How to Remove a Riding Mower Engine

What You'll Need
Wrench set
Riding mower engine

You may need to remove your riding mower engine inspect it more efficiently when a problem occurs. Once you have made a correct diagnosis, you can take appropriate steps to repair the engine. However, sometimes the mower engine can develop a problem that is beyond repair. You may opt to replace the engine rather than buy a new mower. A new engine will cost about half the price of a new mower. If you know how to remove the engine, it will save you the costs that a mechanic would charge you. It isn’t difficult to remove the engine. Below is a guide.

Step 1 – Drain the Oil

Use a pair of pliers to disengage the spark plug wire. Pull away the drain plug and drain the oil into a receptacle. Wipe away any oil spills with a rag. It is best to drain oil when the engine is slightly warm. This enables oil to flow faster than when it is cold. Warm oil also captures a higher degree of contaminants than cold oil which helps to cleanse the engine.

Step 2 – Drain the Gas

You’ll need to loosen the clamp on the fuel hose before you drain the gas. Trace the path of the fuel hose on the engine. Begin at the base of the gas tank and proceed to where the hose is attached on the carburetor. Use the pliers to squeeze the clamp. When loose, shift the clamp upwards on the hose a couple of inches. Detach the fuel hose from the carburetor and place it in a bucket. Allow about 1 minute for all the gas to drain from the mower into the bucket.

Step 3 – Identify Throttle Linkage

It is usually located underneath the carburetor. You’ll notice a cable which connects to the throttle. Locate the screw that holds the throttle in place. Use a screwdriver to remove the throttle linkage cable.

Step 4 – Locate Starter

You’ll find the starter on the side of the engine; it resembles a small can. If your mower is an electric-start model it will have a red battery cable attached onto it. Unfasten the red cable from the starter with a wrench.

Step 5 – Remove Bolts and Nuts

Locate the bolts that secure the base of the mower engine to the mower house. Place a wrench onto each bolt and one on the nut underneath the mower house. This will ensure the bolt does not spin once you remove the nut. Be sure to unscrew the nuts from all the bolts underneath the mower house.

Step 6 – Remove Drive Belt

Tilt the engine forward. Pull the drive belt from the pulley. It is found on the crankshaft beneath the engine.

Step 7 – Remove the Engine

Hold the engine with both hands and lift from the mower house. Place it carefully aside in a safe place.


Be sure to properly dispose of the drained off oil and gasoline. You can take it to a local garage to be recycled. This will help prevent environmental pollution.