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Make Your Vehicle Run Better

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Jimmy Nyland | Writer
Posted August 1, 2000

Easier Starts and Crisper Throttle Response With a Fresh Fuel Mixer

Step By Step

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  • Remove the air intake, choke cable, accelerator linkage, fuel line, and eventually the carb itself. If some debris drops down into the intake manifold, don’t worry about it. There’s a perfect little valley at the bottom that catches all the junk. This is also one of the few times use of the open end of a wrench is appropriate, simply because the box end won’t fit. Don’t discard the old carb; one day you might find the time to rebuild it right. When you get as old as your Jeep is now, you may actually want to restore it.

  • While the new carb comes with a gasket, the holes are a bit small to fit over the studs. Our thick stock gasket was in good (enough) shape, so we reused it. The throttle linkage hooks right up, but then there’s the choke cable. On the Solex it goes onto the carb in a vertical fashion, whereas the stocker gets it horizontally. That can effectively make the cable too short and create a pretty sharp bend. The bracket on the carb can be adjusted a wee bit, and/or filed for a smoother radius. We later took the easy way out and hooked the longer hand throttle cable to the choke instead.

  • Check that all the linkage and cable stuff clears any obstructions and can’t get hung up. A stuck throttle is no fun whether on the trail or highway. Now it’s time to connect the fuel line. In our case, it had to be tweaked a bit to meet with the J.C. Whitney carb’s inlet—and, of course, the threads were different. (By the way, all the Solex fasteners are metric, but close enough to use standard tools on, just in case you misplaced your metric Crescent wrench.) A 1/4x5/16-inch Dual Brake Adapter (Everco PN 7832) made our fuel line and Solex hook up.

  • Check for fuel leaks, adjust the carb if needed, and take the Jeep for a test spin. We know—it looks way new, but most likely you, too, will notice easier starts and far crisper throttle response with the new carb. One thing that also struck us was that by removing the pressed-on extension (or at least cutting it down a bit), the J.C. Whitney carb could be used on an F-head motor in a low-hood Jeep, without having to make an unsightly hole in that classy hood. There are two different part numbers—one for L- and one for F-head engines—so be sure to order the correct carb for the engine, not the body.

If you’re still enjoying the original L- or F-head engine in your CJ, this carburetor is for you. After all, some 50 years of trail use may have rendered the original carb in a state of less than perfect tune. Rather than once again doing a quickie field-rebuild of the stocker, consider a complete replacement. We spotted this Solex 1-bbl for 1941-1975 134ci motors in a J.C. Whitney catalog about a year ago, and at a very reasonable $140, it was hard to resist. Sure, its shiny body and different appearance will never pass for a stocker, but, hey, it works.

Installation is a relatively straightforward remove-and-replace affair, where only the choke cable could be a bit tricky to attach to the new carb. Should that make you feel bummed and in need of cheering up, just read a little of the included instructions for operation—they’re worth a few dollars alone. For example, cold-starting procedures begin with “Pull the Progressive starter control right out.” In the tuning section it states, in bold letters, “Under no circumstances should the volume control screw be screwed fully home.” The whole page is full of yack-worthy stuff, but that doesn’t make the carb work any worse, and making your Jeep run better is obviously the whole idea here. Best of all, it takes a minimum of tools and money to make it happen.


J.C. Whitney