Published on September 16th, 2016 | by Brandon


How to Replace the Starter Cable and Return Spring on Your Makita 2-Stroke Chainsaw

When servicing your starter cable and return spring, be aware of the possibility of springs/cables snapping and popping out. Always securely hold parts that are capable of moving as you work with them. Be careful while working with parts that are under tension.

The following instructions are based on the DCS6400, DCS6401, DCS6420, DCS6421, DCS7300, DCS7301, DCS7900, and DCS7901 model Makita chainsaws. Always read and be familiar with your equipment’s operator’s manual to understand the specific parts and procedures that pertain to your equipment.

Turn off your equipment’s engine and allow it to cool before servicing it.

Replacing the Starter Cable

  • Step 1: Unscrew the three screws that are securing the fan housing in place.
  • Step 2: Remove the fan housing.
  • Step 3: De-tension the cable drum return spring if you are replacing a starter cable that is not broken. To do this, pull the cable all the way out of the fan housing. Hold the drum with one hand while you place the cable in place. Allow the drum to turn until the return spring no longer has tension.
  • Step 4: Remove the cable drum by removing the screw and washer securing it.
  • Step 5: Take out any pieces of cable that remain.
  • Step 6: Thread a new 1/8” diameter, 38.6” length cable. Ensure that the washer is included and that each end is knotted.
  • Step 7: Pull the knot closest to the cable drum into the cable drum.
  • Step 8: Pull the knot closest to the starter grip into the starter grip.
  • Step 9: Place the drum on the spindle.
  • Step 10: Slightly turn the drum on the spindle until the spring engages.
  • Step 11: Screw in the screw and washer. Tighten.
  • Step 12: Guide the cable into the drum. Use the cable to turn the drum clockwise twice.
  • Step 13: Hold the drum with your left hand and untwist the cable with your right hand. Pull it tightly and hold it.
  • Step 14: Release the cable drum carefully.
  • Step 15: Repeat this three or four times. The grip should now be upright on the fan housing.
  • For information about safety, warranty, and your specific model, read and be familiar with your owner’s manual.

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    One Response to How to Replace the Starter Cable and Return Spring on Your Makita 2-Stroke Chainsaw

    1. Bill Reed says:

      I removed the three bolts securing the fan housing. The cover will not come off. it seems stuck near the bar oil fill cap I removed it as well it was not the hold up?This there something else I am missing when removing the starter recoil on a Makita I believe DSC5300. Thanks – Bill Reed

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