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Old 12-31-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
Ed in Maine
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Default Zenith Carb Float Valves

Recently I have had some problems with my float valve leaking and sticking closed. I would like to know what type of float valve has given you the best service? Where are you purchasing them? Thank you, Ed
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:23 PM   #2
jb-ob
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

Ed, Your question is similar to asking what motor oil to use.


Which float valve are you currently using and being it's winter Maine, how much are you driving ?? Do you have a truly functioning gas shut off valve. ?


I've had three Viton tipped valves fail completely so they are a non-item for me.


The Model A owner in the south west who can drive year round might be having success with the two ball style gross jet. With the rubbish that we are sold for gasoline and after two months of inactivity, I had the small ball glue shut the valve = no gas flow.


The replacement steel valve with brass housing needs to be cleaned of any machining debris and the valve lapped to the seat.


What's left ? Using an original 90 year old factory Ford installed valve ?? Never would believe it but they still work extremely well.....just tough to find.


For winter drain the tank of gas, use it in your snow blower until spring. Then experiment with all the suggestions you will get to your question.
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:00 PM   #3
Tom Endy
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

I have had good results using the Viton tip float valves from Bratton's. A word of caution though, Bratton's like any retailer, is at the mercy of their supplier. Before using them I take them apart and clean out any residual machine chips found inside.

My observation has been that the two-ball float valves do not work well. I have seen a number of then stick shut. It may have something to do with what is in the gasoline here in Southern California.

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Old 12-31-2019, 03:18 PM   #4
wmws
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

I agree with Tom on the Vinton tip. But you have to be picky. I got one from Bratton's and it leaked. I took it apart but didn't see anything so put it back together. It still leaked. So I ordered another one from Bratton's. It also leaked so I sent it back to Bratton's and they sent me another for free. It also leaked so I sent it back and they sent me another one for free which worked just fine and has been in my car for about a year now. As I recall Bratton's said that you get about one good one for three.
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Old 12-31-2019, 03:21 PM   #5
JD 1931
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

I have built hundreds of Zenith carbs for the model A and found that the original steel float valve performs well and can be found at Brattons. They seem to do well with todays gas and sometimes the old ones can be restored if the stainless pin and brass is not pitted or worn. Old Zeniths are get harder to find that are suitable to rebuild, the old inventory is being exhausted....
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

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FWIW, I had bad luck with Viton tipped valves. I wasn't patient enough to keep trying them until I found one that worked. 66% failure rate isn't very good.
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Old 12-31-2019, 08:22 PM   #7
Norm M
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

I've rebuilt a number of Zenith using both the Viton and the original style float valves and have found that the Viton valves require more shims than the original valve in order to get the desire fuel level in the bowl (if you measure them you will see the difference). I prefer the original style float valve.
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Old 12-31-2019, 08:48 PM   #8
holdover
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

And I thought it was only me that found the new valve was worse than the old one, purchased 3 so far, none work. I am getting ready to machine a needle and seat so I can drive my TuDor
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Old 01-01-2020, 11:49 AM   #9
Flathead
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

The modern fuel will make a viton needle stick shut if the vehicle sits long enough with the bowl full. I have seen this repeatedly with golf cars stored over the winter. Golf cars aren't Model A's but the needle valves don't know that. A solution for them was having a wire clip that loosely connected the needle to the float, when the bowl empties the weight of the float will pull the needle open. Most all "modern" carbs do this.
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:18 PM   #10
J Franklin
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by flathead View Post
the modern fuel will make a viton needle stick shut if the vehicle sits long enough with the bowl full. I have seen this repeatedly with golf cars stored over the winter. Golf cars aren't model a's but the needle valves don't know that. A solution for them was having a wire clip that loosely connected the needle to the float, when the bowl empties the weight of the float will pull the needle open. Most all "modern" carbs do this.
amen!
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:33 PM   #11
fishboy
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

What is the method for lapping the needle to the seat??
Thanks
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:33 PM   #12
Rich in Tucson
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Default Re: Zenith Carb Float Valves

Try to "stake" it first - place seat on anvil and tap needle with ball pein hammer face (don't hit hard, or soft, just let hammer fall on to it by relaxing your wrist), hit it once square (or twice if you reflexively held back!).

I have lapped with toothpaste as a lapping medium or with valve grinding compound by turning the needle on the seat by hand, but I find that staking never fails. I always stake new needle and seats (even NOS) and bench test carburetors in various ways and it is obvious when an old in service valve needs staking...
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