How to Remove and Clean the Carburetor on a Johnson Outboard

With the boating season starting, for those of you that have a boat with a Johnson outboard engine, it’s time to get things up and running. Imagine getting out on the lake in nice sunny weather.

However, if by chance you did not empty your fuel tank completely or clean the carburetor at the end of last season before storing your boat, you’ll need to put some time into cleaning, rebuilding, or maybe even replacing that outboard carburetor.

After all, just think of your outboard motor engine purring along as you hit the water.

Did your outboard motor sit in storage with a bit of gas still in the fuel tank or still in the carburetor? Oops! This is the most universal reason for problems with outboard motor performance.

Last season’s gas left in the fuel tank of an outboard engine for any lengthy period will obstruct the engine and contribute to corrosion forming.

If the carburetor is creating a problem for your engine, or you wish to prevent problems from happening, follow our step-by-step guide to removing and cleaning it.

If you own an older Johnson outboard motor for your boat, you will need to clean the carburetor at regular intervals. To clean it well, you will need to disassemble the carburetor to get at all of those tiny crevices and small openings for an accurate cleaning.

Follow our step-by-step guide for removal of the carburetor, disassembling, and cleaning it.

How to Remove and Clean the Carburetor on a Johnson Outboard?

The necessary tools

  • Ratchet set with extensions
  • 1 Flathead screwdriver
  • An 8 mm socket
  • A 12 mm wrench
  • A small-sized punch tool

The necessary materials

  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Mesh basket
  • Towel or container tray for disassembled parts

Johnson Outboard Carburetor Removal

Preparation Tip: Photograph the engine before removing any parts. You’ll be glad when it is time to put everything back in place.

We recommend photographing the various steps you take when removing and disassembling to facilitate your final reassembly.

Step 1: After removing the outboard engine cover, you will be able to see the fuel line attached to the left side of the carburetor. Remove it.

Step 2: Locate the O-ring, which is rubber, and remove it carefully from the retaining pin. Remove the pin. Now you can remove the choke lever which you will find at the back of the carburetor.

Step 3: You should find four bolts that will be holding the recoil starter assembly. Remove those bolts. Lift out the entire assembly. Remove the guide pin.

Lower the bracket that is there for retaining. It’s not necessary to take out the starter cord. You can just position it so it out of the way.

Step 4: Unscrew and remove the screw that is holding the throttle linkage in its position. Now remove the throttle linkage. Be careful with any washers found on screws. Do not let them fall into hard-to-reach places.

Step 5: You should see two bolts that keep the carburetor in its position. The two bolts that fasten the carburetor to the motor need to come out. Now you can remove the carburetor and the mounting gasket.

Your carburetor is now out of the motor. You need to proceed in taking it apart so that all pieces get a good bath, so to speak. Make sure to take a really close look at the condition of all the individual parts, both large and small.

The condition of the parts will help you decide if you need to clean the carburetor, rebuild it with some new pieces, or if your outboard motor needs a completely new carburetor.

Carburetor Disassembly

Step 1: You will now need to disassemble the carburetor for its thorough cleaning. Again, take a few photos for memory’s sake.

Place the parts in a tray or on a towel so that you are not at risk for misplacement or loss of pieces during your disassembling procedure.

Remove any flathead bolts.  At the bottom of the carburetor, you will find the float chamber. Remove it. Also, remove the float chamber gasket and the drain bolt for the float chamber. Try to avoid stripping any of the carburetor bolts during removal.

Step 2: Using the small punch tool, it’s time to remove the hinge pin. This pin holds in place the float assembly. Remove the float now as well as the attached float valve.

Step 3: You will need to unscrew the nozzle jet for high speed to remove it. Follow by removing the flat seat and the needle jet for slow speed.

Step 4: Check the carburetor completely for any and all signs of corrosion. If the carburetor exhibits corrosion inside, you will need to toss it and install a new one. Corrosion can continue to clog the carburetor and the jets, leading to a bad flow of fuel into your engine.

Step 5: Place the large parts in a basket and place them in a liquid carburetor cleaner to soak. Place the small parts into a mesh basket and place them in a liquid carburetor cleaner to soak as well.

(Often liquid carburetor cleaners come with a basket to aid the cleaning process.) The carburetor parts that you are cleaning should soak in the cleaning liquid for approximately one hour. You can speed things along by using of a bristle brush.

Step 6: Once your carburetor parts have soaked, remove them from the cleaner. Rinse your parts really well with fresh clean water.

Now dry the parts thoroughly removing any remaining moisture. You can blow-dry the parts by using a compressed air gun. The parts should be dried completely if you want to reassemble them.

A Cleaning tip: You will need to inspect the carburetor’s jets as well for any signs of corrosion or pitting.

If you find corrosion, replace the pieces if not the entire carburetor. If they look okay, make sure to clean them meticulously.

Step 7: Now with the help of your photos, you will reassemble the carburetor.

Step 8: With your carburetor cleaned and reassembled, you will need to reinstall the carburetor in your outboard.

How to Remove and Clean the CarburetorConsideration

A typical question when it comes to cleaning a carburetor is if it should be rebuilt or merely cleaned. If you decide that you want to replace pieces and rebuild the outboard’s carburetor, this can be done only if there is no corrosion inside.

In the end, it may not be less expensive than just getting a new carburetor. If the carburetor looks as if it has seen better days, think about getting a new one. Good boating!

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