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View Poll Results: How often do you rebuild your carburetor?
Annually 8 9.41%
Every other year 13 15.29%
Three years 0 0%
Four years 1 1.18%
Five years 2 2.35%
Over five years 3 3.53%
When she quits. If it works, don't fix it. 58 68.24%
Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1   IP: 24.152.131.153
Old 04-28-2013, 05:40 PM
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How often do you rebuild your carburetor?

I don't know if this has been polled before, I can't remember and couldn't find one. I just read a post that an engine with running problems had not had a carb rebuild in 9 years which surprised me.

So let's find out. What's the popular frequency?
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

Last edited by ndutton; 04-28-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:34 PM
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Marian Claire Marian Claire is offline
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I had to vote for "When she quits" or I should say when she starts acting up. I will say I carry a spare carb that I rebuilt and a rebuild kit plus misc parts/gaskets. If you only have one carb I could see the need for more timely maintenance. I think lack of use and improper winter storage cause many of the problems we see. Dan S/V Marian Claire
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:21 PM
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Smile off and cleaned each fall.

I voted "annually". I do remove the carb every fall, when the boat comes out of the water, once I've run the antifreeze into the engine and exhaust.

Then take it home, take it apart, remove all jets, float and needle...then clean it all with brake clean or combustion chamber cleaner (either will work fine). Then reassemble and put it back on the engine the day I start her up in spring.

It's not a rebuild but I keep it maintained annually.

EDIT - additional info: Fuel filters: one filter / water separator and an additional automotive style in-line filter. I strongly suggest changing the element in the separator yearly and the in-line filter yearly as well.

Maintenance: Carb and filters...yearly....always done in the spring on start-up day so that they are fresh and gas not sitting in them for months. So change element, change in-line filter, tighten all clamps, install carb...and fire up.
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Last edited by Mo; 04-29-2013 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:54 PM
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Just for clarification - is there a set definition of what qualifies as a "rebuild" of the carb?
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeRust View Post
Just for clarification - is there a set definition of what qualifies as a "rebuild" of the carb?
I'd say at a minimum a thorough cleaning and at least a float valve and seat replacement which would require a few new gaskets too. For me, I figure if it's that far apart I may as well go for the full monty meaning purchasing the rebuild kit and replacing the shaft seals as well. They can cause air leaks.

No extra parts left over like my Dad always had after one of his Mercury carb rebuilds. You remember him, the guy who'd light the BBQ with Molotov cocktails.

I hafta say I'm surprised at the early returns. As of this post there are only 5 out of 17 who perform regular maintenance, that's less than a third. With the care this group seems to give to their beloved engines, leaving the carb unmaintained until it fails is entirely contradictory to me. You don't do it with spark plugs, impellers or oil, why neglect the carb? I don't get it but it might help explain all the carburetor related posts we see on the forum. No wonder.
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1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

Last edited by ndutton; 04-29-2013 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:22 AM
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:51 AM
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Had to vote for rebuilding every other year.
I sorta do what Mo does...
Once each year I give it a cleaning.
I've only had it 3 years and rebuilt it once. (Not even sure it needed it. Just felt like Neil, I have it apart so, why not?

So, hence the "bi-vote"


I should point out here that I have been able to avoid any ethanol fuel too.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:05 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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As many on the site know I am a bit of a carb nut and I love to tinker too. I have had my carb opened a and closed as many as 8 times in a single day testing jetting sequences and such. My engine is very tired and now on her 43 year of service. I did replace an exhaust valve though when I bought her in 83'. I traded A-4 mechanic for some work on his valve tooling and he traded me a factory new A-4 carb in the box and the tools to redo my seat in the boat. That is also the only time the head was off too.
I have not done a rebuild of the carb since but I have taken it apart many times while tinkering and did not do anything but change parts check the gasket and back underway again.
I had a bad water enchroachment a few years back after some heavy rains ans a missing deck-fil 0-ring. I drained the water out from under the fuel and drained the carb on the motor. She fired right up and has been doing so since. I also start the season with my old O/B fuel and lawn toy gas too dumped into the non finiky A-4 for consumption.

I will note that the more you use the engine the less fuel related issues you'll face. Those that seem to have the most perplexing problems are those who mostly sail and use the lil beastie below to just get in and out of the slip. When fuel gets old and the engine does not use much of it things do start to gum up. I have been using the E-fuel for a long time with no issues but my engine usually motors me to my island a 5 hour trip early before the wind fills in. Then I start her before leaving for safety as I almost always sail off the mooring. When sailing off I do have the beastie below ready incase and then she is shut down usually before I ma through the mooring field.

As stated I am a bit of a carb guy and the problems in the carb are alomost always from something upstream.

Dave Neptune
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:46 PM
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I am having carb issues right now.
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"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is always happy with a clean bottom!

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Old 04-29-2013, 03:38 PM
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I think it is smart if you are doing it on some schedule to replace your water separator and polishing filter at the same time as well. This seems to save the hassle of the same day cleaning from blowing crap right back into your clean carb.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:44 PM
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A question for those that clean/rebuild often, annually/bi-annually. What do you find? Is there varnish forming, small bits of dirt or hose, rust? Are they just clean?
Shawn you know where I am if you need a second pair of eyes. If I remember my glasses that is. Dan S/V Marian Claire
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:04 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Neptune View Post
I will note that the more you use the engine the less fuel related issues you'll face. Those that seem to have the most perplexing problems are those who mostly sail and use the lil beastie below to just get in and out of the slip. When fuel gets old and the engine does not use much of it things do start to gum up.
As stated I am a bit of a carb guy and the problems in the carb are alomost always from something upstream.Dave Neptune
I start my engine every two weeks and run it against the dock lines for 10-15 minutes year 'round. This includes the weeks that I use the boat. This way I'm assured the engine reaches operating temp for at least a while. In and out of the harbor doesn't seem to quite seem to get the BEASTE warmed up adequately. Yes, I know, not as good as an hour or more at cruise RPM but it works well for me.

No carb problems for over 10 years (knock on wood)

TRUE GRIT
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marian Claire View Post
A question for those that clean/rebuild often, annually/bi-annually. What do you find? Is there varnish forming, small bits of dirt or hose, rust? Are they just clean?
I do mine bi-annually and usually find nothing alarming. I remove a good working carb and return a good working carb.

I also change my water separating filter annually and pour the contents in a glass jar for inspection. So far all good. On carb rebuild years the filter and carb are done at the same time.
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Had my hands in a few others
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
I do mine bi-annually and usually find nothing alarming. I remove a good working carb and return a good working carb.

I also change my water separating filter annually and pour the contents in a glass jar for inspection. So far all good. On carb rebuild years the filter and carb are done at the same time.
Ditto what Neil said. Usually I find nothing notable.
Just have it as a maintenance item to avoid any issue downstream.

I also change all the fuel hoses from tank to the carb every 2 years.
Where I sail, the very dry environment is not kind to rubber (or batteries)

The up-side is that I don't have any corrosion issues to worry about though!
Fair 'nuff tradeoff.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:46 PM
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I didn't vote, because although I my boat has owned me for nearly 3 years now, over a year of that was spent with the engine in pieces in my workshop at home and the boat on the hard, and in the year and a half since then, I've managed to use the boat only a handful of time, due to other, far more pressing, life matters requiring my more immediate and fuller attention.

As an example - I haven't even set eyes on my boat, much less set foot on her, for a couple months now. Last time I ran the engine was when I winterized it in December...
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:30 PM
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I'm with Dave on this one. I'll take off the carb and clean it just to clean it. Just did it before my last sail and almost did it again for the return trip. I think I need to find a different component to tinker with, but its just so accessible......
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:39 PM
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On a related topic, I did a stupid thing on the last clean-out before Ensenada. The flared end from the scavenge tube broke off. I drove around San Diego for 3 hours trying to find a flare tool that would fit the copper tubing 1/16"? to no avail....I was tired and frustrated, so I ended up using a small blade, hand flaring it and then tightening onto the 1/8 nipple...worked great.
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:01 PM
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I flared the end of the tube using a small phillips-head screwdriver tip. Just shoved it in there and spun it a bit.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:47 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Lightbulb Flared ends

I just converted to compression type fittings, no problem for the last 20 years or so. I even have a coil of 1/8" copper and extra farrel's in my ditty box! I use the 1/8 on my vac gage too so extra parts are ready for it to from the "ditty box".

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Old 05-03-2013, 11:02 AM
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marian Claire View Post
Shawn you know where I am if you need a second pair of eyes. If I remember my glasses that is. Dan S/V Marian Claire
Dan, thanks. I think we talked about this when you were in town. I just need to take the time to replace the filters, which I haven't done yet this year, then clean the carb, & I should be good to go. I always do things in the wrong order (clean the carb, and then do stupid stuff like leave known old/dirty filters in place because I am cheap) and then kick myself for it later. I know I should replace the filters to make sure I get clean gas to the carb...then clean it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Neptune View Post
I just converted to compression type fittings, no problem for the last 20 years or so. I even have a coil of 1/8" copper and extra farrel's in my ditty box! I use the 1/8 on my vac gage too so extra parts are ready for it to from the "ditty box".

Dave Neptune
Dave, I have a hose barb on the end of my vac gauge...how do you get rid of that & turn it into a compression fitting? I even went and bought a roll of copper tubing.. I guess I need to do a little disassembly of the gauge. I have all the parts for the engine side, I just gotta figure out the gauge side now.
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"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is always happy with a clean bottom!

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Last edited by sastanley; 05-03-2013 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:18 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Question Gage Port?

Shawn, most gages have a 1/8 NPT port and I just go from there. When hooking up your vac gage using at least 2+ feet will help It greatly reduces the "bounce" at idle and will have no influence on the actual reading. I have and have seen vac test gages that are plumbed from the inside with a barb only, this is not a constant duty type gage~thus the barb. A small SW works quite well and at 2 1/16 diameter it can be fit and/or mounted most anywhere.

Dave Neptune
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:31 PM
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Dave, I may have a non-constant duty gauge. It is a cheap combo vac/pressure gauge from Actron - CP7803

The way I had it hooked up before was a 90° barb on the other end of the hose that was 1/8" NPT male into the manifold.

Here's what I have now...the problem I recently noticed is I musta whacked it, the barb on the gauge is cracked.

Let's see if this pic works -



I see Sunpro makes a nice 2" vacuum gauge (CP7978)..I can pick it up for almost the same price locally as I can at Amazon..it has a 1/8"NPT connection.

Changing the subject, I also noticed my "Mr. Gasket" #1561 fuel pressure gauge reads about 1 PSI at rest..is there a way to zero these gauges out? It is a little unnerving to see 4+ PSI on the fuel pressure gauge..and I don't want to have to remember to scale it from 1 PSI, espcially if I am troubleshooting fuel issues.
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"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
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http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif

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Old 05-03-2013, 01:36 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Thumbs down Adjustments

Shawn, as far as adjusting don't bother the gage is relative to the preassure wupplied. So your gage is off 1 psi, as long as you know it no biggie!!!! I have seen people dissassemble and twiwst the needle and/or background with the numbers and it's not worth the trouble. I would trust it less after twisting than a gage that just wasn't zeroed. No biggie on a mechanical gage at all!!!!!!

Your scale should be fine just delete the one psi ole boy.

Dave Neptune
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:37 PM
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Can't vote on this one because I never have rebuilt the carb. But see my post of this date in the NAPA coil thread. I'm taking it apart and cleaning it good, and if it needs a rebuild I'll do that, too. Then probably an annual clean and rebuild as necessary after that.

Mark S.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:05 AM
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Might as well talk about carbs here.

My "good" carb will not keep the engine running...so today I bolted on my 'backup' carb and it ran fabulously. I must have missed something on the 'good' carb.

Dave Neptune, I did not follow your advice and I ripped the fuel pressure gauge apart too...the cheap plastic lens over the gauge face does not like gasoline...it melts and clouds the lens, but I bent the little rod inside the gauge to read zero at zero PSI.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:13 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Thumbs up Fine

Shawn, no biggie~the gage should still work. I just "prefer" the smaller permanent for mounting ease and the ability to see when operating.

Let us know what you find in carb #1.

Dave Neptune
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