5 Weber spares every toolbox should contain

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the January 2007 issue of Classic Motorsports.]

The paddock at the Monterey Historics always contains a staggering display of the finest vintage racing machinery ever built. The sheer number of jaw-dropping race cars inspires awe in those who stroll through the pits. But as these beasts gargle and spit from gleaming rows of carburetors and release healthy blats from gloriously unmuffled exhausts, you begin to realize that they aren’t the easiest creatures to keep running. 

It is then that you begin to notice the drivers and mechanics running around, struggling to keep the classics from missing their track sessions. Despite deep pockets and scores of ace mechanics, many of these mega-dollar machines regularly miss sessions. Some are sidelined by a simple lack of spares—usually parts that could have been purchased for just a few bucks.

During the Monterey historic races, we talked with Weber carburetor guru Mike Pierce of Pierce Manifolds as he ran between paddock spaces while chasing parts and problems for his friends and customers. “You’d be amazed at how many of these million-dollar cars are having problems that could be solved with less than a hundred-dollar bill,” he says.

Mike has a few recommended track-side spares for anyone running Webers—although even those running Webers on the street should have these parts close at hand, too. These parts are in addition to the tools needed to work on the carburetors, which usually include a small standard screwdriver and a 9 or 13 mm wrench. 

1: Gaskets

A  complete gasket set for each carburetor will allow you to remove and disassemble the carb for cleaning and adjusting without worry. Don’t forget to replace any gaskets that you stole from your set between races, either. Sure, you can make a gasket out of a piece of cardboard in a pinch, but who really wants to spend the time with a razor blade cutting out a gasket? Rebuild kits will also contain the metal and rubber seals that aren’t as easily rigged together at the last minute. 

2: Needle and Seat

The needle and seat in the float chamber will often stick open at the worst time, resulting in an overflowing bowl. This can lead to disastrous consequences if the leaking fuel catches fire. A spare needle and seat are cheap insurance.

3: Float

Despite its simplicity, the float itself is also a problem area. The older metal floats can corrode, while the newer plastic ones can crack along their seams. A leaking float will sink to the bottom of the chamber, leading to more gas overflow and incorrect mixtures. 

4: Vacuum Leaks

Vacuum leaks around the carburetor mounting flange will lead to all sorts of tuning issues. An extra set of carburetor mounting gaskets is an easy solution to the problem. If your carbs are mounted with rubber soft-mounts, these could also be a source of leaks. As the rubber ages, it becomes less pliable and loses its ability to seal the carburetors to the manifold. 

5: Fuel Filters

Finally, a few spare fuel filters are a great idea for your parts stash. Vibration and time can knock loose all manner of crud from inside the gas tank, and this junk will quickly plug a fuel filter. Running without a fuel filter is a dicey proposition—after all, if you plugged your filter, what makes you think you won’t plug up the passageways in your carburetor before the race is over? 

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Bardan New Reader
11/3/21 1:19 p.m.

These suggetions are applicable to any carburetor.

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