Governors are on every single air cooled engine, from lawn mowers and edgers to generators and one man augers. They are Mechanical and Pneumatic. Pneumatic governors are powered by an external air vane, while mechanical governors are run by a gear and spool assembly inside the engine. This page will explain how to adjust the mechanical governor on Briggs and Stratton and Tecumseh Engines.

Governors should never need adjusting, unless the governor arm is removed or tampered with. But in the event that they do need adjusting, here is how you do it. A rule of thumb is the governor shaft should be turned in the same direction the governor arm turns to open the throttle wide open. For example, on Tecumseh TVS, LEV, TVM, TVXL and other similar engines, the governor arm rocks in the counter clockwise direction to close the throttle to idle. To adjust the governor, you would loosen the screw on the bottom of the governor arm and push the governor arm so the throttle is wide open. Then you would turn the bottom “clip” (which is connected to the governor shaft) counter clockwise. This will set the governor shaft on top of the governor spool. Now tighten the screw.

To adjust the governor on a 5 HP Briggs and Stratton horizontal shaft engine, you would loosen the nut on the governor arm and push the governor arm down, clockwise. Then you would turn the governor shaft clockwise also and tighten the nut.

updated 11-14-04

2 responses to “Adjusting Your Governor”

  1. Eric says:

    really struggling to get meaningful info on how governor works and should be adjusted. Have A Briggs and Stratton 13000 series 5hp engine on a mountfield rotavator. Guess governor on here would be used to maintain set speed/revs under varying load?? Is there one fitted? No mention in Mountfield or basic B&S manual . Your site comment 10545 is only detail reference yet found to set up links but my machine only has one link rod coming up to carb from throttle wire linkage [with spring etc.] at crankcase. Is mounting on crankcase just a oivot pin or goes inside to other mechanism. Any info would be helpful. Currently engine will run on idle but dies when you open throttle. Have posted a note against comment 10545 but no reply yet, are these pages still live?
    Eric Nottingham UK 6th Aug 2016

  2. I recently gained ownership of a Tecumseh LH318SA 9hp.Snow Blower engine, and although it was locked up when I got it, it is repairable and other than the Crank and Rod it is in very good shape. It was indicated to me that it had been overrevved, and the transfer of Aluminum from the Rod to the Crank would indicate that the Splash Oil Lubricating system could not meet the need of the RPM’s it was running at. I plan on rebuilding this engine, but I’m having a very difficult time in finding out what the Maximum Governed RPM is for this Engine. Any help will be Greatly appreciated.

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