Carburetor Service?

EvanJames 11 July 2012 31

I’d like to utilise the Hive Mind about where to get my poor old Suzuki’s carburetor fixed. It’s gulping petrol and propping a bit, and after having its electricals all re-done, suspicion has shifted to the carby and fuel level being the problem (something about a float).

Carburetors being rare things these days, it appears that normal mechanics no longer fix them. Any recommendations?


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EvanJames EvanJames 11:43 pm 13 Jul 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

What are the new Vitaras like? They seem to me to be the most viable small 4WD (other than the Jimny/Sierra) that can actually be used off road.

They’re OK, but they seem big and hulking, they’re very plush inside, and they’ve lost some ground clearance especially with all the crap they hang off cars nowadays. A friend took me in a ride in his… he had my kind of Vitara and overturned it into the creek off Baw Baw access road, and the insurance payout got him the plusher one. He admitted the old one was more useful offroad but liked the luxury and press-button 4WD (old Vitara you have to get out and lock the hubs). The suspension is more comfortable and less axle-hoppy, too.

I wish they’d kept a work-style Vitara, between the Jimny and the Grand Vitara. There’s absolutely nothing in the market that’s like it. Yet they sold in vast numbers, showing that there was demand.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:52 pm 13 Jul 12

EvanJames said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

This is true. I only added the idea because the OP seems attached to the vehicle and there isn’t really a similar model on the market now. I guess he could always try to find another one the same.

I’ve looked after the car since it was disgorged from some large ship, it’s been serviced every 5000 kms, never revved hard or smashed around the roads, and I want to reap the rewards! The wheel bearings going was from me taking corners and curves with enthusiasm, and I’m just hoping the steering stuff doesn’t bite me on that also.

It had its suspension re-done a few years back (turned out it didn’t really need it) and the suspension people were shocked to discover that the brakes were still the originals. Any bush work has been done at slow speeds… it’s been a carefully driven car. I suspect other Vitaras haven’t been so nursed, and yet you still see a few of them about.

I don’t like the current crop of plush wagons and luxo barges adorned with expensive plastic bits, I’m very hopeful that this car will keep going, maybe make it to its 400,000 km timing belt.

What are the new Vitaras like? They seem to me to be the most viable small 4WD (other than the Jimny/Sierra) that can actually be used off road.

EvanJames EvanJames 2:44 pm 13 Jul 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

This is true. I only added the idea because the OP seems attached to the vehicle and there isn’t really a similar model on the market now. I guess he could always try to find another one the same.

I’ve looked after the car since it was disgorged from some large ship, it’s been serviced every 5000 kms, never revved hard or smashed around the roads, and I want to reap the rewards! The wheel bearings going was from me taking corners and curves with enthusiasm, and I’m just hoping the steering stuff doesn’t bite me on that also.

It had its suspension re-done a few years back (turned out it didn’t really need it) and the suspension people were shocked to discover that the brakes were still the originals. Any bush work has been done at slow speeds… it’s been a carefully driven car. I suspect other Vitaras haven’t been so nursed, and yet you still see a few of them about.

I don’t like the current crop of plush wagons and luxo barges adorned with expensive plastic bits, I’m very hopeful that this car will keep going, maybe make it to its 400,000 km timing belt.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:13 pm 13 Jul 12

Felix the Cat said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Probably not what you want, but as an idea from left field have you thought about replacing the whole engine. For a thousand or so bucks you may be able to get a second hand engine that will bolt straight in, with fuel injection and even a warranty period.

It would likely mean another 100,000km or more without worrying about the engine.

Plus another thousand to fit it, re-do fuel lines and wiring for EFI. If the OP was going to all the trouble and expense of doing that he would be better off to upgrade to a later model vehicle that has fuel injection already.

This is true. I only added the idea because the OP seems attached to the vehicle and there isn’t really a similar model on the market now. I guess he could always try to find another one the same.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 12:18 pm 13 Jul 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Probably not what you want, but as an idea from left field have you thought about replacing the whole engine. For a thousand or so bucks you may be able to get a second hand engine that will bolt straight in, with fuel injection and even a warranty period.

It would likely mean another 100,000km or more without worrying about the engine.

Plus another thousand to fit it, re-do fuel lines and wiring for EFI. If the OP was going to all the trouble and expense of doing that he would be better off to upgrade to a later model vehicle that has fuel injection already.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back VYBerlinaV8_is_back 10:29 am 13 Jul 12

Probably not what you want, but as an idea from left field have you thought about replacing the whole engine. For a thousand or so bucks you may be able to get a second hand engine that will bolt straight in, with fuel injection and even a warranty period.

It would likely mean another 100,000km or more without worrying about the engine.

EvanJames EvanJames 10:17 am 13 Jul 12

el said :

And whatever you do, don't buy an equally old carb from a wrecking yard. It'll probably have just as many problems, and the wreckers won't care.

Yeah. Looking at what this shop on eBay was selling, it was all the bits I’ve been replacing! So evidently Vitaras are consistent with what fails (like those door handles).

Well, all this info has really helped, and given me some better options than what the garage wanted, which was for me to leave the car there for days while they “outsourced” the carby. Given the quality of the service they did, I sure didn’t want to do that.

Fingers crossed, an adjustment is all it needs… done by someone who knows what they’re doing, and now I know who those people are! Thanks folks, hugely helpful (and anyone googling carby services in Canberra will find this useful too I bet).

el el 7:04 am 13 Jul 12

CoffinRX2 said :

Evan it may not be a rebuild kit needed, playing about with the air/fuel jets/bleeds etc may well be the issue.

take it to someone

+1.

A proper tune from someone that knows carbs could see you sorted for < $100, particularly if it just needs the float level adjusted. If it needs a full rebuild they'll be able to do it in a couple of hours and you'll be up for a couple of hundred most likely.

And whatever you do, don't buy an equally old carb from a wrecking yard. It'll probably have just as many problems, and the wreckers won't care.

EvanJames EvanJames 11:07 pm 12 Jul 12

Googling around, it appears that Suzuki did some mucking around between the series’, and various models. Vitaras are geared very low (high?) for instance, with the smallish engine and heavy drivetrain to haul around (and having 1st as a tractorish gear is helpful when doing bush stuff), they rev a bit higher too, so probably some differences from the Swift.

OK, first stop is to see if it’s fixable the old-fashioned way, I’m convinced. and if that doesn’t work, go find a new one.

Sandman Sandman 10:15 pm 12 Jul 12

EvanJames said :

Umm, how does one go about sourcing a new carby and can anyone put it on or should one get these carburettor people to do it?

Putting them on is something that’s easy enough to do with a few basic tools and some common sense. It’s simply a remove/refit deal. Everything you take off the old one make sure you put it back on the new one.

As for sourcing, try eBay, wreckers or there’s a mob in Heidelberg Vic called Suziparts. I’ve got a Swift with a G13A siting out at the farm (99 cents on eBay and runs like a dream) but not sure if the carbie would be the same as the G16.

CoffinRX2 CoffinRX2 9:52 pm 12 Jul 12

Evan it may not be a rebuild kit needed, playing about with the air/fuel jets/bleeds etc may well be the issue.

take it to someone

EvanJames EvanJames 9:44 pm 12 Jul 12

Interesting info el, and good to hear. Whilst googling for info on this engine, I found someone selling Vitara bits on eBay and they had a carby rebuild kit for around $90. I imagine putting that lot together is the half-day job. I got a inside door handle off them and for the first time since about 2007, I can open the door the normal way! (without winding down the window and reaching outside, or using two hands to pull the metal rod). Can’t get rid of the car now, it has a proper door handle.

EvanJames EvanJames 9:38 pm 12 Jul 12

Sandman said :

Rather than spend a heap of money “trying” to fix possible suspected causes you might be better off simply purchasing a known good carby and bolting it on. What model Suzuki is it and what engine does it have?

It’s a Vitara, 94 (so a G16A engine) – part of the 89-94 series. Simple little 1.6 carby engine. I did a brief googling and saw something with a $590 price tag and backed out in horror, that’s about half the car’s current value. Mind you, with the new front bearings and a hub (wheels actually did almost fall off), new electricals, recently-new suspension, it’s already a tad overcapitalised but I like it.
Gearbox and clutch are good! Ditto brakes.

Sandman said :

Most mechanics deliberately steer clear because of the unknown causes (and therefore times and dollars) often resulting in customers being pissed off due to spending a lot of money for minimal result. Let’s face it, most cars being driven daily these days that still run a carby aren’t worth a heap of money.

Mine’s worth very little, but I’ve looked after it from day one and nothing else on the market does what a Vitara does (those grand vitara plush wagons are awful and the gap between them and the Jimny is too big). The mechanics who did the last service (and they won’t be doing another) said the fuel gulping issue was in the carburettor, a float error. They said it needed a rebuild, and I must admit, I did wonder if replacing it would be a more sensible option.

Umm, how does one go about sourcing a new carby and can anyone put it on or should one get these carburettor people to do it?

el el 8:14 pm 12 Jul 12

Pork Hunt said :

devils_advocate said :

I realise this isn’t helpful, but:

Running carbies in the canberra climate is the worst. Just the worst.

Would you care to elaborate?

Having said that, my bike is fuel injected and my car is a turbo diesel…

The fluctuations in temperature make keeping the things in tune a real pain. Say you set your tune (air/fuel mixture) perfectly during a nice, sunny, 17 degree day, you’ll be running so lean the car will have trouble starting the next time you need to start during a -7 degree morning due to the much colder, denser air. Set the optimal tune on a cool 12 degree day, and a couple of months later you’ll be running rich due to the increased air temps (and reduced density).

Basically, it’s a constant compromise, and not something I miss dealing with in the slightest 🙂

Modern engine management with EFI handles all of this stuff automagically.

el el 8:05 pm 12 Jul 12

EvanJames said :

I started to get my hopes up at the Lonsdale St place, but suspect it’s the old SDs who have decamped to Murrumbateman.

I think you’re right. http://www.sdcartuning.com.au/

EvanJames said :

Apparently, a carburettor is a several-day job and I’m not camping out there, no way.

Not the case at all, unless it’s some kind of exotic/rare setup. Last time I had one rebuilt by the SD guys I dropped it off first thing in the morning and picked it up at lunchtime.

It’s going back a little while now, but I’ve also previously had excellent service/results from Mitchell EFI & Carburettor Service on Sandford St.

Sandman Sandman 5:54 pm 12 Jul 12

Rather than spend a heap of money “trying” to fix possible suspected causes you might be better off simply purchasing a known good carby and bolting it on. What model Suzuki is it and what engine does it have?
Most mechanics deliberately steer clear because of the unknown causes (and therefore times and dollars) often resulting in customers being pissed off due to spending a lot of money for minimal result. Let’s face it, most cars being driven daily these days that still run a carby aren’t worth a heap of money.

Skidd Marx Skidd Marx 3:56 pm 12 Jul 12

The guy at Dyno-tune in Mitchell is a guru with carbs although his name escapes me. He’s very reasonable too.

CoffinRX2 CoffinRX2 2:58 pm 12 Jul 12

Kev knows his carbies pretty well, and his head mechanic Matt loves playing/fixing things you can actually do with a screwdriver and tools, rather than plugging into a computer. They are big into their V8 stuff, all carby fed stuff. They’ll be the ones in charge of my carby camaro when it gets here. …. If you havent already called, tell them Damo/Racing Ready said to call

Guys at Hume? I’d be assuming you mean Ed and the guys at Autotech? yes they play with racecars and exotics, but also work on normal daily drive stuff as well, havent had any work done there personally, but havent heard any bad stories either.

EvanJames said :

I started to get my hopes up at the Lonsdale St place, but suspect it’s the old SDs who have decamped to Murrumbateman. Apparently, a carburettor is a several-day job and I’m not camping out there, no way.

This Kev person sounds promising… will see what he reckons for sure, thanks. Has anyone tried the people in Hume? Their ad looks like racing cars and exotics. I had a bad experience with some 4WD mob turning their noses up at my zook, despite it having seen more rough country than most of their soft-handed customers. So I’d hate for a carby mob to do the same thing.

It’s getting increasingly difficult to find people to look after a plain old carburettor-engined car. Emphasis on the “old”.

Bits of it are getting old and cracked, but the people who service it put more oil and filters in, and turn a blind eye to the wheels about to fall off, or the electricals which are a shocking-hazard (both actually happened).

EvanJames EvanJames 10:31 am 12 Jul 12

Two more to try… Qbn is tricky as I work in Canberra but for such a vital thing it might be worth it. (not Murrumbateman though).

Pots Pots 10:13 am 12 Jul 12

Yep, it was SD. Must have been more than a couple of years ago! But also for the last decade or so I have been taking my oldie to John Res mechanical at Queanbeyan. 62978557 They definitely know how to fix a carby.

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