Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Hokay. I'm learning the evil ways of the Encarwi carburetor float. In an unsuccessful effort to make a new float I had the old one out of the carburetor for about two days. So for recreation I re-adjusted the float level and after a few tries at it, eureka: the bike ran splendidly: right up the test hill, happy as it's ever been. I took a fast trip to the grocery store to celebrate, hooray, on to the next project.

Today, a day or so later, I started the bike and it was unhappy. It barely moved, and the spark plug was full of velvety black soot. I fooled with the carburetor float level some more, but my heart isn't in it: apparently the float dries out promptly when removed from the carburetor and then takes a few hours to soak up all the gasoline and sink once again, thus making the fuel/air mix far too rich.

So I've summoned up Myron's Mopeds to ask about their $25.00 replacement float, pouring out my heart in the requested email. But right now I'm ready to try replacing that Encarwi carburetor, which was apparently designed to be the flattest possible device of its kind for purposes of styling.

I have in the garage the wreckage of a motorized bicycle which decided to go to heaven last October and tried to take me with it. The front fender of the ancient bike dropped off when I hit an improperly-graded manhole cover, caught on the tire, wrapped the fender braces around the tire, locked up the front wheel, and spilled me right over the handlebars. Broken collarbone, badly stretched nerves, and a broken #2 cervical vertebra--i.e., a broken neck. I have healed nicely on all counts.

The engine of that bike is in good shape and essentially brand-new. I'm wondering if the el-cheapo Chinese carburetor would work on the noble Trac Clipper. The engines are of identical displacement; only differing in that the Trac has a reed valve and the motorized bike engine is piston-ported.

So I extracted the motorized bike carb along with its attached twist-grip and cable and the little manifold that adapts its clamp mount to the motorbike engine. No, the Chinese carburetor won't fit where the Encarwi carb did--nothing would, I don't think--but it shouldn't be much of a machining challenge to make a longer manifold that would allow the carb to be placed maybe twelve inches away near the rear of the gear case, where there's plenty of room.

My doubts are as follows: will a long pipe between carburetor and reed valve/crankcase be a great problem? The Volkswagen Beetle used very long, thin manifold pipes to its four air-cooled cylinders, so apparently you can get away with this sort of thing at some level. And if the Chinese carburetor's jetting (unknown at the moment) allowed the Chinese engine to run well, which it did, should I be concerned with this if I mount the Chinese carburetor on the Trac?

The proposed carburetor pipe would run alongside the exhaust pipe, so it'd likely stay fairly warm. The Trac engineers seem to have been worried principally about the Encarwi carb overheating, which is why there's a thick heat block between carburetor and crankcase.

The carburetor seems to be of the 12mm caliber, which corresponds closely to 1/2" plumbing, so I'd likely use that.

Let me know the thoughts of experts here, and thank you.

Mark Kinsler

Re: Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Probably Fred /

Jetting 101

Best bet is to use your original carburetor and correct jet that produced, the perfect air fuel mixture just because you have a float problem you that have to alleviate doesn’t mean you should pitch the carburetor.

If you shut off the gas and run the bike awhile draining the bowl every time you lafter you run it’s it shut off specially every night the float will not get as waterlogged/gaslogged

There are various other things you could try like coating it so doesn’t get gas logged or post “want to buy” for one on buy+sell.

A round 12mm bing carb with similar jet may jet in the same because it takes same jets as encariwi and available used for practically nothing but going the junk china carburetor route you’ll have no way to know what will work and I’d have nothing to do with anything off that bike considering how bad you got injured

Re: Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Mark Kinsler /

Thank you, Roffman. I've been giving your response a good deal of thought. I think while I'm waiting for other alternatives I'll take your advice and, after letting the old float bake out at a moderately-elevated temperature for a day or so, I'll coat it with some Red-Kote gas tank sealer that I have left over from my adventures with the Beloved 1964 Econoline van. After a day or so of letting it dry I'll re-install the float and try once more. Myron's Mopeds offers a float that might work for $25.00, and I've written to them for advice along those lines as well. It's a shame that parts are so difficult to get for these bikes, for they're built like a Korean tank and are unlikely to fall apart like my ancient motorized bicycle.

I should add that a motorized bicycle is absolutely not the same as a moped. The geometry for riding and steering is incorrect, the brakes are a joke, there's no electrical system or suspension, and the whole arrangement is precarious. The idea is fun--the kit including the engine cost eighty bucks--but 25 mph on a bicycle that was never meant to be powered is a terrifying speed.

Re: Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Mopedjunkyard has the float for the Encarwi H12:

I also have a spare if you'd like me to mail it to you.

Re: Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Mark Kinsler /

So, the old float languished beneath the heat lamp I use for drying out clock parts for about an hour, and then sat overnight under cooler conditions. It looked like most of the 'outgassing' occurred through the holes that the needle goes through, but I'm not sure. I'm now going to dip the float into Red-Kote gas tank sealer and let it dry for a day or two, then try it. I shall report on my progress.

I also managed to lose my idle control screw, which turns out to have a M5-0.8 mm thread. So a bolt fits in there nicely, but I forget: is the tip of the screw ground to a perhaps about a 60 degree point, like a center-punch would be?

Thanks for your continuing help and patience.

Re: Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Yes. M5 - 0.80 x 16. And yes, it has an approximate 60 degree point to it. See attached.EncarwiMyronsMopeds.pdf

Re: Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Mark Kinsler /

The latest episode: I dipped the float into my half-can of Red-Kote gas tank sealer.

If anyone here is as old as I am you might remember from your youth a sort of drug-store toy known as "Plastic Bubbles." Cost about ten cents and consisted of a tiny tin tube of a gooey evil-smelling plastic gel and a thin plastic tube. Apply a bit of gel to the end of the tube and you can blow long-lasting bubbles that sort of floated. If you inhaled while producing your bubble you'd experience the crystal mysteries of solvent poisoning.

Anyway, that's essentially what Red-Kote is. I recognized the distinctive odor 65 years after I'd last experienced it.

Before submerging it I removed the needle from the float so that the needle hole would fill with Red-Kote. Then I blew the stuff out of the hole and let the float dry overnight. The needle fit in fine, and I adjusted it to what I think are factory specs: 14.5mm from needle tip to float surface.

I haven't installed the sealed float yet because I wanted to see how it floated. So in a jar of gasoline I found that the float, including the needle, floats with a freeboard of about 1/4 the height of the float--that is, it floats with about a quarter of the float height above the surface of the gasoline. This is a good deal higher than the level I'd had before, which was that the top of the float was level with the gas in the float chamber.

I'm leaving the float in its jar of gasoline overnight to see if it wants to float lower, which would indicate that the float is once again absorbing gas and getting heavier. Its level had not changed over twelve hours or so, so I'm optimistic.

Mark Kinsler

Re: Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Fairly tight tolerance in that float bowl. I'm interested to learn if it will get "hung up" due to a change in outside diameter from coating it in Red-Kote.

Re: Beloved 1984 Trac Clipper still has no power

Mark Kinsler /

That's precisely what happened. I'd laid the Red-Kote on a bit too thick--it doesn't really level out--and the float got stuck. The carburetor spouted gasoline like the Trevi Fountain.

So, back to the drawing board: turns out that Red-Kote dissolves somewhat in carburetor cleaner, and can be removed completely from the float with a fine rotary brass wire brush I use for some clock-repair operations. So I got it all off and now I'm trying another gasoline-proof sealant called, without apologies to anyone, as Indian Head Gasket Shellac. He's right there on the bottle.

This stuff is thinner and goes on quite smoothly. It seems dry this morning so I'll throw the coated float into the test jar of gasoline to see if it'll float for a day or so.

I should have bought a new float long ago but since one of the pleasures of an old moped consists of fixing the fool thing I really wanted to see if any of this works.

Mark Kinsler

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