Carburetor Class

June 13th, 2011

Rebuilding Tips and Things to Watch For

We here at Quick Fuel Technology think it’s safe to say most gearheads have had carburetor troubles at some point in their life. The questions are: Am I experienced enough to isolate the problem and fix it? Do I give up and purchase a different carburetor? Do I completely rebuild the carburetor in hopes of experiencing an increase in performance? All of these are viable options to a problem, and there are many opinions on the best way to alleviate carburetor problems. Keep in mind, in many cases a carburetor just needs to be freshened up.

Carburetors have several parts that are not going to last forever and will inevitably fail. Murphy’s Law says things will fail when you least need them to (e.g., the finals at the U.S. Nationals). Nobody wants to go down the track with Murphy under the hood. So, here are some things you can do with your carburetor to ensure flawless performance while saving some money.

Most companies (ourselves included) offer several rebuild kits and replacement parts that are specific to both the size and type of carburetor. If you know exactly which carburetor you have, then it becomes a matter of sourcing the parts that you’ll need to go through it. We offer several levels of rebuild kits that can be as simple as basic gaskets to a complex kit that provides everything but the castings.

Once you have the necessary parts to rebuild your carburetor the fun can begin. If you aren’t familiar with the insides of your particular carburetor, it is wise to get a manual or do some research on the Internet. There are several publications and sources of information on the web that are a tremendous asset to any gearhead library. Having a guide will help you with reassembly and troubleshooting should you get confused during the rebuild or run into any issues afterwards.

A few tidbits before you start disassembling the carburetor:

1)  Start with plenty of clean space on your work area. Carburetors do not react well to dirt or debris, and you want to be able to keep track of each piece you remove. It’s also helpful to have a stand to elevate your carburetor and keep it secure as you perform surgery (these can be easily made out materials in the shop).

2)  Take a digital picture of each step you take during the teardown process so you can refer to your actual carburetor when it comes time to reassemble. Manuals sometime show a generic picture of something close to what your carburetor is, but it’s rarely the exact one.

3)  Keep each sub-assembly to itself. Place all of the components from a fuel bowl in its own container or plastic bag, likewise for metering blocks, etc. This will help you with reassembly and keep things from get swapped from primary to secondary.

4)  Be gentle, yet firm. The carburetor is meant to do serious work, but most are made out of zinc, which can be easily marred, bent and broken. Also keep in mind that many surfaces of a carburetor seal a flammable liquid from the outside world, and a gasket can make up for very little damage.

5)  Clean, clean, clean! Make sure that once the carburetor is completely disassembled you clean the major components, and then flush all of the channels out with compressed air. A sharp gasket scraper and some light hand-sanding should be enough to bring the out the bare surfaces (most carburetors and rebuild kits are now furnished with non-stick gaskets, so this procedure is becoming less common). This will ensure that no foreign material or leftover gasket impedes the operation of the carburetor.

For most carburetors, reassembly is the opposite of disassembly and is usually straightforward. If you’re hung up, refer to your manual or pictures you may have taken during the teardown. Be patient and go slowly during the rebuild. Remember that the final product is responsible for getting you safely down the racetrack. If all else fails or you want to learn more about rebuilding your carburetor, give us a call. We love talking carbs!

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