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Thread: Solex float level tools

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    Legendary Lancista Marnix's Avatar
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    Solex float level tools

    I finally made the float fuel level measurements tools I was intending to get for a long time (I have to recommission 4 sets of carbs that I have rebuild the coming days, so it was about time I had something simple to verify the float level).

    The tools are extremely simple, like this

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    It is basically a 4mm OD glass tube, with a metal stop glued over it (the left one is for a C.42 DDHF, the right one for C.32 / C.35 PHH; the difference is a slightly (2mm) offset position of the stop for the DDHF. This difference is not that much important, but there is a reference line scratched in the glass (not visible in the picture) at 20mm for the PHH; for the DDHF, it needs to be 22mm, due to the 2mm offset from the brass inserts for the air corrector / emulsion tube on those).

    Tbh, the idea is not mine, got the inspiration from a Toyota tool (that doesn't fit the Solex carbs unfortunately).

    The procedure to verify the float fuel level is very simple: remove the top air cover, and screw out one of the air corrector / emulsion tubes. Insert the tool in that position, see picture below:

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    Now hold the tool with your fingers, with one finger on top to close off air, and retract it (see pic below). The fuel that got in at the underside of the tube will stay in the tube as long as you are closing off the air at the top with your finger.

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    Holding the fuel in the tube by keeping the finger on the top of the tube, you can measure now the float fuel level by measuring the distance between the top of the fuel in the tube and the bottom of the metal stop glued on the tube. The tool measures the float fuel level exactly where it most counts: in the fuel well for the main fuel aux venturies.

    Compared with the official procedure from Solex / Lancia, that involves removing the acceleration pump to mount an adapter to feed a glass viewing tube, or the removal of the carb top to measure the fuel level inside the carb (with some difficulty, as you got to measure the level in the centre, not at the edge), this tool allows to measure the level accurately without much fuss.

    I was also lucky to get hold of a pair of original Solex float measurement tools (one for S1 carbs, and one for later S2/3 carbs). See pic below:

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    I have been verifying a few floats from carbs, and so far didn't find a single one with the correct arm bending according to the tool Actually, it does matter if it does or doesn't, what really matters is the float fuel level itself. As long as the float fuel level is correct, it is fine. This float tool is handy to verify if both arms are bended equally however.
    Lancia Fulvia 2C 1964
    Lancia Fulvia Coupe Rallye 1,3 1968
    Porsche 924 1979
    Alfa Romeo 33 1.4IE 1993

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    Master Lancista Racer's Avatar
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    Re: Solex float level tools

    Thanx Marnix

    Very useful information, Ill go straigth to my workshop and make my own tools.

    Tor

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    Legendary Lancista Marnix's Avatar
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    Re: Solex float level tools

    It is for once something that is quite easy to make yourself. The only trouble I had was finding the rather thin glass tubes, they can't be more than 4.5mm OD, or they don't get in the air corrector / emulsion tube holes of the carb. It was a bit of a search on Internet to get them, found them on Ebay, and they were rather expensive (well, for being only a small glass tube they were).
    Lancia Fulvia 2C 1964
    Lancia Fulvia Coupe Rallye 1,3 1968
    Porsche 924 1979
    Alfa Romeo 33 1.4IE 1993

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    Legendary Lancista lancialulu's Avatar
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    Re: Solex float level tools

    Marnix

    I made a tool from a drawing of the original (copy by Tony K) but there was some anomoly to the dimensions. Could you please measure from the plate datum the c/l of the spindle (4mm dia), and the height from the plate of single and double "pips".??

    Tim

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    Re: Solex float level tools

    Is the float level something that can change over time and needs to be adjusted or is it something adjusted once - say after a carb rebuild.

    I would have no idea if my floats were at the correct level except that the car seems to run fine. What are the symptoms of an incorrect float level?

    -Mike

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    Legendary Lancista lancialulu's Avatar
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    Re: Solex float level tools

    42's seem more sensitive to float level - there is even a modification to put a brass washer under the air correction / emulsion tube in an effort to get the correct petrol level on the standard float setting - also I have heard the washer thickness under the float valve is critical and some recon kits have a different thickness. Re problems this will only be generally noticable on wide throttle/ max fuel flow.

    Folk should not panic. It is a simple matter of taking the carb tops off and seeing if the floats have been bent about.

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    Legendary Lancista bmarler's Avatar
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    Re: Solex float level tools

    thanks marnix,
    once again some very useful information. i will be making one of these too. i was thinking, if i can't find the glass tube, i could use clear poly tubing and a small compression fitting to secure it. i believe the glass would be better, but i might already have some of the poly.
    as tim mentions, the washer in the recon kits can be the wrong thickness. this can have a noticeable difference in fuel level. if i remember right, the ones i received were about half the thickness of the old ones. in the end i re-used the originals.
    i'll be curious to measure the fuel level this new way, and compare to when i pulled the top of the carb and measured down with a scale.
    bmarler/
    1967 fulvia sport zagato
    1961 appia vignale convert.

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    Legendary Lancista Marnix's Avatar
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    Re: Solex float level tools

    A quickie

    - I used glass being worried that any polymer stuff would be weakenend / dissolved in the fuel. Maybe I was overcautious. The don't need to be for long in the fuel, so I guess it doesn't matter. I have seen on the Internet some using flexible tube, so I guess some polymers can stand the fuel.
    - There are crush washers under the float valve of 0,5mm and 1mm. Solex actually used both, but with a different bending of the float arms. It is a jungle to find out which one to use, and yes, it makes a big difference: about 5mm in float level (the big difference is due to to fact that float valve is close to the rotation point of the float, while the floats themselves are on a longer "arm"; the effect is multiplying, due to the longer "arm" of the floats themselves.)

    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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    Legendary Lancista Marnix's Avatar
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    Re: Solex float level tools

    Tim, I will try to get really exact measurements of the float tool. Will take a few days, I am up over my ears right now about installing carbs into cars who's owners have been waiting for months.
    Lancia Fulvia 2C 1964
    Lancia Fulvia Coupe Rallye 1,3 1968
    Porsche 924 1979
    Alfa Romeo 33 1.4IE 1993

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    Experienced Lancista carcrank's Avatar
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    Re: Solex float level tools

    Thanks Marnix, A great idea.

    I used stuff I had around, the tube out of a ballpoint pen the old Bic ones are 4mm diameter and the centre out of a terminal block. See photo. My C35's measured about 22mm is this enough to make a difference?

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    Cheers

    Mark

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