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How to Clean an Outboard Carburetor

The engine’s carburetor is designed to supply fuel to the engine. The general design of most outboard carburetors is basically the same with the major difference being the presence of mixture- adjusting needles or fixed jets. Knowing how to clean an outboard carburetor can be one of the most important steps in keeping your outboard motor running smoothly and efficiently. Even a novice mechanic can take apart a carburetor, clean it, and reassemble it by following step-by-step instructions.

Steps

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    Remove the cowls and recoil starter if you need to reach the carburetor.
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    Remove the primer bulb fuel line and any linking connectors that run directly to the carburetor.
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    Remove the 2 nuts that hold the carburetor on.
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    Disassemble the carburetor by removing the 5 to 6 screws that hold the bowl on.
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    Remove the float and float needle. Carburetor cleaner may remove the varnish from the float and cause it to malfunction.
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    Check the float by shaking it. If you hear fuel inside the float, it will need to be replaced. A float with fuel in it will be heavier than necessary, and the fuel will flow constantly.
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    Remove the high-speed nozzle from the center of the carburetor. If the nozzle is fixed, do not remove it. But make sure you remove the plug so the jet can be cleaned inside.
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    Soak the carburetor in a bucket filled with just enough carburetor cleaner to cover the carburetor. You can also use an aerosol carburetor cleaner to spray the carburetor parts. If you use the aerosol cleaner, place the small tubing that comes with it into the nozzle to direct the spray into all the small passages on the carburetor.
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    Allow the carburetor parts to dry thoroughly.
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    Purchase a carburetor rebuilding kit for the make of your outboard carburetor. Although a rebuild kit is not necessary for cleaning a carburetor, the gaskets and sealants may have deteriorated over time, especially if the carburetor is old enough to have been exposed to alcohol-containing fuels.
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    Reassemble the carburetor, and use the replacement parts from the rebuilding kit.