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hesitation of 34PICT-3

2007 August 13 20:24

I've read in a lot of places that the Solex 34PICT-3 carburetor (stock on my 1972
Beetle cars around that same age) is fiddly to keep tuned with the stock timing.
Many people take as gospel that this combination just has problems.

Well I'm now wondering about that I wonder if it's possible that the problems that
are experienced with that carb is just a characteristic of the carb itself. In
June, I put in a carb that I bought on ebay and cleaned out thoroughly and rebuilt.
Right before I left for work and Oshkosh in July, the car started hestitating a
little bit off of idle again. Over the weekend, I tried to effect a quick repair to
make that better, and I think it may have done the trick.

Since my car had no hesitation with a fresh carb, then developed hesitation again,
and now the simple cleaning fix got rid of the hestiation, I wonder if the
hesitation reputation of that carb is mostly due to the passages getting clogged
up.

Here's the scenario. Below is a diagram of the 34PICT carb with dots to show where
air and fuel flow at idle (air is blue, fuel is red, air/fuel mix is purple). The
throttle plate is closed. All the air that is getting to the engine is going
through the bypass drilling on the right.

Here's the same sort of diagram with the throttle slightly open. When the throtle
opens, there isn't enough airflow to cause the main jet to discharge fuel into the
air stream. So if the idle bypass and the main jet were the only mechanisms for
fuel delivery, as the throttle was opened the engine would run too lean and perhaps
stumble or stop. To make up for this, there is a series of small metering holes to
inject fuel into the air getting past the throttle plate as it opens. This diagram
shows the flows with the throttle slighly open. There is air getting past the
throttle, and the fuel is being metered by the holes near that opening.

This is taken on another 34PICT-3 carb that I have. This is taken of the engine end
of the carburetor. The throttle is slightly open, and at the edge you can see the
metering holes.

My theory is that the hesitation that I (and perhaps others) experience is because
one or more of those holes are clogged. What I did, which seemed to have worked,
was to take the top of the carb off and shoot carb/choke cleaner into the jets that
go to the passages where he holes are. One is the upper of the two brass passages
in the bottom half of the carb here:

The second is the jet that leads to the metering holes. In the above photo, it's
the thing that looks like a hexagonal-headed brass bolt. The passage that goes down
from the barrel of that jet goes to the metering holes.

If my supposition is correct, and the fault is gunk in those metering holes that
will dissolve with carb cleaner, then all I have to do to fix it is to remove that
jet and shoot cleaner into the port at the bottom. I'll try that if the problem
recurrs. The jet is on the side of the carb where you can get at it without
removing anything else. You can see the jet here, with the carb and everything re-
assembled, the jet head below the automatic choke:

So the car ran fine today, no hesitation. If the hesitation comes back, I'll try
this again.