Carburetor Repair - Advice Needed

I've run into some more problems with this 1980 Honda Civic project. When I first got it going a couple of months ago, it seemed to run pretty good.
Then it started idling poorly, and now it won't start at all - it just sputters a few times and gives up. I pulled a couple of spark plugs, they looked OK but were dripping wet with fuel. I've talked to some fellow auto enthusiasts and they think it's a carb problem causing the engine to flood. One guy suggested the floats may have corroded and sunk down, while another guy thinks the needle valves may be clogged. So I opened up the carb and looked it over, the floats are plastic and perfectly intact but there is a lot of loose sediment at the bottom of the float bowls. I don't know a whole lot about carbs so before I go any further I thought I'd get some advice. Is this as simple as taking apart and cleaning the needle valves, or do I need to remove the bottom half of the unit for servicing as well? I can't seem to find any rebuild kits available for these, and a whole new carb is beyond the reach of my budget. Besides, I'd rather fix the old one and learn something in the process (not to mention save a few bucks). The car is still on blocks and can't be moved until we get some warmer weather, so I'm not in any great hurry. Thanks for any advice.
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Could well be. Isn't certain, but that's a reasonable explanation.

You don't know until you have the thing completely apart. It's possible a little spritzing with carb cleaner will fix everything. It's also possible that you have seals that have failed completely and need to be replaced. You won't know until you either try cleaning it and putting it back and discovering that it works fine or not, or until you disassemble and rebuild it.
It's also possible you have an ignition problem and you're flooding the engine trying to start it when the ignition goes out. Even so, a carb rebuild wouldn't be a bad idea, and it would at least rule out the carb.

There's got to be a rebuild kit. Try the Honda dealer, first of all. Also, if you're living in a big city you may have a carb specialist in town who might rebuild it for a reasonable fee or might be able to get you the kit. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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Chris F. wrote:

Ya got me curious. This place has a kit for 121 dollars! and the float kit is 50 dollars! Yikes ! Keep looking there ought to be some out there cheaper. I used to buy the whole damn cars of that year for 50 bucks, drag a couple of them home and piece them together and drive them for a year or two maybe five. What I'd do is disassemble the carb clean it up and try using the old parts/gaskets. A new inline final fuel filter and with a little luck you can get by with that. Most of the carbs around that time have several adjustments, and linkage to mess with, and a couple of fast idle speeds, they were set to run pretty lean and they are hard to get back to factory specs. That is not one of the carburetors I'd want to learn on..... anyway If you want a kit, here ya go, keep looking or get your checkbook out, http://www.redlinemotive.com/store/replacement/wizard.asp?year 80&make=HO&model=CVC--003&category=S&partrburetor+Repair+Kit
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"Lots of sediment"? Whoo boy. You need to clean the whole works out. NO sediment is acceptable. One microscopic dot can plug the idle jet(s) and cause stalling.
Pull that carb and clean it out thoroughly with carb cleaner.
You'll find at least two screws in the side of the carb, maybe more. Pull both (or all), making CAREFUL note of EXACTLY how many fractions/turns it took to make them let go, and what holes they came from.
Now flush the entire carb with spray cleaner. You need to get ALL the gunk out of the emulsion tube, the jets and everywhere else. The emulsion tube has lots of little holes in it that will act like a screen and hold the gunk/particles/flakes, etc.
Chances are good that various diaphragms are split, so check those too.
Does this carb have the bowl vent that closes when the engine stops running? If so, you've got one more thing to worry about. It can gum up and stick closed.
You can take this thing apart easily if you take LOTS of photographs and make careful note of screw turns, adjustment-hole usage, that sort of thing. And also be aware that all screws in one place may NOT be of the same length, so pay CAREFUL attention to where they came from so they go back in the same holes!
--
Tegger


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When

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Was the fuel gushing into the carb when it idled bad? What did the float level look like when you opened it up? Does it have a bright powerful spark at the end of a plug wire? Any tight valves? You may be wise to reassemble the carb and do a careful thorough diagnosis before you spend so much time and money on a carb overhaul it may not need. My wild ass guess is a bad ignition rotor... HTH Ben
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On 12/27/2009 9:21 AM, Chris F. wrote:

The first thing you should do is verify that the ignition system is working and if that's the case, just rebuild the carb using the kit. When I was rebuilding carbs, the kits cost 10 to 20 bucks or so. That's not the case these days it seems. On the bright side, it's likely that you'll never have to buy one of those again. :-)
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Chris F. wrote:

Needle valves tend to be a bit self-cleaning. More likely the jets. If there is fuel in the float bowl the needle valve is okay. Usually something in the needle valve keeps it from closing, so it sticks open and floods the engine. It rarely sticks closed. The needle valve is a ON-OFF kind of thing, as opposed to jets which regulate the flow and are carefully calibrated.
As someone else said, you should have NO gunk in the float bowl. Something must be wrong with the filter.
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spray some carb cleaner/starting fluid in the carb and see if it'll start then.. If so give your carb & possible your fuel tank a good cleaning. Also don't forget to replace the fuel filter.
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On Mon, 28 Dec 2009 11:57:24 -0800 (PST), m6onz5a

I rebuilt a few carbs with success, but they probably only needed float valves anyway. That's why I did it. Sticky float valves. Always heard that a proper job took a chemical bath to clean out all the passages. Never did that, but that's what I heard.
--Vic
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