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Old 05-21-2007, 08:11 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 25
W108 solex carb issues

some of you may recall my car stalling issue.

Car takes a bit to start up. runs smooth and nice. after a few mins the rpm idle is slower and gets close to stalling. I have adjusted for a faster idle but...

it drives fine but when i brake it either floods or is choked out. it starts after a few minutes.

I noticed also that the valve nearest to the firewall does not spring back to position after I poke it open with the finger. when I poke the foward one with a finger it returns to position as if its hooked to a spring. see pic here
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Old 05-22-2007, 03:37 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
Nice carbs!

We haven't had a Solex question for a while.

First. The 'valve' you are referring to is the choke plate. When the engine is cold, you pump the gas once and they close. You start the car and they open as the the engine warms up. The opening is controlled by the expansion of a bi-metallic spring that is heated electrically. The "springing back" doesn't really matter. What is important is that they are closed when the engine is cold, and open when it is warm/hot.

Second. You can't just adjust the idle speed. There is a process to do this that keeps the carbs synchronized, which is very important. Do a search on this forum and you will find lots of info on this. Your low idle may be caused by unsync'd carbs, plugged idle circuits, vacuum leaks, or a bad idle mix.

Lots and lots of posts on these carbs.
Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:42 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 758

You don't mention the model year, but in the USA the rear Zenith (Solex, parent company, I believe) on some models had a lighter weight spring with a different tension than the front. Power to it was also sometimes controlled by a water temperature sensor. Check inside the choke cover to make sure the spring is set to catch the actuating ear on the choke linkage. Both chokes should be set to the center mark on the housing then you can make adjustments from that setting to get the cold start/running you need.

Search this forum for "zenith" and you will be flooded (no pun intended) with data on setting up these old carbs.

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