The VW 105-1 Carb Mystery

I wanted to share a recent issue I was having with our own ’67 Volkswagen Beetle. A few days ago, I finally got around to installing the correct 105-1 carb; it’s been sitting on my workbench for months due to a variety of reasons.

As you know, the process of installation is simple; these small wonders were designed to be worked on. Once complete, I turned the key in what I had hoped would be the sound of air suction and a happily purring engine, minus some quick tuning. Instead, all I heard was non combustion and struggle.

What could be causing this?

It made no sense. I opened the top of the VW 105-1. To my surprise, the float bowl was unattached, swimming in the bowl itself. I scratched my head, fixed the float, put it back together, the screwdriver down and gave my ’67 Beetle brother, JK Salser a call to discuss.

Ring ring over to Garland, TX. “Hello, Eric!” We talked about the problem at length.

Sticky float? Doubt it.

Excessive fuel pressure? No, I checked recently.

Stuck needle valve? Possible.

I tried to turn over the engine again. By this time, our son Milo came outside. “Daddy, the “roomer” (carb) is shooting gas out of the top!” I walked to the rear of the car and he was right. I could also hear the sound of fuel gurgling down the throat. It was as if our beloved ’67 Beetle was drowning.

I opened the top again, and saw the same issue as before. The float had decided to take a swim in the bowl. I put it back together and gave it a third try. What’s the definition of insanity again?

By this time, my OCD as it relates to engineering and design details was working overtime. What could be causing this? Why?!

After looking closer, I finally realized what was wrong. The pin that holds the float in place was a tad too short, causing the unit to quickly come loose, go for a swim and flood the engine. Such a simple design element, so small, yet so important to the overall function of the carb itself.

Once I finally found and corrected with a longer pin, the car started up with the slightest bump of the key, purring to the correct cadence that only a vintage Volkswagen can do. And no more shooting fuel from the “roomer.”

A thanks for Jay Salser as always for helping think it through.

Happy Friday.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. I just rebuilt the Solex 30PICT carb on my ‘67. Some of the kits are more complete than others, so beware.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Thomas.
      This pin was OG German, but shorter for some reason. I’m not 100% sure as to why….

  2. Excellent detective work and things in your write up to consider! It’s these little “impossibly rare”, often overlooked details that can bite us in the backside every time! Thanks for sharing your experience with us Eric.

    1. Thank, John.
      It was a rare issue I’ve never seen before. JK and I were going back and forth stumped and then…. Ah!

  3. Thx for sharing Eric !!!

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