Talk about innovation! We all know the great Barney Navarro was a genius when it came to making flathead motors go faster, and this is yet another example of why. Talk about thinking outside the box.
We honestly don’t know a lot (anything!) about this carburetor. But we are told it was built in 1948 using four back-to-back Stromberg 48s siamesed together with a common machined alloy base plate (it’s got no cast iron bases). Check out the extra/relocated arms on the accelerator pump fulcrum levers, sticking right up in the air. By linking them together across the top of the carb, the left hand pump rods can transmit the pump action to the right hand venturis. Looks like he made some super-long throttle shafts to join four barrels together in line, with one controlled by the pedal and the other (maybe a secondary?) with a torsion spring wrapped around the end of the shaft. And what about that fuel system! Looks like all the inlets are linked, and what are those pipes on the centre drain plugs underneath?!
This one-off piece came via Don Ferguson to the collection of Australian ‘friend of Stromberg’, Graeme Raper and is currently with our buddy Max Musgrove for full restoration with new Stromberg service parts. At the moment we only have these pics to go on, but we’ll be reporting back as this baby gets more attention. Anybody got any more input for us? Please?!Update! Click here for an update we got from hot rod journo, Chris Shelton.
It started with a worrying email, and ended with a very happy customer, AND a lesson we can all learn about using teflon tape on fuel fittings. Gary Cone from Las Vegas, NV, owns a cool red 1940 Ford with a small block Ford 5.0 motor and three new 97s on an Edelbrock intake manifold. Here’s a couple of pics – one of the first small block Ford 3×2 new 97 set-ups we have seen. It’s a very tidy installation. Anyway, Gary’s email went: “DROVE MY CAR TO THE LOCAL CAR MEET THIS MORNING, STARTED THE CAR TO RETURN HOME WHEN THE CARBS CAUGHT ON FIRE FROM GAS RUNNING OUT FROM THE PUMP ROD HOLE. MY FUEL PRESSURE IS AT 2 1/2 POUNDS. I ALMOST LOST MY CAR TODAY. WHAT NOW?”
Gulp. Well, that got our attention! Any 97 inlet valve – old needle and seat or our twin-ball S-jet will only stick open in the event of a float failure (and we’ve never had one ever with our brass floats) or a piece of debris from the tank, for example, lodging in the inlet. And that’s almost impossible too, with an S-jet because the balls spin and eject the dirt. So we emailed straight back and asked Gary to send us his carbs. Our top man Max checked the carbs out with his usual thoroughness and reported on the damage:
“After checking the floats for leaks and then having a good look with the trusty otoscope and magnifying glass, I found a miniscule strand of teflon tape, about an inch long, had migrated from somewhere downstream and wound its way around the big ball in one of the S-jets, causing the valve to be stuck full open. He’s using Superseat hose barbs, so I’m thinking the teflon must’ve swum upstream from a fuel line fitting.”
Anyway, as we state in our 97 Installation Manual, we strongly warn against the use of teflon tape anywhere in a fuel system, and this is exactly why. We have seen pieces inches long work their way into a carburetor like a damn tape-worm. That’s why we designed our Superseat hose ends with the correct seat so they do not need teflon tape. Neither should NPT fittings.
And the happy customer bit? Despite our stated warranty terms (and without prejudice, or admission of fault, as our lawyers like to add), we fixed those toasted carbs like new so he could get his hot rod back on the road. Gary was full of thanks, of course.