Lotus Elan

strobberg carbs for 1969 elan se

PostPost by: pekka » Sat May 07, 2011 10:47 am

My car which I have owned for 30 years now is smelling strongly of petrol. I have checked the tank and fuel lines and they are all ok so I suspect that it is the carbs which have worn and are therefore supplying too much fuel as you can smell it out of the exhaust.

Can anyone help me identify the problem and ddoes anyone know a garage near Oxford in England who might be able to fix it and also where to get replacement parts?

The car runs fine except that I suspect it is running rich as the throttle is very responsive and the exhaust pipe is black with soot
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat May 07, 2011 11:51 am

Hi Pekka and welcome.

I have the same car, owned it for almost the same length of time, it's got the same carbs and I've had the same problems :( Also, if you're near Oxford then we're living in the same area (I'm in Thame).

Regarding your symptoms (the doctor is in :D ) there's a number of things it could be. I've had the car smelling of petrol from the carbs flooding but I've also had it from a number of other sources - leaking (rusty) fuel tank, leaking mechanical fuel pump, leaking fuel lines and unions and split carb T piece. If you've checked out all of these things and are certain that it's coming from the carbs then it may be time for an overhaul - probably is anyway if they've not been touched for 30yrs.

Just about all of the parts you'll need (apart from major castings) are available from Burlen Fuel Systems http://www.burlen.co.uk/ and not that expensive. I rebuilt mine last year and I think it cost less than ?100 in parts. I can't much help with garage advice in the area unfortunately as I do just about all of the work on the car myself.

As you probably know the Strombergs are not as popular / numerous as the Weber / Dell Orto versions but there are a number of us here that have struggled with them over the years and I'm sure you'll get loads of advice and help from all corners of the planet. I'm very happy with the Strombergs - particularly these days with the cost of UK fuel, the extra 5mpg over the Webers is worth having. What sort of mpg are you getting at the moment?
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PostPost by: elanern » Sat May 07, 2011 3:41 pm

Welcome, Pekka,

I have a Federal 1970 S4 with Strombergs. I bought rebuild kits for them and replaced everything but the floats. The car ran very rich, often spewed fuel from the carbs, and generally did not run like I had just rebuilt the carbs.

A new set of floats fixed the issues. The old floats looked fine, but evidently had minute leaks that caused them to not operate properly.

Good luck, let us know what you find out.
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PostPost by: FOX5D » Sat May 07, 2011 9:34 pm

Phil Webb at the South West Lotus Centre rebuilt my Strombergs (1970 S4) with new jets, needles, compensator strips etc and they are excellent. The only time I ever get a petrol smell is if I flood them when I have had an electrical starting problem. I would recommend him to you.


Always grateful for advice.
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