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View Poll Results: How often do you rebuild your carburetor?
Annually 10 10.53%
Every other year 13 13.68%
Three years 0 0%
Four years 1 1.05%
Five years 2 2.11%
Over five years 3 3.16%
When she quits. If it works, don't fix it. 66 69.47%
Voters: 95. You may not vote on this poll

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  #26   IP:
Old 05-06-2013, 07:52 AM
positron positron is offline
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I voted for "when she quits" but it is hard to say. I rebuilt my carb 2 years ago, after 2 years of boat ownership. Ethanol-degraded rubber hose particles were the main culprit. I installed a water filter and polishing filter and have not had problems since. If it starts to act up again, I think (hope!) that I can limp home, order the rebuild kit, and have it all working by the next weekend. Each time I go sailing, I run my engine for a good hour to get down the river and out to the bay, then another hour to get home. The more I run it the happier it is.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:15 PM
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Bold Rascal Bold Rascal is offline
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I rebuilt the carb during my efforts to get the motor running after purchasing her late in 2011. Lil beastie has been running just fine ever since. I recently acquired another carb to keep as a spare and have rebuilt it as well.
2 rebuilds in 2 years however, I doubt I'll rebuild the primary for at least another 2 years or possibly longer.
Mike, Slower-Lower Eastern shore, MD
1973 Pearson 33
1967 Bristol 27
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:30 AM
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If my boat was in the water year-round and used regularly I don't think I'd be looking at pulling the carb apart and cleaning annually. The only reason I do it is because the boat is layed up for 5 months minimum...sometimes 6 months. For that reason, and that reason alone, I prefer to remove it and clean it out.

1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:48 PM
Bob N Bob N is offline
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From Road & Track

Dick O'Kane, a writer for Road & Track in the 70's, once said that "carburetor is a French word meaning 'leave it alone.'" (Of course, he was referring to the dastardly SU's installed in MG's and other Brit cars.) Still, they are words I have taken to heart.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:32 PM
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BunnyPlanet169 BunnyPlanet169 is offline
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More than I used to...

First - THANKS to all in this community that make it so easy to learn everything A4!

Just finished a 2 year refit prompted by fuel issues - I had everything that can go bad in a fuel system. Tank full of gunk from 40 years....carb full of gunk after 40 years....

Suffice to say, I was thrilled that my engine started beautifully last night, after taking a sawsall to the cockpit to pull the tank in 2011. Thanks again to the Forum, and Moyer Marine for providing such a valuable resource. Rebuilt carb, new electric fuel pump, big idle adjustment screw, oil pressure safety switch, oil drain kit, absolutely MAGIC extended bolt for the lower rear water pump....

So, how often? I'm thinking yearly and in the Fall, with the caveat that my entire fuel line will be dry from the tank outlet onward, and new big and in-line filters in the spring. I have continual problems with the newer fuel formulations in any small engine (except my weedwacker which seems impervious.) Outboard motor, chainsaw, generator, A4 all suffer from infrequent (not daily/weekly) usage and the gumming, varnishing, sticking that ensues. The only thing I haven't decided is whether or not to drain the tank and air it out, or fill the tank and keep the moisture trap on the vent. I'm leaning toward the former - in New England, our season is so short.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:18 AM
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Neil, you mention shaft seals. Can you give any details about replacing them.
Where do you get them? etc...
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  #32   IP:
Old 06-24-2014, 09:49 AM
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Some rebuild kits include them, some don't. I confess I bought my last few kits from other than MMI and the seals were included. I think (not certain) the MMI kit does not. I do not have a separate source for the seals by themselves. Maybe a carburetor shop might if you can even find one any more.
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:32 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
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Lightbulb B-bearing source

If you can't find the seals in a kit you can find most any seal at a "bearing" house. It is just a std seal that was fitted to the carb. The seal may even have numbers on it for an easy match. If no numbers take a caliper along you'll need OD ~ ID & sometimes length. I use Monarch Bearing for seals and bearing needs and have found every one I have looked for, even on 50+year old machinery, engines and especially transmissions.

Dave Neptune
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:57 PM
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Thanks guys. MMI kit does not have seals. Sound pretty easy to source.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:36 PM
gary randall gary randall is offline
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I have to qualify my every year vote because I don't replace the parts unless they appear to be damaged, like a needle valve that has no needle part left, for example.
I do however give it a thorough cleaning and inspection and replace the gaskets after complete disassembly.

For me, the payoff lies in eliminating a potential source if trouble develops with the engine.

I also like knowing it well enough to be able to strip the thing down on the dinette table in a rolling sea without losing track of what's what. Sometimes it's a long way from an Internet connection and those on the forum who are always there to bail me out!
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  #36   IP:
Old 02-12-2016, 09:41 AM
hanleyclifford hanleyclifford is offline
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Originally Posted by romantic comedy View Post
Thanks guys. MMI kit does not have seals. Sound pretty easy to source.
Interesting that the MM kit # FCAR_02_54 contains the jets, nozzles etc but not the seals whereas the "other site" in #K2112 includes the seals but not the jets. I think it might be a good idea to have both kits in the cabinet.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:23 PM
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I drain my carb every fall as part of winter layup.
I have not touched it since rebuilding it in 2005 with a Moyer kit.
In the spring, I just tickle the pump and she starts right up
'77 catalina 30 #783
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:38 AM
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I rebuilt my carb a couple of months ago and did a dumb ass thing. Motor started and ran like a dream. Next week it would start but not idle. I started upstream and replaced my racor filter (5 years old) and fixed a leaky cutoff valve and added a polishing filter. Everything ran great, but I still couldn't idle so I pulled the carb I had rebuilt a few months before, expecting to maybe just clean the idle jet. When I opened it up, everything was full of varnish and gunk. Cleaned her up and she runs like a car now. Apparently you can't trust ethanol to last a year. But, I've learned my lesson. I've changed to non-ethanol, I will drain the filter more often, and change all filters annually. And I will give the carb a cleaning annually, only after changing filters.

The bad thing about the A4 is that it will run under the worst conditions, allowing bad stuff to sneak up on you, that is if you are a procrastinator like me.
Marker Dave

'75 Catalina 30 #65
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  #39   IP:
Old 05-11-2019, 04:23 PM
ubxf ubxf is offline
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I voted for when it breaks, that is because i was under the impression that it was an extremely critical part not easily serviced. That's why i bought a new carb when my old one was misbehaving. Now i took the plunge and my first attempt wasn't so good, but on the second try(thanks to a lot of great infos generously shared by knowledgeable forum members) it looks a lot better and seems to work. Time will tell if i did it correctly. If it's the case then i will do it on a yearly basis because i was shocked to see what was in there when i opened it after 6 years of light work.

Last edited by ubxf; 05-11-2019 at 04:26 PM.
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