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Farmall & IHC Tractors Discussion Forum

Cork Float

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Tom in Iowa Cit

03-06-2010 16:45:09

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McCormick-Deering 22-36.
My slow but sure restoration project continues.
In the process of rebuilding my carb, I discovered that the cork float seems to be in real good shape.
My question is:
Is there a gas impermeable lacquer that I can apply to it just to give it an extra measure of protection? I don't know if it will work, but it looks good.
Thanks, Tom

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Bob Kerr

03-07-2010 20:52:40

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 Re: Cork Float in reply to Tom in Iowa City, 03-06-2010 16:45:09  
What the carb shop says is right on. The old floats were coated with shellac which gas alone wouldn"t bother. The problem now is alchol in the modern gas and the alchol is the thinner for shellac. When I got the float kit from Rice equipment I asked him about that and he said the coating they used on the new floats would be ok and it was. I did put a small blob of gasket sealer where the screw goes in and then put the arm on.

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Brownie 450

03-07-2010 04:18:24

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 Re: Cork Float in reply to Tom in Iowa City, 03-06-2010 16:45:09  
Tom-- where are you housed up at in Ia. City?

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03-07-2010 03:32:08

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 Re: Cork Float in reply to Tom in Iowa City, 03-06-2010 16:45:09  
Tom, I have not tryed the POR-15 but I not had luck with any coating and the gas we have. I have gotten a couple brass floats from Alderson tractor, I think he puts Kohler floats on the correct arm for your carb. I have one in a regular and a 10-20 seem to work fine! If hte POR-15 is cheaper and works I may try it for some of my other regulars. Oldiron29

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Jeff Z.

03-06-2010 17:47:25

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 Re: Cork Float in reply to Tom in Iowa City, 03-06-2010 16:45:09  
From the Carburetor Shop:


Many of the less expensive carburetors from the beginning up through about 1940 were originally equipped with floats made from cork. Most of the floats were coated with orange shellac, and then the finish was baked, creating a finish fairly impervious to the gasoline of the day. A few of the manufacturers did not coat their floats, and used a cork material that seemed to work fairly well with the gasoline then being sold.

The gasoline of today cuts orange shellac like a hot knife in butter, and also will permeate the natural cork material!

This poses a severe problem for the restorer. It is not economically feasible to attempt to mass produce brass floats to replace the cork floats. Also, the company producing the poly-nitrofill foam floats has been most un-cooperative unless orders of very large magnitude are placed with them. We are currently machining float pontoons from this substance, to be used with the original float arm.

For those who are independently wealthy, individual brass floats can be made. This also may be a solution for a retired machinist with access to a good machine shop. This is a very time-intensive remedy, expensive if one must pay for the time.

For the rest of us, it becomes imperative to attempt to use a replacement cork (or foam) float, and seal the cork (or foam) against the permeation of the gasoline. The procedure we at The Carburetor Shop are currently using is as follows;

(A) Detach the original brass arm from the original cork float.

(B) Clean the arm (we use a glass beading machine)

(C) Attach the arm to the polynitraphyl pontoon included with this kit.

(D) Submerge the pontoon, and the portion of the arm in direct contact with the pontoon into a product called ‘POR-15’. This product is available from POR-15, Inc, P.O. Box 1235, Morristown, NJ 07962. They have a website at www.por15.com. READ THE DIRECTIONS. ACCORDING TO POR15, ONCE THEIR PRODUCT DRYS, YOU MUST WEAR OFF ANY YOU SPILL ON YOU! I BELIEVE IT!

(E) Remove the float from the liquid and slowly rotate to eliminate any bubbles.

(F) Suspend the float with a suitable hanger, and allow to air dry for 72 hours prior to use.

This procedure seems to be working with the current mixture of gasoline.

If anyone comes up with a better procedure, we would certainly wish to be informed!!!

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440 sixpack

03-07-2010 12:15:32

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 Re: Cork Float in reply to Jeff Z., 03-06-2010 17:47:25  
I used clear fingernail polish on the cork float in my Hart Parr, that was almost 2 years ago and still seems to be holding. The trick is to drain the bowl on the carb when you shut it down for the day, that way the float isn"t sitting in gas for long periods of time.

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