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As some of you have noted, my recently acquired '59 normale is fitted with a Weber carb, and the purist in me thinks I should revert to the Solex 35.

Now the question for the experts here is whether this is an easy undertaking (once I source a proper Solex)? Might be a stupid question, and my apologies if it is.

Below is a picture of the carb where it attaches to the manifold (sorry about the poor picture), any way to tell if there were any mods done to fit the weber or if it's as simple of removing the weber and bolting the Solex on (with a new gasket probably).

Thanks
 

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Consider it a blessing.. purity has not been compromised IMO unless your car is going into a museum on static display. It is not the "hot rod" kinda thing that diminishes the value of your car as it has become a very practical enhancement well accepted in the community. If Alfa had do-overs, Weber would have been the original choice. The Solex has a reputation for being junk and far too finicky...It is a reputation deserved.... let me name the ways............. Uncle
 

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The purpose of the Weber replacement was to make it run BETTER. Not more power etc. just smoother running than the Solex. That said, an engine properly set up with the Solex will run well. When the engine itself needs a bit of work, usually ignition, but sometimes valve adjustment, the Weber will mask some of this and it may continue to run well (for a while). As such, it is also easier to rebuild the Weber "with-a-kit" to work almost as well as it did new. The Solex may be a bit more difficult, I don't know, I don't restore that many Solexes, only Webers. Others may know. For pure originality, Henry, it should run the Solex. If you will drive it much, the Weber may be a better choice now, as it was at the time the original Solex was replaced. This is as always, just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Consider it a blessing.. purity has not been compromised IMO unless your car is going into a museum on static display. It is not the "hot rod" kinda thing that diminishes the value of your car as it has become a very practical enhancement well accepted in the community. If Alfa had do-overs, Weber would have been the original choice. The Solex has a reputation for being junk and far too finicky...It is a reputation deserved.... let me name the ways............. Uncle
You made me laugh -thanks.

The little 1300 engine does need all the help it can get...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Gordon, this will be a driver for sure. In any event if I ever want to do a full restoration a Solex 35 should be an easy find. So I might ditch the originality bug for now.
 

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Thanks Gordon, this will be a driver for sure. In any event if I ever want to do a full restoration a Solex 35 should be an easy find. So I might ditch the originality bug for now.
There is a reason they are easy to find...and the one's found are usually inoperative. If Rube Goldberg was alive, his name would be on the patents.
 

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Dad has a '57 Spider Normale with a Weber and Veloce branches, my '60 Spider has the stock Solex and 4 into 2 into 1 Normale exhaust manifold with 1750 Euro cams and I cannot hope to catch Dad's Spider, he just pulls away from me.

His fuel consumption is a little bit higher than mine, but then his car is just so peppy and responsive to drive, while mine is docile and gentle in comparison.

Drive the car as is and enjoy it, as Uncle DandT says, the ageing Solexes were replaced for poor performance reasons. If you want a stock Solex, properly rebuilt and in perfect condition, send me a PM and I will put you into contact with an Alfisti who specializes in rebuilding Solex's ......properly

Ciao
Greig
 

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As some of you have noted, my recently acquired '59 normale is fitted with a Weber carb, and the purist in me thinks I should revert to the Solex 35.

Now the question for the experts here is whether this is an easy undertaking (once I source a proper Solex)? Might be a stupid question, and my apologies if it is.

Below is a picture of the carb where it attaches to the manifold (sorry about the poor picture), any way to tell if there were any mods done to fit the weber or if it's as simple of removing the weber and bolting the Solex on (with a new gasket probably).

Thanks
Henry,

Its not always the Solex is that bad, it depends entirely on how restored it is after some 50 years of wear and use (nothing lasts for ever). I have an alfista friend here in Sweden that drives historic races with his 1300 Sprint every summer, with it´s original C 35 APAIG in the car and it goes like hell. Of course and going without saying, one has to rebuilt the carburator from ground, namely ultrasonic cleaning to clear up all the passages inside, checking the shafts for tightness, not to mention new set of all hardware and gaskets.
One also has to keep in mind that many of the Webers replacing the Solexes are newly bought and thus no wonder the cars function well, also explaining an abandent access of the Solex carburators on the market, it is of course much easier for many to simply replace an old worn out part with a new one and still get some money back for the old one, pure bingo !!!

Dennis
 

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Solex all the way! I ran the typical weber conversion on several giuliettas.
IMHO a proper Solex is the way to go.
The Weber name sounds impressive due to the typical associations, but to me it's like "Cragars"
on a Nova. First off, the correct air cleaner is so much better than a square chrome waffle.
When a Solex is right, you can turn the key without touching the pedal and start right up.
Quiet, efficient and looks so much better than the Weber.
I changed all my normales back to Solex, only the veloces get the Webers.
DaveB
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Dave and Dennis, good to hear another point of view. As I said I'll run it on Weber for a while and get a feel of it. My car is running the correct air cleaner with the Weber...
 

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I'm an originality nutter but my 1750GTV will never run the original Solex's ... rubbish, and very difficult to rebuild, because they warp. If you look at the performance stats the Solex carb engines don't do well either ...

And in my case the GTV's came with either Solex's, Webers or Dellortos so I can pick and choose without being wrong :).
Pete
 

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And in my case the GTV's came with either Solex's, Webers or Dellortos so I can pick and choose without being wrong :).
Pete
Pete, we´re talking 101 Normales where there isn´t that choice you mention having with your car.

Dennis
 

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If Solex made watches, Mickey's hands would fall off. I solved this dilemma and sold my Sprint during the break-in period and only own and drive Veloces or equal. My friend Claus drove himself into a babbling stupor (as i nearly did) over a poor running restoration until he found the base of the Solex was warped and leaking air.... but then i suppose you know how I feel about Solex. Uncle
 

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Having tried both, albeit decades apart, my opinion is that the Weber can give better performance, if you use a model that has two primary throttles. The Solex has a progressive secondary, so it is just a single barrel for much of the time. I think that there are several Weber variants that fit on the Alfa manifold, some of which may perform worse than the Solex.

That said, the late Solex on my 1959 performs great, but it took some fiddling with float level, and making sure that the fuel getting to the carb is clean. I suspect that you could get comparable results by updating an early carb. The excellent article that Chuck Stoddard published in the SCCA magazine, back in the day, covers the topic well, along with much else about driving and improving the Giulietta. The article must be on here, somewhere.
 

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Carbs and the induction system.

The "Normale" which was the base car typically is more driver friendly around town.

However for the two barrel carb to function correctly it requires a stable manifold vacuum. Normale cams were designed to provide this function, and if they were changed out to even the factory cams used on the twin weber cars, the additional overlap and manifold vacuum peaks and valleys disrupt the fuel draw into the engine. Such mods only work when the later cams are set at wider Lobe Centers of 114/114.

The mild 1300 Normale cams were set at 111.5/111.5 LCs and the 1600 Normale`s were set at 114/114 LCs. The same cam in the 1600 Veloce was set at 102/102 LCs.

If you are using any cam on a "Normale" set at closer LCs than 0riginally specified you will find significant drivability improvements opening those lobe centers to the OE specs.

As well the factory issued a TSB changing all 102 LC engines to 104/104. This small change brought about much better idle and low rpm drivability without a loss of higher RPM power (what there was with the stock cams)
 
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