Chinese carbs... my experience

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I have used maybe a half dozen Chinese carbs, and a few kits without issue.

Remember that sometimes the Oem carb isn’t easily rebuildable, like the one on a scored saw I did a few years ago. The throttle shaft was worn badly enough that it sucked air and leaned out the mixture.
What about China carb kit quality. You can get a complete carb kit for less than $3. What china parts usually cause problems? pump membrane, valve membrane, inlet needle ???
I have not used any off-brand carb kits and never will. I sell carburetor kits as part of my business, mostly Quadrajet but also have some parts made for AFB's, 4JET, 2JET and a few others. What is being sold out there for the Q-jet, for example has imported components that will NOT hold up in this new fuel. For example, the accl pump seals. Below is a pic I took recently where I tested two seals removed from kits. One kit was from Walker the other from NAPA. The seal that didn't swell up is the one found in my kit that is USA made. I think the results are worth a 1000 words here....

They have all been made in China for many years. I think I have some very old Walbro carcasses that were made in Japan, but those are many decades old.
I, like many of the people on this forum (I assume) am kind of a cheap skate and one way to save money it seems is by purchasing amazon/chinese carburetors. I have ordered a few and have one on order for a Stihl ms260 but I think that will be the last one I purchase, here's why. In my experience chinese carbs are not consistent, you will get one that runs great, tunes great and lasts but you will also get ones that won't run, won't tune and are just built really poorly. Often it seems that amazon carbs are missing parts (that special cover for ms260 metering diaphragm as an example). The real reason that I am righting/venting about this can trace its roots back to 2 things.
1) the ms260 I bought that came with an amazon carburetor that is missing the metering diaphragm cover with the vent to the air filter, and the fact that in order to get that saw to run close to decent it needs the hi screw at almost 3 turns!
2) I bought an amazon carburetor for a troybilt (MTD) weed eater that is owned by a friend, it looked great in the photos but when it got here I notices that it didn't have a choke flap, it also didn't have a threaded hole for the little screw.
So, I was just wondering what you guys thought about chinese carbs and what has your experienceView attachment 1031487View attachment 1031485 been? I am planning on going OEM from this point forward and I will give an update on that amazon carb I have on order when it gets here. Sorry for the "rant".
The top photo is the chinese carbs choke flap, the bottom is the original walbros.
I too have had problems with a few of them, so I ordered an oem one for my stihl ms251c, it said "zama" on it, but guess what? Zama is owned by Stihl, and made in China
I've used more than a dozen of Walbro WT-215 chinesium clones,to mod Stihl MS170 & MS180 chainsaws.
I'm always using the same "brand" ,which I buy from a local shop.Never had an issue with them.Each cost 1/4 of the original
WT-215 and under visual comparison they seem to be made under the same quality standards .Operationally is impossible to tell which is which.
Even the gaskets and acetate &
nitrile diaphragms that come with the carbs are more than decent.
You have to watch. The last couple I bought were for a pair of small Husky blowers. It was cheaper to buy a whole new China Carb rather than to buy a zama branded rebuild kit......or was it?
On the first carb, the fuel inlet pipe had paper down inside of it which I didnt catch. You may have heard about this with the chinesium Tecumseh carbs. Now you guys who work on these things know that the fuel comes up thru that inlet pipe and right into the inlet screen. After a week in the fall leaves the blower wouldnt run right. When I pulled the carb off and removed the pump cover, the screen was full of paper? This was when I found the rest of the paper in the inlet pipe? I still had the original zama carb and ordered the correct zama kit for that carb. You know what, when that Zama branded kit came in for the C1Q, it was missing the metering diaphragm gasket? Zama sent me one but it took another week. How did I save any time or money?

The other problem that I had with china carb kits was with a kit that came in for a small red Homelite XL saw. This unit had the old Walbro HDC carb on it. The kit for this carb came with a high nub on the metering diaphragm. The nub on the metering diaphragm which intersects with the inlet lever was incorrectly manufactured. This I caught. On this carb I ended up buying a second Homelite branded walbro kit off ebay. The walbro HDC carbs have been out of production for many years and there are a couple places in them that can have problems. Overall they are tricky if you have never worked on them.
I'd bet money that 95% of the discarded weed eaters on the side of the road are a carb kit, fuel lines and primer bulb away from running like new. It's a damn shame.
You’re absolutely right. Not just weed whackers either. Tons of Ryobi and MTD, but also Stihl FS series, Poulan, etc in trimmers. An endless stream of McCulloch and Textron Homelite saws all because of fuel delivery issues. Either free or dirt cheap. Most of the stuff is homeowner grade, or semi pro stuff owned by someone who uses it so infrequently that it’s actually in great shape but doesn’t start, so they just replace it and discard the thing. My favorite saw that is plentiful are the Mac 3200 series. I’ve had about a dozen so far, and every single one has rotted fuel and oil lines and needs a carb kit. In about an hour, I can tear it down, pull new lines, replace the purge bulb, clean the carb, put it back together and it’s a 75-125 saw depending on how shiny I make it. And, they are great saws too. Mini Macs are excellent, too, for what they are and are a bit more time consuming. Clean and running, they fetch about $100. A few weeks back, for $10, I picked up a 1965 Homelite XLAO the guy said hadn’t run in thirty years. I haven’t done anything to it other than add fuel. Last weekend, I picked up a Mac Timberbear, a PM610, a Poulan 2300av, a Poulan 3816, a 4218, a Mac 3200, a blue and white super xl auto, a Homelite 330, a Homelite 360, a Poulan hedger, an Echo edger and a Craftsman 33cc trimmer with a bunch of attachments-all for $100. I wanted the Timberbear and the 620 for a saw I’ve got in the shed, and parts for the 65 Homelite. The guy said they were just for parts. Out of all of that, the Timberbear is roached, but the starter is good which I needed, but all of the others needed simple fuel lines and carb kits,the homeys both need starters. It’s amazing what people throw away
I have a stable of saws that have cost me almost nothing except for some parts. The most I ever paid for any of my saws was $40 for my Homelite Big Red SXL, because it's like new, but needed the carb rebuilt.
The average person today would no sooner attempt a carb rebuild any more than performing brain surgery. (Unless they're a brain surgeon). And I'd bet a brain surgeon would give up on trying to rebuild a Mini Mac.
I have a stable of saws that have cost me almost nothing except for some parts. The most I ever paid for any of my saws was $40 for my Homelite Big Red SXL, because it's like new, but needed the carb rebuilt.
The average person today would no sooner attempt a carb rebuild any more than performing brain surgery. (Unless they're a brain surgeon). And I'd bet a brain surgeon would give up on trying to rebuild a Mini Mac.
Rebuilding carbs on the Super Xl are a piece of cake but on some saws, like the small Stihls I generally just buy a new carb because they're fairly cheap and easier than cleaning and kitting one. You're kinda right about the mini-mac. I was offered one a couple of weeks ago for free and I turned it down..
Homelites & Tillotson's at least parts are available, those big old square McCulloch carbs are tough as parts are hard. That old dude in Maryland NY has a bunch of diaphragms and gaskets make up for them. I have a few, but since I sent the McCulloch's down the road, those carb parts sit and will prolly be no good by the time I get around to selling or giving them away. Not even sure if "Bob's lawn mower repair" is still active. That's the problem with a lot of the old stuff. Like my L77's I have to cut gaskets , makes doing things like putting bearings in the bottom ends a PITA

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