I posted the following in the classified section in response to Mario's request for a 1911 carb:
"I realize that 100+ years can partially explain why so many carburetors are missing from brass Model T's purchased these days. But why? Were these early carburetors not very good and therefore were replaced over the years by simpler carbs such as the Holley NH? Then where - other than to Uncle Stand's ranch - did all those original brass carbs go that we can't find? They couldn't have ALL gone to the WWII war effort to be melted down into artillery shell casings! They have to still be somewhere!"
This could conceivably open a Pandora's Box, but why do YOU think early brass car carbs have been replaced by later models? Cork floats and poor, over-complicated designs? Enquiring minds want to know so that we can accept having to pay a few hundred dollars for the right carb for our 1911 Model T rather than $89.50 for a fully-rebuilt Holley NH.
OOPS! The header should read "carbs", not "cabrs". Not that cabrs are not important in life, too!
WOW! WARNING: Don't take heavy-duty cold medication and then post on websites!!! Of course, the main man should be "Uncle Stan", not "Uncle Stand". O.K. That's it! No more posting until tomorrow morning when the effects of multiple cold medications have worn off. Then the mistakes will truly be natural, not medicinal. How embarrassing for anal person like me to make so many typos!
LOL Take car of your self!
Nothing wrong with your post at all......quite entertaining really..........
I suspect many of the earlier carbs were simply replaced after years of service and perhaps one too many rebuilds (?).
The carbs of the twenties were simpler to maintain and prolific (i.e. cheap) so the car owner would lean towards "updating" his car.
"Take CAR of myself"??? Are we both on the same cold medications?
There was a flood of NH units compared to the G or other early carburetors. Quite often, the used what they could get their hands on.
I hope U are far far away with your ACHOOS. What's your 20?
Not on cold meds but sometimes my fingers get away from me! You should see some of my pre spell check postings.
If not, you both auto be. ; )
(No cold medicine here, just a shot of whiskey)
They might have been OK or not as good as the NH but I'm betting they were more expensive. Rest assured there's a reason their somewhat scarce.
First, that was fairly early in the total production run, so there were not as many out there, then WW1, the Great Depression,Ww2, the Korean War, Vietnam war, and ten years of very high scrap metal prices got a fair number that nobody knew what they were, or why anyone would want or need them! Add to that the idea of fixing a more complicated design versus a cheap, simple replacement by a local dealer or garage. Carburation was still a dark science in those days, you were only a few years from having raw gas dripping on a cotton ball as a carb! The aftermarket was already full of new designs, promising great power, fuel economy, easy starting and whatever else they could think of! So then, as today, replace it, don't try to repair it was the norm!
I posted some photos of the Holley 4500 on another thread.
Most of the very early carbs had no choke circuit. Most started by flooding the carb with gas, crank and hope. Including the early Kingston 5 ball.
Within 5 years of the introduction of the T, there were over 100 different accessory carbs on the market. Eventually there were over 200. Many of them started and ran as well as the stock T carbs, many of them were far superior.
Nearly all of the accessory carbs had some kind of dedicated idle circuit. The Holley G was the first Ford carb to have a dedicated idle circuit.
Without getting in to a discussion of venturi flow, pressure differential and fuel quality and altitude compensation (because I have neither the time nor inclination to argue about whether it is vacuum or pressure differential when you are talking about carburetor theory) the reality is that within just a few years there were all sorts of carburetors that ran better than any of the early carbs supplied by Ford. The Holley G was the first that did not rely on some type of air valve for compensation and that had a true dedicated idle circuit -- which also probably helps starting.
scroll down for photos of the Holley 4500 and another Holley used on the NRS.
Agree with all of the prior answers plus the NH has really nothing like the balls in a Kingston to get jammed with a tiny piece of debris. I have several Kingston's and they usually worked fine, but today reside in a display case. My NH has been across the US with nary a complaint.
It's very simple. For the first 20 years or so, those were just old cars and the owner either bought a replacement carburetor or took it in to be fixed. Since the later carburetors would fit the car, they became, "replacement parts". It wasn't until many years later possibly around the 1950's that the Antique car restoration hobby got popular. By then there were not enough of the carburetors left for all the earlier models.
The 1912 will run on the original carb ,Dad tried he rebuilt it, when that did not work he sent it away and the car runs but flat at 25. How put on a straight through NH the car runs better will do 50 all day if you have the nerve, starts better to, 1/4 flip and running. The original carb is in a box and will be reinstalled when it goes to a museum. Dad told me if you want original, 40 years have pasted and maybe one of the pros can fix it ,if you want to drive the car stay with the NH. Cheers Colin
Most of the early carbs ran well but ate a lot of dirt and wore quickly. If your car won't run over 25 on the original carb there is something wrong with the carb.
I agree Stan back in the 60s when most of the work was done here in Winnipeg there was experts so you did what you could, later a guy from Albert had a rebuilt carb with parts he had made of plastic, it run better but not right. The NH fixed the problem,Dad always said if you don't now how to do something get a book and learn how.The car is not 100% 12 and now Dads Gone its just Dads old car I take for a drive. Cheers Colin
When I purchased my '15 Touring, it already had an NH carburetor on it. -The engine seems happy and I'm not about to rock the boat.
I thought I would post these pictures here. This is one of the last Hooley 4500 made by Ernie Brown in Ok. He made these carbs, too bad he is gone.
I used to constantly argue with a a certain guy on this forum that 2 things on the early Fords, 09-13 , were not ideal and that was why they kept changing. Timers and Carby's! there were quite a few different brass carbs tried but were superseded by other models. Also the lower volume of cars produced meant less as well. The Kingston 5 ball was a particularly contankerous model and hard to start a car with. Not a feature you want a car you drive regularly.
A lot of course has to do with the history and timing of improved developments. I think the main reason, Stan already mentioned it, was the dust and crud sucked into the carburetors. The "Multiple ball" (four ball, five ball, etc) were particularly sensitive to the wear inflicted by the motion of the balls in their cavities along with the abrasive grinding provided by the dust kicked up by the front tires on a dry dusty road. I have read several of Stan's articles on rebuilding that style of carburetor, and it sounds to me like it takes a lot of work to repair that damage (I do not claim to speak for Stan, just repeating what I had read). Fine dust mixed with a little oil or low grade gasoline of the day would make a pretty decent valve seating mixture. Just imagine what it would do to a brass casing coated on the steel ball.
"Not that cabrs are not important in life, too!"
Sorry. Couldn't resist....
Warwick, interesting you say that about 5 ball carburetors. I have never had an issue starting my 1910 so equipped so long as I first flood the carb and crank it over 5 times before turning on the battery. Most times I get a free start. If not, it starts usually on the first pull. It runs very well at speed. I heard that it performs better on a dynamometer than other stock T carbs. I agree that the adjustment knob is very sensitive and that float height is important.
Wayne, the balls are brass, not steel. Every 5 ball I have ever seen has worn seats and balls. I'm not so sure the balls were all that round to begin with but a lot of the starting problems seem to revolve around the balls and seats leaking so much air past them that the carb doesn't supply enough fuel to the engine to start and idle is rough.
I have had several, including one I am going to be working on soon, where the balls have worn right down through the seats and are either stuck or falling through the seat holes. A lot of the engines in those days had a little vibration and it probably wasn't all that good for balls and seats.
It isn't factory original but the ones I rebuild I lengthen the taper on the needle rod to make them more tolerant of adjustment. Some of the factory ones have such a short taper it is either "on or off" adjustment. They look to me like they were done with a file while the lathe was turning the piece.
Many 5 balls have had the float replaced. I use a brass float in them with a system that allows me to use the original bowl and not drill or cut up the seat. You do have to adjust the fuel height to make sure there is gas in the tube to be picked up or you can crank forever and they won't start.
Stan H, Sometimes, T think the more I learn about these things? The less I know. I always enjoy reading what you have to say, and thank you for the time to educate those of us trying to learn more.
And Dick Lodge! Thank you for slipping in the "caber" toss! Having been to the "games" a few times, and seeing it done, I truly appreciate the Scots. (And a wee bit Scottish myself.)
Thank you all for your input and views on why early carbs (or even cabrs) are hard to find today. It makes for good reading and explains a great deal.
I believe that it is not at all important to keep our cars EXACTLY original unless we have a pristine one that it already perfect and in that case it is extremely important to keep it original. Does anyone have a 1960's or 70's air conditioned car still running on that refrigerant that kills Condors, Spotted Owls, and earthworms ?