How to Adjust a Carburetor on a Kawasaki 17 Horsepower Lawn Mower Engine

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The 17-horsepower Kawasaki is a single cylinder, air-cooled engine. The carburetor delivers the fuel from the gas tank and the air that is sucked through the air filter to the engine cylinder for combustion. It is a delicate mixture, and if the mixture becomes out of adjustment it can cause the engine to surge and perform poorly. When this occurs, you must adjust the throttle cable before adjusting the carburetor. The procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete.


Step 1

Set the engine on a hard, level surface. Move the throttle control from "slow" to "fast" position. The throttle handle will click into position; this will ensure the throttle is in the "fast" position.

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Step 2

Locate the throttle control panel on the left of the engine directly behind the carburetor. Check the alignment holes at the front of the control panel, and the throttle arm directly behind it. They must be visually aligned. Move the throttle to the "choke" position, and then back off the "fast" position. Again, the holes in the control panel and the throttle arm must be aligned.


Step 3

Advance the throttle to the "fast" position. Loosen the clamp screw that holds the throttle cable against the control panel with the screwdriver. Insert the drill bit through the aligned holes so that the throttle arm does not move during adjustment.

Step 4

Pull the throttle cable up and tighten down the clamp screw. Remove the drill bit and repeat the test procedure, advance the throttle to "fast" and then back down to "slow" several times to ensure the linkage is not binding.


Step 5

Gently pry the black limiter cap on the adjustment screw at the front of the carburetor with a flathead screwdriver; this will expose the top of the adjustment screw. Gently turn the screw clockwise until it seats, then turn counterclockwise 7/16 of a turn.

Step 6

Move the throttle to the "slow" position. Turn the idle stop screw at the back of the carburetor counterclockwise until it clears the throttle control panel by two turns. Start the engine and set the throttle to the "medium" position; allow it to run for 5 minutes. Move the throttle to the "slow" position.


Step 7

Turn on the tachometer and wrap the lead around the spark plug wire at the front of the engine. Adjust the idle stop screw, turn clockwise to increase the rpm and counterclockwise to decrease until 1400 rpm is obtained. Turn the adjustment screw at the front of the carburetor clockwise until the engine rpm starts to drop, and note the position. Turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise until the engine rpm picks up and then back off; note the position. Turn the adjustment screw between the two noted positions.


Step 8

Carefully reinstall the black limiter cap onto the adjustment screw. Turn the adjustment screw back and forth until it reads 1450 rpm + or - 75 rpm. Turn the idle stop screw clockwise until the tachometer reads 1550 rpm + or - 100 rpm.

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