How to Clean the Carburetor on Other Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Mud and dust can clog your carburetor. It is imperative that you keep this component clean to get the best engine performance possible. It is recommended that you clean your carburetor whenever you perform a tune-up or re-jet. If you have been riding in dusty or muddy locations, you should clean the carburetor when you get home to eliminate buildup inside the carburetor, especially if you own an older model. Leave your carburetors on the rails while you clean them to maintain proper sync.

Under The Hood:

 How to Clean the Carburetor on a 1996 Seadoo GTI

Remove the air intake silencer cover by unlocking the cover's retaining slides.

Remove the screws holding the air intake plate and the air intake silencer base, using the screwdriver. Pull out the air intake plate and the air intake silencer base.

Turn the fuel valve to "Off" position.

Disconnect the pulse line, the fuel supply line and the fuel return line from the fuel pump.

Disconnect the oil injection pump cable, the throttle cable and the choke cable from the carburetor.

Remove the screws holding the carburetor, using the screwdriver.

Clean excess dirt and grime form the carburetor using the shop rag. Set the carburetor aside on a shop rag.

Pour the carburetor cleaner in a bucket and soak the carburetor for one hour.

Set the carburetor on a clean shop rag to let the excess carburetor cleaner drip off.

Dry the carburetor thoroughly by spraying the carburetor with the can of compressed air.

Reattach the carburetor to the Seadoo engine block, using the screwdriver.

Reconnect the oil injection pump cable, the throttle cable and the choke cable to the carburetor.

Reconnect the pulse line, the fuel supply line and the fuel return line to the fuel pump. Turn the fuel valve to the "ON" position.

Put the air intake plate and the air intake silencer base back in place. Reattach the air intake plate and the air intake silencer base, using the screwdriver. Place the air intake silencer cover back and lock the air intake cover's retaining slides.

Turn the boat "ON" and let the boat run for 20 minutes to check the carburetor.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Shop rag

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Bucket

  • Can compressed air

 How to Clean the Carburetor on a 400EX

Park the ATV on a flat work space and set the parking brake. Let the engine cool for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Remove the seat and rear fender assembly, using the release lever under the right side of the seat. Lift the rear of the fender assembly upward, then pull it toward the rear of the ATV until it can be removed completely.

Unscrew the gas cap. Push down on the center of the gas tank cover trim clips, using the tip of a Phillips screwdriver. Pull all four clips out of the gas tank cover, then lift the cover off of the gas tank. Screw the gas cap into place.

Remove the side panels from both sides of the gas tank, using a 5 mm Allen wrench. Unscrew both bolts from the base of the front fender below the fuel tank, using a 5 mm Allen wrench. Remove the bolts from the bottom of both sides of the fender above the front wheels, using a 10 mm socket and a socket wrench. Slide the front fender toward the front of the ATV until it can be removed completely.

Turn the gas tank valve knob to the off position, then pull the fuel hose off of the valve outlet, using pliers. Unhook the mounting straps from the base of gas tank. Unscrew the mounting bolts from the front of the tank, using a 10 mm socket. Lift the gas tank off of the ATV.

Pull the carburetor drain hose, located at the bottom of the carburetor float chamber, free from the ATV's frame. Place the end of the hose into a gas can, then loosen the float bowl drain screw, using a flat screwdriver. Tighten the screw once all of the gasoline has drained from the carburetor.

Pull the breather hose off of the right side of the carburetor. Loosen the air box duct and engine intake clamps, located at the front and rear of the carburetor, using a Phillips screwdriver. Push the air box duct off of the carburetor, then pull the carburetor out of the engine intake.

Remove the throttle valve cover from the right side of the carburetor, using a Phillips screwdriver. Loosen the throttle cable lock nut, using a 12 mm open-end wrench, then remove the throttle cable and the cable end from the throttle valve. Pull the breather tube assembly off of the top of the carburetor.

Remove the air cut-off valve and spring from the right side of the carburetor, near the carburetor inlet, using a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the float chamber, accelerator pump cover, spring and diaphragm from the bottom of the carburetor, using a Phillips screwdriver.

Pull the baffle plate off of the central jet tower at the bottom of the carburetor. Remove the float and float pin, using a small punch, then lift the float valve out of its seat. Unscrew the main jet and needle jet holder from the central jet tower, using a flat screwdriver and a 7 mm open-end wrench. Unscrew the slow jet, located in the jet well forward of the central jet tower, using a flat screwdriver.

Turn the pilot screw, located under the carburetor outlet, clockwise with a flat screwdriver and count the amount of turns needed to lightly seat the screw against the carburetor body. Unscrew the pilot screw and remove its spring.

Place the pilot screw, main jet, slow jet, needle jet holder and float chamber in a container filled with carburetor cleaning solvent for a minimum of one hour. Remove the parts and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Blow compressed air through the jet nozzles and blow dry the parts.

Spray the carburetor's fuel and air passages with an aerosol carburetor cleaning spray, then blow compressed air through the passages. Repeat as needed until air can pass freely through all of the carburetor passages.

Reinstall the pilot screw and spring. Turn the screw clockwise until it seats lightly, then turn the screw counterclockwise the same amount of turns as it took to seat the screw in step 11. Reinstall the needle jet holder, main jet, slow jet, float valve, float, baffle plate and float chamber. Reinstall the accelerator pump diaphragm, spring and cover. Reinstall the air cut-off valve and spring.

Slip the throttle cable end into the carburetor throttle valve, then tighten the cable lock nut. Reinstall the throttle valve cover. Reattach the breather tube assembly to the top of the carburetor.

Reinstall the carburetor into the engine intake and push the air box duct onto the carburetor inlet. Tighten both clamps. Push the vent hose onto the nozzle on the right side of the carburetor.

Reinstall the gas tank, followed by the front fender, side covers and gas tank cover. Reinstall the seat and rear fender assembly onto the ATV.

Items you will need

  • 5 mm Allen wrench

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • 10 mm socket

  • Socket wrench

  • Pliers

  • Gas can

  • Flat screwdriver

  • 12 mm open-end wrench

  • 7 mm open-end wrench

  • Container

  • Carburetor cleaning solvent

  • Aerosol carburetor cleaner

  • Water

  • Air compressor

 How to Clean a Carburetor on a Four Wheeler

Remove the carburetor from your four wheeler. This procedure is different for every four wheeler model. Consult your repair manual if you have never removed your carburetor before.

Flip over the carburetor. Remove the four screws that hold the float bowl in the bottom of the carburetor. Pull the float bowl out of the carburetor.

Pull the horizontal retainer pin out from on top of the floats. Lift the floats out of the carburetor. Rotate the pilot and main jets counterclockwise manually until they come out of the carburetor.

Cut three sections of copper wire that each measure 1 foot long.

Wrap two pieces of the wire around one another. Slide the coiled wires into the large jet holes to push out residual fuel and debris.

Make a zigzag pattern down the third wire by bending or folding it. Insert the wire down into all of the smaller jet holes to scrape out fuel buildup and debris.

Spray the carburetor cleaner through all of the jet holes.

Screw the jets into the bottom of the carburetor, and push the metal tab on the fuel needle up or down as needed to set the float height right under the fuel needle. Rotate the float bowl back into its original position.

Repeat to clean your remaining carburetor.

Items you will need

  • Repair manual for your four wheeler

  • Carburetor cleaner

  • Assorted screwdrivers

  • Tape measure

  • Wire cutter

  • Copper wire

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.