Stihl KM 56 RC Trimmer Pull Cord Rope Replacement

Broken Trimmer Rope

It never fails, the pull cord on your Stihl trimmer breaks as soon as your ready to tackle your yard work on Saturday morning, now you're stuck replacing a pull cord rope while pushing the yard work out an extra hour. How are you supposed to relax on the weekend if you're constantly fixing everything? Hopefully these easy to follow instructions will get you up and running quickly, so you can relax like you planed.

If you working on a Stilh KM 56 RC trimmer, you're in luck because that is the machine I will be replacing the pull cord rope on within this page. One tool you will need above all others, is the plug socket tool with the torx bit on the other end, (see the picture) this tool should have come with your Stilh Km 56 RC trimmer when you bought it, if you don't have one, buy one, it's worth its weight in gold.

Tools You Need to Replace Stihl Trimmer Pull Cord

Magnet, snap-ring pliers, large and small needle nose pliers, and the Stihl torx / plug socket
Magnet, snap-ring pliers, large and small needle nose pliers, and the Stihl torx / plug socket | Source
1. Remove the end cover, this will house the complete pull cord rope assembly.
1. Remove the end cover, this will house the complete pull cord rope assembly. | Source
2. Remove the snap-ring holding the pull cord rope assembly on the shaft.
2. Remove the snap-ring holding the pull cord rope assembly on the shaft. | Source
3.  Notice how the unit splits in two pieces, also notice how and where the springs are located.
3. Notice how the unit splits in two pieces, also notice how and where the springs are located. | Source
4.  Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the coil unit from the shaft, pull it straight up off the shaft for easy removal.
4. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the coil unit from the shaft, pull it straight up off the shaft for easy removal. | Source
5. Hold the spring in place with your thumb to prevent it from falling out.
5. Hold the spring in place with your thumb to prevent it from falling out. | Source
6.  Remove the broken piece of rope from the coil unit.
6. Remove the broken piece of rope from the coil unit. | Source
7.  Remove any debris from the cover.
7. Remove any debris from the cover. | Source
8.  Measure out a new piece of pull cord rope, use the broken piece as a reference, but make it a few inches longer, this will give you room for error. Use a lighter to melt the end of the rope for easy assembly.
8. Measure out a new piece of pull cord rope, use the broken piece as a reference, but make it a few inches longer, this will give you room for error. Use a lighter to melt the end of the rope for easy assembly. | Source
9. Thread the new piece of rope into the coil assembly
9. Thread the new piece of rope into the coil assembly | Source
10.  Tie a small knot in the rope end, and pull it tight into the coil pocket.
10. Tie a small knot in the rope end, and pull it tight into the coil pocket. | Source
11.  Wind the pull cord rope on the coil and  use a piece of scotch tape to hold the pull cord rope in the groove of the coil as shown in the picture.
11. Wind the pull cord rope on the coil and use a piece of scotch tape to hold the pull cord rope in the groove of the coil as shown in the picture. | Source
12. Install the coil back into the housing spinning it slowly until it drops into place, take care not to force the coil down and damage the spring, let it drop naturally into place, then install the top cover, notice where the spring goes in the top
12. Install the coil back into the housing spinning it slowly until it drops into place, take care not to force the coil down and damage the spring, let it drop naturally into place, then install the top cover, notice where the spring goes in the top | Source
13.  Pay close attention in this step or you'll have a limp rope, and nobody wants a limp pull cord rope. Turn the coil counter clockwise two revolutions to add some tension to the return spring.
13. Pay close attention in this step or you'll have a limp rope, and nobody wants a limp pull cord rope. Turn the coil counter clockwise two revolutions to add some tension to the return spring. | Source
14.  Hold it in place while you thread the pull cord rope through the hole in the end cover using a pair of needle nose pliers.
14. Hold it in place while you thread the pull cord rope through the hole in the end cover using a pair of needle nose pliers. | Source
15.  Install the handle while holding onto the rope.
15. Install the handle while holding onto the rope. | Source
16.  Re-install the cover onto the trimmer unit, and you are finished.
16. Re-install the cover onto the trimmer unit, and you are finished. | Source

Now Put Your Stihl Trimmer Back to Work!

Now get to work and go trim your heart out! If you have any questions about the installation, let me know by leaving a question or comment in the box below. Share this information on Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest, someone you know could be looking for it, thanks.

P.S. Don forget to give this article a thumbs up if you liked it, and let me know if it's useful, feedback is very important to me, thank you.

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Comments 27 comments

eugbug profile image

eugbug 3 years ago from Ireland

If only they made all trimmers this way! I practically had to take my bargain basement trimmer apart to get at the pulley and cord!

Also when replacing the cord, there's no harm wearing safety glasses in case the spring jumps out.

Voted up, useful and interesting!


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 3 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thanks Eugbug,

This trimmer is pretty easy to disassemble, and the spring is pretty tame, not much recoil :) I appreciate the vote and the time you took to have a read :)


Tomcat 3 years ago

Hi Eddie, this is very helpful, but I need to rewind the underside coil that isn't shown in your pictures. Any advise would be helpful since I cannot find any tutorials or manuals online instructing how to do so.


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 3 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi Tomcat,

I haven't taken this apart in a while, but I'm pretty sure you're talking about step 13 in the pictures. Turn the coil counterclockwise two revolutions to add some tension to the return spring, but before you do this step, make sure you do step 12, spin the coil in the housing until it drops down into place. Let me know if this helps Tomcat, thanks.


mr crab 2 years ago

I have a stihl fs 56rc trimmer. I am installing a new pull rope and I can't get any tension on my spring to hold while I tie off the other end.

How do you put tension on this string while your pulling the rope forward? Am I missing something???


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 2 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hey Mr Crab, to add tension to the rope, check out step 12, 13, and 14. Let me know if this helps, thanks.


LittleMCCBW 2 years ago

Hi Eddie thank you for the instructions, unfortunately, I stupidly tried to do after reading only once. I had to leave to borrow a snap ring pliers and should have waited. I didn't tape rope into groove and when I went to turn counter clockwise to put tension on return spring, somehow the rope got tangled up and when I pulled the coil assembly out a second time to fix it, the smaller spring underneath that you don't show in your pictures just POPPED RIGHT OUT!! Scared me to death, but now I haven't been able to get the spring wound tight enough to put back together. My hands get sore and tired and start cramping up fast. That spring is a bear. Help, is there a trick I can use??


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 2 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi LittleMCCBW,

I have never had that spring out before so I'm not sure of a trick to re-install it. Sorry I don't have an answer, but you must have to wind it tight enough to slip it into place?


MA 2 years ago

Any ideas on he length of the cord? The whole thing broke on ours and we are trying to replace now, but need to know the length. Help!


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 2 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi MA,

Wind it on the spool until it's just under the top of the spool sides, I believe it's just about 2 feet of cord. Let me know if this helps, thanks.


Poop 2 years ago

What kind of screw on front plate?


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 2 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hey Poop, just #2 Philip head screws


JonSEAZ 2 years ago

Hi Eddie,

I broke my pull cord (through, I think, not fully understanding how to use properly the Easy2 Start system) and located your instructions on the Internet at http://hubpages.com/hub/Stihl-KM-56-RC-Trimmer-Pul... Great photos and instructions. Simple, complete written instructions accompanied by clear photographs. Better than most factory manuals. Thanks a bunch. You are doing a great service here.


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 2 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi Jon,

Thank you for the comment, it's very much appreciated. I do this kinda of stuff for people like you, someone who is just looking for answers to a problem they're having, so you are very welcome.


Tom N 18 months ago

Eddie, if you're still out there... fumbled the pulley and dropped it. Bottom spring fell out. The spring first wraps one way, then the other. Can't figure out how to wrap it back in. Can you help? Thanks


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 18 months ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi Tom,

Take a close look at pic #10 and #12, that should help, study the way the spring sit's in the holder and just repeat :) Let me know how you make out Tom, thanks.


Tom N 17 months ago

Thanks. Turns out the lower spring took a strange set. Even the Stihl service tech couldn't get it back in. Got a new pulley for a few bucks, am now back in business.


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 17 months ago from New Hampshire Author

Cool, thanks for the update Tom, I really appreciate it :)


Jared 17 months ago

Long story short, I have to replace the snap ring. Do you know what size it is?


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 17 months ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi Jared,

Sorry, not a clue, bring it to a hardware store and match it up, if it's missing, bring the part with you and find something that fits.


Chris D 9 months ago

Thanks very much Eddie. This is very useful information. I had the same problem as Tom N and LittleMCCBW where the underside spring popped out. The ring clip was missing on my unit (assume it broke off at some stage) so the rotor assembly flew out when I performed Step 1 above. The underside spring also had the strange set where two thirds of it wrapped 1 way, the other third wrapped the other way. It possibly develops this way when used since it doesn't start it's life out like this. When new it is wrapped tight up to the last 3 turns which then slowly angle in towards the center. But there seems to be no way that I could find to make it sit like this once it has been used. So if this bottom spring pops the best option is to buy a new module (it's called a "rope rotor with rewind spring" (Stihl Part Number: 4144-190-1111). I have a picture of the way the underside spring looks when it is new (no way to post this pic that I can see). I battled trying to reinstall the underside spring for a couple of hours so hopefully this addendum saves someone some time!


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 9 months ago from New Hampshire Author

Good info Chris, and thanks for taking the time to share it. It's people like you who keep this page going because there are so many problems you can run into when changing the pull cord, I only could share what I experienced when changing out my pull cord, I'm sure the info you shared will help many :)


Rolf von Andrian 6 months ago

http://www.lsengineers.co.uk/rope-rotor-with-rewin...

I had the same trouble as ChrisD with the underside spring popped out. The trick is to put the spring back in to the casing the other way around as it is bend when is lays tensionless on the table. If you check the link above you can see how it should look like at then end.


Scott 3 months ago

Thanks eddiecarrara, very good article, I wish I would have read it first. Like Chris D and Rolf, my bottom spring popped off. I should have been more careful removing the spool. After rewinding and installing, the inner coil wasn't tight enough to engage in the inner recess where it needs to hook for recoil, so I probably need to buy a new rotor with rewind spring as described above. Thanks guys for the part number!


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire Author

Hey Scott,

We all lean by trial and error, I struggled with mine and then wrote the article and took pictures just to help others with the same issue. Your feed back is very important, so thanks for taking the time to comment :)


Jack 6 weeks ago

Very nice article! If only our politicians were this clear and efficient. Thanks for the help.....


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 6 weeks ago from New Hampshire Author

I Agree 100% Jack, about the politicians lol.

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