Small Engines Carburetor Rebuild vs. Replace

Published on March 24th, 2015 | by Turner Anderson


Carburetor Rebuild or Replace? – How to Choose

Dirt, bad gas, varnish, and corrosion are popular evils that can clog and wear down the carburetor on your lawn mowers, chainsaws, and other small engine equipment.

If you’ve diagnosed your equipment and found carburetor problems to be the root of your engine troubles, you have two choices – Repair or Rebuild.

Your choice whether to rebuild or replace the carburetor depends on your technical skills, budget, time, and the extent of damage to the carburetor.

Always check the price of a new carburetor. Sometimes, just a few more bucks spent on a new carb assembly can save you the workload of overhauling and cleaning your current carburetor.

Rebuilding the Carb

A carburetor rebuild/overhaul kit contains replacement gaskets and other necessary components to rejuvenate your carburetor.

Cost $10 – $60 (Do-It-Yourself)
$70/hr plus $10-$60 in parts (Shop Repair Bill)
Time 1.5 – 2 or more Hours
Difficulty Mechanically Skilled
Task Summary     Remove, Disassemble, Clean, Replace Components, Rebuild, Reinstall

Replacing the Carb

Replace the carburetor if there is extensive corrosion or significant damage that simple cleaning or rebuilding would not fix.

Cost $20 – $200 (Do-It-Yourself)
$70/hr plus $20-$200 in parts (Shop Repair Bill)
Time 30 – 45 minutes
Difficulty Moderate
Task Summary     Remove Old, Install New Carburetor Assembly

*Tip: Locate your equipment’s model number and serial number, plus the carburetor model number (typically stamped onto the carburetor body). You will need this information to find a correct replacement carburetor or rebuild kit for your engine. Locate Your Model Number »

Find a Replacement Carburetor or Rebuild Kit »

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About the Author

is the Internet Marketing Manager at Jack's and the editor of Jack's DIY Center. You'll also find him creating How-To articles, videos, newsletters, and much more.

34 Responses to Carburetor Rebuild or Replace? – How to Choose

  1. Frank Pearman says:

    Perfect article for what I need to do on my smaller riding mower.

    I own a 28″ deck Arien’s riding mower I bought new about 14 years ago. It is a Model 927046- RM1028. The B&S 10HP engine is a model 28B700.

    I am interested what it would cost to replace and/or rebuild my carburetor.
    FYIW- I have a B&S Illustrated Parts List for the 28B700 engine. This booklet refers to the carburetor as being referenced as #125 (B&S part # 698171) and bunches of more 69xxxx models to make it confusing.

    I can get the series # off of engine or more information on carburetor itself.- if that would help narrow the field of carburetors down.

    thanks in advance,
    Frank Pearman

    • Moose says:

      You’ll be looking on the carb itself to find out what type (For example.. Walbro-121) that determines what overhaul kit or replacement carb you’ll want to purchase. If inexperienced, you may just want to swap out for a new one, or see if a pro can rebuild. Check all prices prior to your decision.


    • terry says:

      if you’ve been running ethanol for more than 2.9 yrs, go ahead and replace the carb. That stuff does stuff to carbs (and anything made of plastic or rubber) that overhaul won’t fix. When you get your new carb, be sure to put additive in gas always. Buy it from these folks’ or just walk in any parts store and say ” ethanol treatment” , they all have tons of it. Also use premium gas exclusively.

  2. I put new seals in A John Deere 70V chainsaw I would like to know how to set the timing on this saw Thank you

    • Moose says:

      I am not familiar with this model but most saws the timing is determined by the placement of the flywheel. Should have some type of “key” to line it up on the crankshaft. This key (set correctly) keeps the engine in “time”.

  3. Gordhan says:

    I have Craftsman Front Tine Tiller 5.5 HP Model No. 917.291490, I had replaced new carburator last season and was working fine, I did empty out gas and stored the tiller, This season it won’t start, have good spark, i cleaned carburator, but i see gas is leaking thru carb in to air filtor, what should i do to make it start this tiller?

    • Moose says:

      I’d start by checking all fuel lines. Most get brittle and develop tiny holes that you can barely see and could easily be spraying all around or towards your A/F. Entire fuel line kits are inexpensive and id recommend swapping them out as good insurance to start. I would have replaced them as maintenance along with any other “rubber” or pliable fuel system parts (intake boot included) while replacing the carb. Lines, pickups, fuel filters, intake boots and if equipped, impulse hose(s). Use Jacks IPL’s, click and add to cart. Couldnt hurt, and you’d know they are good.

  4. Tom says:

    I am struggling trying to find the correct carburetor rebuilt kit. I have a 15 – 20 year old Sears Craftsmen chipper shredder, model # 247.795850. It has a Tecumseh engine – Sears tag with model # 143.955003. Should there be a number on the carburetor that will help, or do I need to look for a different tag on the engine with a specific Tecumseh number?

  5. Pingback: How Carburetors Work

  6. poolski says:

    Kawasaki FH340V on an Exmark walk behind. Fuel is dripping out from a flange on the exhaust pipe (low point). Runs but then appears to “load up” with fuel in the carb and cut out. Thinking it may be a stuck float? Thoughts or suggestion appreciated. Thanks!

  7. kal says:

    i have a toro snowblower 621qze. it is 3 years old and at the start of the season is leaking gas at the carburator area . what can i do? is there a common problem with this model.

  8. mike vajda says:

    I have a Toro snowblower about 10yrs old. It starts when I pull out the choke but dies when I push it in to run normally. I’m thinking a linkage problem?

    • John Eickstadt says:

      I had a roto-tiller that only ran with the choke full on. The carburetor main jet was mostly plugged. With the clog removed, it runs much better.

  9. ben frisby says:

    Thanks good job

  10. Fred Cross says:

    I have a Sears mower with a Tecumseh engine.The needle valve is not allowing the gas to flow into the bowl when i secure it to the carburetor. What could be the fix?

  11. Richard says:

    Just received a new tecumseh carburetor. It comes with a gasoline intake that has a plastic
    Right angle attached. I need to remove this an put a straight intake in its place. What is the best way to remove this attachment?

    • William Shepard says:

      There is a YouTube channel called taryl fixes all. He shows how to remove and replace this valve without any damage.

  12. Fredy says:

    I have my old z22 engine it still performing well but I use it with L18 carburetor for more than 3 years now without a problems. But now it doesn’t idling it just runs for some seconds unless I pull the accelerator continuous and stop by itself the carburetor does not suck the fuel but I can see the fuel on the glass. What can I do please help me

  13. Geoege says:

    I have a B@S tractor Model #31D777. 0233E1. I need to replace the choke spring in kit 792777. Is their an easy way to do this? I need help.

  14. Barry Graham says:

    I have A 19hp Kawasaki fh580V Riding Mower. It starts and runs fine for about an hour and then suddenly starts to cut out and stall and I have to put it in almost choke mode to keep running and this usually gets worse before it wont crank for about 10-15 minutes. It usually will crank and run long enough to get work finished like it should. I had the Carb cleaned in one of those machines and when I got it back home it did the same thing after about an hour of cutting. I took it off and cleaned it out and put it back on. It ran for about an hour and the exact same thing. One mechanic told me to just get a new carb but another one said it sounded more like a vacuum issue. Please advise on should I just replace the Carb or does it sound like another issue?

  15. Martin J Funk says:

    have an old TroyBilt 6HP tiller model HH60-105126J, Serial No. 5052D. Need to find a replacement engine for. Can you help???

  16. Randy says:

    My engine will start and run at high speed and after a few seconds it just dies . Can any one help me out please?

  17. bruce howie says:

    i have a 20 hp 50 inch ayp riding mower that keeps blowing the pto switch for the electric clutch. new switch will last about 1to 2 hr before blowing. has gone through several switches.

  18. You guys do great job just giving some idea’s and let old farts like me go about there THANK YOU

  19. Gary Clagett says:

    I can’t find a carb rebuild kit for this Ryobi carburetor. Do you have this kit? If so let me know so I can order one, meanwhile I have ordered a new carburetor because it looks like that is my only choice.

    Ryobi 4 cycle string trimmer on wheels # RY13010
    Carburator #309368003

  20. mnbska says:

    Carbs are $10 for most small engines on eBay. It’s crazy to rebuild them.

  21. Jim Robbins says:

    Hello, I picked up a carb. at a garage sale $10 (one barrel carb.(?) the numbers and letters I found on the side are 6R 5147 B (under that) 8994 AAA (under that) 0624 .
    Do these numbers tell you anything? What vech. is this carb. used for? Tell me all, what carb. kit is needed to rebuild?
    This carb. is very filthy & dirty, hard to see anything now. I’m going to try to clean a couple layers off. Thank-you for your time. Jim

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