I had the Kingston 4 ball carb that came with my 1914 Touring rebuilt. It arrived the other day and I started putting it in today. I ran into two issues.
1) I am missing the compression fitting ferrule that goes on the copper gas line at the connection to the carb. THe NH carb I removed had what looked like felt in this location, but I could not remove / reuse it. It looks like Langs sells a felt and a neoprene version, I will have to order one tomorrow.
2) The drain petcock handle hits the splash apron when the handle is pointing down. (like it is in the picture) I have not hooked it up to gas yet, so I am not sure which way is open and which is closed. I assumed horizontal was closed since handle perpendicular to flow is the way closed is on every petcock I have ever seen, but I had actually called the guy that rebuilt the carb the other night because the petcock arrived pointing down and it was stuck like that. He told me to tap it axially and it will free up, which it did. In conversation he mentioned that pointing down was closed. That was counter to my intuition but he mentioned that it was set up so handle down was open so it would not vibrate shut while driving.
Either way, I assume the petcock should not hit the splash apron. Any ideas?
Joe, Any hardware store has a brass ferrule if that is what you want to use or a neoprene O ring that will work. Pretty much everybody has their own idea as to what they want on there so - as far as I know - the people who rebuild don't include anything. Since the brass ferrule compresses the line to make the seal, it is possible that it will cause stress at that point and cause the line to break. Since I don't know what you have for a gas line I do not include a ferrule so I don't get blamed if the thin wall line breaks. On the other hand, the felt often leaks and in an effort to stop it people tighten it on the bowl threads too tight and strip the threads. That is why most people who rebuild do not include the nut. Since I machine mine from brass stock and thread them with the correct 1/2 x 18 tpi thread I have little concern about them stripping.
As far as the handle pointing down, that is the way they are made. Straight down or straight up is off, to the side is open to drain. Those little drain cocks are made of unobtainium, I have looked for years for a source for them and have never found one. Most of the carbs I get have been drilled out and the bowl threaded for 1/8 pipe so a new drain can be installed. I prefer to work on the old ones to get them to work even tho I could drill and tap the bowl in 5 minutes instead of working on the old ones for an hour or two.
Incidentally, you should not be using a copper gas line unless it is heavy sidewall refrigeration grade line. It will vibrate and break if it is the modern thin wall - most of which is made in China.
If you are not happy with my rebuild work or have questions you are welcome to contact me. All work is guaranteed.
I wasn't trying to imply I was dis-satisfied in any way. You have been helpful and I did not want to bother you by calling for help hooking it up.
I have some brass ferrules, but think I am going to go with the Neoprene. Seems like the best solution from what I have read.
I am not sure why the petcock is hitting the splash apron. The previous owner said that carb was in the car before he replaced it with an NH. I don't understand how that carb could have been in that car, and the petcock could be down while driving. Maybe up, I didn't try up... I will try that tomorrow.
For what it's worth, I use a combination of two sizes of O rings for the gas line. They can be found at most any parts store and work great. If it doesn't quite seal, just add another O ring. The nut doesn't have to be tightened very much, so there isn't too much danger of causing a stress point on the line. YMMV. Dave
Forgot to say, the neoprene O ring the vendors sell works great too. I see no reason to use the felt or a ferule. Again, YMMV. Dave
Get a hole saw and cut open a hole large enough to do the trick. That way you can also drain the fuel down to a receptacle underneath it rather than the fuel running down the pan. Just a thought.
Maybe the engine pan is not stamped deep enough? In any case the engine pan can be easily reworked to gain a bit more depth. I've run an identical 4 ball carb on my '14 and the petcock handle came nowhere near the engine pan.
The 1912 - 1916 engine pan has a deep recess below the carburetor. The intake manifold on the 1915 - 1916 center door was much longer than the intake used on tourings and runabouts. The 4 ball carburetor was specified for the center door sedan. The carburetor clears on those cars - something simple and obvious must be wrong with your car Joe.
Here's a picture of an original 1914 engine pan. Notice how deep the recess is below the carburetor? Reproductions are not as deep.
I have a Model Y and repro pans on my '14 and everything fits fine. It's hard to tell from your photo if your carb is the style with the drain cock integral with the float arm chamber. On mine it is not, so the drain is at the forward end of the carb and fits perfectly over the dished area of the pan. This may be the source of your problem.
I ordered neoprene packing from Langs and it should get here in a couple of days. I could not wait, so I put a couple of O rings on the line and snugged it up. It seems to hold, but I will change it out with the neoprene when it shows up. I will also change the felt at the end of the tank to neoprene as that joint always had a light seep.
I polished the fuel line and it is brass, not copper, so that was good news.
I played with it and the problem is the drain cock is not over the divot in the splash apron, so the handle can not point down. I turned the handle up and it can only go up like 80 degrees instead of 90 before it hits the carb, but it shuts off. (It actually seeps a little, but I do not think that is due to the handle rotation.)
It was raining, so I just rant he car in the barn. Hopefully the weather allows a test drive tomorrow.
Another pic, not much better view...
The petcock on my carb is on the rearward (in car) side of the carb. After searching the net for pictures, it seems there were versions with the petcock where it is on my carb, and versions with it forward in car on the float chamber.
My guess is that the carb I have is the wrong style 4 ball for a T, which is why the lever has to be up, not down...
The engine pan in your photo is a later style. The recessed area is further forward on those. You need to get a proper pan that has the recess in the right place to clear a Kingston 4 ball.
Langs calls it 1911 - 14 on their web site:
I doubt that your style carb is wrong for a T--it's the one shown in the parts books--but you probably need the differently-dished engine pan to go with it.
Or just keep the drain handle pointing up.
Joe, if you don't want to switch the pan, I can change the bowl to the later style with the drain cock that should fit your pans. Just send it back and email me a couple good pictures of your engine pan. I have a couple of those later bowls but need the entire carb back to make sure of the fit.
Does anybody know a source for those little drain cocks?? I have searched everywhere I know of and the only answer I have found is that they are made of unobtainium. I've only seen one or two that didn't seep no matter what. If anybody knows where I can get some or a set of the dies to cut that bastard thread on them I would appreciate you letting me know. It is apparently 1/16 pipe thread.
Thanks for the offer of swapping the bowls, but my intention of taking the NH off and putting the 4 ball on was to make the car more correct. I am going to do some digging / reading, but if the splash aprons are what us wrong, that is what I want to change. For the meantime, I will just put the petcock lever up.
Weather looks like it will be good tonight so hopefully I will get a test drive in tonight.
Thanks Jerry, I've looked in McMc before but must have missed that. I don't have one of their catalogs, just the on line but I should have been able to find it. I'll check with them for a tap and order the set.
Like they say in the south, 'Preciate it.
Now if I could just find a box of NOS drain cocks that fit that thread. Anybody going to that sale in Portland????
Is the drain cock that started the thread the one that Kingston used? The one I have on mine is a little different.
Ken in Texas
It is the same as the others I have done with this type of bowl but who knows what it came with? I would guess that Kingston did not make these, they probably bought them from a supplier and there may well have been several different designs that all got used.
Gotta say that those carb pictures with a black background are just stunning. Maybe there are other rebuilders who do just as well, but it seems to me that you can tell a Stan Howe rebuild from across the room.
Here is the factory drawing showing the correct petcock. Published here under my license. Image property of the Benson Ford Archive.
Royce, That pic helps a lot! I noticed the petcock is turned in about a half turn different in the pic than on mine. That would put the petcock lever rearward and inboard which might just put it in the proper location to be over the divot in my apron. I will take a look today.
I tried to go for a test drive yesterday, but I couldn't start the car... I still have to learn what this carb likes for cold starts.
On the NH I would open the throttle about 4 or 5 clicks, pull the choke and turn the engine over two full revs, open choke and turn to battery and it would either free start or a 1/4 turn and it would fire. It took me a while to learn that recipe for the NH, but it is not the right one for this 4 ball. I need to learn a new recipe, and would love advice from those with 4 ball / hand crank experience...
I did some reading on a thread about starting with a 5 ball and I will try some of their techniques.
Crank starting is easy. This works on every Model T:
1. With the key off pull the choke lever. Pull upward on the crank three times from 9:00 - 1:00.
2. Release the choke and pull upwards one more time.
3. Pull the throttle lever half way down.
4. Be sure the spark lever is all the way up.
5. Turn the key on.
6. If the car did not compression start on step 5 pull up on the crank once.
I tried your method without success. I had to resort to starting fluid Once it warmed up just a little it was easy to start with the crank, but when stone cold with this carb, it did not even sputter.
I read through this thread on 5 ball carbs and tomorrow when it is cold again I am going to try opening the throttle 8 -9 notches, Choke 3 pulls, then no choke 1 pull, then ignition + a pull. I think the mixture just isn't rich enough with what I have been trying so far.
I didn't flip the petcock 180 degrees, but that looks like everything will fit if I do that. Have a todo list, and just had a short time today for the T.
I loosened the petcock and rotated it around. I may have the wrong apron, but it fits with my splash apron as long as the handle is on the inboard side anywhere between almost all the way forward and almost all the way rearward.
If anyone has one of those drain petcocks, I'd be interested in it. Oh, and a float, too.
Or, can I modify a Holly G float that is made out of the modern float material?
Do the balls need to be smooth?
I modified a Holly G float (one of the modern material) 800 miles ago and it works fine. The cork one broke. I used one of the two holes to mount the float arm, then took off a smidgeon where it touched the inside of the bowl.
One of the other threads has a picture of a row of engines with 4-ball Kingstons on them being "burned in" at the factory. The date given is 1914 but probably a little earlier. Teacup pan.
When you zoom in you can see the drain petcocks are on the bowl of those 4-balls rather than the float arm chamber. I have that version on my car.
Ken in Texas
Keith, the balls need to be replaced in every rebuild as far as I'm concerned. Some of the old ones are as much as .020 out of round. Also, in my opinion the seats need to be ground or it is pretty much pointless to do anything else.
Floats: I make them from some material I buy in one foot by one foot blocks 1.75 inches thick. I have had better luck with those than the Holly G floats. I turn them on a lathe chuck on a motor. I am still trying to get the guy in New York who made my Stromberg OF parts to mold me some Schebler and 4 ball floats from his patented material. He is just too busy to do it.
Joe, I have not seen a 4 ball with the handle on the inboard side but I certainly haven't seen all 4 balls. I know there are at least 3 different bowls that were used on them, there are differences in the fuel inlet on the bowls. It does not seem to me that Ford would have used a petcock that has to be turned so the handle is to the inside in order to fit the car. Mebbe so, I just don't think so. My guess is that they changed the float bowl and inlet in order to move the petcock to a more convenient position or changed the splash apron to accommodate the drain cock for the carburetor that was being used.
This seems to be another of those Model T deals where the parts books and literature may not show what was actually being used.