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Repair Center  How to Maintain a 2-Cycle Handheld Leaf Blower

Why Read This Article?

FOLLOW-AND-FIX: Fix your leaf blower like a pro with simple, step-by-step instructions and illustrations. KNOW MORE: Expand your knowledge about related components while fixing your blower. ELIMINATE EXPENSES: Restore blower functionality at a fraction of the cost of offsite repair.

Article Breakdown

Video

Tools & Materials

Fix Factor: Easy Duration: About an hour Frequency: Yearly Tools Required: Receptacle for draining fuel, wrench set, Torx wrenches, Phillip's screwdriver, standard screwdriver, long-nosed pliers, pick or small screwdriver, carburetor cleaner or ultrasonic cleaner, basin for collecting overspray, air compressor with blower nozzle, spark plug gapping tool

How to Maintain a 2-Cycle Handheld Leaf Blower

January 25, 2016
Fixing things makes sense. This article will help you make sense of maintaining your handheld leaf blower, including replacing the fuel and air filters, rebuilding the carburetor and replacing the spark plug.
Maintaining a leaf blower  

Leaf blower barely blowing? It's time to face the fix. Whether you are a seasoned landscaper or a yearly yard-shaper, eReplacementParts.com provides the parts, procedures and facts you need to fearlessly fix what fails you.

As with all of your outdoor power equipment, your handheld leaf blower will require some periodic maintenance to keep it running strong. Basic yearly maintenance on your leaf blower should include replacing the spark plug, the air filter and the fuel filter.

At some point, you'll probably need to rebuild your carburetor as well; especially as the amount of ethanol in our gasoline continues to increase.

This article provides step-by-step instructions for rebuilding the carburetor, as well as removing and installing the spark plug, air filter and fuel filter on a 2-cycle handheld leaf blower.

Let's get started.   PART 1: REPLACING THE FUEL FILTER [top] 1. Remove the fuel cap.

Unscrew and remove the fuel cap from the fuel tank.

Remove the fuel cap

 

 

  2. Remove the fuel filter from the fuel line.

To make your own fuel line retriever; curve the end of a sturdy length of wire into the shape of a hook.

Make your own retrieval hook

 

 

Insert the wire hook into the fuel tank and retrieve the line containing the fuel filter.

Retrieve the fuel line with the hook

 

 

Remove the fuel filter from the fuel line with a twisting and pulling motion.

Remove the fuel filter

 

 

Remove the fuel line clip.

Remove the metal clip

 

    3. Install the new fuel filter.

Slide the fuel line clip over the fuel tube and hold the clip approximately 1/4 of an inch from the end of the tube.

Install the metal clip

 

 

Install the new fuel filter onto the end of the fuel tube. The clip should expand slightly to accommodate the flared connection, and then tighten around the narrow portion of the fitting. Perform this step in one continuous motion. If the clip slides backwards (further onto the onto the fuel tube), reposition the clip and start again.

Install the fuel filter

 

 

  4. Reinstall the fuel filter into the fuel tank.

Insert the fuel filter (and fuel line) into the fuel tank.

Tuck the filter into the tank

 

 

  5. Reinstall the fuel cap.

Reinstall the fuel cap onto the fuel tank.

Replace the fuel cap

 

 

  PART 2: REPLACING THE AIR FILTER [top] 1. Remove the air filter cover.

Loosen the thumb screw.

Remove the thumbscrew

 

 

Remove the air filter cover.

Remove the air cleaner lid

 

 

  2. Remove the air filter.

Remove the air filter.

Remove the air filter

 

 

  3. Install the new air filter.

Install the new air filter into the cover (or onto the air cleaner case).

Install the new filter

 

 

  4. Reinstall the air filter cover.

Install and secure the air filter cover.

Replace the lid

 

 

  PART 3: REPLACING THE SPARK PLUG [top] 1. Remove the spark plug.

Remove the spark plug boot from the spark plug.

Remove the boot

 

 

Use a spark plug wrench (or socket) to loosen the spark plug.

Loosen the spark plug

 

 

Remove the spark plug from the cylinder head.

Remove the old plug

 

 

  2. Set the gap on the new spark plug.

The “gap” is the distance between the ground electrode (metal strap) and the center electrode. This distance is measured (and adjusted) with a spark plug gapping tool. Adjustments are made by moving the strap closer to (or farther from) the center electrode.

Gapping the plug

 

 

Measure and adjust the gap (as necessary) to seven-tenths of a millimeter (0.07 mm).

Adjust the gap

 

 

  3. Install the new spark plug.

Thread the new spark plug into the cylinder head.

Install the new plug

 

 

Secure the spark plug with a wrench.

Secure the new plug

 

 

Replace the spark plug boot.

Replace the boot

 

 

  PART 4a: REMOVING THE CARBURETOR [top] 1. Remove the air cleaner assembly.

Loosen the thumb screw.

Remove the thumbscrew

 

 

Remove the air filter and cover.

Remove the cover

 

   2. Drain the fuel.

Drain the fuel before servicing the unit.

Drain the fuel

 

  3. Remove the air filter case.

Loosen the (2) bracket retaining screws.

Remove the screws

 

 

Remove the air filter case (along with the bracket and the screws) from the engine.

Remove the case

 

 

  4. Remove the carburetor.

Use a wrench to loosen the throttle cable adjusting nut.

Loosen the throttle nut

 

 

Disconnect the throttle cable from the throttle body.

Remove the cable

 

 

Disconnect the (2) fuel lines from the carburetor.

Remove the fuel lines

 

 

Remove the carburetor from the engine.

Remove the carburetor

 

 

 

  PART 4b: DISASSEMBLING THE CARBURETOR [top] 5. Remove the rotor cover assembly (throttle body).

Remove the (3) screws from the top of the rotor cover assembly.

Remove the screws

 

 

Remove the (1) screw from the side of the rotor cover assembly.

Remove the side screw

 

 

Lift the rotor cover assembly away from the carburetor.

Remove the rotor

 

 

Use a pick or small screwdriver to remove the O-ring from the throttle body.

Remove the O-Ring

 

 

  6. Remove the guide roller.

Use long-nosed pliers to remove the metal roller from the mounting post in the carburetor.

Remove the roller

 

 

  7. Remove the primer bulb.

Remove the (4) screws from the primer pump cover (plate).

Remove the plate screws

 

 

Remove the primer pump cover (plate) from the carburetor.

Remove the plate

 

 

Remove the primer bulb from the carburetor.

Remove the bulb

 

 

  8. Remove the purge base assembly.

Remove the (1) screw from the purge base assembly.

Remove the screw

 

 

Remove the purge base assembly from the carburetor.

Remove the purge base

 

 

Remove the reed valve from the purge base assembly (or the carburetor).

Remove the reed valve

 

 

Remove the gasket from the purge base assembly (or the carburetor).

Remove the gasket

 

 

Use a pick or small screwdriver to remove the metal filter from the carburetor.

Remove the metal filter/screen

 

 

  9. Remove the metering cover.

Remove the (2) screws from the metering cover.

Remove the screws

 

 

Remove the metering cover from the carburetor.

Remove the cover

 

 

Remove the diaphragm from the carburetor.

Remove the diaphragm

 

 

Remove the metering gasket from the carburetor.

Remove the gasket

 

 

  10. Remove the metering lever and needle.

The metering lever is spring-loaded; place your finger over the lever to prevent the assembly from springing out of the carburetor as you remove the screw.

Press the metering lever

 

 

Remove the metering lever pin screw.

Remove the screw

 

 

Slowly release tension from the metering lever.

Release the tension

 

 

Remove the metering lever and hinge pin from the carburetor.

Remove the lever

 

 

Remove the lever spring from the carburetor.

Remove the spring

 

 

Remove the needle from the carburetor.

Remove the needle

 

 

  PART 4c: CLEANING THE CARBURETOR [top] There are two general methods for cleaning the carburetor. The traditional (chemical) method uses carburetor cleaner spray to dissolve grime, varnish and carbon residue.

Carb Spray Cleaner

 

  The alternative method requires an ultrasonic cleaner, which uses ultrasonic shockwaves (and water) to clean carburetor components. Both methods are described below.

Ultrasonic cleaner

 

    11(A). Cleaning with chemical spray.

Liberally spray/clean the metal body of the carburetor (according to the directions on your specific brand of carburetor cleaner).

Spray the carburetor body

 

 

Use the long plastic nozzle to direct the spray into of each of the tiny openings on the carburetor body. However, do not actually insert the nozzle (or any metal objects) into the openings. Doing so may damage the carburetor. Fishing line may be used to safely clear/clean badly obstructed passages.

Spray the ports

 

 

Liberally spray/clean the throttle body assembly.

Spray the rotor

 

 

Liberally spray/clean the purge base assembly.

Spray the purge base

 

 

  11(B). Cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner.

Insert the carburetor, purge base assembly, and throttle body assembly into the cleaning tank.

Insert the parts

 

 

Activate the ultrasonic cleaner (according to the directions on your specific model).

Activate the cleaner

 

 

Remove the components from the cleaning tank.

Remove the parts

 

 

Rinse the components with clean water.

Rinse the parts

 

 

  12. Remove excess water from the cleaned components.

Regardless of the cleaning method employed, use compressed air (with blower nozzle) to remove excess water (or cleaner) from the carburetor, purge base assembly, and throttle body assembly.

Blow the parts dry with air

 

 

  PART 4d: REBUILDING THE CARBURETOR [top] 13. Install the metering lever and needle.

Install the head of the metering needle into the fork of the metering lever.

Install the needle

 

 

Install the lever hinge pin onto the metering lever. (The hinge pin should pass through both of the hinges on the metering lever.)

Install hinge

 

 

Insert the valve spring into the mounting hole on the carburetor body.

Install the spring

 

 

Install the metering needle and lever assembly into the carburetor body. The needle should slide into the hole. The hinge pin should seat snugly within the body of the carburetor (i.e. the pin will align itself laterally in order to fit correctly into the body).

Install the valve

 

 

Align the metering lever above the spring.

Align the lever

 

 

Secure the metering lever and needle assembly with the screw.

Secure the valve

 

 

  14. Install the diaphragm and gasket. (Needle-side of carburetor.)

Place the gasket on the carburetor body and align the mounting holes.

Install the gasket

 

 

Place the diaphragm over the gasket and align the mounting holes. The metal portion of the diaphragm should face down.

Install the diaphragm

 

 

Place the metering cover over the diaphragm and gasket.

Install the cover

 

 

Secure the metering cover with the (2) screws.

Secure the cover

 

 

  15. Install the reed valve and gasket. (Primer-side of carburetor).

Install the filter into the recess on the carburetor body.

Install the filter screen

 

 

Place the reed valve on the carburetor body and align the mounting holes.

Install the reed valve

 

 

Place the gasket over the reed valve and align the mounting holes.

Install the gasket

 

 

Install the purge base assembly over the gasket.

Install the purge base

 

 

Secure the purge base assembly to the carburetor with the (1) screw.

Secure the base

 

 

  16. Install the primer bulb and cover.

Install the primer bulb onto the purge base assembly.

Install the primer bulb

 

 

Install the primer pump cover (metal plate) onto the purge base assembly.

Install the plate

 

 

Secure the primer pump cover with the (4) screws. (Tighten these screws evenly.)

Secure the plate

 

 

  17. Install the guide roller. (Throttle-side of carburetor.)

Use long-nosed pliers to slide the roller onto the mounting post in the carburetor.

Install the guide roller

 

 

  18. Install the O-Ring on the rotor cover (throttle body).

Install the O-ring onto the throttle rotor.

Install the o-ring

 

 

Use a small screwdriver to seat the O-ring around the rim of the throttle rotor.

Tuck the ring

 

 

  19. Reinstall the rotor cover assembly (throttle body).

Install the rotor cover assembly onto the carburetor.

Install the rotor cover

 

 

Secure the (3) screws on the top of the rotor cover assembly.

Secure the top screws

 

 

Secure the (1) screw on the side of the rotor cover assembly.

Secure the side screws

 

 

  20. Connect the fuel lines to the carburetor.

Remove the gas cap and locate the fuel filter. The filter will be attached to the INCOMING fuel line. Make note of this fuel line for use in the next step.

Remove the fuel cap

 

 

Plug either one of the carburetor ports with the tip of your finger; depress the primer bulb several times. If the primer bulb softens (deflates) without returning to its original shape; you have plugged (and identified) the incoming port.

Identify the incoming port

 

 

If the primer bulb fills with air (hardens) and won’t allow further priming; you have plugged (and identified) the RETURN port.

Identify the return port

 

 

Connect the INCOMING fuel line to the INTAKE port on the carburetor.

Connect incoming line

 

 

Connect the RETURN fuel line to the RETURN port on the carburetor.

Connect the return line

 

 

  21. Reinstall the throttle cable to the carburetor.

Rotate the throttle lever on the carburetor to fully open the throttle.

Rotate the throttle lever

 

 

Thread the throttle cable through the brass connector on the top of the carburetor.

thread the cable

 

 

Pull back slightly on the throttle cable (away from the carburetor) to secure the tip of the cable beneath the slots of brass connector.

Tighten the cable

 

 

Press the throttle adjustment nut (on the cable) into the recess on the throttle body.

Install the cable nut

 

 

Use a wrench to secure the secondary throttle nut.

Secure the cable nut

 

 

  22. Reinstall the carburetor.

Thread the (2) mounting screws through the mounting holes on the air cleaner bracket and the air cleaner case. The bracket should be flush against the interior of the air cleaner case (on the same side as the choke valve).

Thread the mounting screws

 

 

Thread the screws (protruding from the air cleaner case) through the holes on the carburetor assembly.

Install the carb

 

 

Note that there are two small holes on the intake gasket (besides the main intake opening and the two mounting holes). These small holes need to align with the small hole on the insulator block.

Note the intake holes

 

 

Thread the screws through the mounting holes on the intake gasket and slide the gasket flush against the carburetor.

Install the gasket

 

 

Install the intake assembly (bracket, air cleaner case, carburetor and intake gasket) onto the intake insulator block.

Install the intake

 

 

Secure the intake components (bracket, air cleaner case, carburetor and intake gasket) with the screws.

Secure the intake

 

 

  23. Reinstall the air filter and cover.

Install the air filter into the cover.

Remove the cover

 

 

Install the air filter cover and secure the thumbscrew.

Install the air cleaner lid

 

    

You don't have to leverage your savings to level your lawns. As you just learned, repairing your outdoor equipment is easy when you follow our step-by-step guides. Not only did you restore blower functionality at a fraction of the cost of replacement; you have the cleared the way for future repairs wherever you may find them.

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