This will be my first real post. Actually, this SU carb rebuild is what prompted me to begin this blog in the first place. A group of guys in California decided to help a friend get her 1964 122S sedan back on the road, and the SUs were near the top of the list of things that needed doing, so they sent them to me.
Temporary note, added 5/7/2018:
If you are a member of the French Language VFL-FR Volvo forum, please have an administrator contact me. I would like to join your forum, but am unable to do so because the registration process appears to be broken. Specifically, the recaptcha facility is in need of an update. When I try to register, I end up here:
Where I am informed that “reCAPTCHA V1 SHUTDOWN” and to “Direct site owners to g.co/recaptcha/upgrade”
I am also told:
“Si vous êtes déficient visuel ou si vous ne pouvez pas lire ce code, contactez l’administrateur de ce forum.”
Which I have been unable to do because there seemed to be no information provided as to exactly who that administrator might be. That link, so visible above, was totally invisible to me before pasting it into this blog post. Now, I’ve copied and pasted the above French sentence, and lo and behold, a link suddenly appears. I tried and tried to identify that administrator, looked all over that VFL-FR site for contact information; couldn’t find a thing, and the link just wasn’t visible to me there.
I’m going to send an e-mail to l’administrateur de ce forum and see what happens. But, just in case that doesn’t work, I’ll leave this note here until I hear back from l’administrateur.
The following link is to photos of the work being done on the car. The owner, Annette, appears in some of the photos, as does Ben Buja, the guy who appears to be doing most of the work, including the carburetor removal and cleaning:
I was asked to take a few pictures of the carburetor rebuilding process, which I did. Turned out that I took over a hundred pictures. Once I had all those pictures, it seemed the right thing to do to write up an explanation of what was going on, so this is it: my first attempt at blogging. Some of the pictures were real duds or repetitive, so they were pared down to about 87 or so that will be included in this post. My hope here is that I show enough of what I do and how I do it that any interested (and determined) party can do this job himself. I don’t really get all that much fun out of rebuilding carburetors anymore, and it’d be just fine with me if someone else decided he’d like to take over the service.
The primary purpose of this post is to teach and not to sell.
First of all, you should know that my policy** is that carbs should be shipped to me clean. I don’t have good cleaning facilities, and the manual cleaning process can be quite time-consuming, so I don’t want to do it. Sometimes I will, and sometimes I won’t. One guy recently sent me a pair of dirty carbs, and my wife caught me sneaking out to the woods to clean them, so that I could keep the mess out of our new garage. She told me I shouldn’t be doing that, so I mailed them back undone, telling the customer to clean them. He never did send them back, so I guess he didn’t want to clean them, either.
** That was then; this is now (5/27/2016): I now have an ultrasonic cleaner, so I’m much less particular about how clean the carbs are when I receive them. Please dump out the gasoline, and make sure you empty the dashpot oil and wash the dashpots out with carb cleaner or similar, and let them dry out before packing them. The USPS doesn’t like the smell of gasoline or oil soaked boxes. Other than that, you really don’t have to do any cleaning. But… ultimately, I don’t consider myself a carburetor cleaner. I make ’em work; I don’t make ’em pretty. Complaints about cleanliness or appearances will get no sympathy, I’m afraid.
These particular carbs had been pretty nicely cleaned when I received them from the customer. Here’s a picture of them, fresh from the customer: These carbs were pretty clean, on the outside at least, so I was happy; I don’t care about the inside, I’ll clean that up if I have to, so don’t bother to disassemble your carbs for cleaning before you send them to me.
The following picture shows the carbs all torn apart before rebuilding. Unfortunately, it’s out of focus, or my hand shook, so it’s poor quality, but it’s the best I have, so here it is: Note the Green, Silver, and Red tool near the bottom center of the shot. That is a special tool that I use to check the jets for wear. One end holds a 0.0900″ gauge pin, used for 0.090 jets used on smaller carbs, such as the Type H-4 carbs used on Volvo B16 engines. The other end holds a 0.1000″ gauge for the larger 0.100″ jets used on larger carbs, such as the Type HS-6 carbs used on Volvo B18 and B20 engines. The gauge pins and holders are available from any good industrial supply house. I bought mine from mscdirect.com. This link should get you close: http://www.mscdirect.com/browse/Measuring-Inspecting/Inspecting-Detecting-Testing-Instruments/Go-No-Go-Gages-Accessories?navid=12107665
My gauges are just about exactly the diameter of a brand-new, unworn, jet orifice. If there’s more than a smidgen of clearance around my gauge pin, I replace the jet. Both jets for this pair of carbs were worn a bit and required refurbishing. Note the placement of the nut driver and socket extensions in the photo above. That was done to hold the gauge at an angle, while my hands were occupied using the camera, and show how sloppy the jet hole was.
The sloppy hole isn’t all that obvious above, so here’s a close-up: Notice how much wobble angle there is between the jet and the gauge pin. I rejected this jet. Fortunately, the customer sent me a third jet, which I was able to salvage. More on this later. Also, notice the unusual (conical brass) fitting on the float bowl end of the tube on that worn jet. I’ll discuss this later, near the end of this post.
Jets don’t wear, provided the jet bearing is properly centered. There are special tools for this job, but don’t bother to buy one; they don’t work. You can’t get a better centering tool than the actual jet and needle pair to be mated to one another. Commercial centering tools can only introduce another layer of inaccuracy into the equation, resulting in alignment that can never be better than using the actual parts, and is often a lot worse. Even when jets get worn, the needles are seldom affected, so it’s an extremely rare occasion when I have to replace a needle. And usually that’s not because they’re worn, but because I couldn’t get them out for inspection without damaging them. Needles have gotten to be rather expensive, so I just don’t replace them unless it’s necessary, and it seldom is.
To remove a stubborn metering needle, often the best approach is to first remove the set screw, then put a bit of PB Blaster in the hole, let it sit a while, then gently tap the needle on the end with a hammer, driving it in farther, after which it will usually come right out.
Here’s a close up of the rear float bowl, cover, and float valve: This is an original-type float valve, with a steel needle. These original valves work reasonably well, when they’re new, but eventually, the pin gets worn, and they start to leak. Eventually, the leakage rate is high enough that the float bowl will overflow, and that’s not good. This float valve shows a fair amount of wear, probably enough to make it leak occasionally. I never re-install one of these original-type float valves, even if it’s brand-new; there are better parts available. Also, note the excellent condition of the float bowl gasket in the above photo. This one looks as if it has been recently replaced. At any rate, it’s better quality than most aftermarket float bowl gaskets. I re-used this gasket, which is what I usually do when the old gasket is as good as, or even better than, what I can buy brand-new.
The next photo shows the throttle shaft for the rear carburetor: Now, that throttle shaft is about as badly worn as I’ve ever seen. Usually, carburetors become essentially unusable long before they get worn to this extreme; no wonder the owner sent the carbs for a rebuild. What happens is that, because of the large gap around the throttle shaft, the mixture can’t be set properly, and because of the uneven wear, the throttle shaft comes to rest at random idle positions, so the idle speed is erratic.
The basic problem here is that the original throttle shaft bushings, cast into the aluminum body of the carbs, are brass, the same material as the shafts. It’s never a good idea to use the same material for both a shaft and its bearing because the similar materials tend to micro-weld together as they move, resulting in rapid wear. It is this characteristic of SUs that, more than anything else, gave them their reputation for unreliability. Quite frankly, whoever came up with this design should have known better. He obviously didn’t have any real engineering competence. This design is nothing short of sheer ignorance. That Skinner Union continued to use this design, long after its shortcomings became obvious, is completely inexcusable. I have to blame it on the bean counters, because otherwise I’d have to assume utter incompetence on the part of some Mechanical Engineer.
But, it gets worse. Here’s a shot of the front carb and throttle shaft: This particular throttle shaft is, almost certainly, the very worst one I’ve ever encountered. It’s worn much more than the rear one and has a groove over 0.040″ deep. Unbelievable that this car was still on the road with wear this extreme. Note how the deepest grooves are quite narrow, with longer, less-worn, portions between them. Those grooves are where the shafts contact the aluminum body of the carbs, and the less-worn parts of the shaft are where it contacts the cast-in brass bushings. So, this seems to go counter to my advice about not using similar materials for shaft and bearing, right? Well, not really. If the brass bushing hadn’t worn so much, the aluminum body of the carburetor would not have been able to cut into the shaft. You must realize that the combined wear depth of the shaft and the brass bushing, between the deep grooves, must be equal to the depth of the deepest groove on the shaft. In other words, the brass bushing inside the carb body must be worn about the same amount as the shaft itself.
The aluminum SU carburetor body has some nice abrasive on it, commonly known as aluminum oxide, which will cut into the soft brass shaft rather nicely, if given the chance. Meanwhile, as the aluminum oxide cuts into the shaft, the aluminum carb body itself doesn’t wear much at all, so if you were to put a new shaft into that old carb body, it would seem fairly tight, and one might think it would be okay to use it without re-bushing. Well, there’s all that bushing wear between the two aluminum portions of the bushing area, and that leaves the shaft unsupported, except where it touches that abrasive carb body, so wear on the new shaft will be rapid. It’s not a good idea to just throw in a new shaft and hope for the best, ’cause it’s not going to work well for very long.
This design is so bad that I’ve actually had one person, who understood just how bad it was, send me a brand-new carburetor so that I could re-bush it before it could self-destruct. An ounce of prevention. My solution to this problem is to install Delrin bushings. Delrin is a DuPont trademark for their acetyl resin plastic. See: http://www.dupont.com/products-and-services/plastics-polymers-resins/thermoplastics/brands/delrin-acetal-resin.html
Actually, I rather doubt if the material I use is DuPont’s, but it’s the same stuff. I did some testing on Delrin, as well as other materials, back in June of 1993. Delrin was the clear winner and seemed to have the right properties of lubricity, dimensional stability, and heat and chemical resistance for the job, so I’ve been using it ever since, with totally satisfactory results. The Delrin bushings seem to reduce wear down to undetectable levels, and they’re dimensionally stable, don’t creep, and don’t fall out. They’re also very easy to install and quite forgiving of a less-than-perfect machining operation. One can be quite sloppy with the installation; the carbs will still work just fine, and the customer will never know the difference. The original, cast in, brass bushings have an outside diameter of about 0.375″. I use a “T” (0.358″) reamer to remove most of the brass bushing so I can install the new Delrin bushing.
Although I originally used a 3/8″ reamer to cut out the brass bushings, I no longer do so. I don’t remove the entire original brass bushing because that often causes problems with off-center cutting, stuff falling out, or bits and pieces being left behind, and a generally poor fit to the new Delrin bushing. Experience taught me to go smaller and avoid all the problems, so that’s why I now use a “T” reamer. My Delrin bushings are machined to give about a 0.010″ interference fit in the “T” reamer hole, so they have an OD of about 0.368-0.372″. The ID is about 9/32″, and they’re a bit over 1/2″ long, about 9/16″. None of these dimensions is particularly crucial; lots of tolerance is acceptable.
To cut out the bushings, I first align the carburetor body to the drill press using a piece of 5/16″ drill rod as an arbor, as shown in the following picture: The arbor is inserted into the chuck of the drill press, then through both throttle shaft bosses, and the drill press vise is moved until everything lines up nicely. This step requires a bit of care, but the materials and process are forgiving of slight imperfections, so extreme accuracy or special tooling, such as bore indicators, are not necessary. In the above picture, please note that the longer of the two throttle shaft bosses has been placed upward, toward the drill press chuck. The lower one is not visible in the picture, so just take my word for it that the one you see is longer. The reason this should be done will be discussed later.
The arbor was removed from the drill press chuck, and a “T” reamer installed, then held down against the throttle bushing boss, as shown in the next photo:
Note the lower stop nut, visible just above the dial indicator needle, and screwed up against the bottom of the drill press stop, which is used to hold the reamer down against the carburetor body while setting the top stop nut for 1/2″ travel. Note that limiting the hole to 1/2″ depth leaves some of the old bushing in place, thus preserving the inside of the carburetor body and leaving a good (low leakage) fit between the throttle plate and the carburetor body.
The next shot shows the result after reaming out the “top” bushing:
Next, tap the “top” bushing into place:
Here’s the bushing after installation:
Next, I use a coarse file to trim the Delrin bushing to proper length:
And here’s the result:
Next, flip the carburetor body over, insert the 5/16″ drill rod (arbor) into the drill chuck, and align the top (and bottom) holes with the drill press chuck:
Note that the drill rod is inserted through the original brass “bottom” bushing (which is now at the top) and into the short piece of undisturbed “top” bushing (which is now at the bottom). As mentioned earlier, this is why the longer bushing boss was originally placed at the top, so that there would be enough “meat” left at the inside of the bore to catch the end of the arbor and ensure proper alignment of the chuck and top and bottom bushings.
Here’s a shot of the “T” reamer installed in the chuck, just before setting the drill press stops and reaming the “bottom” (now at the top) bushing:
Next step, crank the “T” reamer down against the carb body and lock it in place using the lower drill press stop nut:
Here’s the drill press stop after setting both stop nuts and then reaming the “bottom” bushing to 1/2″ depth:
The next shot shows the “bottom” bushing after reaming:
Now, using the special drift, tap in the “bottom” Delrin bushing:
Here it is, fully installed, with the drift still in place:
Now, file the “bottom” bushing to length:
Now, install an extra-long 19/64″ drill (available from places like MSC) into the drill chuck:
Below, the drill is used to drill down through both bushings, ensuring near-perfect alignment of the two throttle shaft holes:
Next, insert a 5/16″ straight-fluted reamer into the drill chuck:
Then, ream right down through both Delrin bushings:
So, use a hand-reamer to finish the job and make sure that the bushings are proper size and perfectly aligned:
Now, turn the carburetor body around and do the same thing to the other bushing so that both are now “perfectly” straight, aligned, and proper size:
The finished holes are 5/16″ (0.3125″) exactly, and leave very little clearance for the 0.310″ throttle shaft. Sometimes a bit of tweaking is required. I have some slightly larger reamers available, just in case. But I almost never have to use them.
Below, I have just removed the two throttle shaft pins, one from each shaft:
Note the two different drift punches, a short one for getting the pin started, and a long one for finishing the job. I can’t tell you how many long punches I broke over the years, trying to start stubborn pins, before I said: “Hey, this is stupid”, and started using one of those short, broken, punches to get the pins started and on their way out. I haven’t broken a single punch since that time.
Here, I have a new shaft installed in the front carburetor, the throttle plate in place, and the linkage fork properly positioned:
Next, use a drop of Loctite 290 (green, wicking grade) to lock the linkage fork in position for drilling:
Also, notice that the linkage fork is aligned with the axis of the carburetor bore, parallel to the numbered label on the side of the carburetor body. The Loctite is used to ensure that the fork stays in that position until it has been drilled and the pin hammered into place.
Here’s a shot of the rear carburetor with throttle plate and linkage fork in place:
The piece of paper came with the new shaft. It shows contact information for my supplier, Joe Curto, http://joecurto.com/ who makes these shafts himself. Joe is the source for the very best SU parts. No one makes or sells better stuff.
The paper shows some generic instructions for SU shafts, both for HS-6s, like these, and other types where you have to cut the shafts to their final length yourself. Note three things:
1. Joe recommends using a 1/8″ drill for the linkage forks and installing them with roll pins.
2. Joe also makes some oversize shafts that require a larger “P” reamer.
3. I don’t use either of the above. I like using the original size pins, which strike me as better than the roll pins. And I see no good reason to cheap out and use an oversize shaft. There’s precious little time or money to be saved, and the oversize shaft will just fail again in fairly short order, whereas the Delrin bushings are, essentially, permanent. And rebuilding a carburetor that has been “butchered” with an oversize shaft is really an unpleasant task. I can do it, but I don’t like to. Tricks of the trade are required, and the final result is likely to be a bit substandard due to the larger holes around the throttle shaft, which will introduce extra leakage. Then, there’s also the larger holes in the throttle shaft hardware, such as the linkage forks, which must be re-bushed back down to standard size. Please, never allow anyone to install an oversize shaft in your SU carburetor.
Here’s the new shaft, end fork held in place with Loctite 290, and held in my drill press vise, ready for drilling:
Since the original shafts all seem to have been pretty much randomly drilled, probably by hand, there seems to be no good way to make special tooling to hold these shafts at the proper rotational angle for drilling, so I just line ’em up by eye and drill away. I rarely miss, at least not by much.
Next, drill the shaft for installation of the pin. With luck, neither of the two original holes in the linkage fork gets drilled any larger than it already is:
I’m using a No. 32 (0.116″) drill. Occasionally, I might use a larger No. 31 (0.120″) drill, but the smaller drill is almost always better. Notice how badly worn the linkage fork is. This fork was originally on the rear carburetor, but it’s now being installed on the front carburetor because of that extreme wear.
Below, I have placed the linkage pin in place but have not yet hammered it home:
Now, it’s been hammered into place:
Now I move on to refurbishing the “spare” jet to replace the badly worn one that was in the front carb:
A worn rear jet is at the top of the photo, and the spare front jet that the customer sent me is shown below. Notice how much longer the lower one is. That’s because it’s been pulled apart and needs to be put back together.
Getting ready to remove the locking ring from that spare jet:
Normally, I would be holding that 7/16″ wrench while I hit it with the hammer to knock the locking ring off, but I didn’t have enough hands, so you’ll just have to pretend I’m holding the wrench. Notice that the jet is being held in the vise with a pair of wooden “soft jaws” to prevent damage to the hollow jet.
Here I have the locking ring removed:
Now, see the worn and spare jets side by side again:
Notice that the “spare” jet is now not much longer than the worn jet; that’s because I’ve squeezed it back together using the vise, leaving it the same length or just a bit longer than the worn one, or at least I hope so.
Next, place a 1/4″ drive deep socket over the jet:
And squeeze it in the vise to seat the locking ring:
Next, compare the worn and “spare” jet lengths:
So, place it in the vise and squeeze it back together, just a little bit:
And compare them again:
Now I go to work on the plastic jet tube. First, pry the locking ring off the jet base:
Below are most of the pieces that make up a jet assembly:
I even have a couple of extra pieces shown. There are actually four of the brass tube end reinforcement pieces in the picture. Two in plain sight, one mostly hidden in the jet base, and another hidden in the right end of the tube. I added the two extras to the photo just so you could get a good look at them. Note that the one that goes into the float bowl is nearly twice the length of the one that goes into the jet base.
Here I’m using a pick to remove the smaller brass piece from the jet base:
Now use a small Phillips screwdriver to stretch the jet base a smidgen for reassembly:
Here’s the tube, back in place in the jet base, awaiting locking ring re-seating:
Here I’m using a 5/16″ 12 pt. combination wrench to re-seat the lock ring:
Now let’s compare jets once again:
Now I’m ready to reassemble the carburetors. Here’s the front carburetor with throttle shaft and plate installed:
At this point, I always hold the assembly up to the light and check carefully that the throttle plate is properly aligned with minimal leakage path around it. Also, tightening those throttle shaft screws often warps the throttle shaft a bit, binding it up, so we have to be careful not to over-tighten.
Just to be safe, turn the throttle shaft and spread the ends of the slotted screws:
Now re-install the jet needle into the big piston:
Notice that the shoulder of the needle is exactly flush with the surrounding center steel portion of the piston assembly. Also, make note of the small plastic “bumper” just to the left of the needle. This bumper is necessary to hold the piston up off the carburetor bridge just a bit when the engine isn’t running. Makes it start better and reduces rattle. Sometimes this piece is missing and I have to fabricate a new one from a bit of nylon bushing material, available from my friendly local hardware store (FLHS).
Putting a bit of light lubricant on the piston spindle:
And a bit more lubricant on the inside of the piston chamber:
Installing the front piston and chamber:
Notice that the shorter screws are used on the piston chamber, and there are no washers on them. The longer screws, with washers, are used on the float bowl covers. Also, that slotted “choke” cable clamp is often broken or missing. For an extra fee, I can replace that with a close facsimile, made of brass, but without the slot. That makes it considerably more durable than the original, and the slots are not needed.
Next, check the jet centering:
Lift the piston and drop it to ensure that it strikes the bridge, making a distinct noise, rather than the needle hitting the jet and sticking a bit. Any resistance to lifting the piston up off the bridge is cause for re-centering until perfect. Note that the jet nut and locking spring have been removed to ensure that the jet is as high as possible, thereby moving it up onto the top (thicker) portion of the needle, and improving the centering capability.
When dropped, the piston should hit the bridge with a distinct clunk:
Here, I’ve installed the float bowl, the jet adjustment nut, and the lock spring:
But, when I slipped that jet into place, I ran into a problem:
The plastic jet tube was too long, resulting in a severe kink in the fuel line, so I took it back out of the float bowl and held it in approximately the proper position to demonstrate how much extra length it had, as shown above. The appearance and “feel” of that jet fuel line tube gave me the opinion that it was an aftermarket part that was not made to the usual SU material or dimensional standards.
Here is a comparison of the too-long tube with a brand-new one of proper length:
I decided to cut the jet end of the fuel tube, rather than the float bowl end:
I think I had noticed a slight weakness in the tube at the jet end, so that’s probably why I decided to take the tube out of the jet and cut off that end rather than the more accessible float bowl end.
Here’s a comparison between the too-long tube and a normal one:
I cut off about a quarter inch:
Here, I’m reinstalling the lock ring:
And here it is, all locked in place:
Comparing the jet tube once again with that same new one:
Here’s a shot of that same jet, all installed in the carb and attached to the float bowl:
Notice that the jet tube has some extra curvature, even bending away from the float bowl a bit in the wrong direction, slightly away from the jet base, rather than toward it. Yes, I should have cut another 1/8″ off that jet tube. Notice that the brass nut is screwed tightly into the float bowl. Do not be afraid of over-tightening that brass nut; it needs to be really tight.
Here I’ve just attached the “choke” linkage:
Here I’m using a pick to pull the return spring into place:
And here’s the return spring, fastened in place:
Now I’m checking the “choke” mechanism for proper movement:
Release the cam mechanism, and the “choke” snaps to the fully closed position:
Next, install the throttle shaft hardware, nut, and locking clip:
Here I’m bending the locking clip ears into place:
Checking alignment of the fast idle screw to the “choke” cam:
Here’s a shot of the Viton-tipped float valve that came with the front carburetor:
Notice the wear in the Viton tip. That is very uncommon; this float valve must have a lot of miles on it. I replaced this float valve with a brand-new Viton valve, one of very few times I’ve ever replaced a Viton-tipped float valve.
A word about “Grose Jets”:
Grose Jets aren’t “jets” at all; they’re float valves that use two ball “bearings”, one atop the other, instead of a needle. The balls rotate during use to distribute wear and theoretically reduce leakage potential. They’re pretty good, and were once state of the art. But, both Joe Curto and I believe the Viton ones to be superior. Also, Grose Jets have become rather hard to get. I don’t use them.
Here I’m checking the float for wear to the hinge:
Sometimes that hinge gets worn paper-thin, or even completely through. Such wear is most common with previously rebuilt carburetors that have had the original (brass) hinge pins replaced with a steel hinge pin, which tends to wear the hinge more. If your carb has a brass hinge pin, try to keep it that way.
Here I’m checking the float height:
This one was a bit high. I bent the hinge a bit to lower the float a little, not much. Sometimes the float height has to be adjusted by inserting or removing washers on the float valve. In general, the float valve doesn’t use a gasket, but there are carbs out there that can only be adjusted by changing the number and thickness of the float valve gaskets.
Note that this float hinge pin is brass. Although the photo is out of focus, that brass color is clearly visible. This explains why the float hinge was unworn.
Occasionally I receive a float bowl cover that used a shorter type of float valve that is no longer available. When I get one of those, I have to either replace the cover with a later variety, or have it re-machined to accept the longer float valve. This can eat up several hours of my time. Not fun.
Installing the front float bowl cover:
1.The float bowl tag has an “F” on it, for “front”. I am amazed at the percentage of carburetors I receive that have the “F” on the rear carb and the “R” on the front carb. Can’t people think? If you’re going to put your car in a show, get it right.
2. The float bowl covers use the longer screws, with lockwashers.
3. Lockwashers, in general, are an abomination that should never have been invented, but I tolerate them in this application because of their historical nature. I even go so far as to replace missing ones, albeit with a certain amount of loathing.
Here’s a shot of the “choke” linkage and barrel nut for the “choke” cable:
Note that I’ve inserted a short piece of wire into the barrel nut and tightened it in place so that the barrel nut won’t get lost. If you ship me your carbs, please don’t send me your barrel nuts; I don’t need ’em, and I don’t want to be responsible for watching over them, and I certainly don’t like being asked to replace those that got lost because of the owner’s carelessness. But, if you must ship them to me, at least make sure they’re securely fastened in place and not free to just fall out of place and possibly even out of the box somewhere en route to me.
Onward to reassemble the rear carb:
The rear carb is pretty much like the front one, except for some that have a hose nipple for use with a vacuum advance distributor. If you can get your hands on one of those distributors, and a proper rear carb to use with it, I highly recommend it. But… make sure it’s a vacuum advance distributor, from an early B18, and not one of those vacuum retard distributors that were used on some later models with B20 engines.
This particular rear carb had a jet alignment problem as evidenced by the worn jet shown earlier. The replacement jet (used but unworn) showed the same misalignment problem, so I loosened this jet bearing nut and re-centered it. I’m using an 18 mm combination wrench here. Fits perfectly, and I don’t have a Whitworth one of whatever size it’s supposed to require.
Here are the completed pair, ready to be boxed up:
Here the carbs are placed in a USPS Medium Flat Rate Box for shipment:
The Medium Flat Rate Box is almost always the cheapest way to ship these things. Notice how they’re nested in the box so that they’ll fit with plenty of room for packing material. All they need now is some loose newspaper (or similar) packing material, especially around those vulnerable plastic jet bases, and they’re ready to go back to the customer. Please don’t use packing peanuts. I hate those things.
Just for information, here’s a shot of some jets, one of which (second from left) was installed on the front carb of this pair of HS-6 SUs when received by me:
1. The aforementioned worn jet (from the front carb and with the gauge stuck into it) is of a rather rare aftermarket type that has a brass fitting on the float bowl end and does not use a rubber o-ring seal.
2. There are two of the square rubber o-ring seals at the bottom center of the photo to show what they look like in cross section and in profile. The OEM jet on the right (black) has one of those square o-ring seals on the end of the tube, holding the nut in place. When removing jets from the float bowl, make sure you remove these old hardened rubber o-rings from the float bowl; we wouldn’t want to have them interfere with proper installation of new ones. This is a surprisingly common mistake that people make; I frequently receive carburetors with two o-ring seals in a single float bowl. No wonder the jet tubes leak.
3. There are two somewhat rare aftermarket jets shown in the photo, a black one on the left and a red one on the right. I have no idea why some were red and some were black, possibly different manufacturers. Such jets are basically junk. They work okay when they’re new, but the rubber hoses that are used to connect them to the float bowls get hard with age, and then the “choke” mechanism won’t work properly. I always replace such jets with the original type. But, I usually retain the metal tube pieces for use in repairing worn OEM-type jets.
Any questions, please call:
32 JBS Way
Wiscasset, Maine 04578