Replace the starter string on a Ryobi 875r trimmer

For the second time since I have owned it, the starter string on my Ryobi multi-attachment trimmer broke.  Must be poor design causing too much friction and slowing wearing down the nylon until it frays and breaks.

One of the difficult parts to remove, if you haven’t done it before, is the clutch drum.  To do so, you need to remove spark plug and insert a screw driver into the combustion chamber to keep the piston from moving.  Then use a Torx 15 driver and insert it into the whole in the front of the drum.  Turn the driver counter-clockwise while holding the engine/chassis still to remove the screw holding the drum in place.

After you remove the springs holding the clutch together, loosen the clutch with a wrench and remove it.  Then you can remove the gray plastic cover that houses the starter string, pulley, and spring.  When you remove the pulley retaining parts, you can lift out the pulley.  You need to be careful when doing so because the spring will uncoil all over the place if you don’t reign it in while lifting the pulley out.

I slowly let the spring uncoil so I can work with the pulley.  Now you can replace the broken string.  The frustrating part for me at this point was keeping the spring in place while trying to attache the pulley.  After several failed attempts, I figured out a better way.  I was trying to mount the pulley with the string wound around it, which means that the spring has to be uncoiled a bit.  But this leads to the spring not wanting to remain flat when the pulley is being mounted on the shaft.  The better thing to do is to unwind the the starter string so it is fully extended.  You can then wind the spring as tight as it will go around the pulley (less one or two revolutions).

Even though the spring has more potential energy at this point, there is enough friction between each revolution of the spring that it makes it less prone to want to jump off the pulley.  I found it much easier to mount the pulley when the spring is wound tighter around it.

I hope this trick will help you if you need to replace the starter string on your Ryobi trimmer.

So what is this Something?

I haven’t had any updates in awhile because I have been looking at different blogging software.  simpleblog, while easy to implement and customize, lacks features common to other solutions that I would like.  So several months ago I began trying different programs in a test site, but none of them ultimately worked for me.  Among the ones I tried:

  • dBlog – This offered some features I have been looking for, but the default locale is Italian.  There is a translation for English which changes titles and headers, but things like the calendar remain in Italian.  There isn’t a lot of documentation in English, so I was left to doing a lot of manual code search-and-replace.
  • DotNetNuke – This is one of the primo open-source CMS solutions available.  It is an immensely powerful application that uses modules to offer the features you want: blog, document library, file library, ecommerce, forums, feeback, etc.  The application is geared for more commercial or multi-user sites, not a one-off blog, so the portal is a bit too much for what I am looking for.
  • Nukedit – A solution ready to go pretty much right out of the box.  But it lacks some of the features that even simpleblog offers.
  • WordPress – Probably the most popular blog software out there.  But it uses PHP and mySQL, whereas I prefer ASP and Access since I know how to write in VBScript.  I installed PHP and mySQL and tried to get WordPress working, but ultimately could not.

I have been using simpleblog 2.3 for awhile, and 2.2 before that.  Version 3 is available and after looking at it before all the others, I decided to look at it again.  It has the advantage that I am already familiar with the code that Johann has used for 2.x.  While it still lacks the features I have been looking for, I grew tired of trying all the other solutions.  So I have upgraded sidefumbling to simpleblog 3.0.


  • Very simple installation using ASP with VBScript and an MSAccess database.
  • Built-in RSS feed.
  • Version 3 adds a sidebar for recent posts.
  • Version 3 uses FCKeditor for creating posts, which is a customizable WYSIWYG editor.
  • Easy to integrate it into your site by editing ASP files and including your own scripts.
  • Use of CSS for easy manipulation of global settings for font, layout, etc.


  • No use of categories or the ability to group/search for posts based on keywords.
  • No search engine.
  • No notification of pending comments.
  • No use of CAPTCHA for comment spam-prevention.
  • Difficult to use code blocks for using literal code in posts, though I have figured out in FCKeditor how to do this.
  • Admin interface is limited to accessing previous posts by using calendar to access posts written on specific date, i.e., you cannot just browse a list of your posts for the one you one; you have to use the calendar to find the day you want and then bring up any posts for that single day only.
  • Cross-browser support is limited, mostly by layout issues.
  • No built-in way for posting from a mobile device, which is nice when traveling or making posts while at a conference, etc.
  • Not regularly updated.

Despite the cons, I offer my thanks to Johann for creating a free solution that has obviously worked for me.

Site outage because of my own carelessness

I apologize for the site outage that occured the last couple of days.  I think it was caused when I was trying to test a site searching tool.  It involved registering DLLs and granting permissions, etc.  But somehwere along the way I broke the site.  And my attempts to fix it only made it worse.  After spending hours and hours trolling the Net via Google to try and fix it, I resorted to help from the source:  Microsoft.  It took a couple of hours, but we were able to track down the permissions that were incorrect.  So everything appears to be back online, but I think I will have to visit all the pages to be sure.