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  #1  
Old 09-11-2003, 11:21 PM
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Location: Portland, OR
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73 280C carb replacement with Weber!!!

All right, guys, after over a year of reading and reading and reading on this forum regarding the dreaded Solex 4A1 carb on my 280C, I finally decided that the best thing to do is to replace it with a new Weber 38 DGAS. They are running about $500 retail, I found one guy who sells them via the web for $350 (but he actually specializes in Toyota Landcruisers, so I shied away from him due to support issues). I kept looking on eBay for a used one, and what do you know, one finally came up. Luckily it was posted kinda strange (just the carb number and the posting didn't mention it came from a Mercedes) so no one else saw it. I got it for the opening (and "buy it now") price of $199.95 so I'm pretty happy. The P.O. said it was running perfectly but the car was in a wreck. So with any luck, I can just bolt it right on and run.

So a couple of questions...
Should I go ahead and buy an overhaul kit, just in case? I've never touched a carb (other than the very simple one on my moped) so I'm a little intimidated by them. I understand the Weber is much simpler than the Solex (which makes you wonder why MB didn't just use the Weber in the first place!) but still... any advice would be appreciated. Anything else I should be careful about in doing the swap? If anyone on this forum has made this specific swap, I'd sure appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks in advance to all -- I know you'll give me great guidance and advice.

Catrinus
Portland, OR
73 280C

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  #2  
Old 09-12-2003, 12:26 AM
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Give this place a lookup. http://www.jameng.com/products/index.phtml?section=2
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2003, 02:23 AM
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You know, other people have mentioned them before and quite frankly, I don't get it. They have basically a catalog, and their prices are QUITE high, in my opinion. No where in their catalog do they even mention the 38 DGAS. I found much better info on the RedLine Weber and the WeberCarb Direct sites. At least they have exploded diagrams and installation tips.

Am I missing something with JAM?
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Old 09-12-2003, 05:46 AM
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The 38DGAS used to be standard fitting on the UK Ford V6 found in the Capri and the Granada. They're often used as performance upgrade on the 2 litre Pinto engine, here, so there's plenty of them around in the UK.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2003, 09:58 AM
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Your biggest challenges are going to be finding an adapter to mount the new carb - assume it is a two-barrel, getting the choke to work right - you didn't say what the Weber's mechanism is, making the air cleaner fit, deciding what to do about the 280's emissions, and getting the linkage to work.

One of JAM's competitors makes a Weber kit, and they might be willing to help you with the bits and pieces.

If you take your time I am sure this will turn out to be a very worhwhile project.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2003, 10:40 AM
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JAM only sells a 4V replacement for that Solex so they don't list the 2V Weber 38DGAS.

I checked the Ebay listing on that 38DGAS and it's for the whole Mercedes kit, including the accelerator linkage and adapters for the manifold and air-cleaner, so it should be ready to bolt on. That 38DGAS carb has a water heated choke. Since it is a USED carb, good idea to get a rebuild kit just in case.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:27 PM
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Thanks, Mark. I should have mentioned that I got the whole KIT, not just the carb in the auction. I think I got a steal. I was referred to a source for a rebuild it. You can find him on eBay as "Carbdoc". He has the rebuit kit for $19.00 plus $5.00 shipping and IT INCLUDES THE POWER VALVE and the accelerator pump diaphragm. I'm going to go ahead and rebuild it, just in case. I've studied the schematic I found on the RedLine Weber web site and it just doesn't look that bad. I've never seen an exploded view of the Solex, and if the Weber is "simple" I'd hate to see the Solex' complexity!

Thanks again for the advice. I'll post the outcome later on. I'm probably not going to do the work until mid-October, though, because I'm buying a friend's Mazda as my daily driver then so I won't need to finish the rebuild and installation in one day. Just in case!

Catrinus
73 280C
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2003, 10:35 AM
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Thanks, but the swap you mention is for a completely different car and kit. I'm getting the K248 kit (replaces the 4A1 with the Weber 38 DGAS). As I understand it, it's a direct bolt-on replacement and maintains the stock linkage and air cleaner. I'm following the shipment from FL to OR, and it's going to take about 10 days to get here (boy, is UPS ever inefficient for long-distance but small packages, but that's another post). Anyway, it's probably OK because I've got an overhaul kit on order too. I found a guy in New York (ebay name = carbdoc) who sells complete kits for what you expect to pay for the power valve alone ($19.00 plus $5 s/h). If you need carb parts, he might be your man.

Catrinus
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  #9  
Old 10-01-2003, 02:29 AM
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Here is an update of this project.

I finally got the carb (boy, is UPS ground shipping ever INEFFICIENT!). I ordered a rebuild kit from Allstate Carb in Long Island, NY. It cost $20.00 and came with the needle valve, various washers, the power valve and the accelerator pump diaphragm. Really the only additional part I need (ordered it today) is a new float (just in case). I can figure out where most of the parts go, and I found a very good, clear exploded-view diagram of the carb on the web. So that makes it a lot easier to figure out what goes where. The little bitty washers, though, are going to be a challenge because they could go ANYWHERE and every one of them seems to be a unique size!

I've got the carb top off and it was a little dirty in the float bowl. So I've got carb cleaner soaking the bowl overnight. Hopefully this should remove most of the crap. Any suggestions for more strenuous clearning? I don't want to break anything... The rest of the carb interior looks OK, really. I'll replace the accelerator pump diaphragm and the power valve tomorrow.

Anyway, I'll post another follow up when I get it all back together and then another one when it's on the car (that won't be for about a month, probably). If anyone has any more suggestions of what to clean, I'm all ears!

Catrinus
73 280C
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2003, 11:59 AM
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Here is the latest update. Got all the parts and actually bought a Weber Haynes shop manual that covered this particular carb pretty well. That manual was the best $20.00 I ever spent. After reading up on general carb theory, I went to the rebuild section of this particular carb. The book did a really good job of labeling and numbering the parts, with lots of pictures and diagrams showing each step of the process. I was able to tear it down and clean it pretty easily. I'm glad I did, because while the fuel path seemed fairly clean (lots of crud in the float bowl, though), the water choke housing inside was pretty well choked up with crap. The prior owner must have been running 100% water, it's so bad. I was able to clean it out (lots of scraping and rinsing and rubbing). I've got a new one on order "just in case". The only things I've had to order separately from the rebuild kit are a new float and the choke gasket. You would think that those items would be included. Oh, well. In hindsight, maybe I should have specified a true REBUILD kit instead of a TUNE-UP kit. But Allstate Carb in Long Island, NY (www.allcarb.com) has been a great parts supplier that I highly recommend.

Next step is bench re-assembly and initial settings. Keeping my fingers crossed. It's still going to be a few weeks until I get my other car (I need a more practical daily driver) and I can start working on the carb swap. But so far, so good. I'm very impressed with the quality (and simplicity) of the Weber carb, though.

Catrinus
73 280C

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