Can anyone help? How do you adjust the float level on a Kingston 5 ball carb? Thanks in advance, Reg.
Hi Reg, There is really no way to adjust the float on a 5 ball. The float arm pivots on a fixed pin and the arm really is not designed to be bent. If the float is the problem, I can make you a new cork float or maybe Russ Potter can fix you up with a brass float.
Reg, if you decide not to take Kim's kind offer of building you a new one, you can lower the float level by adding a shim or spacer between the float and the hinge. Likewise you can carve out the area where the hinge attaches to raise the level. In the attached photo I added a spacer. I needed a longer screw which I purchased at a local hardware store.
One word of caution here is that when fitting up any float to one of these early carbs, you must check very carefully that the float is NOT rubbing on ANYTHING with ANY fuel level in the bowl. First check it against the sides of the bowl in the full up and full down position and then check it against the full center portion casting.
Sometimes when you move the float even a small amount you get troubles with the float hanging up on something in there. Some of the Briggs and Stratton floats that are advertised to fit certain early carbs don't really fit or when they do you have to really work on the shimming to get them totally free.
Ernie Brown (R.I.P.) rebuilt my 5 ball carb and he has an adjustment to the float by means of a threaded screw that pushes down on the needle. The screw is in fact then passing through an O ring that holds it snug at whatever adjustment point you set the screw. I don't know exactly what parts he made special in doing that but it works. Ernie said that the 5 ball was a great carburetor with a bad reputation but could in fact be made to run very well. Since the 5 ball I am talking about is on my 1911 Open Runabout which is a trailer queen - I never really got it out on the road and opened it up but the car sure has a lot of zip running around the parking lot.
Hi Kim, thanks for your kind offer, I have made a new cork float to the exact diamensions and weight as the old one (which was in 2 halves) and gave it 3 coats of button polish. The car runs great on a Holley H1 and NH. With the 5 ball on it idles nicely, but when I open the throttle it coughs and splutters and stalls.
I have been told to run the car on the H1 but I paid a lot of money for this carb and its right for the car. Thanks again Kim.
John, thanks, great advice. I have checked the clearances again and its fine.
Richard, thanks for your response, I'm going to go with your idea first and try gradually lowering the arm into the float to raise the fuel level in the bowl (I hope that's right!).
Thanks again to everyone, just the advice I had hoped for!
Please let us know how you did. BTW, what did you use to seal the cork, I am not familiar the term button polish? Final question, how did you cut the new float? I have a block of the modern float material from Synders and I need to make one for another carb. I was hoping to use a lathe but I don't want to ruin the block if it won't turn without breaking up. I would like to hear from someone who's already done it.
Kim, how do you do it?
Hi Reg, I have not had that problem with a 5 ball. All have run good with the original float. I have a 5 ball with Ernie Browns new float but have never run it. Im sure you have tried adjusting the mixture for better high speed operation. If you have the same problem with both the old and new float, take a look at the mixture needle. Bent or mis shappen at the tip? Or how about the needle seat? Richard, I bought a brick of cork from Restoration Supply and cut a 1"x4x4 slice out of it, drilled a 1/2" hole in it, put a bolt through it and put it in my lathe. If you take your time it should come out fine. I then sanded it and sealed it with quick polly.
One problem I did have with my 5 ball that had me going for awhile was a more or less constant small drip leak of gas. It was very small but aggravating. I thought it was the needle and seat and changed it but it didn't help. I then checked the castings very closely for a possible small hole somewhere but it turned out to be the gasket UNDER the seat was too hard and would not seal. I thought it was the casting under there being rough but it was very smooth and not the problem. I changed the gasket to a more resilient one made from neoprene and it ended the problem.
Richard, I cut the cork with 2 correct sized hole cutters mounted in a pillar drill and shaped the bottom tapered section with sandpaper. Button polish is a shellac/alchohol mix similar to french polish and knotting.
Richard is correct, if it coughs and sputters on acceleration, you need to lower the float which lowers the fuel level. Probably need to go at least 3/16" lower.
Be careful running fuel with alcohol in it as it may dissolve the "button polish". Non-alcohol base sealants are best.
I find the 5-ball to be a very strong carb with good gas mileage and good top end.
Good luck with yours.
Here is the way Daisy's 5-ball looks:
Its sorted. I let the float arm into the cork about 3mm. and it runs fine now.
My thanks to everyone who responded.