Categories: Technical, Travelogue

by chris


She’s finally running !

I was pulling out all the stops to get ‘White Lady’s’ engine sorted and running for a Boxing Day cruise from Ranworth to Horning but it wasn’t to be. Martin had built up the engine and all the ancillaries were fitted from the fuel pump through to cooling system plumbing and exhaust. The raw water pump impellor was replaced and all that was left to do was fit the carburettor.

It seemed simple as the carb hadn’t been worked on or messed with in any way having previously worked fine. Then the last remaining spanner was thrown in the works. The fuel pipe fitting had been glued into the carb with chemical metal.

Watermota BeforeWatermota after

Test run on the Bure taken from the “Wey Rambler”

The engine underway running at cruising speed

A previous owner had stripped the thread in the carb upper body making it impossible to use and so began the search on eBay for a replacement part. This was not as easy as you might think as the Solex 30 PSEI carb has undergone many (often subtle) changes in it’s time and often the numbering is impossible to make out from listings photos.

After much searching I picked up a carb with an upper section that looked like it could work for £20. It was a bargain, but it had a fuel economiser assembly which was introduced on later models.

It simply wouldn’t idle and having replaced both accelerator and economiser diaphragms, it still wouldn’t play ball and made all sorts of horrible noises. Most notably, it wouldn’t deliver enough fuel. On went the search and I found another body which was in slightly better condition than my original. The main problem on both the original and latest carb was that they had been overtightened onto the manifold and the flange had bent resulting in an air leak.

This problem was solved by some careful sanding of the flange face on a flat surface (an offcut from a kitchen worktop) which brought everything fair again.

SOLEX 30 PSEI carb being assembled
In the mean time I’d ordered several service kits of varying completeness with the most important kit coming from Italy and then getting stuck in customs. It did however arrive soon enough to save the weekend. The Frankenstein carb was assembled with all new gaskets and seals, fuel was primed and the key turned. She fired straight away and ran incredibly smoothly.

The seating box was re-assembled around the engine and a test run undertaken between Ranworth and Horning, with a short stop at Horning for a celebratory beer. There were no problems on the test run which was just as well owing to the wind blowing a hooligan. It wouldn’t have been a great time for the engine to cut out.

So the test run was a great success and now it’s a matter of fitting the Accuspark electronic ignition although this isn’t urgent as the engine is running perfectly for now.