Dan O

Suggestions for Restoring Finish on Carburetor, please!

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I have been trying to clean my old Stromberg Aeroflyte carb from my 1949 Roadmaster.  It's very dirty and varnished.  I'd like it to be clean and look factory and not too glossy.

 

I hit it with carb cleaner I had in a can then with laquer thinner and a toothbrush.  Those work but there is a lot of residue yet.  I'd rather not take it a part since it is working fine but realize I probably should just rebuild it.  I looked at 4-5 youtube videos advising boiling in water and lemon juice, pinesol, vineagar and/or simple green.  Some suggested sno-bol toilet cleaner (yikes).  Many advised an ultrasonic set up vibe (I have a tiny one for jewelry that linkage might fit in).  Then there was M.E.K that seemed to do a good job but like laquer thinner, some of this stuff is just not good for the ol' lungs!

 

Been there, done that? Any ideas out there from the group on doing this with it all together?  And then how about taken apart? 

IMG_4925.JPG

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If it were me, I'd leave it just like that.  Especially if you consider the car a driver.

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You CANNOT clean it well unless you take it apart!

 

Be aware that virtually any cleaning agent that removes ALL of the residue will also remove the factory finish. If you are going to refinish the carb:

 

http://www.thecarburetorshop.com/Carburetorfinishes.htm

 

Redoing the factory finish is expensive!

 

If this is a "driver" and running well, remember the old saw "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

 

If it becomes necessary to rebuild the carburetor, you could consider complete restoration at that time.

 

Jon.

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…. to remove cleaner and varnish residue, take kerosene and pour it into a small spray bottle.  Apply the kerosene to the exterior and then let it set for about a minute then wipe completely with a clean cotton cloth.  This will remove all the solute particles of the green yellow varnish which is old fuel residues from the surface.  Repeat as necessary until clean. 

 

Jon:  Good info. So for example, I have a Carter 2507 and have always wondered -  It appears the choke arm linkages, throttle arms, throttle body shafts etc  were nickel plated as were the external accelerator linkage arms coming up & from the fire wall and to the carb itself.  The main body components on this Carter were either white cad or yellow cad ?

Are these correct assumptions ?

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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Carter used some very thin nickel or "flash chrome" on some of the shafts (throttle, choke, intermediate). The arms and indigenous linkages on most carburetors would have been zinc or cad. This changed with some of the "9000 series" aftermarket carbs in the late 1970's.

 

A VERY FEW Carter carburetors had the linkage chromed for appearance reasons (supposedly). Examples would be the WD-0 carbs used on the V-16 Cadillac, and the YH carbs used on turbo-charged Corvair. Carter even chrome-plated the tags on these units. The bodies on these units, after the chromate protection process, were painted black.

 

The above is not to say that you will not find other finishes. Hot-rodders and other enthusiasts have been modifying cars probably since the first car was sold. When we were still rebuilding/restoring carbs, one of the treatments we used was derived from the afore-mentioned V-16 carbs; painting the carbs with gloss black (we used epoxy paint) and chroming the linkages. This link is a sample:  X2-side.jpg

 

If you look closely, you can see the greenish chromate finish where the air cleaners would attach. Difficult to tell from the picture, but the attaching screws are also chromed.

 

X2-top.jpg

 

Jon.

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…. thanks Jon for your professional input.  Think I will now replate my linkages arms and such in nickel.  

 

Van Nuys Plating in Van Nuys, CA has done good by me.  They have silver cadmium plated  ( The real Deal )  all my bolts and transmission linkages so far and did good. Gold cadmium plated ( The real deal as well ) my Moraine MC canister and did good on that as well.  This time I will speak to them about nickel plating my linkages, shafts and such as I know they still do Hexavalent chrome plating ( The real deal - not dyed Trivalent ).

 

Another route one can take is to go the Caswell Inc. route.  They have a nickel plating kit/setup you can purchase if you have a voltage/amp source to hook it up to or buy one of theirs.

 

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When re-electroplating linkages, shafts etcs., it is important to keep original tolerances in mind.

 

Example:

 

For the most part, Carter used a specification of 0.004 inch to 0.006 inch clearance from throttle shaft to throttle body with the following EXCEPTION. Carter AFB and AVS carbs, because of the large aluminum throttle body and the coefficient of linear expansion, used a clearance of 0.016 ~ 0.022.

 

Too loose of a clearance, and the shafts will allow too much unmetered air to enter the carb at idle effecting idle quality.

 

Too tight of a clearance, and the shafts will bind in the throttle body when the engine is hot.

 

Personal experience: even though the minimum spec is 0.004, when we were still restoring carbs, and when necessary bushing throttle shafts; I found that 0.004 would occasionally bind, so we would set the clearance at 0.005 when restoring the older carbs.

 

I tried the home plating kit. Bought one of the more expensive ones. I could never even approach the quality of the professional plater. Another lesson in the school of hard knocks (a.k.a. knowledge by losing money!).

 

Jon.

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Great info on your reply Jon.  So you are no longer restoring carbs as we thought you are indeed the CarbKing - ' Long live the King" ?

 

Yes had the same throttle shaft issues with my SU Carbs on my 62 Tri-Carb Healey 3000.  The english love to include extra parts on everything and in this case attach extra shafts and at various angles then setting them into multiple bored holes thoughout the throttle body housing,  The Germans on the other hand, just like to use 1 bore one shaft.  So these SU shaft borings would no doubt wear and suck a lot of non calibrated for air into the system: Made them hard to tune for that reason.

 

School of Hard Knocks !  - What a coincidence, I'm a alumni from that school as well ….

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