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The Gentleman's Express: Tech-Tips from the JIOC

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Carburetor Overhauls

Author: Jack Raleigh

In talking to my local service station mechanic, he suggested I go to the Carburetor Shop in Costa Mesa, reputed to be among the very best. I went! The owner is Mike Riley, and the walls of his shop are papered with articles from ‘Road & Track’ and ‘Hot Rod’ and other automotive magazines. He is quite wellknown in racing and performance circles.

When I told him that I had been told that I needed a new carburetor, he said that he did not sell new ones; he rebuilt them. I told him that mine had been rebuilt twice already without success. He noted that I had been to the wrong people; that he could rebuild it and it would work like new. Still doubtful, but after he told me if it didn’t work there would be no charge, I tried to make an appointment. No soap! He pointed out that the car was in his shop, why not fix it right now?

Well, the first time the ‘other shop’ had rebuilt the carb it took three days, and the second time they did it in two days, so I was surprised when Mike said he could do it in 2-1/2 to 3 hours. But his shop is a long walk, or a short busride to South Coast Plaza, so I left the car, did my `Xmas shopping, and three hours later the car was ready. It cost a total of $26.80 - parts, labor, tax, everything! When I asked him if it started better now, he just reached inside the car - both of us standing outside it - turned the key and the car started on the first turn of the engine.

Miraculous! I asked what was wrong with the carb but he did not know. They don’t waste time trying to find out what’s wrong, they just tear the thing down and blueprint it.

That was two months ago and the car still starts on the first turn of the engine. Gas mileage is much better and there is now no sign of its cutting out, even at 85 mph. I haven’t tried higher! So I am very pleased with what he did with my carb, and there is a one year warranty that if it acts up in that time he will do it again at no charge. He has expanded his shop to a wider area of engine tuneups and blueprinting. His shop is impressive, more like a hospital kitchen than as auto repair shop. Everything is spotless. Not even dirty hands on the mechanics, no oil or grease on the floor. As noted, he comes highly recommended.

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