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Carter BB-1 Question

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I am thinking of purchasing a Carter BB-1 carburetor for my 1910 IHC J-30 for touring purposes. The original carburetor is a Schebler L which I seem to have trouble with. Has anyone installed a Carter BB-1 on their brass-era car and if so, have any recommendations about doing so. Additionally, if you have familiarity with the Schebler L I would appreciate any insights into this type of carburetor. I also have a Schebler L on a 1912 Buick and 1912 Oakland both of which should be on the road soon and perhaps I should learn how to set up one of these. Anyway, I will greatly appreciate any information. Tom


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I have used a number of Carter BB1 carburetors on brass and nickel era vehicles. They can really work well. There are a few variations of the BB1 carburetor. Some are all cast iron, some have a cast iron top and a pot metal bowl. Each of these variants can also come with or without an adjustable high speed jet. You certainly want the variation with the adjustable high speed jet and, preferably, the all cast iron version. Of course, you will likely have to fabricate an adapter to use it on your existing manifold as well as fabricate throttle and choke linkages, fuel line fittings, etc.


BB1s also vary in the venturi's inside diameter. There was a company that would custom make a BB1 venturi based on your engines CID. I think they were from out west. I had them make a few venturis for me, but I have also had decent experience with original venturies on engines that were in the 200-250 cid range.


Fortunately, normal rebuild parts for BB1s are readily available. They are a very straight forward carburetor and are typically maintenance free once they are set up correctly. They also have an accelerator pump which is a nice feature.

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)
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Thank you motoringicons for your reply. If you would answer an additional question or two I would appreciate it. I am offered two BB-1's right now, and more expensive than I would like, one with a kit to finish the rebuild and the other set up to make it useable with ethanol fuel. I can get gas here without ethanol but is this a serious issue with a BB-1. On tour sometimes one can not find a non-ethanol fuel. Also, I am a novice (obviously with my questions) with regards to carburetors. Is a BB-1 difficult to set up? Thank you again for your reply. Tom. 

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Carter BB1 carburetors are really pretty straight forward carburetors. You will need some basic fabrication skills to adapt it to your particular engine. In terms of the carburetor that you are being offered that is set up for Ethanol, I don't know what was done to it and/or how well it was done. Personally, I would not worry about this. Just find a good, clean and unmolested carburetor. Make sure the inside jets have not been "buggered" up,  the throttle shaft is not worn, etc. They have gotten pricey in recent years but still show up for sale.

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Tom - are you certain about the Schebler model L? All of the literature that I have for the early I.H.C. vehicles points to the Schebler D, which is a fairly bullet-proof carburetor. Originals DO generally need a new airvalve and airvalve spring, but these parts are available.


As to the Schebler model L: these perform best on "museum" vehicles which are never started ;) The Schebler model L would have to be much better than it is, just to be considered "contrary"!!!


As to your question concerning the BB-1:


Carter produced dozens of different type BB-1 carbs. They come in three different S.A.E. sizes and several different internal sizes.


The ones really useful to the less than carburetor expert hobbyist are the aftermarket universal units:


S.A.E. size 1 - 245s (pre-WWII with iron bowl)

S.A.E. size 1 - 245sd (post WWII with zinc bowl)

S.A.E. size 2 - BB1A (pre)

S.A.E  size 2 - BB1D (post)

S.A.E. size 3 - 289s (pre)

S.A.E. size 3 - 289sd (post)


By far, the majority of BB-1's offered, especially on ebay, are from Chevrolet DD (double duty) trucks, even those that have the aftermarket adjustable main metering jet.


There were also several other O.E. applications.


Simply adding the adjustable main jet to an O.E. application does NOT turn it in to the universal unit.


Unfortunately, the carburetors were/are identified by tag only. Once the tag is removed, there are no identifying marks; however the carb may still be identified, but maybe not by many hobbyists. As the universal carbs tend to sell for more money, it seems that there are more of these listed (whether correctly or not ;) ) by many ebay sellers. If you don't know or have a trusted friend that knows; buy the carb from someone you trust.


Not saying the truck versions cannot be made to work on other applications, as they can; but internal changes by someone who understands the function of the carb will often be necessary, as will linkage modifications.


Virtually all parts for the O.E. units are available (except floats). Many of the special pieces for the universal carbs must be fabricated at expense.


And the BB-1 is an EXCELLENT updraft carb (I rate it just behind the Stromberg SF series and the Zenith 63 series). The only real issue is the mechanical accelerator pump. Remember that an engine with an updraft carburetor should ALWAYS be started using the choke, NEVER by using the accelerator pump. Pumping the footfeed with the BB-1 results in a puddle of fuel UNDER the engine! Both the Stromberg and the Zenith have the (opinion) much superior vacuum accelerator pump.



Edited by carbking (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Jon. Thank you for your reply. I am now more confused than ever as to what to get to replace the Schebler L. The J-30 IHC's are four cylinder and used the L. I also have a Schebler L on a 1912 Buick and a still to be finished 1912 Oakland. None of the Schebler's seem to work that well. On both the J-30 and the Buick the cars idle quite well but when you put them under load and try to drive away they falter, backfire and loose power. Often the engine simply shuts off. What I need, and am looking for, is a carburetor I can purchase and just bolt it to the car and go. I do not have very good mechanical skills, which makes one wonder why I am in the old car hobby, so I do not need carburetors that I would have to modify internally. I was interested in a BB1 as others have told me that they have put one on and it is a great carburetor for touring. But I have had many brass-era car tourers tell me to get a new Zenith. Any suggestions as to what and what is just as important, where to buy one. I have a tour for the IHC in early June so I need to find something soon. Thanks! Tom

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  • 3 weeks later...

Call me. Tech advice is always free (there are some that might tell you that is too much ;) ).


The Carter is a better overall carb than the Zenith, however the Zenith will work quite well under certain conditions; and is MUCH less expensive. Lots of issues to discuss and questions to ask/answer.


573-392-7378 (9-4 Mon-Tues central time).


Give some thought to gravity feed vs electric pump. Either carburetor CAN BE MODIFIED FOR EITHER BUT NOT FOR BOTH!


Absolutely NO obligation.



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I have a 1912 Oakland 40 touring that has the original Schebler Model L carb on it. It's been a wonderful carb for me. I restored my Oakland in the mid 80's and have toured around 20000 miles with it. Always using the Model L. It's the easiest brass car I own to start. 4 pulls of the crank to prime the cylinders and then I push the tickler on the coil and it always starts. I haven't had to adjust the carb for the last 20 years! Lots of power too. The adjustments can be a bit tricky but when you get it right, you don't have to touch it again.


PICT1158.JPGP1040927 (Large).JPG12 oakland3.JPG

Edited by KLF (see edit history)
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