Stromberg LF rebuild

Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration
Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Stromberg LF rebuild
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Wednesday, April 09, 2014 - 10:08 pm:

Thanks to help from Stan and others with info and advice both from the present and the past, my $20.00 ugly swapmeet carb is living again. I had relatively few issues restoring this carb and I can see why it is an improvement over the stock Ford carbs. I can also see why Stromberg changed things a bit to come out with the "OF" carb. As soon as the photos are done loading, I will post a link.

The carb does everything the NH does but notably smoother. It starts far better than the NH and overall just makes the Ford perform a bit more refined. Top end seems just as good (as good as the modified NH which already was better than stock). It makes the car perform better on some hills I tried it out on too. Seems to keep the power on instead of lugging down the way it did with the NH. Overall drive-ability is demonstrably improved.

I also like the way it looks. Well worth the effort and an enjoyable project. Now to see about figuring an air filter if possible.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Wednesday, April 09, 2014 - 10:52 pm:

Not as pretty as the jems Stan turns out but clean and fully functional. Was lucky this carb had rather little wear and all the parts were present. Was able to dress the needles and seats with good results. No leaking at all. The float mechanism was not warn and responded well to cleaning and smoothing.

Here is the story in pictures.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bruckzone/sets/72157643727211255/


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Wednesday, April 09, 2014 - 11:20 pm:

NEAT! I enjoyed your photo stream Too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:09 am:

That's one of the better originals I've seen. Most of them are worn pretty badly. That's probably why this one got saved. They are a pretty good carb, a definite improvement over anything Ford put on a T. Not hard to see why they sold half a million of them after you drive one, is it.

Good Job, Erich.

I spent an hour today working on an NH, which I usually don't do many of. I was gone yesterday doing the Montana Public Radio fundraiser, got a call from a guy about in tears. He bought a "rebuilt" NH off Ebay, couldn't get it to quit leaking, couldn't get it to run, isn't much of a mechanic himself, wanted me to work on it. So he brought it over about noon. It had 3 (underline that) THREE gaskets under the float valve seat, looks like whoever "rebuilt" it didn't take the old ones out before he put the new one in, it was so scummy you couldn't see them down in the hole. We beaded it, ultrasoniced it, buffed it, powder coated it, put in a new correct needle and seat, took out the adjustment needle and the removable seat, drilled the brass plugs and cleaned the passages -- which hadn't been done -- reground the seating area for the gasket for the float valve seat, cleaned about an ounce of crap off the float so it actually floats, threaded the plug holes 8-32 and put in Allen head set screws, fixed the drain so it quit leaking, put a new throttle shaft on the old arm ($16.00 cheaper than a new one) put the correct spring in the choke arm and put it all together with the correct gaskets. It looked good when we got done and it should run just fine. What amazed me was he said the guy who had it on ebay has 100% positive feedback. It had a very nice black paint job when George got it, it had rubbed off a little from the gas leaking out around the bowl but it still looked pretty good. He bought pie and coffee and I'm in the shop at 10 PM doing the stuff I was going to get done earlier. He had a couple pretty good jokes that are not suitable for a family forum but made up for losing about two hours of shop time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Barrett on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:18 am:

Stan,
Thanks for what you do, both for old car guys and public radio. I know you have been screwed over by a few people, but they are vastly outnumbered by the people who have had the benefit of your talents. Sorry I was not able to see you at Chickasha. Bakersfield, maybe?
Fordially, Erik


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:53 am:

Jay and Stan, thank you, thank you. It is a pleasure knowing how to do something as it ends up being a gift to yourself, or, as Stan above, for someone else. Jay, feel free to wander around my photo stream or go to the pages of sets so you can pick what albums look most interesting to you (anyone else too).

Just finished putting on the rebuilt stock fuel bulb and a "new" set of Edison plugs I got at the swap meet. Just to see how they work. Tomorrow, more driving.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 02:30 am:

Thanks. As I've said a lot of times, this is an interesting thing to be interested in. I'm finishing up a set of four 4 ball carbs that will go in a box to end up in South Africa. They will leave tomorrow. I like them because not many other people do them. I did the needle and seat conversions today and just have to finish them up and box them up and off they go. They look pretty good considering what they were when they came in. After I went back out to the shop tonight I made a dozen 1/2 x 18 TPI pack nuts to fit on the odd ball thread that was used on the early carbs. I bought a set of 1/2 x 18 taps and dies, first time I've used them. I had a set but they were so worn they didn't cut good threads. I never had any way to supply those with a rebuild unless it came in with one on it. Then most of those have bad threads and don't thread on right. This will give me pack nuts for a dozen rebuilds.

The rest of the day today I worked on a brand unknown carb for a IHC High Wheeler. It is very similar to a Schebler and may be a Schebler with no name but has some differences, too. It has a needle a seat system I've never seen, the air valve is different from Schebler so I don't know what it is. A guy sent it home with me from the Lethbridge swap meet in Feb, I'm finally getting to it. It's been worked on countless times over the years but is in fairly good condition. It will be an interesting one to make some parts for and figure out a needle and seat that will work and continue to work. It's about a 1908 or 1909. I'll put up a couple pictures when I get it done. It was NASTY inside. So pretty now I hate to put it back together and cover all the inside work up. When it's done I'm going to take it up to Canada and install and adjust it. See the guy's collection. That will be a fun day.

Off to bed, long day tomorrow, another long one Friday. Another long one Saturday. Busy.

By the way Erik, I've only had three or four people who were less than nice out of a thousand or so carbs I've done. The guy with the 1917 Mitchell was the nastiest, I figure it's just part of the deal. You know my motto, They crucified Jesus and shot Abraham Lincoln, what chance have I got?

This has been a good business for me. I've met a lot of nice people and there are a lot of cars out there running with my work on them. It's also turned into several fun trips to old car deals and is paying the bills.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 02:35 am:

I've met a lot of interesting people, too. I just sold a Stromberg to a guy in Argentina who wants it shipped to his daughter's place in Spain so he can pick it up there instead of trusting the Argentina mail to get it to him. I have carbs in right now from Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and New Hampshire -- which is about as far away from Montana as you can get and still be in the US. It's for a Rock Island tractor. NZ is for a Hupmobile, Australia is for a Brush, Germany is for a Reo, Canada for an IHC high wheeler and doing a straight through NH for a speedy T in Washington. ZoomZoom!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 02:37 am:

Bakersfield? I don't have time to go. I am so buried in carbs and auctions I can't take a week off. Plane ticket would have been the way to do it. Maybe next year. I've never been there.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:21 pm:

Just figured a non-elegant but functional and period correct choke pull for the inside when cold starting from the driver seat. Now the install is truly complete. Photos added to the above link.

Have been in the habit of closing the gas valve at the stop sign, then drive down the block and park it in the garage so the carb will be about dry. That way, it will get filled with fresh gas next time I turn it on. With the old NH there was lots of time and fair warning the level was getting low and the engine was starting to stumble. With this carb, much less time to run the chamber dry, and when it is out, it is out. Les time to fuss with parking. Like it a lot so far.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 02:07 pm:

I have a question for Erich, Stan or anyone with an idea.

I see that the Stromgberg has a air/fuel mixture adjustment on the carburetor but it does not have an adjustment on the dash as is standard on all Model T's, why not?

Ford went to the expense and trouble of putting a air/fuel mixture adjustment on the dash and I can see several reasons why it would be a handy control to have easy access to. With the mixture adjustment so well defined and accessible on the Stromberg carburetor it seems obvious that it was intended to be adjusted from time to time but maybe they were just to lazy make it really easy to adjust without lifting the hood.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 02:24 pm:

You're kidding, right? Stromberg went to the time and expense to make a carburetor that doesn't need to be adjusted other than initial settings to the individual engine. The OF has a compensating main jet to provide the correct mixture to the engine at all operating speeds and load conditions. It is a true three circuit carburetor with an economizer circuit that their lawyers in the day protected with great zeal and success; which leans the mixture at low engine speed & low power requirements. It has a true idle circuit which delivers idle fuel through a sized jet and adds air to it, mixes it and delivers it to the venturi flow forward of the throttle plate.

It has a true main jet,adjustable for the amount of fuel supplied to the venturi flow at the smallest section of the venturi for best atomization. When new, it had a heat jacket that went over the intake manifold forward of the carburetor mount which heated the mixture for better atomization and evaporation of the low octane heavy fuels of the day.

In 1925, the Stromberg OF cost $15.75. They sold over half a million of them in the four years they were produced. That was three days wages for a lot of men.

All you have to do is drive a Model T with a better carburetor and you know why so many stock T carbs were replaced. There is no better all around carb than the OF Stromberg. There are others that have their own advantages but none that is as good overall that is still pretty much readily available.

Frank Harris calls stock T carbs a wick in a puddle of gas. He's pretty much right.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 02:44 pm:

Jim, some thoughts. Fair question.

1. On my NH carburetors I have been able to find the perfect setting after initial install. Being of a curious mind, I would periodically try to recheck the mixture setting, just to make sure. Every time I would find it was on the money. The only time it ever needed to be adjusted was after a long trailer trip to higher elevation. That was no surprise. So for me the value of the in-car mixture adjustment has been of little use.

2. The mixture adjustment on this Stromberg LF is very tight and would not lend itself to adjusting from the cabin as I find it requires two hands. One to turn the knob, the other to stabilize the arm. At first I was a bit put off by the loss of the in-car mix adjust. Now I do not feel it is needed.

Does that answer your question Jim?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 04:15 pm:

Erich, if it turns that hard you need to soak it in some goop or something to loosen it up. It's pretty easy to break the knob off if it doesn't turn easily. The bottom of the knob and the top of the arm are both serrated, a spring holds them in tension so it will hold the adjustment.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 04:20 pm:

Erich, if it turns that hard you need to soak it in some goop or something to loosen it up. It's pretty easy to break the knob off if it doesn't turn easily. The bottom of the knob and the top of the arm are both serrated, a spring holds them in tension so it will hold the adjustment.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 05:39 pm:

I guess what I mean is that it has a very positive detent such that it was made to hold itself exactly where you left it. Not the relatively smooth friction flip of the NH design for example. One can see the LF is not designed with an in-car twizzle stick adjuster in mind.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 05:41 pm:

It is loose, but it sure has some bite doesn't it. Once adjusted, it won't slip off adjustment at all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 09:04 pm:

Stan and Erich,
I can understand that the Stromberg is likely better at controlling the air/fuel ratio then the original NH carb but don't really see how the advantage of having the mixture control on the dash is completely eliminated. If the Stromberg was that good they would use it today rather then computer controlled air/fuel mixtures based on a bunch of engine sensors.

Probably a disadvantage of having a dash mixture control, even with the original carburetor is that many folks don't really know how and when to adjust it. For this reason I can see an advantage of not having a dash control and the Stromberg will do better without adjustment then the original carb.

Some reasons why a dash mixture adjustment would be handy may be to:

Adjust the mixture for large changes in elevation.

Adjust the mixture a little richer when the engine is cold and lean it out when up to operating temperature.

Adjust the mixture a little richer if weather and driving condition cause icing.

Adjust the mixture a little richer if temporary over heating is a problem.

Adjust mixture to match the type of gas used. 100% gasoline, gasohol (E10) and E85 would all have a different ideal air/fuel mixtures.

Close off the mixture control to clear a flooded engine.


Anyway, it may come down to a personal preference. Some people like to get is a drive like a modern car and like to knob dick with all the controls to get the best performance possible. Some folks never touch the mixture control even with the original carburetor. It is interesting to note that wherever the mixture adjustment is located that is likely adjusted by the seat of the pants. However for maximum performance an air/fuel gauge hooked to a wide-band Oxygen sensor would be the way the get the best adjustment. It looks like the most recent winner of the MT 500 did just that and beat everyone by a large increase in overall speed. I don't know how many other racers had air/fuel meter.
Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 10:04 pm:

The reason they don't allow any carburetor other than the sway back NH on the 500 is not because it is the better performer, it is to keep the cars slowed down. They know there are all sorts of carbs, including the OF, that will out perform the NH.

Run what you want. That's what I do. Along with thousands of OF users. It is still easily by far the most popular accessory carburetor. I've sold and/or rebuilt several hundred. I've had one customer who didn't like his because there was no know to fool with.

They sold well over half a million of them from 1922 to 1925 at a price exceeding three days wages for a well paid worker.

Stromberg's development of the compensating main jet was a major reason they were the leading carburetor manufacturer in the world by 1925. That, and the accelerating well/venturi used in the larger Strombergs, along with the economizer, gave better performance along with superior economy.

The OF does not have the accelerating well nor second venturi but does have the economizer with the resultant 15-20% improvement in economy as well as eliminating nearly all plug fouling due to too rich a fuel mixture.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 11:24 pm:

All the above seems to fit with a piece in the current Model T Times showing test results on all the stock Model T carburetors from 1913 on, plus a Stromberg OF. The best overall were the Stromberg and the NH, and the worst were the Kingstons, L-2 and L-4.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill in Adelaida Calif on Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 11:31 pm:

If that E-Pay carb is the one I think it is then I am glad I didn't bid on it! I sure don't want a spray can restoration. Sounds like a sows ear has been turned into a silk purse.

Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Friday, April 11, 2014 - 12:55 am:

Bill, I think he'd had it since last fall. I don't know who the ebay seller was. It's probably fair to say that for the price they get for them they can't afford to spend a lot of time on them or a lot for parts. It's also fair to say that we missed that there were three gaskets down in the float valve boss until we bead blasted it and ran it through the Ultrasonic cleaner.

I think probably the think I see most of with carbs that have been worked on is passages that aren't really cleaned, some not at all; and throttle shafts that are worn. Either one will keep them from running very well, especially at idle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Friday, April 11, 2014 - 11:11 am:

Jim, I see your point. Maybe it is just the NHs I've used or where I live, but I have just about never had to make any of the above mentioned mixture adjustments. Thus, I am not feeling the disadvantage at loosing the in-car mixture adjustment. I can say, on very cold days, the NH did like a little richer mix for starting. Didn't need it, but liked it. The LF I just installed seems to start much easier and I get the feeling it wont require any mix adjust for cold cold morning starts. The little steering mounted lever Stromberg sold with the carb was to operate the choke butterfly. They said to use this and taper it after starting if need be. That serves the same function I suppose as richening the mix on an NH with the knob.

Also, going back to the article Steve mentioned, am I the only one who didn't really "get it" on those brown and black graphs for the different carbs?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 07:40 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 08:19 pm:

So on an NH the float level is super easy to set. I wonder what the factory specs are for the Stromberg LF and OF? I lucked out and set it just where it had been and it seems just right, but that was pure luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 09:53 am:

Adapted for a better factory looking choke pull. I can even turn it from inside the car if I feel the need to twiddle a knob.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 09:57 am:

P.S. I know the phillips screws look non-period, but that was all I could find in the correct size.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 11:24 am:

Looks good, Erich. The screws for the float cover are 10-24, the arm screw is either 8-32 or 10-32 and the idle screw is 8-32. The two little ones that hold the choke stop are 6-32. I can send you some if you want some period correct ones. Just PM me your address.

The correct float setting is with the fuel level 1 1/16 below the top of the float bowl but it isn't terribly critical. Close is good in these. If it's running over set it a little lower, if it's stumbling on acceleration set it a little higher.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 11:29 am:

Some of you will cringe at this but I throw away almost every screw I remove from carbs. I save a few of the ones that still have the copper plating on them but most of em, take it out and toss it. I'm overwhelmed with junk already, can't keep everything and I put new screws in everything so don't have any use for them.

I do save the brass ones.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 12:09 pm:

Nice Stan, I will PM you.


Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.
Topics Last Day Last Week Tree View    Getting Started Formatting Troubleshooting Program Credits    New Messages Keyword Search Contact Moderators Edit Profile Administration