Troubleshooting a Carter Carburetor

by Contributor

Overview of Carter Carburetors

Diagram of a Carter Carburetor

A carburetor is a mechanical device that combines air and fuel in an internal combustion engine. The carburetor controls the flow of air into an engine; the speed of the air entering the engine determines the amount of air pressure in the engine. The air pressure impacts the amount of fuel being drawn into the jet stream and ultimately entering the engine. A Carter carburetor is a major line of carburetors that was used primarily in Chrysler, Ford, GM and Studebaker vehicles, as well as agricultural and industrial equipment with small engines. Carter carburetors include 1, 2 and 4-barrel models and use a metering rod to enhance the mixture of fuel and air entering the vehicle's engine.

Troubleshooting the Air Intake System

The first step in troubleshooting a Carter carburetor is to make sure that a sufficient amount of air is entering the carburetor. Check the air filter at the top of the carburetor. These filters frequently become clogged, which prevents air from entering the carburetor and mixing with the fuel. Remove the filter from the top of the carburetor and visually inspect it to make sure it is clear of debris. Next, check the choke valve to make sure that it is rotating properly when air enters the carburetor. Use a wooden stick to reach into the air intake chamber and tap the choke valve to ensure that it swings freely. If it does not, apply some oil to the hinge of the choke valve. If that does not cause the choke valve to swing freely, the choke valve may need to be replaced.

Troubleshooting the Metering Rods

Carter Carburetor Metering Rods

If you have eliminated the air intake system as the source of the problem, the next step is to troubleshoot the Carter carburetor's metering rod located inside the fuel delivery compartment. The top of the metering rod is connected to a mechanical linkage that lifts the rod out of the air jet when the vehicle's throttle is open. Lifting the rod allows additional fuel to enter the airstream and intensifies the engine's internal combustion. First, ensure that the mechanical linkage is well-oiled and moves freely. The next step will be to inspect the metering rod itself. Unscrew the rod from the mechanical linkage using a ratchet or a wrench. Remove the rod and check it for corrosion. If the rod is well-worn, it may need to be replaced.

Troubleshooting the Fuel Delivery System

The final step is to check the Carter carburetor's fuel delivery system. First, scrub the inside of the fuel nozzle with a wire brush to ensure that the nozzle's pathway to the air intake area is clear. Next, ensure that the float valve is well-oiled and moving freely, which will allow sufficient fuel to enter the carburetor. Finally, check to make sure that the float chamber is clean and free of debris. Use the same wire brush to scrub the inside of the float chamber. If none of these troubleshooting steps work, you should take your car to a professional mechanic.

About the Author

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