, it can
be reused by bending another hook in the broken end. 

    Lift off the intermediate plate (part # 208) to reveal the rope drum
(part #201). 

    Now is when you may want to duck.  The recoil spring is looped
around a post on the starter housing and tensioned into a slot in the
bottom of the rope housing. There is a hole in the rope drum whereby you
can see the end of the recoil spring.  Place a 1/4" straight punch on
the small loop.  With downward pressure on the punch try to lift up the
recoil drum.  This procedure pushes the spring end out of the rope drum
as you lift on it.  The drum must come straight up and the spring end
straight down for this to work.  If you like excitement, then just pull
up on the rope drum......and duck!!!  The spring will uncoil with the
force of a hundred jack-in-the-boxes and send the rope drum in any
direction.  The rope drum will remain connected to the spring and
probably whack you in the back of your head on its return trip.  However,
if you were successful with the punch method, hold the coiled spring and
lift it off the post.  Secure the coiled spring with electrical tape and
breath easy.    On each end of the spring there are loops.  The large
one for the post, the other for the rope drum slot. A spring can be
easily recoiled by making a big loop with the large end on the outside.
Pull on the end with the big loop, making a smaller set of loops.
Continue this process until it is small enough to fit back into the base
of the starter housing.  Secure with electrical tape unless you are
ready to install it. 

This completes the dismantling.

 Before reassembly, it is important to remove all rust from sliding
parts. Since all internal parts slide somewhere against something, time
is well spent to sand any rusted area, smooth.  The recoil spring cannot
be overlooked as there is tremendous pressure as those coils slide on
each other.  If you were able to remove the recoil spring without it
exploding, you should let it unwind and check it for rust and old sticky
grease and oil.   The post in the starter housing and the mating hole on
the rope drum can be cleaned with steel wool.  The two pawls should
rotate freely on their respective rope drum post.  The two brake spring
assemblies slide between the two plates therefore assure that the plates
are smooth. 

    With all the rust removed, the recoil is ready for reassembly.

   The reassembly of the JLO recoil should take about 20 minutes if you stay
calm and follow the steps indicated below.

1-     place the starter housing ( #200) , face up on a clean workbench.
2-     place the large flat washer (#216) on to the recoil post.
3-     Do a trial fit of the small loop into the appropriate hole in the rope
drum (#201).  The loop should fit without forcing.  

4-     The spring is easily rewound by gathering it in large loops, the
pulling on the outside end thus reducing the sizes of the loops.  Continue
doing this until it is small enough to fit within the confines of the
starter housing. The end of the spring with the large loop should be
on the outside of the coiled spring. Place this loop over the large
post inside the starter housing.  The end of the spring should face in an
anticlockwise direction when placed on the post. JLO recoils can be
operated in either direction, depending on which way the spring and
dog are installed.

5-     Fix the end of the starter rope into the rope drum. 
Securely attach electrical tape to the other end of the cable
and create about 6” of a “tail”so you can later retrieve the cable.
Wind the cable and tape on to the drum leaving a little above the
drum so that you can hold it.

6-     Since you did step #3 you know which hole to put the straight
punch through. Do this, then put the punch into the small loop.  
The punch acts as a guide and manipulator of the loop.  Press down
lightly on the rope drum and rotate it until it drops down.  Sometimes
the spring end is bent and will not co-operate but since you did
step #3…..There should now be a small end of electrical tape sticking
up from between the rope drum and the inner wall of the starter housing.

7-     Feed the electrical tape through the wall of the starter housing
and pull it out about 12”.  It is not necessary to wind the spring
and give it cable “recoil tension” at this time.  When we pull the
cable through the dash, we must extend the cable about 20”, this “charges”
the spring.

8-     Adjust the Vise grips and clamp them on the cable.
9-     Slide the rope guide bushing over the cable
10- Reposition the Vise grips and screw the rope guide bushing into
the wall of the starter housing.  
11- Tie a loose knot in the cable and let it slowly recoil to a “rest”
12- Replace the intermediate plate (#208)
13- Replace the starter pawls with springs
14- Replace the brake cups and springs
15- Replace the cover plate #(214)

16- Replace the four screws to retain the cover plate.  Before
tightening the screws, it is best to give the cable a short pull to
ensure that the brake cups are properly set. 

If the recoil spins freely, you are now a JLO recoil expert.  


(Barrie Graham - Arundel, Quebec)