How to Tune Up a 32cc Craftsman Line Trimmer


You should tune up your 32cc Craftsman line trimmer at the start of each season. When you tune up the trimmer, you maximize its performance and help extend its life. There are a few more things you should perform on the 32cc trimmer that you may not do on other trimmers. One is to check and recalibrate the rocker arm clearance, and another is to check and replace the spark arrester screen.

Step 1

Work on your Craftsman trimmer in a dust free area such as your garage. Unplug the spark plug wire from the spark plug. Clean around the spark plug with a clean cloth. Remove the spark plug with an appropriate socket wrench.

Step 2

Remove the screws that secure the engine cover to the trimmer with a flathead screwdriver. There is one screw on the back of the cover and two screws on the front of the cover. Pull the engine cover off the trimmer.

Step 3

Clean the dirt away from the edge of the metal rocker arm cover on top of the engine. Remove the screw in the center of the rocking arm cover with a flathead screwdriver. Lift the rocker arm cover away from the engine.

Step 4

Slowly pull the starter rope to bring the piston into the Top Dead Center position. Look inside the spark plug hole to determine when the piston reaches its highest point under the spark plug hole. Both of the rocker arms should move freely. The rocker arms are the two arms that sit over the valve stem springs.

Step 5

Slide the feeler gauge between the rocker arm and each valve stem. The feeler gauge should slide in between the rocker arm and valve stem spring with just a little resistance. Turn the adjustment nut on top of the rocker arm with a nut driver if adjustment is necessary. Turn the nut clockwise to increase clearance or counter-clockwise to decrease the clearance.

Step 6

Locate the spark arrester plate on the side of the muffler. This is a small rectangular plate with two Torx screws that you will see on the muffler from the rocker arm side. Remove the two Torx screws with a Torx driver and remove the spark arrester. Remove the spark arrester screen, and either clean the screen with a wire brush or replace the screen.

Step 7

Place the screen on the muffler and place the spark arrester plate over the screen. Secure the spark arrester with the two securing Torx screws.

Step 8

Place a new rocker arm cover gasket over the rocker arm casing and install the rocker arm cover. Secure the rocker arm cover with the securing screw. Place the engine cover back over the engine and secure the cover with the retaining screws.

Step 9

Gap the new spark plug to .025 inches with the gap tool. The gap tool is a round disc that has a marker on the side with gap measurements. Bend the outer electrode on the spark plug up or down until you get the correct gap. Thread the spark plug into the engine and tighten with the socket wrench. Do not connect the spark plug wire at this time.

Step 10

Remove the oil fill plug on the side of the trimmer. Tilt the trimmer on its side over a container to drain the old oil from the engine. Pour ¾ liter of SAE 30 SF oil into the oil fill. Place the oil fill plug back onto the oil fill neck.

Step 11

Remove the screw securing the air filter cover to the trimmer. Pull out the foam air filter and wash the filter in detergent and water. Rinse the filter thoroughly and squeeze the water out of the filter. Place the filter back into the air filter housing and place the cover back over the air filter. Secure the cover with the securing screw and push the spark plug wire over the spark plug.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Socket wrench set
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Standard .005 automotive feeler gauge
  • Rocker arm gasket
  • Replacement spark plug
  • Gap tool
  • Torx driver
  • Spark arrester screen
  • SAE 30 SF oil


  • Manual Online: Craftsman 4 Cycle 32 CC Trimmer Manual
Keywords: trimmer tune up, tune Craftsman trimmer, Craftsman 32cc trimmer

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years' writing experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.