Cleaning Craftsman (Tecumseh) carburetors

Simple float carburetors are found on a variety of equipment including many engines made for Sears by Tecumseh. The basic procedures applies to the float carburetors of other manufacturers as well.

If you have been following the recommended preventive maintenance procedures, this may never be needed. But, face it, you do not! The most important PM that is not likely done by 90 percent of mower owners is to drain the gas at the end of the season. With float type carburetors in particular, the result is a buildup which eventually clogs the very fine passageways in the carburetor. What happens is that the gas in the carburetor bowl gradually evaporates leaving behind the gunk and varnish. New gas then flows in from the fuel tank which then evaporates leaving behind more gunk and varnish, and so on and so on and so on. This eventually, well, gums up the works by interfering with float movement and clogging the precision metering holes. Thus, the need for cleaning. Symptoms include difficulty in starting, flooding, surging, lack of power, difficulty in restarting when hot, etc.

The following procedures are specifically for the common non-adjustable carburetors used on the vast majority of Craftsman mowers manufactured in the last 10 years. Carburetors with adjustments and/or a choke are slightly more complex and may differ in other ways. Refer to a small engine repair book or your engine manual for further information.