How to Adjust a Governor Linkage on a Briggs Engine

Cameron Easey

The governor linkage on a lawn mower engine, such as a Briggs, is used to adjust the throttle of the mower in order for it to run at a consistent speed. When the lawn mower runs at only low throttle speed or at high throttle speed the governor may need to be manually set or adjusted.

Many lawn mowers are powered by Briggs engines

You can adjust a governor linkage on a Briggs engine by first determining where the governor lever is located on the engine of the mower.

  1. Examine the lawn mower and locate the screw that is used to secure the lever for the governor to the governor crank. Place the screwdriver on the screw and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the screw.

  2. Move the throttle plate linkage to the wide open position and observe the movement or the rotational direction of the governor shaft.

  3. Turn the end of the governor shaft or lever counterclockwise on engines that have a vertical crankshaft. Turn the end of the governor shaft clockwise on engines that have a horizontal crankshaft. This will move the throttle linkage towards the high speed or full throttle position.

  4. Turn the screw for the governor level clockwise or to the right to tighten the screw. Use the torque wrench to torque the screw to between 35 and 45 in-lbs.

  5. Examine the movement of the governor linkage and make sure it is not binding or getting caught on any obstructions.

  6. Pull the starter cord to start the engine and see if it runs at a consistent speed.

  7. Tip

    Some models of lawn mower have a manual level that you can turn to adjust the governor for the throttle speed of the mower.