Repairing a Briggs & Stratton Plastic Carb in a Sears Craftsman Mower

My last Sears Craftsman mower lasted 10 years. The Craftsman before that lasted 22 years. Both with Briggs & Stratton engines. This one, bought brand new in June 2015, lasted three seasons before deciding not to start at the beginning of this mowing season. The culprit? A tiny carburetor passage that brings the gas into the engine, so small that even a thin straight pin wouldn’t fit into it. I had to work it in and twist it with pliers to open it up enough so the gas would flow. So you’ll have to excuse the rant about what happened to quality and sensible engineering at both those companies.

I guess I’ll have to start putting in gas stabilizer every time I fill up the tank (which I NEVER had to do before with a mower), and hope that keeps the carb from clogging.

And don’t get me started on the process for changing the oil.



6 thoughts on “Repairing a Briggs & Stratton Plastic Carb in a Sears Craftsman Mower

  1. All companys have been movin over to china and losin quality the key to all things why do cars jot last yet many have 1970s that run great vs how many newer cars do u see dead on the free way as all things if u make it too good there is no money in it if it breaks every year or 2 and u go buy another one they make money if your mower lasts you 20 years for 180 bucks where do they proffit just a heads up the carb is also fairly cheap on amazon 15ish bucks careful as ones with primer have a 2nd barb fitting ones without primer dont have 2 hose barbs

  2. That engine is not as good as they used to be. Briggs and Stratton now makes them with many more plastic parts, and they are really poor quality. Now I’d choose a Kohler, Honda, or high end Briggs motor if I want a mower. They have reliable, well made engines. Your engine has a plastic flywheel and cup, which broke on ones mower. All other mowers are made with metal cups.

  3. I bought mine at home depot in 2016 and I have the same exact problem. I have some experience with motorcycle carbs so I took it apart and found the problem immediately. I stuck a tiny pin in that jet and sprayed it out with Gum Cutter and it started working again. Unfortunately this is an ongoing problem and if the mower is sitting idle , say…….for more than 5 weeks, I notice I have to do this again. I have done this about 6 times already and I'm getting annoyed. It is a bad design. The jet is too small. I have just done it for the 6th time this past weakend. I decided that I am going to call B&S ( no pun intended) and see if there is a larger jet I can install in this carb without it being over-carbureted. I think this will fix the problem completely. They designed this carb with a jet that was way too small and will get clogged extremely easily.

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