LIVING THE NIGHTMARE OF INSTALLING THE DHLA40F

Published on August 1st, 2012

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to have a twin carburettor installed in my car. But this was way back after school days, when all I wanted was a CRX, answering to my dad’s question what I wanted in life during a heated argument with my dad after being suspended from boarding school.

After almost receiving  a punch in the face, I was firm to get  a CRX or an EF9 once I have enough money to get one. Few years later, after going thru two bikes which were both totaled, I had the opportunity to drive a Familia Claire; 1.6 turbocharged for two months before it too was totaled, burned to the ground to smitherin’ ashes by the road side of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and all this short-lived joy and mishaps were during college.

out with the puny carb...

Despite being an ungrateful son, my dad was forgiving enough to let me drive his old, rounded headlamps Honda Accord for a few years before I managed to convince him and trade the Honda for a beat-up slow poke Satria on  a 14″ wheels to run around from point A to B and an occasional faster run via the Federal Highway and MRR2.

Modifying the Satria started with getting a not-that-new steering wheel and things went haywire ever since. I’ve upgraded to a 16″ Superturismo to an 18″ wheels. I’ve changed the jettings of the standard SU carburetor and managed to push the 1.3 engine up to 215km/h. I’ve blown up the engine in Cherating after going through salt water river during a flood, hence driving back to KL keeping both feet on the pedals, balancing the clutch and accelerator while braking via handbrake, and mind you… it’s not that easy when it was jam-packed almost all the way due to Hari Raya celebration.

to make way for these..... yummyyyy!!!

SU carb, thanks for all the years served under the bonnet.

Jeo's modeling the struts

Then from 4G91 engine which I bought from Mr. Lyzardlaki for only RM500 somewhere in Kepong to a mere RM800 of 4G93 block upgrades, Yup, it was that cheap back then. But twin carbs cost a hand and a leg and everything else, so I kept running the old SU carburetor.

It was during the 1.3cc era, when I first heard about twin carbs, and it was a dream come true when my fiancee which is now my wife bought me the DHLA40F complete with the inlet manifold at a bargain, cheering me up and made me smile up to my ears for 48 hours and all this was before I’ve made up my mind to installed it myself… with the help of friends. After all, how hard could it be?

my right leg's made out of strut bar

The last time I tinkered with my engine was when I busted six valves, trying to change it without proper tools and ended up with cracked rocker cover in the process. Since then, I’ve cracked three other rocker covers before calling it quits and send it to a workshop. There was another incident when I tried to lower my ride and since I have a problem with sense of direction and ended up doing it hundreds of times for two freaking days and being fed up and tired (at least I’ve tried), I sent my ride to the workshop and get it done with.

An so, two days after my fiancee purchased the DHLA40F, I’ve made up my mind to install it with the help of other Traffic crews. getting the old carb out of the engine was excruciatingly painful as again I was doing it without proper tools. Took us almost three hours getting it out.

drinks of the night! DIY is not as simple as we thought it would be.

Installing the twin carbs was a breeze compared to the latter. Once installed, I was ecstatic to fire up the engine as at 3.00am in the morning, we pushed my ride out of the porch and cranked the engine. After four unsuccessful attempt, the engine fired up… louder than we anticipated as the idling was at 6000rpm.

Turned out installing the carbs were not as simple as I thought. Tuning it was even worst. For the next two weeks I’ve tried my best to get the air-fuel ratio right. It was impossible. Luckily, a cousin knows an oldtimer who used to play with twin carbs. And after a lot of cry for help, Tajul the oldtimer, agreed to see my ‘lil green snail. There was a condition though, I was not to question nor even complain that the ‘lil green snail will be at the workshop for a month. Haris the prodigy of the oldtimer bought a service kit for the carbs and it was freaking expensive! Another RM650 down the drain but then I’ve been advised many times that playing with twin carbs will not be cheap but curiosity got the best of me.

Jeo's timeout in his 'lil feisty Fiesta

this is where my wife got 'em twin carbs... mudah.my

Am's putting a spell on the old carbs

vain attempt tuning the twin... result: 60004rpm at idle!

The waiting game almost killed me when I received a phonecall from my cousin to have a look at the car. Turned out the gearbox cable snapped when they were running in the car. And so the cost of having a twin carbs in the engine bay increased by a few ringgit. The carbs were serviced and cleaned. Main jetting was oversized instead of standard. The intake was shortened 4inches from the previous length. Distributor was modified as they doubled up the coils for better firing distribution.

The result? I just loved it! And they say the next modification should be at least a 1.6 gearbox for better ratio coupled with three-puck racing clutch… and a ‘lil bit of higher cams. That should do it. But I guessed that would have to wait for at least another year after I get a second car to run around town while the ‘lil green snail being buffed up for daily rides.

words: Hage’  pix: Hazwan Najims

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