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How to Clean a Craftsman Riding Lawnmower Carburetor, step by step

You’re all set for a scheduled mowing session to maintain your garden. You happen to notice that your Craftsman lawnmower, a well-known manufacturer,  has been misbehaving lately. The engine doesn’t start or doesn’t produce enough power. One of the most common reasons for engine problems is a lousy carburetor that might need cleaning. If you’re a fan of DIY, then you’ve come to the right place as this blog provides you with all the information for both beginner and more experienced users.

How to clean a Craftsman riding lawn mower carburetor, step by step:

  • Step 1: Disconnect the battery cables and remove the air filter assembly under the hood to access the carburetor
  • Step 2: Disconnect the fuel lines and unmount the studs to remove the carburetor
  • Step 3: Clean the carburetor jets, bowl, and float using a carb cleaner spray
  • Step 4: Reassemble everything and test the engine for performance

Carburetors are engine components that mix air and fuel to supply it to the engine for combustion. Due to the bad quality of fuel and periodic maintenance, the carburetor jets get clogged due to debris and fuel deposits. As a result, the engine shows a reduced performance. In riding lawnmowers, the maintenance is a little complex to perform due to added parts/components.

For getting a step-by-step guide for removing and cleaning a Craftsman lawnmower carburetor, you should stay tuned to this blog post.

Step by step approach to clean a Craftsman lawnmower carburetor:

We have summarized the entire procedure by breaking it into several small, easy to do steps that are mentioned below:

● Step 1: Inspect the engine before cleaning

Carburetors are engine components that might need servicing after a specific period depending on their use. The engine’s signs and symptoms such as peculiar noise while operating, rough running, not starting, and stalling indicate the need for a carburetor clean up. Suppose you encounter any one of these above symptoms. In that case, it might be a good idea to check on your carburetor for some deposits that might not be providing the right fuel mixture to the engine for combustion.

● Step 2: Remove the carburetor from the mower

In riding mowers, taking the carburetor off is less straightforward than a push behind mower. For the disassembly, we have mentioned the steps below:

– Step1: Disconnect the battery cables

Remove the key if it’s present in the ignition switch. Before you remove the carburetor, you first need to ensure that the battery isn’t connected, which could lead the mower to start. To do that, you should lift the mower’s seat under which the battery is located and disconnect one of its terminals.

– Step 2: Remove the engine blower housing

To access the carburetor, you need to remove the mower hood. Under the hood, the following parts shall be located that need to be removed.

Air duct: Just beneath the hood, the air duct guides the air towards the air filter. Remove the screws of the air duct and take the duct off the mower.

Air filter assembly: The entire air filter assembly consists of the air filter cover, air filter housing, and the filter itself needs to come off. You should first remove the air filter cover, then the air filter, and finally the air filter housing by removing the screws.

Blower housing: Another part that needs to be pulled off is the blower housing. You should remove the screws at its front and back to ensure that it comes off.

– Step 3: Disconnect the air and fuel lines

The carburetor might be visible to you once the housing components have been removed. Before you proceed, it would help if you take photographs of the assembly using your mobile phone. This step helps you in knowing their positions when assembling them back.

It would help if you used a rag to collect oil spills that may come off from the fuel lines. Remove the clamps that fix the fuel lines onto the carburetor and disconnect the lines. Next, you should detach the air intake by removing its mounting screws.

– Step 4: Remove the carburetor

The carburetor is fixed with the help of its mounting studs. Remove those studs using a suitable wrench. It would be best to disconnect the throttle rods and the throttle spring along with the choke rod. The carburetor is entirely removed from the engine of the mower.

● Step 3. Clean the carburetor:

The removed carburetor is to be cleaned now. You should follow the steps below:

– Step 1: Perform external cleaning

Externally, you might see the jets of the carburetor along with the throttle shaft. To clean them, use a carburetor cleaner spray on the throttle shaft and the visible jets from the outside. Make sure that the black deposits are removed and the shaft turns freely. Clear any deposits that you see externally by continuously spraying the cleaner.

– Step 2: Clean the bowl nut and main jet

Remove the bowl nut located under the carburetor. The nut is the main jet securing the bowl, which draws fuel and has the highest possibility of getting clogged. Use a thin metal wire to remove these deposits and ensure the jet is free from any debris. Also, spray a bit of carb cleaner in the jet.

Once you notice the cleaner’s fumes coming out from the other end, you know that it’s unclogged. The bowl is usually quite dirty with debris, rust, and deposits. Use the cleaner to spray on the bowl.

– Step 3: Clean the float and needle

After the bowl is removed, there is the float that controls the amount of fuel with a needle’s help. Spray the cleaner on the float pin that might be gluey with the clogs and the needle. Make sure everything is clean and deposit free.

After you’re done with the cleaning, reassemble the carburetor components like float, needle, bowl, and bowl nut back.

● Step 4: Reassemble the parts

After the cleaning is performed, remount the carburetor on the engine. Connect the fuel lines, air intake, and throttle springs and rods. Then, fix everything back on the mower, including the air filter assembly, engine blower assembly, and the hood. Attach the battery wires and restart your mower.

Related Questions:

1. Where is the carburetor located on a Craftsman riding lawnmower?

On a riding lawnmower, the carburetor is located just beneath the hood under the engine blower assembly. You first need to remove the hood. You need to pull off the air filter assembly and the engine blower cover to access the engine. The carburetor is connected before the engine. It is mounted on the engine with its studs’ aid and has the fuel lines and air intake connected to it.

2. How do you clean a riding lawnmower carburetor without removing it?

You may not want to detach the carburetor from the engine body fully. It is often understood since you would need to detach the fuel lines and other mechanical parts like springs, linkages that might be difficult to assemble. It is still possible to clean a carburetor in that case.

The best way to do that is to use an aerosol spray or a carburetor cleaner and spray it over the jets and holes that appear dirty. Also, you can unscrew the bowl nut to clean the bowl and the float. A good quality carburetor cleaner or an air compressor can undoubtedly help you clean a carburetor without removing it.

3. Can you clean a carburetor with wd-40?

Wd-40 Is a solvent-based cleaner that cleans through tough deposits and debris formed on metal parts. It is safe for use on vehicle parts, including carburetor. Without leaving any residue, it breaks the carbon deposits and guarantees a smooth performance. However, one should be careful in using these aerosol products to contain hazardous substances and cause breathing problems.

4. How to know if your carburetor needs cleaning?

If you witness the signs below with your engine, then it means that your carburetor needs servicing:

  1. Engine doesn’t start: The engine doesn’t start even after priming it several times with a tank full of gasoline.
  2. Engine Stall: The engine stalls, i.e., it stops after starting. This problem is one of the effects of a dirty carburetor.
  3. Running lean: When the fuel amount is less in the air-fuel mixture, the engine gives a popping sound in the intake. This situation is the lean condition caused due to blockages in the carburetor.
  4. Running rich: This is the opposite of the above. When the carburetor is flooded with gasoline, the engine gives black smoke at the exhaust.
  5. Flooded: The needle gets jammed due to deposits. Thus, a large amount of fuel flows into the carburetor leading to flooding.

Final Remarks:

Bad carburetors are a direct consequence of low engine maintenance. Not servicing the parts at the right time can lead to deposits in the carburetor and the filters and plugs. Moreover, a lawnmower’s fuel quality should also be checked lest a poor-quality fuel leads to deposits formation. Gasoline should not be kept in the lawnmower’s tank for more than 30 days. The tank should be emptied regularly with the addition of fresh fuel. Or else, you can also use a fuel stabilizer if you plan to store your mower for long. Proper maintenance of lawnmowers at the right can reduce the eventual replacements and repairs.