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Question : I HAVE a 45-year-old Morris Minor that is fitted with an SU carburetor. My regular mechanic advises that the SU carburetors require attention although he has not specified what type of maintenance is required. Can you advise if such work can be carried out at home, and is it within the abilities of the home mechanic?

Answer : The SU carburetors are simple devices that work extremely well. They were used almost exclusively on British vehicles up until the early 1980s when exhaust emission regulations were tightened.

At that point, it became either impossible, or economically unfeasible, to modify the design of the SU any further to meet the increasingly stringent emission standards.

The SU carburetor consists of very few components that can go wrong. Very often, these carburetors far exceed the service lives of the engines to which they are fitted, and with very little attention along the way.

SU carburetors do indeed benefit from a little regular servicing, approximately once every 10,000km, or once every two oil changes.

Start by unscrewing the dashpot damper located on the top of the carburetor and place on a clean surface.

Then, remove the dashpot by removing the three or four screws located at the base of the dashpot. The dashpot assembly is removed by lifting the entire assembly upward.

The tube on the top of the dashpot is filled with a light oil that must be emptied and the entire assembly immersed in some form of solvent such as paraffin or petrol to clean off any soot or dirt particles.

Take extra care not to dam- age or scratch any of the components, especially the brass A fuel metering needle located at b the bottom of the dashpot. cove

Reassembly is carried out in reverse order to the dismantling procedure.

The manufacturer recommends that the dashpot be filled with SAE10 grade engine oil but since mono-grade engine oils are hard to find nowadays, a quality Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) can be used.

Fill to within 10mm of the top of the dashpot reservoir and refit the damper.


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