Project Elva: Finding and Restoring Our Weber Carbs

Our Elva Mk VI was missing both its original intake manifold as well as the twin Weber DCOE side-draft carbs that it once held. We had more work to do. 

First, we found the correct intake manifold at Michaels Vintage Racing. 

Then we needed carburetors, so we headed to our go-to source for many years, Mike Pierce. He recently opened up Weber Carburetor Restoration.

He told us that we needed 40 DCOE 2 or 40 DCOE 18 carbs. These two models would be period-correct for our car while also having the correct progression holes for our Coventry Climax FWA engine. These progression holes allow for timing of the fuel progression engagement. 

While you can tune a Weber around almost any problem, a small engine works best with either these 40 DCOE 2 or 40 DCOE 18 carbs. There are other Webers that would work, Mike said, but they’re rare and expensive. 

He also warned us that any Webers built after about 1992 would come from Spain. Earlier Webers come from Bologna, Italy. While the later carbs would still easily power our Elva, they wouldn’t have the correct vintage look that we sought. 

Mike added that he used to have hundreds of worn-out old DCOE side-drafts laying around but, sadly, he got rid of them before people cared about original looks. 

His parting advice: Find the correct carbs so he can rebuild and jet them for our FWA race engine.

We put out the word via online posts and a note in the magazine. The flood gates opened. We had offers for both the correct carbs as well as the wrong ones. Prices ranged from free to exorbitant. 

We settled on a pair of vintage DCOE 18s in very nice shape that a reader offered for the very fair price of $500 and had them shipped right to Mike’s shop. We ended up with a couple of backups as well.

He made them work and look like new again while installing new 30mm chokes, 125 main jets, 180 air correction jets, and 45F9 idle jets. Total bill for the work: $1332.22.

All of the hardware was either replaced or re-plated and, as you can see, they are now indistinguishable from new.

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Racerjiggs New Reader
5/2/20 11:40 a.m.

I run a small business buying , repaIring/ servicing Webers here in Nova Scotia. I have been racing with them for over 50 years . Right now I have a beautiful matched set of 50 DCO used on a full race Pinto 2.3, 2 WEber 40 DCOE (a 2 and a 92) . I very recently purchased a matched set of 32/36 DGV's mounted on a Truimph TR6 mounted on a pair Pierce intake manifold adaptors c/w all linkage. Once cleaned up and checked over will be sold on EBay. Always looking to purchase more Webers and parts Mikuni Ph44, Solex side drafts etc. All funds from this small  business go to payin* for my one bad habit- grassroots motorsports. Our website :   Just our story plus 2 great videos.                    Gerald Elliott.      Enfield , Nova Scotia

wspohn Dork
5/2/20 2:07 p.m.

Hmm - I was just wondering if a Climax FPF engine would fit under there without an ugly hump......

Really nice job on the Weber refurb. Has your expert found the Spanish produced carbs to be inferior to the Italian ones?  Do you inted to run extended air filters or just trumpets?  Wouldn't want to do the latter at Thunderhill, but Laguna would be OK.


Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
5/12/20 8:43 a.m.

In reply to wspohn :

Haven't gotten that far, but as little as this thing will come out, I might risk jsut trumpets. They look so cool!


wspohn Dork
5/12/20 12:39 p.m.

yeah - I run the intake trupets on the Twin Cam race car, but as I had removed the inner front fenders on the TVR fo access, I used filtron foam socks (they have an inner cage to keep them from getting sucked in) like they use on off road dune buggies etc.  They need to be changed every couple of seasons, though as the material will degrade.

Pushrod crossflow engine in TVR:

DOHC engine in same car before 'sock' fitment (sure looks better)


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