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Help with a 1920 Cadillac Carburetor rebuild


Jerauld Adams

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I’m looking for someone to re-build my type 59 carburetor . I just took it out because I couldn’t get get to start and found it a mess. It even has the original cork float; wow. I’d appreciate any help, recommendation, or contact with someone who could rebuild it. Thank you.  -Jerauld Adams

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There are/were rebuild kits available from straight eight.

 

Not cheap and require a bit of fettling to make it fit properly 

 

The hinge on the float is a pain, and so is setting the float height 

 

They can be made to run fine but it took a lot of work to make it so it didn’t leak fuel 

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Your carb isn’t the only problem.......the gas tank, cooling system, and the oil pan all need to be addressed BEFORE you try and start it. If your having issues just dealing with the carb..........you probably should find someone with experience in old cars.........you have ten times more issues on your plate than you realize. Seek out someone local,who actually drives their pre 1920 car.

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Ed...that is the car I did the water pumps for. Radiator is new...gas tank has been cleaned. Next up is either getting the pressurized system leak free or - if it's possible - adding a vacuum tank. (Has anyone done that? Because the cowl is fairly low on these very early V8's I'm not sure there is enough drop.) It also needs the exhaust heater for the carburetor disconnected....

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15 hours ago, hidden_hunter said:

There are/were rebuild kits available from straight eight.

 

Not cheap and require a bit of fettling to make it fit properly 

 

The hinge on the float is a pain, and so is setting the float height 

 

They can be made to run fine but it took a lot of work to make it so it didn’t leak fuel 

Thank you very much.  I’ll look into the kit.  The car ran well and after having trouble with it flooding and not starting we took it out to find it pretty original.  Time to rebuild it.

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14 hours ago, edinmass said:

Your carb isn’t the only problem.......the gas tank, cooling system, and the oil pan all need to be addressed BEFORE you try and start it. If your having issues just dealing with the carb..........you probably should find someone with experience in old cars.........you have ten times more issues on your plate than you realize. Seek out someone local,who actually drives their pre 1920 car.

How do I have ten times more issues? It’s always run pretty well.  I can see you don’t want to help; that’s OK.  I’ll look somewhere else, but thought this forum was appropriate to ask for help. Thank you.

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20 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

 

Ed...that is the car I did the water pumps for. Radiator is new...gas tank has been cleaned. Next up is either getting the pressurized system leak free or - if it's possible - adding a vacuum tank. (Has anyone done that? Because the cowl is fairly low on these very early V8's I'm not sure there is enough drop.) It also needs the exhaust heater for the carburetor disconnected....

 


I blocked the preheat with copper plates and that worked well enough 


when you pump up the gas, does it hold pressure?

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Not for very long. It is the next thing to look at closely but the the car is currently stored in a place it's inconvenient to work on and the owner has been extremely busy lately. When we can get it in a place where it's reasonable to examine it carefully, we'll attack that.

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6 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

 

Not for very long. It is the next thing to look at closely but the the car is currently stored in a place it's inconvenient to work on and the owner has been extremely busy lately. When we can get

 


It should hold pressure until you release it at the tank cap, so looking for gas and air leaks would be a good idea 

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It may not be a major issue...the leather gasket on the gas cap is missing and I suspect the packing washer in the hand pump has dried out. The previous owners all used electric pumps rather than fix it - a commonly encountered problem. We ditched the electric pump that was on there and replaced it with one that can be dialed down to about 1-1/2 lbs as a temporary improvement but getting the proper pump working should a priority...

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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That car should not be driven with an electric fuel pump. And last time I saw a cork float available for that vintage Cadillac was in the 70's. Obviously cork floats and pressurized fuel systems are disasters waiting to happen. There should be a 3/4 of a pound pop off valve in the system to prevent over pressurization. Also, an emergency relief valve that is operated electrically in the event of fire or accident. The original poster made a comment that he wanted to rebuild the carb.....without expanding about anything else..........any car that is still running a cork float today has lots of issues...........as the update on the water pumps, fuel tank, ect prove. I could make a list a mile long......but if Joe is working with the owner, he can explain what is involved is sorting the car. Last I knew, Timmy was making the Type 59 floats out of modern material......which is fine with many people. In our Cadillacs..........read that as all 15 of them over the years that I have owned, and the countless one I service, I only run BRASS floats. I make them myself. Modern fuel is less dense and thus the synthetic material does not exert as much pressure as brass on the valve. 

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16 hours ago, edinmass said:

Also, an emergency relief valve that is operated electrically in the event of fire or accident

Yep that's what I did, I have a valve that if it loses electricity it closes

 

16 hours ago, edinmass said:

I only run BRASS floats. I make them myself.

Some of us aren't that talented :P 

 

Was it the 57 or 59 they went to exhaust preheat from water preheat?

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11 hours ago, edinmass said:

Not sure on the later cars.......my 14 had the electric heater in the fuel bowl and water heated intake........two bad ideas.

 

It's listed in the accessories book for the type 61 that you could buy the exhaust manifold for older cars that previously had the water heater on it 

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