Few things are more frustrating than getting motivated to cut your lawn with your John Deere push lawnmower and finding that the starter cord is broken, which can happen with normal wear and tear. The starter cord takes a lot of abuse when you pull it again and again, and it deteriorates over time from wet and hot climates.
Unscrew the screws that hold the starter cord housing in place with a screwdriver. Remove the housing.
Loosen the bolts with a socket wrench that hold the wheel where the cord is wrapped.
Pull the wheel off the mower, and take the old starter cord off of the wheel. Cut the cord with a utility knife since the end of it will be knotted. Pay attention to the way the cord was wound so you can replace the new cord in the same fashion.
Tie the new starter cord to the wheel just as the old one was tied. Wind the cord around the wheel and put the wheel back on the mower. Use the socket wrench to replace the bolt that holds the wheel in place and tighten it.
Test the new cord by pulling on it lightly to see if it winds back in place. Feed the other end of the starter cord through the space in the starter cord housing as the old one was positioned.
Take the old pull handle, and tie it to the end of the new starter cord. If the new starter cord is longer than the old one, you can first cut it to the length you need with a utility knife and tie it to the pull handle.
Replace the starter cord housing, and screw it in place with the screwdriver and screws.