How to Adjust the Governor on a Craftsman Tractor

Written by chris baylor
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Craftsman builds a variety of lawn tractors, powered in by either Briggs & Stratton or Tecumseh engines. In either case, the engine is protected by a governor connected to the carburettor's throttle. When the engine is under a heavy workload, the governor will open the throttle to increase the engine's speed. Conversely, if the engine is over-revving, the governor will cut back on the throttle to protect the engine. If the engine is running roughly under a load, you might need to adjust the governor.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Open-end wrenches

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the sparkplug wire from the spark plug by pulling on the black rubber boot covering the tip of the sparkplug.

  2. 2

    Search for the carburettor on the side of the engine. Inspect the spring and linkage between the governor arm and the throttle. If the spring is overstretched or the linkage damaged, replace with parts from the engine's manufacturer.

  3. 3

    Rotate the governor arm to the left and to the right. The arm should move relatively freely, opening and closing the throttle on the carburettor as it moves.

  4. 4

    Loosen the nut at the base of the governor arm one to two turns with an open-end wrench.

  5. 5

    Open the tractor's speed control to full, watching how the governor arm moves as the throttle is opened. Push on the governor arm as far as it will move in this same direction with your hand. Hold the arm in this position securely, and tighten the nut at the base of the arm with a wrench in the other hand.

  6. 6

    Reconnect the sparkplug wire to the sparkplug and start the engine. Let it warm up for a few minutes, then put the engine under varying workloads. It should run smoothly under a heavy load as well as under little load.

Tips and warnings

  • To keep the engine from accidentally firing, always disconnect the sparkplug wire from the sparkplug before beginning work on the engine.

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