Replacement Carburetor
Submitted by - Stephen Grammont
Revision Date 3/8/01

 

The original Weasel carburetor, made by Carter, is one of the few critical parts that Weasel owners dread having something go wrong with. It is unique to the Weasel, and although some rebuild parts can be found, others can not. So if your carb is not performing correctly, chances are you in for a real headache.

My Carter carb was last serviced in 1964, and it was obviously having some problems. So I found an original 1956 military rebuild kit (sans float) and had my mechanic rebuild it. Fortunately my float was in excellent condition. The guy who did the rebuild has done this a 1000 times before, and was quite pleased with the condition of the carb and the rebuild parts.

Unfortunately, once we got it in and going we found that the engine would choke, sputter, and stall when trying to drive up rather simple slopes while in high gear (especially 2nd). So the carb came off and was looked at again. Nothing appeared to be wrong and we ruled out lots of other potential problems. But when we put it back on... same problem

My mechanics had an idea. They had a carb out back that might just fit and if I wanted to they would try it out. Ticked off that I had already spent $150 on the Carter and it was not doing its job, I told them to do it and get the thing to work right.

My guys wound up putting on a single barrel, 2.3 carb taken out of a Ford van. It was a match as close as one could hope for. The bolt pattern was only a couple thousands of an inch off, so some rather minor grinding of the receiving holes and a spacer was all that was needed. They then had to weld up a different intake housing as the original wasn't the right size for the Weasels air hose (from the wet air filter). The throttle cable was hooked up easily as was the new electric choke. Unless you looked into the engine compartment you would never know what they did.

I have driven over 40 miles with this replacement carb in all conditions, including 3' of virgin snow. I couldn't be happier with its performance. The choke works much better than the original, even when it is zero F outside. Starts up pretty much on the first shot and never quits on me (the Carter was not so kind). And as a bonus, the original Carter carb could be put back on without any trouble, so if there is ever a reason to do so that option is open.

I'm talking with my mechanic about making replacement carbs for Weaselers who are in need. He likes the idea and is thinking about how much time and materials will run. I'll keep you informed!

Three shots below show the Ford carb from the top, side (best I could), and the front looking towards the back of the Weasel. Note my nicely reconditioned cylinder head :-)