To install a new or rebuilt carburetor, follow these steps:
1. Go down to the local auto parts store or call an auto wrecker and ask for a rebuilt carburetor for your vehicle. Give them the make, model, and year of the vehicle; the size of the engine; how many cylinders it has; and so on. If your carburetor still has a metal tag on it, bring the tag along; the tag has all the information that the salespeople need to know.
2.Detach the throttle arm and choke (all the things that attach the moving parts of your old carburetor to other parts of your vehicle), and all the pipes, hoses, and other gizmos that connect your old carburetor to your vehicle. Just detach the ends that join the carburetor. Leave the other ends attached to the car so that all you need to do is rehook them to your new carburetor. Be sure to remember, or draw, the way they were attached. If you think that you’ll have trouble remembering in what order these things should be replaced, write little numbers on the drawing next to each thing you disconnect as you disconnect it.
4. Remove the carburetor hold-down nuts that fasten the base of your old carburetor to the top of your engine, and lift the old carburetor out of your vehicle. There will be fuel in the float bowl of the old carburetor and in other parts of it, so handle it carefully and dispose of the old fuel before setting the old carburetor aside.
If fuel spills out, wipe it up and for heaven’s sake, don’t smoke while you do this job! Pour the fuel into a clean glass container and pour it back into your fuel tank. Don’t forget to wash the container thoroughly before you use it again, or discard it! Put fuel contaminated rags or sponges in a resealable plastic bag so that you can take it to a toxic waste recycling center, or ask your friendly mechanics to send it along when they dispose of their toxic stuff.
Don’t throw out the old carburetor you may be able to sell it to a place that can rebuild it and sell it again. Seal it up immediately in a plastic bag so that it doesn’t leak fuel on anything.
5. Compare the gasket from the new carburetor to the one under your old carburetor.
When you get the carburetor, there will be a gasket with it. The gasket goes between the carburetor and the thing it sits on. The new gasket should be the same as the old gasket; if not, you have the wrong carburetor. I know this is a heck of a time to find this out, but at least you’ll save yourself the trouble of installing the wrong carburetor!
6. Remove the old gasket and clean the surfaces where the old gasket lay. If necessary, draw a picture so that you’ll remember how it went. If the old gasket is stuck to the car, be sure to keep the pieces of the old gasket from falling down the intake manifold while you remove it. (You can stuff a clean, lint-free rag into the top of the hole while you get the junk off just don’t forget to remove the rag before you put on the new gasket!)
7. Lay the new gasket in place, making sure that it goes on the same way the old one did. Never use anything to cement the new gasket in place. Just place it where it belongs. The weight of the carburetor holds it in place.
8. Place the new carburetor on the gasket, and replace the carburetor hold-down nuts. Don’t overtighten these – or any other bolts – you don’t want to break them or crush the gasket. Have an experienced friend check it over when you’re through, or ask your friendly auto mechanic to check it for you. It’s impossible to tell someone how tight or loose to make a bolt; you have to feel it for yourself. And only experience can bring that sense of tightening something properly.
9. Reattach the linkages, pipes, hoses, and so on in the reverse order in which you took them off. The idle mixture screws and idle speed screws on the new carburetor should be preset by the manufacturer. If you installed a rebuilt one and it doesn’t function properly, you may have to adjust them yourself. You can find instructions on how to do so earlier in this chapter.
Have someone with experience check your work when you’re through, before you head for the freeway.