Rebuild A Carburetor

Whether you are working on a vintage vehicle, a motorcycle or a lawn mower, you can save money by rebuilding the carburetor yourself. Of course, there are lots of variables, depending on what make or type of engine you’re working on. Here are some general steps.


1. Purchase a carburetor rebuild kit from the dealer. These kits will usually have all the parts you’ll need to rebuild a carburetor, including all of the rubber parts and gaskets.

2. Prepare your place to work on rebuilding your carburetor. This type of work produces a lot of fumes. You’ll want to make sure you have a place with proper ventilation. A safety/vapor mask will help prevent inhalation of fumes. Safety glasses will keep dirt, grease and debris from flying in your eyes as you clean carburetor parts with a brush. Your work area needs to be clean and needs good lighting. You’ll be working with lots of screws and tiny pieces.

3. Look carefully at the diagram that comes with your carburetor kit. The kits will differ depending on what kind of carburetor you are rebuilding. Vehicle carburetors are more complex than a lawn mower, of course. Get familiar with the parts your kit contains. Your diagram will be helpful when putting it all back together.

4. Start by disconnecting the accelerator pump. Remove the cover. The choke linkages along with the choke itself will need to be removed. Be especially careful to note how the choke linkages fit together. If you write down on paper telling yourself exactly where each part goes as you proceed, it will make it much easier when you put it all back together. Each hose and screw will need to be replaced, so take note where each one connects. Again, different carburetor kits will vary in the exact numbers of parts that they have.

5. Use your brush and can of carburetor spray cleaner to clean each part. Some people use a wire brush, but stiff wire can damage delicate parts if you rub too hard. Toothbrushes work well for this type of cleaning.

6. Finish by using your kit diagram and the notes you took while taking the carburetor apart to put it all back together. Make sure you tighten each screw carefully. Don’t tighten too much or you will strip the threads. Check each part off your list as you rebuild your carburetor. Retracing your steps using the list you wrote will prevent you from forgetting a connection.