New Amals......lousy quality?

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Anybody else bought new carb bodies and slides lately?
I bought new bodies and those chromed slides and one of the slides had bubbled up chrome on it, and the 2 carb bodies, were slightly different in the size of the bore where the slides go in, or the slides were not the same size...and after building them in and trying to get the first adjust of the carbs wouldn't adjust with the air screw and it turned out the hole just in front of the slide seat was not even drilled out. Hundreds of dollars cost and cheap workmanship. The things work now, as I traded the slide in and I drilled the air hole in the carb out...but it is rather upsetting...anyone else had simular problems lately or have got a "grinch" in my workshop?
new amals

Hi Gang:
I have been doing quite a few new amals over again with very little mileage on them. They should be sued for some of the workmanship or should I say lack of caring.
Someone told me the production is in Spain...might not be true, but the newer carbs don't seem to be up to snuff. On the other side, as long as they are still somehow able to be put in order...we who still think they are better than a single Mikuni should be happy. Maybe they will get their quality control working, and the situation will go back to the standard it should have. What has been wrong with the carbs you replaced, and what have you done, replace the entire card, or just parts of them....? After fitting mine and finding out why I couldn't get the idle correct, I have this morning done a couple errands and a couple of hours on back roads, and then Autobahn. The bike has now an idle of under 1000 rpms and goes from 60 to 90 like a rocket. My old carbs had well over a hundred thousand on them, and the slides were so loose, that the idle was over 2000 rpms, which makes for rough going from neutral to first...needless to say, so I am pleased with the way it worked out, although the new carbs had to be tinkered with the get them to work. Better than nothing, I'd think. My only complaint is that we pay so much money for a "Genuine" Amal, and we shouldn't have to think that the thing won't work. Best and safe riding! Andrew
new amals

Hi Andrew:
You are right .It is good that they are still available.The main problem is too much clearance from new.They will work for a time,but the lower part of the body takes quite a beating because of the excessive clearance.This starts the bike running too hot and the bodies to go out of shape.The circuits don't have a smooth transition and the fidling starts until you get totally frustrated.I just think the people making them now should have got it right.I know they worry about people overtightening them and the carbs sticking,but careful mounting prevents that.
Amals get a bad rap because of these problems ,but a good carb of any type set up right will a happy owner make.
It’s been some three years since I purchased new AMAL carburetors. But at that time the slides were pot-metal, not chrome as you have indicated. Other than the inherent wear problems from the pot-metal material, the carburetor quality was as good. Perhaps you have purchased some imitation AMAL carburetors?

I've always found that you are better off re-sleeving and rebuilding your old Amals that to buy new. You save a bundle of money as well.

The company that was producing amals sold the business recently. The company that bought it apparently has some quality problems. I hope they get things sorted out.

I'd been thinking an Amal would be a nice upgrade for Chugley but maybe it's not such a good idea for now. And I'll be resleeving my Norton's carbs, not buying new ones.


Why are you surprized? My Commando Mk. III looks like the head castings were finished by a 9 year old who would rather play Nintendo. The alloy of the carbs is so soft it may be more than just a coincidence that the color of the carbs is like solder. The aluminum castings are easy to polish for a reason: You have to do it so often! Folks, there is a reason the Brit bike industry died some 30 years ago. I love the look of the Norton but it is a high-maintainance mistress!
I've heard nothing good about the new Spanish built Mk2's. Not one word.

Its hard to fathom why a reasonable person would choose "originality" over function for a bike that actually gets ridden - if the cost is poor reliability. But that's just me.

Dellortos, Mikunis and Keihins all have their fans - and with good reason. They're well made and well supported products. Far from perfect for sure, but better than most.

I put a Mikuni TM36 36mm flatslide pumper on my 750 (before deciding to do a complete tear-down) and was very impressed. The accelerator pump let me get away with a bigger carb - without a huge off-idle flat spot - leaving me with plenty of top end.
New Amals......lousy quality?

Hard to see, but its stuffed in there. It took a little sheet metal massaging and is a pretty *big* unit, but the fit and finish were perfect. Probably be a very good rig for an 850. Looks like the smaller TM33 flat-slide pumper might be worth evaluating for mild 750's, if anyone is so inclined.

In AHRMA trim, I'm going to have to use Mikuni VM's or 932's, *BUT* I'm setting the bike up with these Keihins this spring.
New Amals......lousy quality?

(Photo from Sudco. I'm still figuring out how to fab a longer throttle shaft for mine.)

The smoothbore, roundslide CR-33's are the same size as the Mikuni's and fit the same spigot manifolds, but they're infinitely more tunable. Not super expensive either. I got my carbs from Pro-Flo and, again, the workmanship looks top notch. FWIW, a pair of CR-31's would probably work great on a stockish 750.

So, there are very good alternatives to Amals and Mikuni VM's out there. Further, given the poor quality of the *new* Mk2's, its not a bad idea to start looking around for alternatives.
Good points

Yes, Mikunis are fine, Keihins, too. But the older Amals when properly sleeved a dream. No CV gasket to worry about pinching, no having to nervously shuffle your feet while standing at the parts counter of a..gasp...choke...Japanese bike shop.
Seriously, calling a Norton a high maintenance mistress is an insult to high maintenances mistresses everywhere.
But how many high maintenance mistresses can you ride for two hours straight, flat out, and then not even have to tickle them a little to do it all over again morning, noon, and night.....Yes, dark and rainy nights...
Old carbs / new carbs

Sorry to hear about your experience with the new Amals. I too have heard nothing good about the Spanish Mark 2's but have been contemplating some new Mark 1's with chrome slides from Clubman Racing.
I am assuming your trouble was with the Mark 1. This is troubling. It would seem in this modern era, one should be able to buy items that work with reasonable quality, REGARDLESS of what it is.
Does anyone know where the new Mark 1's are being made? Any others with problems??

I have resleeved the new ones with the chrome slides .I even got a set from a dealer to do. The slide is harder and a different material helps,but the slopiness is still there. Before you lay out your hard cash try and get a set in your hands and check the clearance with the slide at the bottom.You will see what I mean. The ones on my fastback I set up with vaccum guages since I did them 10 years ago. Granted I don't do the mileage anymore like many of you might,but try using vaccum guages on new ones.
looks like I opened a can of worms here......No doubt there are many good carbs out there to give a go to....I just have, for some reason, the feeling I want to keep some of my bike somewhat original now...something that didn't even occur to me when it was new. Back then, I changed everything I thought I wanted to....even painted my exhaust black, and one time red shocks, red hubs on the wheels.....every thing that today would turn my stomach too. So if I try to stay with Amals, that might be a part of the reason. There are enough of my little changes still on the bike, oil cooler, a little cup to pour swingarm oil into...different blinkers etc....but I have always been really stubborn about changing the carbs out, because of mostly the air filter. I have run a foam air filter, like they used to use in Motocross years ago, soaked in the blue air filter oil from Belray, which catches every bit of dust there is to catch and you wash it out, resoak in blue oil, and remount.
My bike has had this filter on it for about 29 years, and 120,000 miles, and I still run the ORIGINAL pistons and the bores are still the ORIGINAL size. I have changed out the rings three times because they got fatiqued and blew oil clouds out of the back, but the bore has just been deglazed and put back together. I have never had the bottom end apart. So the thought of putting some other carb on there, and having to change the filter out for some other type...makes me think twice...that air filter has kept my bike clean for a lot of miles...paid for itself many times over.
But the fact must be admitted that there are other alternatives to Amals out there....I just don't think the tiny extra convenience/horsepower is worth risking, what for me has been a proven good thing...that big original air filter box, with a reusable foam element.....anybody else got one of those...or should I get photos and post them so you can see what I mean? Best! Andrew

Always glad to see the images as it were..

I went down the road of resleeves when I rebuilt my 850.

There is CERTAINLY NO guarantees they will be 'sorted' I figure I have spent many many hours endeavouring to sort out my Amals.

While I have made great in-roads, I am still not quite there ..or where I am 'at peace" !

They run and idle OK .. the bike starts fine.. but I figure the Amals are far from ideallyic. I have made dramatic inprovements since replacing the needle jets, particularly regarding fuel economy.

In short ~ NOT big fan of buying 'new' Amals.. over priced, (particularly here in Australia), and not a cure -all !
carbs: the amals work fine when they're sorted and tuned properly. My 750 starts first kick and runs great with them. I do have a little pinging right off idle that I haven't been able to tune out but I can live with that. Any carb you care to put on the bike is going to require some tuning and sorting to work right. There's no such thing as "plug and play" on a Norton!

filters: I've never seen a foam filter that fits the stock airbox. Sounds pretty good. I used foam socks on my old 850, mainly for convenience. I was living in LA at the time and the air pollution was really bad in those days. The rubber couplings would rot out in a couple of months. I got tired of dealing with that. The unis looked a little tacky but worked great.

amals/air filters


I agree with keeping the original air box on my '72 as well as sleeved orignal AMAL 932 carbs. Everything fits.and works very well. I had a similar experience after replacing the needles and needle jets. Mileage jumped up to 55-60 mpg consistantly running at 70mph indicated (you know how those Smiths speedos lie). Inside the airbox I've used an oiled K&N filter for the last 8 years, also a great choice.
if someone will give me a quick "How to" on inserting a picture of this rather simple airfilter, I will do this soon...or do I just throw a pic up in the net and link it into the text here....kind of looks like that.
On the new jets and stuff...I WAS going to do that when I got the new carb bodies....but as I said, something isn't quite reight with the new Amal of the jets was drilled crooked, and one of the needles was shorter than the other and I had such a hassle getting my money back for the crappy chromed slide, I lost interesting changing them out, and put my old ones back in....they weren't that old least not as OLD as the argument with the parts dealer got to be.
Going to try inserting a pic....have patience!
New Amals......lousy quality?
"the air pollution was really bad in those days. The rubber couplings would rot out in a couple of months"

Debby ~ That's amazing ~ As I was of the belief that the rubbers were prone to failure, I have always had a spare set of 'boots' ~ but never had to replace the original (new) set I fitted on restoration !

Just goes to show eh!?
Had my Amals out today and since I once said I would put in a picture of the air filter that uses the same foam air filter oil as the motocross it is. Keep in mind the yellow foam has yet to be made all blue with the oil...thought it was easier to see how it fits together , without oil all over it...
Still can't find how to insert pictures here, so bear with me, a picture is up at the following link, roll the scroll bar down, the upper picture is for another thread....ride safe!
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