mrcvs

Best functioning carburetor for early car

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I am having a terrible time with the Johnson carburetor flooding this year, despite rebuilding it. The cork float just doesn't operate properly. I have an original K D carburetor which is what would have been on the car originally. It seems to me the Johnson replaced a problematic K D. Without regard for historical accuracy, what functional carburetor would you use that encourages reliability?

 

It seems to me all this stuff would operate properly if you could still get "real" gasoline in this country, but this is the subject of another thread.

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Cork floats were originally sealed with shellac. Shellac dissolves in alcohol. Modern gas contains alcohol. I don't know what they use now to paint the floats.

 

If the old float is intact you can leave it in a warm place until it dries out and reseal it.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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What car? Generally the best carb is going to be the one it was designed for (or at least a direct replacement)

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There is no absolute answer.

 

If you wish to continue to use a brass carburetor, then the offerings of Stromberg (after the glass bowl series) are certainly usable:

 

Model L 1915~1919 (6)

Model M 1915~1920 passenger, 1915~1935 truck and tractor (6)

Model O 1919~1929 (7.5)

 

Also brass Zenith models L and O (6)

 

If you are not interesting in retaining a brass carburetor, then (alphabetically)

 

Carter BB-1 (9)

Stromberg SF, SFM (9.5)

Zenith 63 and 263 (9.5)

 

My rating on a scale of 1~10 in parenthesis (others will obviously rate them differently).

 

And for vehicles before 1910, the Schebler model D is certainly acceptable (bet you thought you would never see me post something good about any Schebler ;) )

 

Stewart (Detroit Lubricator) made decent carbs, but very few enthusiasts understand their workings; and in the absence of understanding, maybe the other units mentioned would be a better choice.

 

Jon.

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1 hour ago, hidden_hunter said:

What car? Generally the best carb is going to be the one it was designed for (or at least a direct replacement)

1917 Maxwell.

 

The Johnson carburetor would not have been original to the car but I don't know why it would have replaced the original K D carburetor other than perhaps because the original carburetor proved to be problematic???

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5 minutes ago, mrcvs said:

1917 Maxwell.

 

The Johnson carburetor would not have been original to the car but I don't know why it would have replaced the original K D carburetor other than perhaps because the original carburetor proved to be problematic???

 

 

Another option you could do is look around for literature from the time and see if anyone manufactured a replacement at the time, you can find period ads for people advertising alternatives to the buick carb

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From 1913 to 1923, Maxwell used the following carburetors:

 

Maxwell

Stromberg

Kingston

Zephyr

Holley

Rayfield

K & D

Johnson

Eagle

Zenith

Stewart

 

And I still have no records on the original carb for the 1913 model D or the 1913 model J.

 

If I wanted to be original, I would "lie" about the year and use either the Zenith or the Stewart.

 

Jon.

 

 

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I started looking on eBay under Johnson carburetor, limiting to automotive parts, to restrict results. In addition to some parts carburetor, some synthetic modern floats come up. Any ideas as to what would describe my cork float such that it translates into the nomenclature of a modern float, such that the correct size might be ordered?

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Cork will still work if it is encapsulated in Krazy Glue, model airplane dope or ethanol resistant gas tank sealer.

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Please refer to the attached photographs.

 

Shown is the currently installed Johnson carburetor and the replacement K D Type B carburetor. This is what would have originally been on the Maxwell but the Johnson carburetor has been on this car the 6 years I have owned it.

 

I have not ordered a Zenith carburetor as I already had a K D. I have not encased the cork float in an ethanol resistant material, and both are options. The K D float is not cork.

 

To start with...this Johnson carburetor has always been problematic. Not sure why it was installed other than to replace an even more problematic K D???

 

So, right now, although the game plan could change, I will give the K D carburetor a try. I believe all threading is pipe thread, and it looks like 3/8" flexible copper tubing would work, flare the ends, and I think the end at the fuel line is 5/8"; threading at carburetor 1/2". Does this sound right? Reason why I ask is local Ace Hardware did not have pipe threading for what I needed so have To order on line.

 

But, the issue at hand "that I just don't see", is how is the choke assembly affixed to the K D carburetor? I just don't see any such mechanism in place--but there just had to be such!

20170624_133047.jpg

20170813_085957.jpg

20170813_085944.jpg

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I'd take the K D to the local NAPA parts store and get the fittings. Mine uses 5/16 copper tubing and the nuts take a 5/8 wrench. These flare nuts are not pipe thread but are tubing thread. You should have a metal stamping on the right side of your dash that should have a knob and short shaft drilled for a .012 or 30MM wire. I used a guitar string from the local music store. It was twisted around a homemade clip resembling the parts book illustration. The metal stamping should also have a lever that slides left or right from "rich" to "lean". It needs a rod with a 90 bend and cotter pin on the top end and goes through the floorboards and threads into a ball joint type fitting that threads into the mixture needle arm on the K D.

 

Howard Dennis

K D Carb hookup 1.JPG

K D Carb Hookup 2.JPG

K D Carb Hookup 3.jpg

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Okay, the lower toggle piece makes sense as being for the choke. I thought it would be similar to the choke on the Johnson carburetor.

 

I thought of plumbing supplies to make this work, as AutoZone didn't have what I needed.

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51 minutes ago, mrspeedyt said:

i'm watching with baited breath...

What's that supposed to mean?

 

With other obligations and limited time and space to work on cars, things sometimes move slowly around these parts.

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i know next to nothing. and my getting my 1923 buick fuel system and carburetor to cooperate has been a frustrating challenge to me ever since i bought this car. 

 

'with baited breath' is like a short series of shallow quick breaths while you  anxiously wait for the next moment. taken from some passage i read many years ago. probably some 'adult' content. 

Edited by mrspeedyt (see edit history)
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On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 2:29 PM, mrspeedyt said:

i know next to nothing. and my getting my 1923 buick fuel system and carburetor to cooperate has been a frustrating challenge to me ever since i bought this car. 

 

'with baited breath' is like a short series of shallow quick breaths while you  anxiously wait for the next moment. taken from some passage i read many years ago. probably some 'adult' content. 

 

Welcome to the "frustrating challenge to me ever since I bought this car". club.  We have all been there and to get a car drivable and reliable some times can take years. 

 

Standard process for getting an old car reliable and drivable is  Drive it, break it, fix it, repeat.  Typically the older the vehicle the more repeats.

Edited by Larry Schramm
spelling (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, mrspeedyt said:

i know next to nothing. and my getting my 1923 buick fuel system and carburetor to cooperate has been a frustrating challenge to me ever since i bought this car. 

 

'with baited breath' is like a short series of shallow quick breaths while you  anxiously wait for the next moment. taken from some passage i read many years ago. probably some 'adult' content. 

Okay, fair enough!

 

I AM moving very slowly on this. Something called "work" gets in the way of my hobbies! 

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According to a well known, late (as in passed away), early car guy, cork needs no sealant nor sealing to work correctly.  Cork is, by nature, a closed cell structure, and will work perfectly in gas tank floats with no other surface treatment.

Those who say "it will fail" base the comment on 50 year old or more cork.  I can tell you from personal experience, after 50 years, a LOT of things start to fail! 

 

'nuff said.....

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32 minutes ago, trimacar said:

According to a well known, late (as in passed away), early car guy, cork needs no sealant nor sealing to work correctly.  Cork is, by nature, a closed cell structure, and will work perfectly in gas tank floats with no other surface treatment.

Those who say "it will fail" base the comment on 50 year old or more cork.  I can tell you from personal experience, after 50 years, a LOT of things start to fail! 

 

'nuff said.....

 

I'll agree with trimacar's comment with regard to not "needing" sealant on cork. 

 

I have, however, sealed cork with varnish with good effect on early carburetors and gas tank floats.

 

Yes, after 50 (or nearly 75 to 100 plus years), some things do fail - the memory is the second thing to go....

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It's a well known fact the the primary functions of a Johnson carburetor is to make the car owner pull his hair out, and then leak gas, then cause running problems, when all of the items mentioned have been accomplished, it's final function is to cause a no start condition or fire. I fought mine for years before I got it right..........Ed

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well , an extreme move would be to flip the intake and use a down draft or even a more extreme  would to be also flip the intake manifold and put a modified throttle body fuel injection  unit on it.  That would be a challenge.

 

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On 2017/8/13 at 9:35 PM, mrcvs said:

Please refer to the attached photographs.

 

Shown is the currently installed Johnson carburetor and the replacement K D Type B carburetor. This is what would have originally been on the Maxwell but the Johnson carburetor has been on this car the 6 years I have owned it.

 

I have not ordered a Zenith carburetor as I already had a K D. I have not encased the cork float in an ethanol resistant material, and both are options. The K D float is not cork.

 

To start with...this Johnson carburetor has always been problematic. Not sure why it was installed other than to replace an even more problematic K D???

 

So, right now, although the game plan could change, I will give the K D carburetor a try. I believe all threading is pipe thread, and it looks like 3/8" flexible copper tubing would work, flare the ends, and I think the end at the fuel line is 5/8"; threading at carburetor 1/2". Does this sound right? Reason why I ask is local Ace Hardware did not have pipe threading for what I needed so have To order on line.

 

But, the issue at hand "that I just don't see", is how is the choke assembly affixed to the K D carburetor? I just don't see any such mechanism in place--but there just had to be such!

20170624_133047.jpg

20170813_085957.jpg

20170813_085944.jpg

 

Seems like casting and welding

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