(have no idea who posted this--mac)
Return Springs, cables and linkages
Done properly, and not fiddled with afterwards, SUs will keep their tune for many thousands of miles. A superb quote that I have seen attributed to Lawrie Alexander of is "90% of the problems with SUs are due to Lucas electrics" i.e. the ignition system. Before setting-up the carbs it is essential that the valve clearances, plug gaps, points gap⁄dwell and timing including operation of the centrifugal and vacuum advance mechanisms are correct and any defects causing erratic or rough running are fixed.
Theory: I'm not going into the theory of carburation in general, just the specifics of the SU, but the job of the carburetor is to feed a mixture of air and atomised fuel into the engine, in appropriate quantities and volumes for the conditions, so as to achieve good combustion and so best performance and economy. These conditions vary according to how fast the driver wants go, whether the engine is hot or cold, accelerating or steady speed etc. Too much fuel in the air (or too little air for the fuel) - a rich mixture - will result in sluggish performance, fouled plugs, poor economy, and in extreme cases can wash the oil off the cylinder walls causing rapid engine wear. Too little fuel in the air (or too much air for the fuel) - a weak mixture - will cause hesitant running and miss-firing, poor performance, overheating, and paradoxically poor economy just like a rich mixture.
The SU carb is brilliantly simple in its design, with very little to go wrong. However the later HIF (which stands for 'Horizontal Integral Float', by the way) is a bit more complex than the earlier HS, which I think stands for 'Horizontal Side float'. Why not HSF then? Who knows? The 'Horizontal' in both cases refers to the direction of air flow into the engine, as opposed to the 'down-draft', or 'semi down-draught' you might see applied to some other designs of carb. Visual identification is simple - on the HIF the float chamber is contained within the main body of the carb and actually surrounds the bottom of the jet whereas on the HS the float chamber is to one side of the main body of the carb and has an external pipe connecting it to the jet. Whilst technically the HIF is an improvement over the HS, for a number of reasons there is no good reason to convert to HIFs if you already have HSs, and if you are converting to SUs from Zenith⁄Stromberg or an aftermarket conversion and have the choice of HSs or HIFs HSs would be marginally preferable for their simplicity. The diagrams below are of an HS unless otherwise indicated click on a thumbnail for a full-size image in a different window.
Put simply the SU carb consists of a butterfly valve on the engine side of the carb connected to the throttle pedal and this controls the volume of air being pulled through the carb and into the combustion chambers. However there is another independent 'valve' in the air passage, and this is the large piston which is on the air-cleaner side of the carb. The piston is relatively free to rise and fall depending on how much the butterfly is open or closed as will be seen later. Attached to the bottom of the piston is a tapered needle projecting downwards into the open end of a tube (the jet) containing liquid fuel, the height of which is controlled by a float and valve in the float chamber (not shown). With the butterfly mostly closed i.e. at idle the piston will be at the lower end of its travel so it is blocking most of the air passage through the carb. Also the widest part of the needle is in the jet so blocking most of its opening, and therefore little fuel is being mixed with the air, but the ratio of air to fuel (given correct adjustment of the carb) will be correct. With the butterfly fully open the piston will be fully raised allowing the maximum amount of air to flow through the carb, the needle will have its narrowest portion in the end of the jet, so unblocking most of its opening, and the maximum amount of fuel is being mixed with the air, but again the ratio of air to fuel will be correct. Generally this state of affairs will be obtained for any throttle butterfly opening, and hence any vertical position of the piston in the air passage and the needle in the jet. If you look through the carb it is not the same diameter all the way through. Across the top of the jet there is a raised portion the width of the carb - the bridge. This restricts the diameter of the carb throat at that point, which has the effect of speeding the airflow over it and hence over the top of the jet (Bernoulli's Principle). This lowers the air pressure above the jet which is what causes fuel to be drawn up into the airflow to produce the mixture. So as well as the thickness of the needle in the jet controlling how much fuel is drawn up, the speed of the air flowing past the jet is also having the same effect. In steady state conditions although the volume of air increases as the butterfly opens and the piston rises, the speed of the air across the top of the jet remains much the same. However as the piston rises the narrowing needle allows more fuel to be drawn up from the jet even though the speed of the airflow is much the same. Later on we will see what happens when the speed of the airflow increases for the same needle position in one case, and the size of the jet orifice is increased for a constant volume and speed of airflow in another case.
So how does opening the butterfly cause the piston to rise, and the needle with it? With the engine at idle the butterfly is mostly closed and the piston is mostly lowered. But far from 'idling' in the usual sense of the term i.e. doing nothing, the engine is acting like a large vacuum pump due to the action of the pistons in the cylinders. On the engine side of the butterfly i.e. in the inlet manifold there will be quite a large vacuum, which is measured in inches of mercury (in. Hg.), and can be up to 18 or 20 in. Hg. However between the butterfly and the piston there will only be a few in. Hg., and on the air cleaner side of the piston the air will be virtually at atmospheric pressure i.e. 0 in. Hg. Now consider the instant the driver opens the throttle a significant amount, say to accelerate away from traffic lights. The butterfly opens, but with the piston still mostly closed the large vacuum that existed on the engine side of the butterfly is now present between the butterfly and the piston. The piston has a couple of holes on the butterfly side near its base with passages to the space above the piston and its large skirt. Although there is a gap between the edge of the skirt and the inside face of the piston cover it is a very small gap, so virtually all the vacuum is applied to the whole of the upper surface of the piston skirt. Now below the piston skirt, on the butterfly side of the piston, there is also this large vacuum, so this part of the skirt has equal pressure either side of it i.e. there is no tendency for it to rise or fall. But on the air cleaner side of the piston the air below the skirt is at atmospheric pressure i.e. much higher than that above that part of the skirt. The effect of this is to force the piston upwards. This increases the air flow into the engine and raises the needle out of the jet, which increases the fuel flow into the engine, so more mixture in the cylinders, a bigger bang when the plugs fire, and the engine accelerates the car.
So how does the piston know how far to rise? As the piston rises it 'unblocks' the flow of air into the space between the butterfly and the piston, which reduces the vacuum there and above the piston. This reduces the difference in air pressure above and below the piston, which reduces the force causing it to rise. The piston will continue to rise, and continue to reduce the vacuum above the piston, until it reaches the point where the air pressure both sides of the piston and skirt are largely equal again. It will stabilise at a point where the vacuum between the butterfly and piston, and hence above the piston, are more or less at the same level it was before accelerating. It is this feature that causes this type of carburetor to be called a 'constant depression' or 'constant vacuum' carburetor i.e. no matter how big the throttle opening is under steady state conditions the vacuum between butterfly and piston will always be much the same. If you manually raise the piston further than it wants to go, the vacuum between the piston and the butterfly and above the skirt reduces, and when released the piston will fall back to its previous level. Similarly if the piston is manually pushed down the vacuum between piston and butterfly and above the skirt increases trying to pull it back up again, and when released the piston will rise back to its former level, and the amount of vacuum between butterfly and piston will be maintained. That is generally the case, but in practise there is a physically large but quite weak coil spring between the top of the piston and the outer cover pressing down on the piston and so restricting its rise somewhat. This is another feature to ensure the correct balance of air to fuel across the range of throttle opening, and means that a progressively larger vacuum is required the higher the piston rises. However the difference in vacuum between idle and full throttle piston heights is relatively small compared to the up to 20 in. Hg or so available in the inlet manifold. The spring strength, carb throat diameter, needle shape and jet size are all chosen to give the correct mixture across the operating range of the carb in that particular application. For a larger or smaller engine, single or multiple carbs, with or without supercharger, etc. the carb throat size, needle shape, jet size, spring strength etc. will all be chosen to give the correct results for that application. You can't just bolt on a bigger carb without doing anything else and expect your car to go faster, indeed it will probably perform worse. Likewise if you make changes to engine capacity, breathing, valve timing etc. you probably won't get the best out of them unless you change the carb parameters as well. What changes to make under what circumstances is a huge subject.
That is basically it. However whenever the throttle is suddenly opened the volume of air passing through the carb is able to increase faster than the volume of fuel can increase coming out of the jet. This has the effect of weakening the mixture, which causes the engine stumble when accelerating. To counteract this on top of the large piston there is a cylinder filled with oil - the damper cylinder. Attached to the outer cover there is a small damper piston sitting in this oil. As the large piston tries to rise the damper cylinder also rises, and because the damper piston is fixed this has the effect of forcing the damper piston further into the cylinder. As the lower end of the cylinder is sealed, and oil is not compressible, the only way the large piston can rise is for oil to be forced past the damper piston. The dimensions of both damper cylinder and damper piston are carefully set to that the oil flows past at a known rate, and hence controls the rise or the large piston. This damps or slows down the rise of the large piston, so that for a short time (a couple of seconds or so) the increased vacuum between butterfly and large piston causes the air flow across the top of the jet to increase in speed, which sucks more fuel out of the jet relative to the volume of air that is flowing even though the needle hasn't yet moved, so enrichening the mixture to avoid the stumble. But when the throttle butterfly is closed there is no such need to control the movement of the large piston, so the damper piston is designed to be ineffective when the large piston is falling, so it falls immediately.
Another occasion when the ratio of air to fuel has to be altered from the norm is on starting from cold. When everything is cold the fuel doesn't atomise as well and so doesn't combust as well inside the engine, so again you get the effects of a weak mixture and indeed the engine may not start at all. To counteract this we have a choke. Well, it is called a choke but that is a hangover from earlier carbs where the air flow through the carb throat was manually restricted or 'choked' as a way of richening the mixture. In both types of SU carb it is done by increasing the amount of fuel for a given amount of air (rather than reducing the amount of air for a given amount of fuel as in the other design of carb) and so is an enrichment device rather than a choke. But no matter, 'choke' is the generic term, so that is what we shall use. The HS and HIF types differ in how they enrich. The HS has a very simple mechanism for lowering the jet relative to the needle, so increasing the size of the outlet, which allows a given speed of air passing over the end of the jet to draw out a greater quantity of fuel, so enriching the mixture. In the HIF there is a separate valve which opens and adds more fuel to the air stream via separate passages in the carb body. Both types allow the amount of enrichment to be continuously varied i.e. they are not a simple on⁄off switch. As mentioned before a mixture that is too rich causes a number of problems so you should endeavour to have the minimum amount of enrichment for smooth running. In practice every car is different and you will have to learn how much yours needs under various conditions. As well as varying from car to car it also various according to the ambient temperature and how long the engine has been switched off. Even though the temperature gauge may show fully cold if the engine has only been off for a couple of hours, as opposed to overnight, it may restart with no choke or only minimal choke, you will have to learn. For example my roadster needs full choke to start from fully cold then immediately pushed in about half-way, then gradually pushed in further as the engine warms up. By contrast the V8 needs full choke to start and for the first few seconds, then gradually pushing back in as the engine warms. Also it is better to drive off immediately after starting and not let the engine warm through idling, unless you have to defrost windows etc.
Another feature of the choke control on the MGB is that when correctly adjusted the first 1⁄4" of movement actually only increases the idle speed - the fast idle - and doesn't enrich the mixture. This is very useful if you are scraping frost, once it will idle at that amount of choke, even though you may have to add more choke once you drive off. In both carbs the choke control turns a 'snail' or tapered cam which is sitting under the fast idle adjustment screw. As the cam is turned its effective diameter under the screw increases and gradually lifts the screw, which opens the butterfly a little more than the normal idle setting. Again the amount of choke to fast-idle is a matter of balance - too much fast idle will cause the engine to race before you have enriched the mixture sufficiently for slow running, which makes for difficult slow running in traffic. Insufficient fast idle may cause the engine to tend to stall even though the mixture is enriched, so you apply more choke until the idle speed is suitable, by which time the engine is over-choked causing the aforementioned problems of plug fouling and oil dilution.
Ports: There is often confusion about which hose goes on which port of SUs. If you get the inlet and vent hoses reversed for example, the carb will flood petrol out of one of the ports and⁄or the jet.
HS carbs: HS carbs are a mirror image of each other, each with its own fuel inlet and vent⁄overflow ports. The main fuel feed pipe has a T-piece which feeds the rear carb from a side tapping, the straight-through tapping feeding the front carb. The vent⁄overflow ports are connected with a short length of rubber hose to two individual (but running side by side) steel pipes which carry any overflow safely down past the exhaust, and are clipped to the left-hand engine mount. From October 1969 and the 18GG⁄GH⁄GJ⁄GK engines the carbs also had a crankcase ventilation port which removed the need for a separate PCV valve. These are joined together by a Y-piece and connected to the front tappet chest cover port. Click on the thumbnails to see which port is which but basically the fuel inlet ports point straight across the car to the rocker cover, and the vent⁄overflow ports are the same size pointing straight across the car in the opposite direction i.e. to the left-hand wing. The ventilation ports are larger and point diagonally upwards, towards the front of the car on the front carb and the rear of the car on the rear carb.
HIF carbs: 4-cylinder V8 HIF carbs are mostly a mirror image of each other, except for the fuel feed arrangements. The fuel feed pipe connects to the front (4-cylinder) or left-hand (V8) carb only, which as well as feeding the float valve in that carb goes straight through the carb body to an 'outlet' port on the other side. A short (very short in the case of the V8) length of rubber hose goes straight across from that port on the front⁄left-hand carb to a mirror-image inlet port on the rear⁄right-hand carb. There is a matching outlet drilling on the other side of the rear⁄right-hand carb, presumably for triple carb setups, but it is plugged on MGB carbs. On 4-cylinder cars the vent⁄overflow ports and crankcase ventilation ports are plumbed the same as on HS carbs. The V8 has hoses from the vent⁄overflow ports going being the carbs to a T-piece behind the right-hand carb, then a single down-pipe clipped to a bolt on the bell-housing. The crankcase ventilation ports are connected individually via a flame⁄oil traps to the associated rocker cover. Click on the thumbnails for details of which port is which, but basically the fuel inlet and outlet ports are at the back of the carbs pointing straight across the car, with the inlet on the left-hand carb immediately above its mixture screw, and the blanked-off outlet port of the right-hand carb the same. The vent⁄overflow ports are immediately in front of those, also pointing straight across the car, and the same size as the fuel inlet⁄outlet ports. The crankcase ventilation ports are in front of those, are larger, and pointing diagonally upwards as well as across the car.
Setting-up: Note that in the UK MGBs first registered before 1st August 1975 the emissions test simply comprises a visual inspection for excessive smoke. Cars first registered on or after 1st August 1975 will fail if they emit more than 4.5%CO or more 1200ppm hydrocarbons. But note that if it can be shown the car is fitted with an earlier engine it only has to pass the visual test.
The basic requirement for good twin SU set-up is that the carbs should be matched - and that means matching springs, needles, jets, air flow and mixture. Springs, needles and jets should always be replaced in pairs. If you have non-standard parts in the inlet⁄combustion⁄exhaust area you may benefit from a different needle to standard, see SU Needles. While the earlier metal floats can be adjusted to give the same fuel height in the float bowl, it looks like the later plastic ones cannot easily be, except by placing washers between the needle valve and the housing. (The float height on HSs is supposed to be such that, with the float chamber lid upside down, the float should just rest on a 1⁄8" to 3⁄16" round bar placed across the middle of the lid parallel to the hinge pin). These notes assume that the jet is already centred and the needle correctly installed.
Tip: The float valve can sometimes stick in the closed position, particularly if the car is not used for some time. Running the engine will empty that float chamber which will cause poor idle and running. Rapping the top of the (HS) float chamber with the handle of a screwdriver can often free the valve.
Tip: The opposite effect is dirt in the float valve that stops it closing when the float chamber is full and it overflows. Disconnect the fuel pump and run the engine until the float chambers empty and the engine stops. Reconnect the fuel pump and the resulting rush of fuel into the float chambers will usually clear the dirt away. If it happens again immediately either the float could be punctured and full of fuel so it doesn't float, or the valve could be worn. If it happens frequently change the in-line filter (if fitted) or investigate the causes of dirty fuel e.g. internally corroded fuel tank. Check the float height after replacing the float valve, or float.
Tip: Many HIFs, and possibly some SUs, have a 'poppet valve' in the butterfly which opens under conditions of high manifold vacuum i.e. the overrun. This was an emissions measure which simulates opening the throttle slightly until the manifold vacuum drops closer to its normal value at idle. This valve can stick open and cause a high idle, sometimes only during certain circumstances e.g. warming up and be OK the rest of the time. One of my V8 carbs was doing this so I soldered them shut, which needs minimal dismantling to perform. Some recommend replacing the butterfly with the solid item, which has the same effect plus removes a small obstruction from the throat of the carb, but needs much more dismantling and it can be fiddly to get the new butterfly to seat properly in the throat, which leads me onto my next tip.
Tip: A high idle that cannot be brought down to normal by use of the fast idle screws is not being caused by a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak only lets in air, whereas the engine needs fuel to run. Therefore, if the engine is still running when the idle screws are backed right off, there is some other problem causing one or both butterflies to be partially open. This could be one or more of the following:
* Maladjusted fast idle screws holding the butterfly open, see below for correct adjustment.
* No slack in the throttle cable i.e. the throttle pedal stop is causing the cable to hold the butterflies open. There should be 20 thou free play between the finger on the throttle interconnecting spindle and the choke spindle.
* Maladjusted throttle interconnecting clamps and spindle - one carb fully closed is holding the other one slightly open. Go through the full set-up sequence below.
* Butterfly poppet not seating - solder it closed or fit a plain butterfly.
* Butterfly not seating properly - check the carb throat seat is clean and reseat the butterfly.
I repeat: With both idle screws fully backed off both butterflies should be fully closed, and this is more than enough to cause the engine to stall.
The main adjustments - the detailed info relates to the HS but the principles apply equally to the HIF:
* Remove the air filters slacken the Pictures of linkage arrangements throttle and choke bar clamps, two on each bar, and back off the fast idle screws that bear on the choke cams.
* Screw each jet up until it is flush with the bridge, then screw it down 12 flats (two turns) to give the basic start-point for the mixture.
* Start and run the engine up to temperature, adjust the idle screws to give a reasonable idle speed.
* Using a tube to listen to the hiss in each intake, or by using a balance meter such as Gunsons, independently adjust each idle speed screw so you get the same hiss or meter indication in both carbs while still retaining a reasonable idle speed.
* On each carb in turn adjust the jet height to give the correct mixture for your spec. For non-emissions HSs this is checked with the piston lifting pin which, when lifted 1⁄32", should cause the engine speed to momentarily increase then settle back down. If the speed stays up the mixture is too rich, if the engine speed immediately falls the mixture is too weak. Each carb should be adjusted independently so that it gives the correct, and more importantly the same, results. After adjusting each carb the other should be rechecked as they are interdependent. NB: Emissions controlled cars have various CO readings, but this method should not be used until the carbs are balanced for air flow and mixture, and then only by adjusting both carbs by the same amount in the same direction.
* Recheck the air balance again, adjusting idle screws independently as before if required.
* The throttle spindle clamps should be set such that there is a small amount of free play in the throttle cable and interconnecting spindle before the butterflies start to open. There is a lever on the throttle spindle that rests on the underside (HS, above on HIF) of the choke spindle when the throttle is closed. Insert a .012" feeler gauge between the lever and the choke spindle, lightly press down on the part of the clamp that engages with the throttle cam and tighten each nut. Check afterwards to ensure that the slight play described above exists, and also that there is about 1⁄32" end-float on the interconnecting spindle.
* Run the engine at 1500 rpm and check that the air balance is still correct. If it is not the throttle spindle clamp(s) will have to be readjusted. Persevere with this, it is important to get both air balance and clearances right. If you find this difficult to set your throttle spindles⁄bushes may be worn i.e. can be waggled up and down or from side to side.
* The choke operates in two phases - opening the throttle slightly first (fast idle), then enrichening the mixture. Make sure the choke cable is routed such that it has a clear run when the choke knob is out, otherwise stiff operation can result. Also check that when the choke knob is half way out the operating lever clamped to the choke spindle makes an angle of 90 degrees with the cable, again to avoid stiff operation. The choke cable clamp screw should be adjusted such that the choke knob can be pulled out 1⁄4" before the jets start to move i.e. before richening occurs. See here for how the chrome bumper 4-cylinder choke cable attaches at the carb end, it is unusual in that it has a fixed inner and moving outer.
* Tighten the choke clamp screws such that both jets start to move at the same time as the choke is operated i.e. after the fast idle movement has taken place.
* Independently adjust the fast idle screws such that as the choke is operated both throttle butterflies start to open at the same time, and gives the correct fast idle speed (e.g. 1000rpm when the engine is hot) when the choke knob is in its 'fast idle' position.
* Adjust the idle screws by the same amount and in the same direction to obtain the required idle speed.
* The throttle pedal should reach the stop on the floor just as the butterflies reach fully open - the butterflies and cable should not act as the throttle stop. Adjust this with the cable clamp on the throttle spindle. Take up any free play in the throttle pedal with the bolt located near the pedal hinge, but not so much that it moves the throttle spindle off its stop (the underside of the choke spindle).
* Check the oil-level in the piston damper. The most sensible way to do this is to unscrew the damper cap lift it up, and press it down again. If you feel the resistance of the oil before the damper cap reaches the dashpot cover you have enough oil. If you try and maintain the oil level at the recommended top-up position of 1⁄2" above the top of the hollow rod you will be forever topping up which will wear out the damper cap threads and the damper cap will shoot up out of the dashpot cover under hard acceleration. The correct top-up oil is engine oil of whatever grade is correct for your local climatic conditions, e.g. 20W⁄50 for temperate climates. When you do have to top it up there is no point in filling it to above the top of the hollow rod as any oil above this point is rapidly drawn into the engine, hence the frequent topping-up if you try and maintain it at this level.
Important: Once the carbs are correctly set up only ever make further adjustments to both carbs by the same amount and in the same direction. Once you start adjusting the carbs independently you will have to go through the above set up to get them balanced again.
See also Tuning with a Vacuum Gauge from . The faulting techniques are perfectly valid but IMHO when setting-up carbs the way the engine idle speed alters tells you just as much as the vacuum gauge. Although the author of this page implies that they also use the vacuum gauge to adjust timing, they don't say how they do it! See also http:⁄⁄www.iwemalpg.com⁄Vacuum_gauge.htm which has information on using a vacuum gauge for fault diagnosis.
Return Springs, cables and linkages: There has been a lot of discussion recently as to how many return springs were fitted to the SU carbs, and in particular whether the choke has one. The Parts Catalogue up to September 1976 for car numbers 101 to 332032 lists one 'Spring-cable return' in the list of parts for the choke and two 'Spring-return' in the list of parts for the throttle i.e. three springs in total. For car number 332033 on it lists one 'Spring-choke return' and two 'Spring-throttle return' i.e. again three springs in total. The September 76 on Parts catalogue for non-North American cars lists three 'Spring-throttle return' and one 'Spring-choke return' i.e. four in total. The fourth spring on the throttle cable itself was only added for the 77 model year and on, maybe there had been complaints of sticking throttles. In all cases Part Number AEC 2075 is quoted, and they are in addition to the return springs fitted over the actual carb spindles.
For completeness both Catalogues show one 'Spring-throttle return' with the Zenith carb, the 76-on catalogue also lists one 'Spring-throttle return' with the pedal parts but the earlier Catalogue doesn't.
Mine (HSs) originally had four springs the fourth one being on the throttle cable. But this is hooked over the pin of the cable clamp and not inserted into a specific mounting point, as is the case for the other three springs. The attachment points on the heat shield may give some clue the Parts Catalogue for up to September 76 shows it with three tags sticking out with holes in (confirmed by various owners) which also goes to support three springs, but my 73 UK roadster with 48G Gold Seal engine heat shield only has one tag, and four holes on the bottom edge making five potential attachment points in all! However two of them are not holes but slots, so it is possible these have been added later with a hacksaw rather than a drill, which could reduce the original holes to three. But having said that, the slots are actually more logical places to attach the two throttle springs as they have a better alignment. The Parts Catalogue for September 76 on shows four tags, although whilst three are of the same size and look in about the right positions for springs on the linkages the fourth is larger and right off the rear so maybe for something else entirely. My throttle has always tended to be a bit jerky on small movements, lubricating the old cable and even replacing with a complete new inner and outer making no difference. I have temporarily disconnected the fourth spring and on a short drive it does seem to be smoother. The pedal return pressure doesn't seem to have been lightened to any significant degree, so hopefully there will be no increased risk of sticking. Time will tell.
However on a friends UK 78 (HIF) whilst there are holes on the choke quadrants and the throttle lever for 3 springs I can't see anywhere to hook a spring on either of the throttle cams. Neither is there a hole in the choke lever for a spring. There is only one hole either side in the flange on the heat-shield, assuming these are for the choke springs that leaves nowhere for throttle cam springs. However there are two holes and one tab with a hole in the centre, which suggests two of those could be for the throttle and choke levers as on HSs, leaving the two outer holes for throttle cam springs again as on the HSs, but as I say nowhere obvious on the cams to attach them. Confusing.
Air filters: 4-cylinder cars have a gasket between the air-filter box and the carb flange. All the ones I have seen have been handed in that they must be fitted to the right way up so as the auxiliary holes in the two flanges are clear (holes uppermost), and not blocked which apparently affect carb operation. This is frequently mentioned as a likely cause of carb problems. While doing the clutch change on a friend's 78 I found these gaskets, which have holes in both upper and lower positions, and so cannot be fitted the wrong way round. However! You still have to fit the base-plate for the air-cleaner the right way round or the holes will be blocked whichever gasket you use or how you install it! It wasn't obvious from the running of the car that they were blocked, but Keith's car failed it's emissions test this year having passed just a year earlier, done very little mileage since, no changes other than a new choke cable (which was fully releasing the choke) even during the clutch change apart from having the air-filters removed. When I went to setup the carbs for air-balance and mixture I found the filter bases upside down, hence the auxiliary ports were blocked. In the end the balance and mixture were just about spot-on, only the balance under choke was out, which wouldn't have affected the emissions test anyway, so I can only assume I put the filters on the wrong carbs hence the bases upside down, and that was enough to affect the reading. Putting the air-filters the right way round (and hence fitting the bases the right-way round) and a precautionary weakening of the mixture by just 1⁄8th turn to show 3.8% on my Gastester passed the retest at almost the same figure.
Originally the air-filter cans were clearly handed and as long as you kept them, the bases, bolts and gaskets together as two assemblies you are unlikely to get them on the wrong carbs. But at some point they seem to have been modified so the cans are identical, so if you keep them together but mixed up and fit them to the wrong carbs you will get the bases upside down. The Parts Catalogue shows different part numbers for the front and rear cans for all years, but you can definitely fit the later ones on the wrong carbs and it isn't immediately obvious. Originally common to all markets they changed for the 72 model year (from straight intakes to curved?) to three different sets for UK, North America, and the rest of the world (export cars changed to HIF the previous year so it wasn't to do with that). UK changed to use the 'rest of the world' set in November 73 with the 18V 779⁄780 engines and all twin carb engines had those to the end.