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Improvising Stromberg Carb Tools


I've been looking over the manuals for the '72 Spit we just purchased. Unlike the SUs and older Strombergs I've worked on, the manuals talk about using a special tool apparently down through the dashpot opening to hold and adjust the needle position.

Does someone have a picture of this tool and can you elaborate on it's use? Is it possible to improvise the tool using something more commonly available... or do you have to buy the correct tool from one of the parts suppliers?

Thanks in advance for the comments and suggestions.


Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Doug, a long 3MM Allen wrench is fine. The trick is to hold the piston from rotating when you use it. I usually can stick a finger in the throat of the carb and "pin" the piston against the carb body. And SMALL increments make a BIG difference, BTW. As little as 1/16 turn can change the mix noticably.

Clockwise richens, FYI. :wink:


First consider the source: Tinster

Remove the dashpot screw cap and plunger. Look down inside
the cylinder and maybe one inch down you should see a cylinder
of smaller diameter with 2 notches in the upper edge cut at 180*
to each other. If you don't see these notches, then
forget about my post.

If you have the carbs with the 2 notches you can adjust the needle
w/out the tool (but the tool really is easier and costs almost nothing),

Get out a set of long hex head wrenches. Gently insert the long
end of various hexes until you feel one slide into the needle
adjustment hole.

Now, take a long, thin flat head screw driver and grind it
to fit into one of the notches in the lower cylinder top edge.

You now have a make shift tool:

Slide the screw driver down into one of the notches. Use
the screw driver to keep the lower cylinder from rotating.

Holding the screw drive in one hand, use your other hand to
insert the hex into the adjustment hole. Slowly rotate the
hex clockwise to enrich or counterclockwise to lean out.
Very small adjustments with the hex make quite a difference
in the mixture. Try maybe 30 degrees of rotation.

But remember, I might be wrong. Some the experts probably
know a better way.


tinster :savewave:


Jedi Hopeful
My dad always said that there is a job for every tool and a tool for every job. Just buy the tool and use it correctly. I am, however, not opposed to making your own special tools where necessary. Look on page 222 of the Bentley manual where the "special needle tool" is used to adjust the carb mixture. Here it is on page 26 of the VB Triumph Catalog under Carb Tools Make The Job Easier. For the $10 (it’s the shipping that kills ya), get the thing and it is in the tool box. I am sure that other supply houses have it also. https://www.victoriabritish.com/ICATALOG/T6/full.aspx?Page=26


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
I'm with Al; just buy the dern tool. TRF also has them for $10, P/N CAT1.

I improvise a lot of tools, but this one isn't worth it, IMO. Note that there are precision machined surfaces on both sides of those notches; that you don't want to bugger up. Also your modified screwdriver has to leave room for the allen key to go by. On my ZS175 carbs, the allen key has to be over 4" long (longer than my long set) to reach the adjustment (although your 150 might be shorter).



I'll gladly lend you my carb tool if you purchase
a Beck Arnley condenser 172-5829 for me in the States
and mail it to me. I'll even pay for part.

$35 to $65 shipped to PR is outrageous for a less than $10.
part- smaller than my thumb.

I am serious, not joking around. I'll priority mail the
tool to you tomorrow if you promise to get the condenser
for me. Many Stateside stores carry it.




Country flag
Since you can't adjust the mixture when the engine is running, you can just remove the top cover, and take the air valve out. Hold it firmly in your hand and make the adjustment with only a long Allen wrench.
Remember the oil in the damper.


All are good points and suggestions. I did not realize that the tool was that inexpensive. I assumed that like all special tools it would cost a mint. As I have both a lathe and mill in my shop I was (and am) always willing to make special tools.

Dale, from what you've told me before, I assume it would still cost a mint to ship anything to you in PR.


dklawson said:
Dale, from what you've told me before, I assume it would still cost a mint to ship anything to you in PR.


That's the bad thing, it should no more expensive to ship to PR as it is Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon or Iowa. Pr is a US territory and has a postal zip code just like any full fledged state. Many companies think of it as a foreign country and charge extra because of it. Shipping it via USPS is hassle free and inexpensive. Or at least it has been when I've shipped stuff to Dale.


dklawson said:
All are good points and suggestions. I did not realize that the tool was that inexpensive. I assumed that like all special tools it would cost a mint. As I have both a lathe and mill in my shop I was (and am) always willing to make special tools.

Dale, from what you've told me before, I assume it would still cost a mint to ship anything to you in PR.

<span style="color: #000099">Shawn is correct. It costs no more than normal USPS.
I get totally ripped off by venders. I mean really!! $49 shipping for
a condenser can?? The USPS cost is under $2.00 the rest is pure
profiteering. My offer is still open.



Senior Member
Doug: When I didn't have time to wait for a tool to be delivered ( OK, I was too cheap to pay ridiculous shipping on one little item), I made a tool by filing the end of a 1/4" deep drive 9/32" socket. I filed 2 areas, just either side of the diametric center, leaving opposing "teeth" to fit in the notches in the damper tube.
Then you just drop a T-handle 1/8" allen wrench down the center and turn it while holding the socket stationary.
Was quick and easy to make. Works fine.



Jedi Knight
Here's the tool that finally fixed my Stromberg for good...


Worked like a charm! :wink:
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