Club Clips: July 18, 2019 Edition

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Tackling the carb question: rebuild or replace?

Not all car carburetors are created equal, but they all have one thing in common. Those darlings must operate on cue and deliver reliable results when it comes to the motive function of an old car.

That maxim was pressed recently in the May 2019 Corsa Comminque, publication of the Corvair Society of America, Inc. (1448 Seagull Drive, Apt. 312, Palm Harbor, FL 34685). Don Keefe serves as executive editor.

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What happens to Corvair carbs can easily happen to carbs on any old car, so take note. The article “Amazing Discovered!” was written by Howard King and is accompanied by a bevy of pictures supporting his tech feature. He noted that time marches forward, but carbs need help along the way. “Time...has not been our friend and unless you are lucky to have purchased NOS carbs or are the original owner you cannot be certain” that your carb consists “of matching parts.”

He explained: “To have a balanced engine with both sides producing the same output at various RPM levels, not only the flow, but the mixture, must be in balance.” Jets are important, to be sure. But that is only “one piece of the whole enchilada,” he explained. The biggest potential drawback is that “big box stores” are known for mixing parts before assembly. In effect, with the mixing of parts comes the possibility of a carb unable to “achieve a true mixture balance over the RPM range and from side to side....”

Worried? That’s not a bad thing, but it need not sink your ship. There are obtainable correct wire gauges that feel the jets and vents to make certain internals are in order. A simple visual or “eyeball” check isn’t sufficient. The writer moves onward with explanatory photos depicting the steps to check matters.

While all this relates to various Corvair carburetors made in the 1960s, the advice may transfer to cars of any make and year that carry carbs. Experienced collectors often vouch for the necessity to make certain their carb is properly rebuilt and balanced if roadworthy results are expected. The article proves a salient point that careful and accurate rebuilding are prime factors. Car owners are reminded that even though the old car they consider purchasing has a freshly rebuilt carburetor, that is no guarantee the device is functioning efficiently.

Since do-it-yourselfers are prone to rely on good advice, the article plugs the possible reprinting of the book “How to Identify and Rebuild Corvair Rochester Carburetors” by the late Bob Helt. In effect, stay tuned with the club!

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