Dual Solex Carb Idle Problem Solved – ’73 VW Bus

Power going to the passenger side Solex carburetor
on a 1973 Volkswagen van.

Recently my ’73 bus began to have problems idling. Inconsistent at best it would quit when my foot was off the gas, most often at a stop sign or intersection. It would start up again, but I’d have to keep my foot on the pedal to keep it from stalling. The problem would be worse when the engine was warmed up. I thought maybe it had something to do with the 009 mechanical advance distributor I had been running. My new aftermarket CIP1 single vacuum dizzy arrived so I headed out to the driveway to install it in hopes that would take care of the problem. The new distributor was smooth, but the idle issue remained. I had a good stare at things under the engine hatch and after a while I noticed a wire that seemed to be disconnected. Did a little detective work and determined that it was power to the automatic choke on the right side Solex carburetor. At first glance it looked like it was connected but it was only the last stage going from the electric choke to the idle solenoid. The primary power wire from the coil had been torn away. I connected it up and crossed my fingers, went for a spin and it seems OK now. So no power was getting to the choke element or the idle solenoid which feeds off the same circuit. Automatic chokes can be troublesome, in fact the late John Muir used to disconnect his, he said that the rich and inaccurate mixture they produce would age your engine prematurely. Another nugget of wisdom from John, he preferred mechanical only distributors! I have to say I had grown fond of the power curve the 009 was delivering, quite peppy. My apologies to the 009, it’s back in the spares box and  if I miss it I can always throw it back in.

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