more Amal questions

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Apr 15, 2004
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ok I have a couple more questions that I'd like to hear opinions on.

First, I went down to denver this weekend to visit the british bike shop. The owner doesn't like resleeving, says new carb bodies are the way to go. Says a couple of customers had the sleeves twist on the slides, which is A Bad Thing. Also claims the carb bodies are more susceptible to going out of round due to being bored out. But that contradicts everything I've heard elsewhere from pretty much everyone. Most other people seem to think resleeving is better than buying new bodies. Is this guy just trying to sell carb bodies, did these people get resleeved by someone who didn't know what he/she was doing, or does he speak the truth?

Also, wondering about the chokes or "air levers" as the rider's manual calls them. PO removed them from my bike and threw them away. Said they weren't necessary, the ticklers are all you need. That sure wasn't my experience with my old bike, I used both the choke and ticklers in cold weather. Was wondering if anyone has heard of such a thing before. Seemed very odd to me. Why would you want to make your bike harder to start?


Hi again Debby,

I agree with the shop owner that the bodies probably are easier to warp after they have been bored for the resleeve. However over tightening the mounting nuts will warp a new body just as well.

The sleeved setup seems to wear a lot less than the original metal parts. The clearance between slide and body is also smaller with the sleeved parts, so that even a new carb will leak more air past the slide than a sleeved unit. This is most critical at idle. The sleeved carbs will idle better.

The chokes are another issue. Some of my past Commandos didn't like the chokes at all and my current '72 likes both a little tickle and full choke. The old advise 20 years ago was to throw the chokes away. You're pretty high altitude in Denver, natural choke. Why don't you try running without before spending money. Make sure the choke adjuster hole in the carb top is plugged.
Amal Carbs

There is yet another alternative, one that many of us have been using successfully for about 10 years. The carb slide bore is recut slightly to accept a Mikuni slide. This slide is chrome over brass which eliminates the dissimilar metal wear problem. It also has significantly more mass than the original, which helps dampen the vibration of the slide in the bore. The down side, no accommodation for the Amal choke. One source for performing this work is AMR in Tucson. This mod is described on their website at

You guessed it, they are a generic brit shop. Triumphs, BSA, Norton. Can't say how competent they are on Nortons but they've been around for over 30 years and they do have lots of parts in stock. But he seemed to have strong opinions on things, and I'm not sure how happy he was with selling to an uppity woman who actually knew what she was talking about.

I ordered some small parts from OldBritts recently. Did a web order on Sunday, had the parts on Thursday. They were happy to have my business and I didn't have to drive into Denver either!

Hi Debby,

As Randy pointed out, AMR offers an alternative to the sleeved-slide type Amal carburetor repair. However, I've not heard of any problems with the sleeve modification. If you decide on the AMR process, which I personally have had done and am pleased with it, you will have to forgo the "choke slides". This is because there are no provisioins for the chokes in the new brass sleeves that are supplied by AMR.

Starting the bike without the chokes should not be a problem, so long as the carburetors are tickled properly. Now, it may be more difficult to keep the bike running at an idle speed without the chokes, but a stable idle can be obtained after only a few miles of driving.



The thing that we see a lot when people sleeve Amal's is that they don't check and or fix the idle circuit. It causes real rich burning, air screw won't work and so on. But it always seems to work on fresh bodies. This guy has done many and uses brass. norbsa
Triton Engr

I read the website for Triton and I can see a potential problem with using brass sleeved slides. Copper is the main element in brass and the carb bodies are made of zinc alloy. Copper and zinc are the metals used in a voltaic cell (Daniell Cell). Ion migrate from Cu to Zn will occur readily in a re-dox environment which means the pot metal of the carb body could migrate to the slide and eventally seize the whole setup. Mikuni uses chrome plated brass slides which would prevent this, Triton does not. Stainless steel slides don't have this problem.
Last Spring I had my Amal Monobloc for my Triumph (I have my Norton now!) sleeved by a well advertised west coast company. The job looked beautiful. However, once installed, the bike suffered from massive flooding. No amount of rejetting and plug changing would end this problem. I spent days trying to get it fixed. The owner of the company was baffled and suggested I send the carb back to him for an inspection. I have no doubt that if he had discovered a problem with his work that he would have made things right. I did not send the carb back to him so I don't know what is wrong with it. Why didn't I? In Michigan our riding season is short and the weather is not very cooperative during that time. Also, I had spent a substantial amount of extra money trying to get the carb right In short, I got fed up dealing with it, and went out and bought a brand new Monobloc. Bolted on the carb and away I went with no problems all summer. Believe it or not, I know my Norton's carbs will have to be sleeved or replaced at some point in the future, and I may consider having this same gentleman do the work. I guess I feel my carburetor was a fluke.
Gee, what a can of worms I opened up! The AMR rework sounds like a good idea to me. But no chokes. In cold Colorado that might be a problem. Maybe I should move to California. I'm getting tired of Colo's endless winters anyway. Supposed to snow 4 inches today. Blah. Hey Ill-Fated, how's the riding out there? :)

And how do you turn copper into brass add zink. Copper into bronze, add tin. This mod goes way back and if this was a problem I would think it would cause a lot more reply's from the people who have done it. What your looking for on a re-sleeve job is a person who will be careful about the end product working on the bike. This includes all the circuits, fresh needles and their jets and a clean idle circuit are number one, good Viton tipped float needles and properly set floats are a close second. most people don't read plugs the right way and this causes many problems. Read these links for in site. ... plugs.html and ... plugs.html and to get an idea of how old this debate is read from 1998 norbsa
Enough about sleeved is great!

Hi Debby,

The NCNOC May ride is this Sunday. The weather is suppsed to be in the 80s to 90s. The route is from San Jose up to Mt Hamilton (Lick Observatory) then out the back way to the Junction for lunch. This is really back country, the land of wild boars, and you wouldn't guess there are 3 million people just 30 miles away.
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