Best carb upgrade for a stock T

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Best carb upgrade for a stock T
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 11:13 pm:

Am going through all the things my T needs during these long winter Months, and the carb is now at the top of the list. I have a Holly NH that needs a rebuild and was just wondering what others you would recommend that may perform better, on a stock T motor with no modifications...Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 11:23 pm:

Stromberg OF is the best all around T carb. Easy starting and good idle, smooth acceleration, adjust it once and forget it.

Others are faster, more economical, spiffier, better for speedsters, etc. OF is the best all around. Once you have run an OF you will wonder how you ever put up with an NH.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 11:40 pm:

Stan, i am amazed at your quality of workmanship. could you send me a price and availability on an OF? Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 12:07 am:

Thanks for the compliment.

An OF is $575, availability is as soon as I get some steel parts that I am having laser cut in New York, probably a month. I have two on order, may or may not have enough steel parts to put one more together. I have about 20 bodies but am out of the small steel throttle arms, etc.

Might want to look here: www.strombergof.com

I am back in the shop for another couple hours tonight finishing up a matching set of 4 Stromberg MB-1's for a race car. I'll post a pic when I get them done.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 12:38 am:

Stan, that's a lot of money for something that you admit isn't faster or more economical than the the average carb. I still hope you can build me something.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 02:09 am:

John; he charges less if you have one to rebuild, By the time you buy a Stromberg OF and have it rebuilt it's the same. I've had Stan rebuild 2 OFs and an RF; they're great carbs. For something cheap a plain old stock Holly will run fine, just not as well as the OF.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 02:36 am:

EVERY carburetor is a compromise.

If you just want to go fast, I have a couple Miller Master. Hard to start, fussy to adjust, hard to make idle, poor economy. But: it will outrun anything else ever built for a Model T. I'll take $1000 for one with a newly machined barrel and include the original manifold that is specific to this carb only.

If you just want economy, there are several choices that will give you better economy than an OF, an NH or most accessory carbs. No power, no speed but great economy.

If you want beauty, I can do a show polish on any brass carburetor. Show polish starts at $250 and goes up until it is as shiny as your pocketbook allows. A polished 5 ball is a true art work of great beauty and will run excellently once you get the engine started.

If you want cheap, keep using an NH.

If you want correct for your early 09, check your bank balance and get ready for at least a couple grand, maybe more. An early 5 ball Kingston restored will easily bring two grand or more. There are many differences in the early ones that can make a thousand dollar difference in the price. You can choose the correct one or the one you can afford.

I have an early 09 Buffalo here right now for rebuild. Likely the finest quality Buffalo 09 in existence, right hand drive configuration. You could buy three or four 5 ball Kingstons for what this is worth unrestored, my restoration bill will be easily what you can buy close to a dozen rebuilt NH's from the vendors for. Probably more than that by the time I have the correct left hand drive arm cast and machine it. It is probably very close to the only one in the world that may be for sale and it may just go in the owner's collection. Most carburetor collectors have never seen a real one. Neither have most 09 owners.

If you want any one specific feature there are carburetors that will address that feature.

That said, there is no period correct carburetor for Model T Fords that will give the all around performance, economy and ease of maintenance that a Stromberg OF will. They are readily available, all bronze construction so parts can be machined and utterly reliable.

I do not rebuild many NH's or other common carbs. I do far more Holley G's than I do NH's. I prefer to do the challenging rebuilds that I am capable of doing and let other people do what they are capable of doing. They charge what they charge and I charge what I charge. I don't care what they charge and I doubt they care what I charge. I have carburetors in 15 or 20 countries around the world from Russia to South Africa, Czechoslovakia to South America. I have rebuilt somewhere around 1,000 OF's and several hundred others. Until I developed a workable, reliable needle and seat system for the OF they were $35 carbs at every swap meet. Not any more.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 02:46 am:

Thanks, Gary

I also got in the mail yesterday another of the early 09 T carbs, the first Holley used on T's. I'll have to take a photo and post it -- most people, including many 09 owners have never seen one. I'll try to remember to take a pic of the Buffalo 09, too. I thought I had one but just scrolling through my 100's of carb pics didn't see it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 09:15 am:

I am currently running a an early Marvel straight through (with flapper for better low end). While I like the Kingston L4 the Marvel seems to have a better top end. It was made before Marvel joined Schebler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 09:47 am:

Stan, This is just a little off topic. How hard to rebuild and how good are the Schebler Model D carbs. I need one rebuilt for my 1908 Reliable Dayton. I have several in the proper one inch size,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Wicker on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 10:38 am:

I have a simons high speed. have not rebuilt it yet. Heard there hard to start but run great.
Also a Holly NH Hump?....larger bore...told there cold natured?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 10:45 am:

Unless the Simons is missing the flap it should not be any harder to start then other carbs, the flap allows for richer start and idle mixture. Not aware that the NH is larger bore. As far as cold natured, guess that depends on how the needle is adjusted.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 11:15 am:

Donnie, those little Schebler D's are good carbs. The biggest problem with them is that the air valve leather has to make a pretty good seal or it make it nearly impossible to start the engine. Also, the air valve spring has collapsed in many of them and has to be replaced. Fixing that and installing a modern needle and seat and float to replace the cork one, machining all the surfaces to stop the air leaks and tipping the needle so the adjustment works again is the trick on the rebuilds. I probably have 15 or 20 of them running around the country, including two on two of the nicest Model F Fords in the US. There are tons of them around, Ford used them on the early A-F; IHC, Sears, Reliable Dayton, many ended up on Hupp to replace the troublesome Breeze. I have at least one new old stock one. Have one waiting to be done for a 1908 Sears. The bigger ones are easier to work on but none of them are too bad. I convert the needle and seat to modern instead of trying to make the old one work and almost always just make a new adjustment needle. Somewhere I have a whole chingo of pictures of some rebuilt ones but don't have time to look for them this morning. I'm headed for the shop.

Fred, the reason Ford dropped the NH straight through or "hump" is that they were hard to start on the stem. Also the gas available in parts of the country was terrible at that time. The sway back NH's start better, I guess. With a starter I don't know that there is any difference. Also with modern fuels there probably isn't much difference in how any of them start.

Simmons are good but don't take that little coil out of there. That was their patent on breaking up the droplets of fuel to make it vaporize better.

By the way, Donnie, Bob Woodburn -- the guy with the 25,000 Couplet body -- is working on his Reliable Dayton Surrey bodied two cylinder, getting it ready to sell. You should hook up with him.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 11:22 am:

Stan, Do you have Bobs contact info. If not Ill try to go thru the e-bay auction. Send me a PM or e-mail dobro (at) artelco.com Not many of us Reliable Dayton owners out there. only 10 cars at last count ..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jem Bowkett, Bracknell United Kingdom on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 11:51 am:

Have to endorse Stan's recommendation of the OF, been running one for about 10 yrs. Fit and forget.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 11:53 am:

Stan, thanks for that clarification on the compromise issue. I guess its like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. Will definitely be interested once the funds allow, thanks again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 12:12 pm:

Here's my take on the Simmons carbs. I find the Simmons to be a very easy-starting carb. The flapper works more or less like an automatic choke. Usually one choke pull when cold is all that's needed with them. Top end is good too. It's what I have on my everyday driver Model T, because I like them a lot.

Uncle Stan is my friend, and I don't want to dissuade anyone from buying his carbs or his services. But some of those exotic carbs he sells are pretty high-dollar. I'm not saying they shouldn't be, just that they are. After he works his magic on them, they are beautiful, no doubt about it. Some folks can afford anything they want, and if you're in that situation, good on you. Place your order with Stan and expect good things to come from it. I know for a fact that he will bend over backward to make his customers happy.

I'm not in that situation of having plenty of money to buy all the toys I'd like to have. I expect several others here are in the same boat. So for y'all in that po'-boy boat with me, this last part is for you: My experience is that the Simmons will give you better performance than an NH or Kingston, at a cost which most of us can afford. Are they as good as one of Stan's OF's? Probably not. Are they good enough for me? Absolutely.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mario Brossard on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 01:57 pm:

Hi Mike,

Did you have any picture of the Simmons carb to share for my personal knowledge. And Which year they are used ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 02:51 pm:

Mike - Just to add a bit to what you said, that's why a lot of us "T" guys have "T's and not Packards or Auburn Boatail Speedsters, right?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil, Fullerton, CA, USA on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 03:27 pm:

Of the Stromberg OF Stan said "Easy starting and good idle, smooth acceleration, adjust it once and forget it."

That sounds pretty good to me. One of the main things I value is sweet running, the other is reliability. My fresh '23 has a Chaffin "Driver" cam, 351 Ford valves, a Z head and the Chaffin AL manifold. How would the OF work with all of that? The car has an NH now and I intend to drive the car on tours rather than take it to shows.

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 03:40 pm:

Mario -- Sorry, I don't have any good pics of a Simmons carb. They look very much like a straight-through NH, which was standard issue on T's in the early 20's. As a matter of fact, many of the NH and Simmons parts will interchange. One difference between the Simmons and NH is that the Simmons has a "flapper" in it, similar to that found in Kingston carbs. That helps to make them easier to start, as mentioned above.

They were available as an aftermarket replacement for the carbs which came on Fords and can be used on any year T. The same carbs also were sold through Western Auto stores under their brand name "Wizard."

Harold -- You are correct. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 04:01 pm:

These threads have some Simmons carb pics:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/461543.html?1406346710

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/371942.html?1372906796


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 04:53 pm:

Does anyone reproduce the flapper for the Simmons?

I have a Simmons that appears to be rebuilt, but is missing the flapper and is very difficult to start and will not idle... runs GREAT when going though!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 05:42 pm:

That thread in the second link posted by Mark has some great Simmons pics which were posted by Jay. (So I won't post the ones I just took at my shop.) :-)

Derek -- No one is reproducing them that I know of. Uncle Jack did at one time, but apparently no longer. There would be such a small demand for them that it probably wouldn't be worthwhile to tool up to make them.

I don't know whether one from a Kingston would work or not. Has anyone tried that? I don't think I have a Kingston in stock to check it.

Thread drift has taken us from "What's the best carb" to "How can I get my Simmons to work?" :-)

Sorry about that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 08:25 pm:

I'm running a Simmons and really like it. The flapper in mine looks new, I lucked out. I rebuilt it with NH parts. Great carb. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Friday, January 16, 2015 - 01:01 am:

Paul, I'm running an OF and I really like it. Of course I don't know any better so can't comment how much better.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Friday, January 16, 2015 - 01:38 am:

I had been running an OF on my coupe, replacing a Holley NH, and it seemed Good. This OF has not received the Laying On of Hands from Mr. Howe. It is something that I stumbled across and as it didn't look too bad I threw it on to see what might happen. It probably will improve after Stan has his way with it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary London, Camarillo, CA on Friday, January 16, 2015 - 05:10 am:

Paul; The only issue I ran into with the modern aluminum manifold was the angle of the manifold is slightly different from the block than a stock manifold. This pushed my OFs up against the frame and was a pain in the rear. On my '11 it was no big deal because it has a dog leg manifold, but on my '15 it was a problem. I had another original dog leg manifold so I stuck it on my '15. I have Chaffin's driver cams in both cars. The '11 has a Reeder low head (with the Ford script) and on the '15 I just changed back to a stock low head and high compression pistons. The '11 has large intake valves, the '15 has stock size valves.

So, my '11 has a comparable setup to yours, and it runs great.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil, Fullerton, CA, USA on Friday, January 16, 2015 - 08:27 pm:

I like the idea of a sweet running carb but now I'm a bit worried the OF would not fit. What is a dogleg manifold and where can you get them? Is there a way to measure if the OF would fit on my low steel '23 before committing to a purchase?

Gene - if you are at the tech inspection tomorrow we can take a look-see.

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Friday, January 16, 2015 - 08:57 pm:

The OF was designed by Stromberg for the Model T Ford. If you have a standard manifold that mounts any Model T Ford supplied carb the OF will bolt right in its place. It uses the same gas connection and throttle rod.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Friday, January 16, 2015 - 09:31 pm:

The Stromberg OF is actually easier to bolt to a standard Model T manifold than just about any other carburetor because it just uses bolts and no nuts. The flange on my OF 's are threaded to accept the mounting bolts without nuts involved in the process.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Friday, January 16, 2015 - 09:32 pm:

For my money, I would talk to the doctor of carbs, Russ Potter. He sold me two (straight through) for both of my driving T's. Smooth from start to finish on any driving day.


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