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Any 20's Airplaine or Tractor gurus? Zenith Carb Question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mac the Yankee, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. I've been reading John Gerber's, Outlaw Sprint Car Racer and early in the book (his chapters cover years, so this is in 1922-23), he mentions using,

    "a two barrel Zenith single float carburetor designed for airplane engines... later I mounted two horizontal Zenith carburetors directly to the cylinder head. Everyone said it wouldn't work, but indeed it did."

    Any idea of what carbs he was talking about? Gerber later switched to a pair of Winfield updrafts... unfortunately, my occupation as an Elementary School Teacher makes that purchase next-to-impossible :D, so I thought that maybe the zenths would be more realistic?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, Bill
  2. Bump for the evening crowd- hopefully someone has some info?

  3. A friend has an OLD Zenith book/catalog, I was amazed at how many carbs they produced and what applications it listed, both VERY extensive.
  4. Did a little more searching/asking around. This is a real assumption, but Gerber may have used a Zenith from a Curtiss Jenny. The OX-5 engine (rated for 90hp) used a Zenith carb- mighty plentiful in his day.

    I'm not as interested in that carb as much as the pair of horizontal Zeniths (most likely auto or tractor) that he used to replace the "airplane" carb.
  5. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,126


    Zenith made a couple of different sidedraft or horizontal carburetors, as did Stromberg.

    Of the Zeniths, the HP series would be the most "common".

    (Opinion) both the Zeniths and the Strombergs are much better than the Winfields.

    (Fact) both the Zeniths and the Strombergs are MUCH more expensive than the Winfields. Both are in great demand for guys restoring and racing vintage racing cars.

    And FWIW, neither were used by tractors. A few automobiles in the teens and twenties used sidedrafts.

    Also, both Zenith and Stromberg offered carburetors specifically for aircraft use. These can be modified for use with an automotive engine, but all parts must be fabricated. And since the FAA keeps a very close watch over anything aircraft, regardless of its age or actual use. A/M parts manufacturers such as us that are not FAA-licensed will NOT make parts for you.

    If you are after sidedraft carbs, and period is not an issue, the Carter YH series (early 1950's~mid 1960's) are by far the most common and least expensive (other than the British SU carbs).

  6. carbking, thanks for the info!
  7. Frank36
    Joined: Aug 27, 2007
    Posts: 45


  8. kurtis
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,996

    from Australia


    Give T-Head a holler. I think he recently bought one for the Mercer.

    Or throw it up on the AUTORACING thread, i'm sure he'll see it there.
  9. Thanks Kurtis!

    Well, I figured that a pair of Zeniths would be MUCH cheaper than a pair of Winfields... guess I wuz wrong, huh :)?
  10. spankster
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 275


    I have a NOS Zenith 11-series (Duplex) Carbuetor, like the one shown above, in the "Parts For Sale" section, of this site.
  11. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,126


    The 11 series carburetors were introduced in 1949. These seem to be a favorite with some of the tractor pullers.


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