How to Replace a Craftsman Lawn Mower Carburetor: A Step-by-Step Guide?

Your Craftsman lawn mower is a loyal workhorse, but like any machine, it can experience problems. One common issue is a malfunctioning carburetor, leading to sputtering, stalling, or difficulty starting. Replacing the carburetor might seem daunting, but with the right tools and a little guidance, you can do it yourself and save some money. This article will walk you through the process of replacing a Craftsman lawn mower carburetor, covering everything from identifying the issue to troubleshooting and finally, the replacement process. We’ll also address some common questions and provide valuable tips to ensure a smooth and successful repair.

Short Overview: Replacing a Craftsman lawn mower carburetor involves a few steps, starting with identifying the issue and then disconnecting the old carburetor. You’ll then install the new carburetor, reconnect fuel lines and other components, and finally, prime the carburetor and start the engine.

Identifying the Problem: Is it Really the Carburetor?

Before diving into the replacement process, it’s crucial to confirm that the problem truly lies with the carburetor. Here are some common symptoms indicating a faulty carburetor:

  • Engine sputtering or stalling: This often happens when the engine is running at a high speed or under load, indicating a fuel delivery issue.
  • Difficulty starting: If your lawn mower struggles to start or takes several pulls, a clogged carburetor could be the culprit.
  • Engine running rich (black smoke): This signifies an excess of fuel being delivered, pointing towards a carburetor issue.
  • Engine running lean (white smoke): This indicates an insufficient fuel supply, which can also be a carburetor problem.


  1. Check the fuel lines: Ensure they are connected securely and free from leaks.
  2. Inspect the fuel filter: A clogged filter can restrict fuel flow.
  3. Clean the air filter: A dirty air filter can affect engine performance.

If you’ve ruled out these other possibilities and your lawn mower is still exhibiting these symptoms, replacing the carburetor is likely the best course of action.

Getting Ready for the Replacement: Gathering the Tools and Materials

Before you start, ensure you have the following:

  • New carburetor: Ensure you’re buying the correct carburetor for your specific Craftsman model. Check your owner’s manual or consult an online parts catalog for the correct part number.
  • Phillips screwdriver: To remove and install screws.
  • Adjustable wrench: To loosen and tighten nuts and bolts.
  • Socket wrench set: To loosen and tighten various nuts and bolts.
  • Pliers: To grip and hold parts.
  • Safety glasses: To protect your eyes from debris.
  • Gloves: To protect your hands.
  • Shop towels: To clean up spills and drips.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing the Carburetor

Now, let’s delve into the replacement process:

1. Disconnecting the Old Carburetor

  1. Disconnect the spark plug wire: This will prevent the engine from accidentally starting during the process.
  2. Locate the fuel lines: The fuel lines are usually connected to the carburetor with clamps.
  3. Loosen and remove the clamps: Use pliers to gently loosen and remove the clamps securing the fuel lines.
  4. Disconnect the fuel lines: Carefully pull the fuel lines off the carburetor.
  5. Disconnect the choke cable: If applicable, detach the choke cable from the carburetor.
  6. Remove the carburetor mounting bolts: Use a wrench or socket wrench to remove the bolts holding the carburetor to the engine.
  7. Carefully lift off the old carburetor: Once all the bolts are removed, gently lift the old carburetor off the engine.

2. Installing the New Carburetor

  1. Align the new carburetor: Ensure it’s properly aligned with the mounting holes on the engine.
  2. Install the carburetor mounting bolts: Insert the bolts through the mounting holes and tighten them securely.
  3. Reconnect the fuel lines: Carefully connect the fuel lines to the new carburetor.
  4. Reconnect the choke cable: If applicable, reattach the choke cable to the new carburetor.

3. Priming and Starting the Engine

  1. Prime the new carburetor: Most new carburetors come with priming bulbs. Pump the bulb several times to fill the carburetor with fuel.
  2. Reconnect the spark plug wire: Ensure it’s securely connected.
  3. Attempt to start the engine: Pull the starter cord a few times to ignite the engine.

Troubleshooting Starting Issues:

  • Check the spark plug: Ensure it’s clean and properly gapped.
  • Re-prime the carburetor: If the engine doesn’t start, try priming it again.
  • Inspect the fuel lines: Ensure there are no leaks or blockages.

Maintaining Your New Carburetor: Tips for Longevity

  • Regularly check the fuel lines: Make sure they are securely connected and free from leaks.
  • Keep the air filter clean: A dirty air filter can affect engine performance and fuel efficiency.
  • Store the mower properly: When not in use, drain the fuel tank to prevent the carburetor from gumming up.

Common Questions

Q1. How often should I replace my lawn mower carburetor?

  • A: Replacing the carburetor on a lawn mower isn’t something you need to do very often. If you properly maintain your mower, a carburetor can last for several years.

Q2. Can I clean a carburetor instead of replacing it?

  • A: Yes, you can clean a carburetor. However, if the carburetor is badly worn or damaged, cleaning it may not be effective. In such cases, replacing the carburetor is a better solution.

Conclusion: A New Lease on Life for Your Lawn Mower

Replacing a Craftsman lawn mower carburetor is a relatively simple task that can save you money and extend the life of your mower. By following these steps and troubleshooting common problems, you can successfully replace your carburetor and have your lawn mower running smoothly in no time. Remember to prioritize safety, take your time, and refer to your owner’s manual for specific details about your Craftsman model. Now, you can tackle your yard with renewed confidence knowing you’ve solved the problem and saved a trip to the repair shop.


What tools do I need to replace a Craftsman lawn mower carburetor?

You’ll need a basic set of tools for this job. These include a screwdriver set (both Phillips and flathead), adjustable wrench, pliers, a small brush, and a container for catching fuel. You may also want to have a carburetor cleaner, a new gasket for the carburetor, and a new fuel filter on hand, but these aren’t strictly necessary.

It’s always a good idea to have a repair manual for your specific Craftsman model as well, as it can provide diagrams and specific instructions for your mower. You may also want to wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from any potential hazards.

How do I know if I need to replace my Craftsman lawn mower carburetor?

There are a few signs that your carburetor may need replacing. If your lawnmower is having trouble starting, running rough, or stalling frequently, it could be a sign that the carburetor is clogged or damaged. You may also notice a decrease in fuel efficiency or black smoke coming from the exhaust.

If you suspect your carburetor is the problem, you can try cleaning it first. If that doesn’t solve the issue, then replacing it is likely the best course of action.

What type of carburetor do I need for my Craftsman lawn mower?

The type of carburetor you need will depend on the model of your Craftsman lawnmower. You can find the specific model number on the engine of your mower. Once you know the model number, you can search online or visit your local hardware store to find the correct carburetor.

It’s important to use the correct carburetor for your mower. Using the wrong one can lead to engine damage. If you’re unsure about which carburetor to buy, it’s best to consult a repair manual or talk to a mechanic.

How do I disconnect the fuel line from the old carburetor?

Before disconnecting the fuel line, it’s important to turn off the fuel supply to the engine. You can do this by closing the fuel valve on your mower. Once the fuel supply is shut off, you can carefully disconnect the fuel line from the old carburetor using pliers.

Be careful not to damage the fuel line while disconnecting it. You may need to use a small wrench to loosen the fuel line connector.

How do I install the new carburetor?

Once you have the new carburetor, you’ll need to install it in the same position as the old one. This includes making sure that the fuel line, choke cable, and throttle cable are all connected correctly.

It’s important to make sure that the new carburetor is securely mounted to the engine. You may need to use new gaskets or washers to ensure a tight fit.

Should I use a carburetor cleaner after installing the new carburetor?

No, you shouldn’t use a carburetor cleaner after installing a new carburetor. The new carburetor should be clean and ready to go, and using a cleaner can actually damage the new part.

If you need to clean the carburetor, it’s best to do so before installing it. However, it’s important to note that sometimes the problem isn’t the carburetor itself but rather other components, such as the fuel filter or fuel lines.

How do I test the new carburetor after installation?

After installing the new carburetor, you should start your lawnmower and let it run for a few minutes. You should check for any leaks and make sure the engine is running smoothly.

If the engine is running poorly, check to make sure that all of the connections are secure. You may also need to adjust the carburetor settings to ensure proper operation. If you are having trouble, you may want to consult a repair manual or talk to a mechanic.

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