Drew Kreidelcamp

1932 Cadillac V12 carburetors

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My brother's 1932 Cadillac V12 has downdraft carburetors. The manual only shows updraft carburetors for this engine. Were these options for 1932 or were they installed as aftermarket partsdsc00443fl.jpg

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These downdraft carburetors look late 1930-1940'ish to me.. The updraft carburetors that I believe are correct for a 1932 will say "12" on them and will be marked right and left. While they look the same, they are jetted differently.

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After looking over the intake manifolds and carburetors, it appears that this is a retrofit modification that could have been done in the 50's. The intake manifold must have been modified for the installation of Carter YF carburetors and the kit included a lower linkage plate which covered the lower updraft intake port.dsc00516t.jpg

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Definitely a retrofit, original carbs were updraft Detroit Lubricator Model 51's with hidden linkage and large firewall mounted air cleaners. Very hard to find and very expensive if you do.

post-51036-143141853252_thumb.jpg

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This car hasn't been driven since 1976. It would be interesting to see how well it runs with this carburetor setup. It was purchased at a museum auction last November.

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I found 2 Detroit Lubricator downdraft carburetors in the trunk of the 1932 Cadillac today. These must have been part of the original retrofit that could have been done in the 30's. These were replaced later with the Carter YF carburetors.dsc00525f.jpg

Edited by Drew Kreidelcamp
restore image (see edit history)

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My experience with Detroit Lubricator carbs was all bad and the consensus was they were archaic in 1932. The car should run fine on the downdraft carbs assuming they are the right size for the engine and the linkage is synchronized. Where is the fuel pump? The fuel line setup looks kind of scary...

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Some time in the past, a previous owner removed the mechanical pump with a hammer. All that is left is the flange and a blocking plate on the engine block. An electric pump was installed in the storage area next to the left sidemount spare. The fuel lines are a mess and will have to be replaced. If an original style mechanical pump can be found, it will be reinstalled. If not, it may be necessary to use an electric pump. It might be interesting to see how well the engine runs with the Carter carburetors before any alternatives are considered.

Edited by Drew Kreidelcamp
wording correction (see edit history)

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Talk to Mike Casella at Then and Now Automotive - Antique Auto Parts Cellar - about the fuel pump. He rebuilt mine when I had the 32 and did a great job, not sure if he can supply the whole pump but he could probably steer you in right direction. You should see if it runs at all before going too far.

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Thanks TexRiv_63 for the tip on the Antique Auto Parts Cellar. It might be a while before any attempt is made to start the engine. Although it has been stored indoors for the last 37 years, the engine will not turn over. It may be necessary to remove the heads and oil pan to check for corrosion first.

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I might be a buyer for the down-draft Detroit carbs.If interested pm me. thanks

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We have a Detroit Lubricator downdraft carburetor for v12 Cadillac.  Model 51, type r-13-2.  Make offer.

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On ‎6‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 4:13 PM, Danny Russum said:

We have a Detroit Lubricator downdraft carburetor for v12 Cadillac.  Model 51, type r-13-2.  Make offer.

Can you post some pictures of this  "Detroit Lubricator model 51, type r-13-2 downdraft" ?

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Posted (edited)

Here are some pictures from the carb I saw last week. I did not more pictures from the carbs as they are rather well described in the shop manual. According to the one who restored the frame, those carbs are reproduced in bronze. And accordingly expensive!

 

IMG_0762 red.jpg

IMG_0776 red.jpg

Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)

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There still seems to be confusion over the terminology updraft/downdraft.

 

The term applies to the direction the fuel/air mix is moving when it exits the carburetor and enters the intake manifold.

 

Thus an updraft carb hangs beneath the manifold, and the air/fuel mix enters the manifold going up. The downdraft carb sits on top of the manifold with the air/fuel mix going down (this, by the way is true of the 1949~1951 Lincoln/Mercury, and the 1949~1950 Oldsmobile that is often erroneously called a "backdraft"). And of course, there is also the sidedraft carburetor.

 

Detroit Lubricator made both updraft and downdraft carburetors. The ones use by Cadillac were updraft. Downdrafts were used by Ford in 1932~1933.

 

(Opinion) the Detroit Lubricator carbs provide excellent carburetion, for a time (maybe 15k~25k miles). When properly restored, they are again excellent carburetors for a time. The biggest issue with the Detroit Lubricator is generally the lack of understanding by the tuner/mechanic. The two major mechanical issues with the Detroit Lubricator is the wear that occurs in the groove of the aspirator valve and the associated wear on the "fingers" of the vanes; and the disintegration of the vane support box (zinc alloy "pot metal"). At the first rebuild, the vane box should be replaced with one milled from aluminum or brass. At each rebuild, the wear on the fingers should be evaluated, and if over a couple of thousands, either repaired using "metal-spray" or replaced. The groove in the aspirator valve should be inspected for "flats" on the upper edge of the groove where the fingers are inserted. The valve may be rotated at least a couple of times to change to a fresh position with no wear.

 

Because of these issues, a number of enthusiasts have opted to place more modern carbs with greater longevity on vehicles which are driven.

 

It was maybe 35 years ago when we were first approached to provide something other than the Detroits (or Johnsons). Our first thought was the Zenith 63 series, but the throttle arm was not useable on one side. We had some of these cast by a local retired high school shop teacher, who "inherited" the equipment when some government body determined sand casting was too dangerous for high school shop. When he passed, we lost any reasonably cost source for making these. We later suggested to a few individuals that new downdraft intakes were fabricated (by fabbing new intakes, the process was completely reversible) and modern downdraft carbs were used. We suggested the Carter type W-1 (leather accelerator pump) and at least a couple have used these successfully. Others opted for the Carter YF (diaphragm pumps, fine if daily driver or ethanol-free fuel is used).

 

Jon.

 

 

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