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How to Rebuild A Carb

Posted by on 6/2/2014 to Info News

First, remove the carb from the vehicle. Take off the air cleaner, and disconnect the fuel and vacuum lines. Be sure to take notes (or pictures!) at each step, so you will know how to re-install it. Pay special attention to which holes the linkage fits into when disconnecting the throttle. Remove the entire carb from the intake manifold and cover the intake with a rag so nothing accidentally falls in. 

If possible, take the carb with you to the auto parts store. Make sure that you are given the right carburetor rebuild kit for your vehicle's year, make and model. The wrong one can be difficult to work with and might even damage the car's engine. Don't forget to pick up some carb cleaner, as well.

Set up your work space. You'll need a large bench or table, water, towels, a brass scrub brush and a screwdriver. You may want some small containers to hold your screws. You should also have rubber gloves and goggles. Make safety your top priority. The gasoline and solvent fumes involved in rebuilding a carb are toxic and flammable. These fumes can very make you sick and can possibly even ignite. Always work in a very well-ventilated area such as an open garage or large workshop. Once your work space is ready, carefully read the instructions included in your rebuild kit.

Next, it's time to do a little carburetor troubleshooting. Unhook the accelerator pump and remove the choke, along with all the screws and hoses. This may go without saying, but be sure you keep track of all the have to put this thing back together again! Again, taking pictures or notes at each step is a great way to help your memory. Be sure to keep all the pieces—screws, ball-bearing seals, etc.—separated in small containers ordered by where the parts came from. 

Once you have the carb opened up, it should be fairly obvious to you where the troubled spot is. Rust, particulates, gummy residue and aged seals are the likely culprits. Carefully wipe down all of the metal parts with the carb cleaner, scrubbing with the brass brush when necessary, then soak the parts in water. Let the parts dry thoroughly: wet or damp parts can seriously damage the engine. You may even want to let the parts dry overnight.

Now, you're ready for the last step in how to rebuild a carb. Simply reassemble it according to the instructions in the carburetor rebuild kit and your notes. Be sure to carefully match up the new parts with the parts you removed. Gaskets can sometimes look identical, but the holes won't line up quite the same. Flipping a gasket will result in a completely different alignment, so make sure they're facing the right direction. Finally, tighten all the nuts and screws, but don't use excessive force.

Now you can reinstall the carb in the vehicle. Here's the payoff: start your engine and listen to it purr. The most satisfying part in the whole carburetor repair process is knowing that you did it yourself.

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