How do You Clean a Snowmobile Carburetor? [Full Guide]


You can clean a snowmobile carburetor by following these simple steps:

  1. Remove the carburetor
  2. Remove the cables/fuel lines
  3. Remove the internal components
  4. Disassemble the external parts
  5. Clean the components
  6. Reassemble the carb
  7. Reinstall the carb
  8. Readjust the carb if needed

If you want to learn more about each step, keep reading!

How do You Clean a Snowmobile Carburetor?

Remove the Carburetor

For a thorough cleaning, you have to first remove the carbs from the sled. To do this, you must remove the airbox, which is often the hardest part of the process!

Then, unclamp the carb and pull it out of the intake boots.

If your sled features more than one carb, removing and cleaning them all will be more time-consuming of course. But it’s always worth the effort as a clogged carb can sometimes result in a seized engine!

Remove the Cables/Fuel Lines

To remove the carb, you also have to pull off the fuel lines. Depending on the design of the carb, you can expect 2-3 fuel lines. Next, remove the choke and throttle cables. It’s very important that you remember where everything goes!

Best practice is to leave the top lock nut untouched to keep the original settings. If you don’t want to deal with readjusting the cables, it’s recommended that you not change the location of this nut.

Remove Internal Components

Let’s move on and start disassembling the carb.

As the first step, you have to completely remove the float bowl. If it’s a Mikuni carb, the bowl probably has a little corner screw.

Removing this screw, as well as the big center nut allows you to remove the float bowl. Next, you can start disassembling the internal components of the carb. Beware that spraying these parts down with carb cleaner spray will NOT be enough to get them thoroughly clean!

For precise cleaning, you may want to take out the jets. Don’t worry, as they can be easily removed with a standard screwdriver.

There are two jets in a snowmobile carb. The pilot jet, which can be found in a small tube on the main body. The other jet is known as the main jet and is located in the center of the carb. In some carbs, you may find a washer underneath the main jet.

As the last step, you have to remove the seat assembly as well as the needle. Disassemble these parts, so you can carefully inspect them.

Disassemble the External Parts

Let’s move on to the external parts of the carb, as you should remove them as well.

First, remove the fuel screw, but before you do, it’s recommended that you check the settings. In order to do this, just screw it in tightly. While doing this, you must count the turns of the screw. This will ensure the settings remain the same when you re-install it. After this, remove the screw from the body.

Next, remove the top cover plate and the jet needle. Check the needle carefully as these are prone to bending. Also, the needle jet hole needs to be opened to properly clean it.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to remove the flat side for cleaning.

Clean the Components – How do You Clean a Snowmobile Carburetor?

To clean a snowmobile carburetor, you will need a toothbrush, compressed air and liquid/spray carb cleaner. Many owners say that the best snowmobile carb cleaners are Gunk and Gumout sprays, but Berryman is also a popular brand.

Carb cleaners typically come as a spray or in small cans as liquid. Many owners prefer to spray down the parts with cleaner, and then use a toothbrush to clean them.

Another solution is to dip the parts in the cleaner. For your convenience, if a carb cleaner comes in a can it usually comes with a small drip basket as well. For best results, let the parts soak overnight in the cleaner.

Beyond dipping the parts, make sure to carefully clean them with a toothbrush. Another great trick for cleaning a snowmobile carburetor is to use compressed air.

You can simply hold the jets against the blower to clean it with air. You also have to soak the ports and clean those with compressed air as well. Check the outside of the ports while doing this and you should see a clean mist coming out!

Reassemble the Carb

As you can see, carburetors are made up of many small parts. The key is to not lose or forget to re-install any of them. Moreover, you have to remember where everything goes.

If you are not sure how to put it all back together, don’t hesitate to check the sled’s service manual. Additionally, if you are lucky, you can also find your carb’s service manual online.

Before starting to reassemble the parts, make sure that they are completely clean and in good condition.

If you notice that the jets are corroded, it’s recommended that you soak them overnight. If they are still in bad condition, it makes sense to replace them.

These small internal parts are really inexpensive as they cost only a couple of dollars per carb. The needle and the seat are also not very expensive. But replacing every internal part is more like a carb rebuild than a cleaning!

When it comes to the reassembly of a snowmobile carb, start by installing the pilot and the jets in the body.

Next, the main body seal has to be installed, and the face place must be bolted down. Then, insert the needle with the washer and the e-clip.

As the final steps, the top cover plate, the bowl, and the nuts have to be installed.

Reinstalling and Adjusting the Carb

Once you’ve reassembled the carbs, put them back in place. Reconnect the throttle and choke cables, as well as the fuel lines. Finally, reinstall the airbox.

If you left the top lock nuts untouched and screwed the fuel screws into the same position, hopefully there has been no change in the settings of the carbs.

If there has been, you will have to adjust the carbs. For proper carburetor settings don’t hesitate to check the service manual. If it is not available, be prepared for some back and forth until you set and sync the carbs perfectly.

Although the majority of snowmobile carbs are very similar, there can always be differences between the various brands. Let’s move on and check how to clean a carburetor on a variety of sleds!

Snowmobile Carburetor Cleaning by Brand

How do you clean a Ski-Doo carburetor?

How do you clean the carburetor on an Arctic Cat snowmobile?

How do you clean the carburetor on a Polaris snowmobile?

Can You Clean a Snowmobile Carburetor Without Removing It?

Although if may be possible to clean a snowmobile carburetor without removing it (to a certain extent), it’s not recommended at all. Why? First, a thorough cleaning always requires removing and disassembling the entire carb, which is not possible without removing it. On the other hand, if you try to clean the carbs while in place, you risk that the gum clogging the carb will get into the cylinders.

As it may end in a seized engine and a top end rebuild, cleaning the carburetors without removal is simply not worth the risk.

Will Sea Foam Clean Snowmobile Carbs?

Yes, Sea Foam can also be used to clean snowmobile carbs, but keep in mind that it won’t replace a complete cleaning procedure. Sea Foam works well as long as the fuel can flow through the passages. If your carbs are completely clogged, there is no alternative to removing the carbs and carefully cleaning them.

How Often Should You Clean Your Snowmobile’s Carb?

As a rule of thumb, you should clean your snowmobile’s carb at least once a year. Best practice is to do it before the season, as part of yearly maintenance. If you have starting issues, or your sled regularly bogs down, these are clues that you should inspect and clean the carbs.

Keep in mind that the majority of starting problems are caused by clogged carbs. As cleaning them doesn’t take too long, it makes sense to perform this simple maintenance task every year.

What’s more, as we discussed, carburetor malfunctions can even lead to a seized engine. Therefore, keeping your carbs clean is like having additional insurance on your sled!

If a sled has been sitting for years, its carbs have to be removed and cleaned, besides many other parts of course.

Conclusion

Carburetors are key parts of every snowmobile engine. It mixes air with the gas and feeds the engine with this mixture.

Unfortunately, carburetors are prone to getting dirty over time. That’s why it is recommended that you clean them at least once in every season, or if your sled has starting issues or regularly bogs down.

How do you clean a snowmobile carburetor? Simply put, you have to remove and disassemble it, then clean it with carb cleaner spray, a toothbrush, and compressed air.

If you notice that any parts are corroded or damaged, you may want to replace them. Carburetor internal parts are very cheap, so it makes sense to replace them to avoid future problems.

As a final word, don’t forget to carefully read your sled’s service manual before doing any maintenance on it!

References:

https://amsnow.com/how-to-tech/2009/08/how-to-clean-your-snowmobile-carbs

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/How+to+Clean+Mikuni+Snowmobile+Carburetor/98168

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