My dad and I are trying to rebuild a 1915 Model T. The carburetor is otherwise in pretty good condition, but the air intake is not completely round. It is flat on one side (at about 4 o'clock) as though it had been dropped at one point. In my ignorance, I went ahead and bid on a replacement carburetor on eBay, but looking at that one, it appears like it might be kind of flat at about 1 o'clock.
Is my carburetor really damaged?
Here is a picture of the carb: http://modelt.wikia.com/wiki/File:Carburetor_damage.jpg
Here is a movie of my pop and I trying to figure out how the thing works. Lots of "ums". http://modelt.wikia.com/wiki/File:2014_06_28_Carburetor
Jesse, Not sure how many carbs you have built.?? But if not many, here is a neat test and display of how a carb works. Take a cup of water and think of it as the "bowl" of the carb full of gas (actualyl a little more than 1/2 full) Now take a drinking straw and stick it into the cup of water. This represents the cast part of the carb that is submerged in the gas in the bowl. Now take a compressed air blower and blow air across the end of the straw sticking out of the cup of water. This represents the air being sucked into the engine thru the throat of the carb and intake manifold. You will see a spray of water from the straw as long as you blow air across it. The water spray is the same thing going on inside the carb. The needle valve on the carb will screw down into the spray nozzle submerged in the gas in the bowl, by adjusting the needle valve you "fine tune" the amount of gas passing up into the carb throat. A carb is nothing but a cup of water (gas), with a straw (strangling tube and needle) and air passing the open end of the straw.
I forgot to say, I would not worry about the dent in the throat of the carb as long as the choke plate works freely and "seats" well. The only issue it may cause is the hot air stove may need a little dent put in it to make it fit into the carb throat. They are made of tin so it will be no problem to get it to fit. Good luck with the project.
Great, thanks Donnie!
To answer your question, we have no experience rebuilding carburetors. We are both very green at this, but are having a great time.
I would be a lot more concerned about all the rust and other (non-ferrous) corrosion than I would the small dent. It should (and appears to) be a brass main casting. They can be very difficult to get apart if corroded. Some penetrating oils can actually make things worse. Parts (both large and small) can break easily. The bowl appears to be steel. What model carburetor is it? Kingston? Kingston what? The float inside may be made from cork, and need to be replaced.
For what it is worth, I am currently working to restore at least three Holley Gs and one '15/'16 Kingston for my '13 and '15 project cars.
There are some heating and cooling cycles that can help loosen parts and help with dis-assembly. But I won't tell you what they are because they didn't work for me very well and I maybe would tell you wrong (I broke one Holley G, hate it when I do that). The four I am rebuilding are the ones I got far enough apart to adequately clean and repair using shear stubbornness.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Jesse, if you don't have the book yet I expect you'd find it useful:
The carb comes apart pretty easily, as I suspect it has already been partially rebuilt.
Thanks, Steve, that book was the first thing I bought after the car. I like the old time language in it. "Run off the bolts" and such. My dad and I have been adopting the speak.
It appears that you have a Kingston L-2. Unfortunately, there are not many parts sold for that model and will require a fair amount of handiwork on your part to thoroughly refurbish this thing.
You MUST purchase the MTFCA "carburetor" book from any dealer. It will explain it's operation.
You're going to find at least 4 significant things with this carb...1) the throttle shaft will be badly worn as will the casting's thru-hole for the shaft. The casting will need bushing and the shaft replaced or built up to make it to proper size again (a wobbly throttle shaft will lead to inconsistent idle and screwed up air/fuel ratio). 2) the flapper valve will likely need a new seal. 3) the original float is cork and probably shot. If the hinge is OK, then there is a commercial replacement available. 4)The float valve is going to leak and the only commercially available one that I know of is a grose-valve and those have a very questionable history on gravity-feed automobiles. These can be refit with a proper functioning valve but require machine work.
The L-2 can be made to function just fine, but isn't a real good candidate for the first time builder. I'd suggest locating a Holley NH and redoing that one, as every part necessary is available new and will give rock solid performance for even a beginner.
best of luck
I agree with Scott on the NH for the reasons he stated. Then, while you're running the car with the NH, you can be working on a carburetor that's period correct for 1915. That could be the L-2 you have, or a Holley G. I haven't used both, but from my reading I gather the G is the better of the two. DON'T spend hundred of dollars for it. I've bought rebuildable G bodies at swap meets for $10. The G comes in bronze and cast iron. For 1915 you want the bronze one. With the MTFCA book you should be good to go.
That is VERY easy to fix. Find a cheap Chinese 3/8 or 1/2 inch drive socket that will just fit in the hole or is a little bigger than the hole. A really cheap one will have a thick wall and be pretty soft. Grind a flat spot on it. Keep grinding until it will fit in the hole with the flat spot where the dent is. Stick a drive like a ratchet or whatever in the socket and turn it. The dent will come right out and it will round out the entire intake. I have a whole set of them that I made and use them just about every day. It's a two minute fix once you have the socket ground down to fit. Maybe a twenty minute fix with finding a socket, grinding it down, etc.
If you have a lather you can just turn down a piece of stock and grind a flat spot on it.
(Giving away trade secrets here =) )
If you REALLY want to run that, the L-2 float valve is readily available from Langs. I use a bunch of them as a conversion in the Holley two screw and some other non-T carbs.
My advice is the hang it on the wall and spend your time and NRG rebuilding a Holley G. There are a lot of parts available for the G and it will run better than the L-2.
If you rebuild a G, make sure to remove the venturi and clean the passages and areas beneath it. Venturis are available and pretty cheap, you can but a lot of new parts for a G and still be under $100 bucks. One advantage of a G is that they have a large fuel bowl.
And T's run very well with the G. I drove my '15 Touring to the Centennial and back in '08 with a Holley G carb. It was an 1,800 mile trip. I had no problems on the entire trip and averaged 17 mpg.