Older carb adjustable engines vs newer fixed carb models


LawnSite Member
This is a general question I have about buying equipment, new, on clearance, refurbed, or used -- any outdoor gasoline powered equipment -- for landscaping or similar building trade tools. I need a rule of thumb to go by. It is my understanding from reading thousands of threads over the years that you landscapers, engineers, techs, tool enthusiasts, serious hobbyists, etc., prefer the older engines to the newer ones, claiming they were adjustable, ran cooler, smoother, needed less maintenance, could run on regular gas safer, lasted longer, etc. And of these issues, the adjustment screws on the carbs no longer being available being the single most important issue. If I understand this correctly, you guys feel the EPA has screwed up these older engines in their interest to reduce emissions.

I suppose the changes did not occur all at once. So, if possible, up to what year were the engines the ones you guys look for? ... or at what year did the carb adjustment screws disappear? ... what to avoid what to consider? ... things like this so I can make better buying decisions. Presently, I still see leftovers here and there from 2008 thru 2012. So, all things being equal, assuming there are no other issues with the earlier model, would the older model be the better tool? Is 2008 significantly different than 2012?

Parenthetical: (I assume that someday there will be no more older adjustable carbs available on anything but 100% worn out, used up equipment; heck maybe even combustible engines will be illegal. Imagine going to jail for having one and getting caught using it. I suppose that is only a matter of time too).

Thank you all for your time.


LawnSite Senior Member
upstate NY
I know on a brand new Ariens snowblower,I need to run on hair choke to have the engine run smooth.Way to lean......I was going to try and get a picture of a new snowblower carb and see if I could pop the welch plugs and use a wire drill to open the jets to see if that helps the engine.