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Thread: Planning ahead: Are Dell'Orto DHLB 35 carbs worth it?

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    Master Lancista bernt's Avatar
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    Planning ahead: Are Dell'Orto DHLB 35 carbs worth it?

    At some point in the (hopefully near) future, I want to upgrade my 73 Fulvia Motecarlo's engine, or get an already upgraded one. The focus will be on balance and driveability, but with a little extra power. I'm thinking:
    • re-bore to 80mm
    • high-compression pistons
    • porting
    • balanced conrods
    • balanced rockers
    • retain the standard airbox and standard look

    Now to my question: what's your advice regarding carbs for such a project? I'm not experienced with carbs at all, so I'll have to find and pay someone for the setup, finding the correct jetting, rolling road test. Given the (lack of) access to the jets and (so I've been told) limited tuneability of the Solexes, and my intention to keep the airbox if at all possible, it appears that finding a pair of Dell'Orto DHLB 35 would be the ideal solution. But is that worth it, given that they probably won't be cheap (and provided I manage to find a pair)?

    And what would be a reasonable price? The last I've seen (in this forum), there was a pair being sold in the UK for 400 British Pound back in 2014.

    Thanks for any advice. Marnix, I think I'm looking at you

    Bernt

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    Legendary Lancista Marnix's Avatar
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    Re: Planning ahead: Are Dell'Orto DHLB 35 carbs worth it?

    Bernt, I have read your message. I am quite honored you think I am the one that can answer all your questions, but I am not so sure myself I really can.

    A few general remarks first. I will maybe have to come back later with more details.

    1. I have no experience really with tuning, I limit myself to get them back into shape in standard configuration. So I can't contribute much to that aspect.

    2. You can tune the Solexes C.35 carbs alright to some extend (about all sizes of jets - be it not necessarily original Solex - are available). Except for two issues: there does't seem to be much alternative for the emulsion tubes, and the choke tube is integrated in the body of the C.35 (not so in the C.32 and C.42). The Dellortos are indeed totally tune able (including a choice out of 17 different emulsion tubes, and the complete range of choke tubes).

    3. As to the availability of Dellortos: they can still be found, if you are prepared to keep on searching and be patient, very patient. I managed to get about a pair a year on average by continuously searching for them on the Internet the last years. But what you get for that is however usually some old, dirty, abused, and most of all modified set of carbs (usually applied to some other car make). Unlike the Solexes, in most instances the Dellortos can survive this however. Prices I paid vary, but on average is around 400-500 Euro for an old, unrestored pair. As a starting point, unrestored. Count for a completely restored pair 1000 Euro at the very least (that is what I have to ask as almost absolute minimum, and that is without charging working hours, I don't run a commercial operation). A perfect condition DHLB 35 pair would probably go around 1500 Euro (mad, I know, or so I thought, till I tried to get them in perfect condition myself and added up the bills). The main issue is getting a pair of bodies, that's the really unreplaceable part. I didn't count recently, by my estimate is that I got about 5 pairs laying around, none restored at present. Stocks of some critical replacement parts are now exhausted, and I am trying to have some parts reproduced.

    4. Just to make sure it is understood: the Dellortos don't add in themselves to the performance of the engine. The advantage of the Dellortos lays in their "bullet-proof" engineering design (they virtually can't wear out, well, not the bodies), and in the ability to tune them. A perfectly restored Solex pair performs equally good as the Dellortos in standard configuration, some (including myself) say the engine runs slightly better and more economically on the Solexes.

    5. a badly understood issue: both the Solexes (except the C.42) and Dellortos NEED the correct velocity stacks (different for the Dellortos) at the entry AND THE AIR BOX. It is a bit hard to explain in a few words, but the air (under) pressure at the entry is critical (for the C.32 and C.35 Solexes, and the DHLB 32 and 35 Dellortos), and both the air box (the resistance of the filter) and velocity stacks are responsible for that. But you intend to keep the air box, so that is only a minor issue, be it tuning may upset that thing slightly.

    I will need to possibly expand more on the issues later, but you got a first reply now.

    Mx
    Lancia Fulvia 2C 1964
    Lancia Fulvia Coupe Rallye 1,3 1968
    Porsche 924 1979
    Alfa Romeo 33 1.4IE 1993

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