How to Find the Right Carburetor
To rebuild or to replace? This is a dilemma that many car owners face when they find their vehicle carburetor damaged. If you are asking this question right now, our single answer would be: replace your carburetor. Why? Well, here are some reasons:
- Cost. In many cases, it is cheaper to buy a new carburetor than rebuild an old one.
- Availability. Some carburetor parts (depending on the vehicle) may be difficult to find.
- Automotive skill. Unless you have sufficient experience in rebuilding a carburetor, you may find the rebuild process challenging.
Are you finally convinced about buying a new carburetor instead of replacing your old one? The next challenge would be finding the right part. Here, we provide some guidelines and tips to help you find the right carburetor for your ride.
What kind of vehicle do you drive?
This is the first question that you need to ask yourself when searching for a new carburetor kit. Different kinds of vehicle have different fuel needs, so they require different kinds of carburetor. Today's aftermarket carbs can be grouped into two general categories depending on the kind of vehicle they're designed for:
Street-legal carburetors. These carbs are designed for the engine of vehicles driven in city streets. They need to work well with engines that spend most of their time running between idle and 4000 RPM. They're emission-legal, and they feature a bolt-on design for direct attachment to the stock manifold.
- Race-only carburetors. These are designed for vehicles that are used off-roads and in race tracks. They have to work well with engines that spend most of their time running from 4000 RPM or more. One of the main differences of these carbs from the street legal variety is the absence of a choke-most of them do not have one.
What size of carburetor should you get?
There are many factors to consider when determining the right size of carburetor to get for your vehicle, among which are the vehicle load and the demand on the engine. Car enthusiasts use a simple formula for determining carb size, which is: engine size times maximum engine RPM divided by 3456. This formula will give you the carb's CFM (cubic feet per minute) for every 100% volumetric efficiency of the engine. This, however, may not be accurate since the engine's volumetric efficiency is not always 100%. You can check online calculators to help you do the computation.
After you have determined the type and size of carburetor to get for your vehicle, you can start shopping for a new part. We suggest that you get a complete kit that already includes even the smaller parts needed when mounting such as seals and fasteners.
A Guide to Cleaning Your Vehicle Carburetor
Not enough fuel reaching your car engine? Can't start your car after storing it for a long time? If you have a carburetor in your vehicle, this could be the culprit behind the problem. Starting problems are common among carbureted cars after a long time of vehicle storage, due mainly to fuel thickening and clogging carburetor parts. Fortunately, this doesn't call for a carb replacement. All you need to do is clean the carburetor. Here's how:
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Carburetor cleaner (available in a can)
- Canned compressed air
- Screwdrivers and pliers
- Cleaning brush
- Safety goggles
CAUTION: Be sure you disconnect the ignition wires and turn off the fuel valve before beginning the process. Also, use safety goggles to avoid accidents
Step 1: Remove and separate the carburetor from the engine. The exact removal process may vary depending on the kind of vehicle that you have, but you will need to take the air filter off to gain access to the carburetor.
Step 2: Once you gain access to the carb, take note of the set-up before you move anything (you can take a picture of this so that you'll have reference when putting everything back together). Using screwdrivers or pliers, unhook any part that connects to the carburetor (i.e. hoses). Then, remove the bolts that attach the carb to the engine so that you can take off the carburetor.
Step 3: Open the carburetor and hold it over a container. At the bottom of the part is the carb bowl that is attached by a bolt. Remove the bolt and take the bowl off, allowing the excess fuel in the bowl to drain into the container.
Step 4: Take off all other parts connected to the carburetor so that you can clean it thoroughly. Remove the float by carefully pulling out the pin that holds it. Plus, look for springs and screws that you may need to take off. Just take note of their location so that you can put them back easily later on.
Step 5: Once everything has been taken off, give the carburetor a carb cleaner bath. Clean the exterior with a brush. Spray carburetor cleaner into the fuel lines and all the small vents to clean them and remove any particle that may cause blockage. You can also spray compressed air into the vents to force out any dirt.
Step 6: After cleaning the carburetor parts, let them dry thoroughly. Then, put everything back together and reconnect the carb to the engine. Lastly, run the engine to determine whether it's performing well.
Carburetors may have gone out of fashion, but you can continue to expect great performance from the one in your vehicle as long as you periodically clean it. The cleaning interval would depend on your driving habit, but it's advised to clean the carb every time you do an oil change.