The Zenith Stromberg to Weber DGV Conversion
1979 Triumph Spitfire 1500
Weber 32/36 DGV Carburetor mounted on a Cannon manifold.
Well, I had finally had it. After rebuilding a
few different ZS carburetors I just gave in. It took a MG Midget
to convince me.
My local volunteer fire department had a motorcycle
poker run as a fundraiser one Saturday afternoon in October, 2002
and by chance a gentleman curious about all of the beautiful bikes
in the parking lot pulled in with his 1977 MG Midget. Being car
people we moved the conversation from bikes to the obvious...ZS
Carbs! Well, I asked this guy about his engine and he proudly
popped the hood and behold there was a very smooth running 1500cc
with a Weber DGV carburetor. We chatted and his inspiring words
like, "it always starts especially on cold days"and,
"it always runs great", started to convince me. My next
question was..."but will it pass Connecticut emissions?"
He proudly produced the State emissions test sheet which had numbers
so low that I was truly impressed. After a summer of disappointment
there was hope for me and my 1979 Spitfire! (Well, the
Spitfire, anyway!) This was Saturday. The next day I searched
around the Internet and found what I felt was a reasonable price.
On Monday, I ordered the Weber!!! The Redline kit was not cheap
but what the hell. It's for the "Spitfire".
I documented the installation so I could share my experiences
with all of you who have had the same frustrating times I've had
with my Zenith Stromberg 150CD4 carburetor.
Here is the stock set-up that caused me so much
heartache, frustration and missed fun this past summer.
The new Weber 32/36 DGV Carburetor with a manual
choke mounted on a Cannon manifold.
Some people who wrote about the installation process
said they had to make some minor modifications so both the stock
exhaust manifold and the new intake manifold would properly fit
together. The Cannon manifold fit like a charm!
The kit came with different linkage components
for various configurations, along with carburetor manifold gaskets
and choke and accelerator cable brackets. Vague instructions
were included but specific ones were found on various websites
on the Internet. Mounting the carburetor was a snap and making
the final connections a breeze. A little experience and some
yankee ingenuity sure did help. If you've ever adjusted a typical
downdraft carburetor, the instructions for the Weber were ever
so simple. It was nice to have a carburetor with an accelerator
pump and real choke instead of a "starting circuit".
The choke needed some minor adjustments, but the
real test would come on the next cold morning. Well, the next
cold morning came quickly and out to the Spitfire I went, cautiously
optimistic about the starting process. After having cars with
fuel injection and even a car with the ZS carburetor, a "regular
carburetor" was a bit of a novelity. I remember having to
prime the carburetor of my 1976 Spitfire (the Pimento one) every
cold morning in the winter so she would start without killing
the battery. Well, the time came to give it a shot. Key in, set
the choke, pump the pedal, and.................. bingo, she fired
right up! She ran a bit rich until I finally adjusted the mixture,
fast idle speed and choke setting, but it ran without a fight.
After a summer of frustration it just seemed too simple, but it
worked. I really wanted to keep my Spitfire stock but you know
what? I wanted a car I could drive and enjoy, and now I plan to
play again in the Spring, Summer and Fall.
Now I can't wait for Winter to end and the snow
to go away.
Well, starting the car was simple and adjusting
the carburetor brought back memories of the '65 Chevy I once
owned. The best part, it ran REALLY WELL. :-)
UPDATE as of April 15, 2004
The one item I did modify was
the return spring or actually I added this as there was not a
provision made for this feature. The spring that is part of the
carburetor assembly was not strong enough for my liking to return
the throttle plates to their idle positions. I fabricated a bracket
to extend the throttle cable bracket and used the return spring
and shaft from a ZS carburetor.
I now have a much more solid
feel to the gas pedal and I am not depending on the pedal return
spring and carburetor shaft spring for positive closure action
of the throttle plates.
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