Replacing 504 auto solex twin carby's
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Replacing 504 auto solex twin carby's

    One of my cars is a 1978 504 auto with twin Solex carby's. The Solex's are fairly knackered and I'm thinking of replacing them with a single carby set-up.

    1) What manifold and carby set-up should I be looking at for best performance?

    2) Does adding electronic ignition do much for the performance of these cars? (hey, I know the auto will never be a rocket, but there have to be reasonably cost effective ways of improving it.

    Cheers

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    Rod
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  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Injection is a huge job, by comparison. Getting a Kugelfischer outfit entails a different head, dismantling the timing gear, adding a pile of stuff around the car including doubling the fuel lines back to the tank and an all new air cleaner. In addition, there's an electric fuel pump to install near the fuel tank and some other plumbing... and I think that's the easy job compared to the electronic stuff... though somebody may prove me wrong.

    The XN6 was made with electronic injection, but I don't know if there are any in Australia, much less if any are available. The remaining option is to use some other kind of injection and adapt, and to do this you'd best use the head from the injected models... which are around but in reasonably short supply (since I bought up my stack of them...). It may be possible to adapt to the original head, but I don't know.

    The earlier manifold will go straight on the head you have, and there are Webers you can use.

    But I have to say it again... the best option would probably be to mount a big SU on there, and I reckon the one from a Rover 2000 single carby model will be the best one for the job... though one of a pair off a 4.2 Jag may well be okay too.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Thanks Ray. That was electronic ignition I was thinking of, rather than injection by the way! Just wondered how much difference people felt it made.

    That said, I do , in fact, have a "spare", recently rebuilt XN6 K-Tronic engine with all accoutrements at present (out my old pranged 505sli) . I had vaguely thought of doing a 'swap" but the electrics involved seemed a little daunting.


    Cheers

    Rod
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  4. #4
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Go with the SU, it will be so simple you'll wonder why they weren't fitted standard.

    Finding one will be the hardest bit, and don't be put off by people saying they're hard to keep tuned and all that... they're so easy, never have to touch them, even wear on the spindle shafts is barely a problem, no potential for blocked jets... wonderful things and you'll get better fuel consumption.

    Prioritise finding a Rover 2000 one, only go for the Jag or a Princess R one if you can't get one for a Rover, but you should be able to.

    Where are you?

    [ 10 December 2001: Message edited by: Ray Bell ]</p>

  5. #5
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Rod,

    I agree with Ray. The SU should work great, expecially with an automatic.

    On the subject of throttle spindle wear, the 1.5" SUs that my father has lying about are a bit worn in this area, so it does happen.

    Personally I've found that Weber carbs rarely wear in the throttle spindles and most Weber 32/36 DGAV carbs from 2 litre Cortinas and Escorts seem to work quite OK on 504s as is (I have quite a few of these carburetors). You need to use the 504 single carb manifold from any pre-july 1976 engine (appropriately filed out to match the carb) and you will need some other aircleaner or somehow adapt your old one.

    I recently helped a friend fit a Weber 32/36 DFV (or rather the Holley copy of one) to his 504 automatic. It matched right up to the 504 oil bath aircleaner, with a little bit of drilling, and the first and second stage throats are in the same position as the Solex carb (unlike the Weber DGV and DGAV). I put 160 airbleeds in it and 140 and 145 main jets in the first and second throats respectively (Cortinas have 140s on both). I was very surprised by the performance improvement and would recommend a Weber DFV/DFAV or the Holley equivalent to anyone.

    We still haven't rigged up a good bracket for the kickdown cable, but the jerry (or jury) rigged system seems to work quite OK. It is a 1974 model car with a late model engine bottom end with 8.8:1 pistons and a bit shaved off the head. The fact that it probably has a compression ratio of between 9 and 9.5:1 probably helps the torque a bit.

    Second hand dual throat carbs usually sell for $50-$60 at wreckers.

    Dave
    NZ Fleet
    1976 504 Ti
    1984 205 GT twin carb
    1991 205 SI 1.6GTI motor
    1994 106 Xsi
    1996 Mondeo V6
    Aus Fleet
    1955 203C
    1997 Civic Cxi (great allrounder- revy, flexible, nimble, comfortable , economical, simple and durable )

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Many thanks, Ray and Dave. I'll give it a go as soon as I get a spare moment.

    I'm in Melbourne by the way Ray (Well, almost. Hurstbridge is out on the fringes, where the occasional kangaroo and echidna still wander through the block on occasion)

    Without wanting to get greedy, any thoughts on electronic ignition as the second phase of the project? Could I simply fit the distributor, coil and control box from the defunct SLi to the 504? The later 504's were fitted with a very similar ignition system I think. Would it be likely to make much difference?

    [ 11 December 2001: Message edited by: Rod Hagen ]</p>
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  7. #7
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Rod,

    I can't see any reason why you SLi ignition shouldn't be a simple swap into the 504, so I guess it's worth trying.

    I'm not sure how much difference it will make since these engines don't seem to be very ignition fussy in comparison to many other engines. All my 504s/404s have seemed to run the same even when the points are almost closed up and the plug gaps are huge (it just gets more difficult to start them on a winters morning).

    Dave
    NZ Fleet
    1976 504 Ti
    1984 205 GT twin carb
    1991 205 SI 1.6GTI motor
    1994 106 Xsi
    1996 Mondeo V6
    Aus Fleet
    1955 203C
    1997 Civic Cxi (great allrounder- revy, flexible, nimble, comfortable , economical, simple and durable )

  8. #8
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    [quote]Originally posted by Rod Hagen:
    <strong>I'm in Melbourne by the way Ray (Well, almost. Hurstbridge is out on the fringes, where the occasional kangaroo and echidna still wander through the block on occasion)</strong><hr></blockquote>

    We won't hold that against you, Rod. As a matter of fact, I have a friend who grew up at Hurstbridge, but he'd moved to Wattle Glen before I met him... you might know the family, name of Brock?

    Please keep us abreast of your progress, I'd like to know how you're getting on. In fact, I should be in Melbourne just after Christmas, some time either just before or just after New Years... would like to drop in if it's all right with you...

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    yes, Brocky is still a local identity Ray. He's on the family property in Nutfield (over our back fence and across a few paddocks) these days. Never had the sense to rally Peugeots like Ross Dunkerton and Bob Watson though as far as I know ;-)

    I'll email you.

    Cheers

    Rod
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  10. #10
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Just one thing I forgot to mention before about the Holley copy of the Weber 32/36 DFV. The one that I've looked at closely doesn't seem to have any mechanism to give a fast idle when the choke is engaged. This could be a real source of trouble on a cold winters morning, especially on an automatic.

    Dave
    NZ Fleet
    1976 504 Ti
    1984 205 GT twin carb
    1991 205 SI 1.6GTI motor
    1994 106 Xsi
    1996 Mondeo V6
    Aus Fleet
    1955 203C
    1997 Civic Cxi (great allrounder- revy, flexible, nimble, comfortable , economical, simple and durable )

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Thanks david. I'll try and find something that does have a fast idle device. Some of the Webers do, from memory.

    Cheers

    Rod
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  12. #12
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    [quote]Originally posted by Rod Hagen:
    <strong>yes, Brocky ....Never had the sense to rally Peugeots like Ross Dunkerton and Bob Watson though as far as I know ;-)
    </strong><hr></blockquote>

    Actually, he did... he ran in at least one 'Bash' in a 404... but he used to criticise me arriving at his place in a 203 severely....

  13. #13
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    [quote]Originally posted by Rod Hagen:
    <strong>Thanks david. I'll try and find something that does have a fast idle device. Some of the Webers do, from memory.
    </strong><hr></blockquote>

    Rod,

    All the Webers I've seen have some kind of fast idle device. I haven't had a close look at a DFV or DFAV in the flesh, but from the diagrams in the Haynes Weber workshop manual they should be fitted with a fast idle device. I was very surprised to find that the Holley didn't have this, because in almost all other respects it seemed identical to the DFV. Maybe some pieces were missing, but it didn't seem like it. For all I know there might be some versions of the Holley which do have the fast idle mechanism.

    Dave
    NZ Fleet
    1976 504 Ti
    1984 205 GT twin carb
    1991 205 SI 1.6GTI motor
    1994 106 Xsi
    1996 Mondeo V6
    Aus Fleet
    1955 203C
    1997 Civic Cxi (great allrounder- revy, flexible, nimble, comfortable , economical, simple and durable )

  14. #14
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Regarding the SU conversion... is anyone else interested?

    I wouldn't mind making a pattern to cast up an adaptor if there were a few takers, make it a neat thing. Would require very little machining, almost so little that it could probably be done with sandpaper, a drill and a tap.

    It could be used with either 2" (ex Rover 2000 being the ideal, but probably the Princess R and Jag ones would be almost as ideal...) or a 1.75" from Austin 1800 (really easy to find).

    For anyone looking for fuel economy, they are the go, and they are so much easier to maintain than the Solexes.

  15. #15
    bob
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    Interesting thread.

    One thing about SU's, they either go or they don't and if they don't they're so simple that if the fault isn't obvious it'll drive you nuts.

    Then there's all those bloody needles, dozens of em, which one to pick ?

    Go with the weber, it works !

    Bob

  16. #16
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    That's my whole point, Bob... the Rover 2000 engine is very similar in concept and is lugging a similar weight car to the 504 engine. It will be so close to right that it will work straight off the shelf.

    I've never had a problem getting a car going with SUs... never.

    Webers and Solexes? Now that's a different story!

  17. #17
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    It's unusual to have any major problems with a Weber. On the rare occasion that I've had something go wrong, it has been a pretty quick and easy fix.

    On one occasion the engine was dieing when I hit the second throat. It turned out the little tube in the centre of the auxiliary venturi had come loose and turned upside down, hence the fuel wasn't getting sucked into the throat. On anther occasion the barbed fitting that goes into the carb came loose. It was just a matter of coating it with special fuel proof epoxy and tapping it back in. On a couple of occasions I've had the tops of the carb come loose, which of course is a simple fix. Many of these problems occured on a 2 litre Cortina which are renowned for vibrations and things coming loose (the Lucas alternators fall apart about once every 20,000km).

    One thing to note with webers is that the barbed fitting that the fuel hose attaches to can face towrds the left or the right of the car. On 504s/505s/404s it is best to use the top that has the fitting pointed towards the left of the car, otherwise a leak could result in a distibutor getting wet with petrol and a potential fire.

    Dave
    NZ Fleet
    1976 504 Ti
    1984 205 GT twin carb
    1991 205 SI 1.6GTI motor
    1994 106 Xsi
    1996 Mondeo V6
    Aus Fleet
    1955 203C
    1997 Civic Cxi (great allrounder- revy, flexible, nimble, comfortable , economical, simple and durable )

  18. #18
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    On the subject of Solexs. They're not bad carbs, they just don't have a good parts back-up in Australia (except for the single throats). It's hard to find anyone who sells various jet sizes for them and the gasket kits are relatively expensive (for the dual throats). They didn't sell the nice big ones here either (like the Solex 36 EIES used on the sporty Argentinian 504TN).

    The single throat solexs are a nice simple carb, it's a pity they wear so bad in the butterfly shaft.

    On the subject of S.U.'s they're also a very simple carb (probably the simplest) and the parts are widely available in Australia (usually through BMC/Rover/Jaguar specialists). I've only used one once, on a 1.8 litre 404. It ran OK, but no better than the 34 mm Solex (probably because it was too small, only 1.5", and I didn't get around to trying other needles in it). I think the 1.75" and 2" S.U.'s are definitely the go for suck through turbo applications, due to the advantages of the internal damper. A 2" S.U. would definitely be a very interesting conversion to a 504, but I'm not going to bother due to the many other good carbs I already own and have manifolds for (including a 40mm Weber DCOE).

    Dave
    NZ Fleet
    1976 504 Ti
    1984 205 GT twin carb
    1991 205 SI 1.6GTI motor
    1994 106 Xsi
    1996 Mondeo V6
    Aus Fleet
    1955 203C
    1997 Civic Cxi (great allrounder- revy, flexible, nimble, comfortable , economical, simple and durable )

  19. #19
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I agree that you would be a little light on with the 1800 running a 1.5" David. The Austin 1800 carby is a 1.75" and would be ideal for this engine, I would reckon. If you have room, the twin carbies from a Datsun 180B SSS would be even better, and they work fine on the 200B SSS with no needle changes, so would probably be as good or better on the 1971cc engines. There is also the Rover 2000 TC twin SUs to consider there.

    But simplicity is better served on the 2-litre with the single 2" version, as I said before, from the Rover 2000.

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff.

    I must confess I've always quite like Webers, but they haven't been without problems. One of the "characteristic" problems with Webers on Citroens (another potential source perhaps?), for example, is having the jets work loose and fall out! Dave's comments about other bits working loose struck a cord with me accordingly!

    Most of my experiences with SU 's have involved trying to work out other peoples problems on multi carby Anglo sportscars. It never seemed much fun, but , hey, they were old cars with a host of other problems. I've never owned a car fitted with them myself.

    One of the most salutary experiences I've had with carburettors involved fitting a Holley to a new work Toyota Landcruiser 4x4 back in the days when I used to tote them around the Territory . The improvement in performance, reliability and economy was quite staggering. You could even get more than 180 miles out of a full tank! I even thought of getting rid of the 44 gallon drum that I used to carry on the tray. Always quite liked Holley's since then, though, again, I've never personally owned a vehicle fitted with one (though I have done several hundred thousand K in Holley equipt work vehicles).

    With Solex's its always been either performance or , more commonly, spindle, issue that have let them down. They have alsways seemed a nice simple carby for "bush' use to me, but they don't age particularly well. Never make you stop, but you never feel that they are letting the engine achieve full potential.

    Cheers

    Rod
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  21. #21
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I have been hearing stories about how bad SUs are all my life. Especially tuning twin SU setups...

    And I can tell you I'm definitely not a carburettor person, I don't pretend to understand them at all.

    But I know this. I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles with twin SUs. Never, apart from the initial adjustment when the 180B carbies were stuck on a 200B, have I done anything at all that in any way might have been called tuning.

    My fat Austins, the A99s I used for a number of years for towing my racing Clubman around, had a cruising speed of 100mph... and sat on it whenever there wasn't a cop in sight (and sometimes when there was, but that's another story...) and gave 24mpg at the same time. The 200B went from 28mpg to 31mpg and ran better with the change of carbies.

    A guy I visited a while back on a banana plantation had a Landcruiser fitted with a single 1.25" SU (a bit small?) and set up for climbing up and down among the banana trees on the steep hillside. He described SUs as non-electronic non-mechanical atmospherically corrected precision fuel metering devices. I gather he also likes them...

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