design - Land Rover section


Land Rover FAQs


QUESTION - Carburetors suck!  But how much?  And how much sucky do I need for my 4 cylinder Land Rover?

REPLY -   This is from Jim Allan, friend & all around swell guy who knows his way around both Land Rovers and writing.

Subject: Performance Carbs for 2.25

To All Series Owners,

Some of you may have seen the "Power Feed" article in the Summer Issue of LROI. A lot of good data was edited for space considerations so I thought you might like to see the missing parts. Print this one out and stick it into your magazine as a companion. Enjoy!

Jim Allen

Here's the part that tells you how to figure CFM requirements for any engine at any speed.

CFM=3D rpm X displacement X volumetric efficiency

Lets break the formula down.

RPM: Usually the maximum rpm of the engine is used here but you can plug in any engine speed.

DISPLACEMENT: In cubic inches, the size of the engine.

3456: This is a constant that converts the upper figure to CFM at 1.5" Hg.

VOLUMETRIC EFFICIENCY (VE): This is the engine's theoretical ability to
breathe versus it's actual ability as measured in real life. VE varies
according to engine speed. It is higher at the engine's maximum torque (a low speed) and lower at the engines max power (a high speed). A low
performance engine like the 2286 would have a 75% VE at max power and an 80% VE at max torque. Plugging in the four-cylinder numbers would look like this.

128.6621 CFM=3D  4250 rpm X 139.5 cid X 0.75

If you compare this figure to the tested ratings of the stock carburetors, you'll find they match fairly closely. If you run one of these engines, you will also know from personal experience that the engine is definitely breathing hard above 3500 rpms. A slightly larger carb can enhance upper rpm performance.

RE: Oil Bath Air Filters

The original oil bath air cleaner has the theoretical airflow to keep up with the engine. In practice, I have felt a big gain in power by eliminating it. I was in a quandary on this question until Earl Davis, K&N's dyno guru, explained a possible reason. "It isn't just raw airflow capacity, " he said, "it's also velocity. If the air cleaner is slowing the velocity of the air, which could effect performance." Earl noted that the 90 degree elbow and corrugated hose might have a deleterious effect and recommended trying a smooth hose and an elbow with a shallower radius and/or moving the radius farther away from the carb by about 3-4 inches.

Some owners have reported adapting the factory oil bath filter to the big Weber two-barrels and claim good results. I have to reserve judgment on this, having tested the combo with very poor results. At 3800rpm the engine fell flat on its face due to lack of airflow. Mike Pierce reported similar results when he was developing his Weber 2-barrel kit. Obviously, these folks never rev the engine much above 3500.

Some Test Data They Didn't Print

To save your calculator some wear and tear, I've run the figures for a 2286 from 2000 to 5000 rpm. Compare these figures with the airflow tests of the various carbs, manifolds and air filters.

2286cc Theoretical Airflow Requirements

Engine RPM





80.7 (peak torque)








128.7 (peak power)





Carburetor Orig. Application Venturi Size CFM Rating

Rochester Chevrolet 230cid Model BV 6-cyl. mid-'60s 30.9mm 167CFM @ 1.5" Model B and BC Similar.

Weber Aftermarket 29mm 138CFM @ 1.5" 34-ICH Replacement for LR

Zenith LR Factory 2-1/4 27mm 127CFM @ 1.5" 36-IV or IVE from engine suffix J (from about 1968)

Solex LR Factory 2-1/4 28mm 115CFM @ 1.5" to engine suffix J (to about 1967)



Carburetor Original Application Venturi Sizes CFM Rating

Weber 38-DGAS Various 36/36mm 424CFM @ 1.5" - Simultaneous opening 2 barrel.

Weber 28/36-DCD Various 26/27mm 224CFM @ 1.5" - Progressive opening 2-barrel

Weber LR Factory 32/34-DMTL 2-1/4 & 2-1/2 from 1983 26/27mm 194CFM @ 1.5"

Weber Aftermarket in kit 32/36-DGV for 2-1/4 26/27mm 191CFM @ 1.5"



Original Application Type CFM Rating

Aftermarket K&N Part #RU-0600 Oiled Cotton Gauze 1554 CFM @ 1.5" for 1-barrel Zenith/Weber

Aftermarket K&N Part# Oiled Cotton Gauze 617 CFM @ 1.5" 56-1030 for Weber DGV

LR Factory for original Oil Bath 190 CFM @ 1.5" 1-barrel applications


Type CFM Rating

Pierce 2-barrel as comes in Weber 2-barrel kit 297CFM @ 1.5"

Factory 1-barrel, unmodified 189CFM @ 1.5"

Factory 1-barrel, modified 235CFM @ 1.5"
(Modified manifold has had locating sleeve removed and inside edges radiused towards ports)


Comment by Bill Davis

It is true that a carb with a smaller venturi will normally produce more torque at a lower/mid rpm range because the velocity of the air/fuel mixture thru the venturi will be higher and hence you get better fuel atomization and hence better combustion.

I have always taken the Jim Allen test with a grain of of salt since it only involved one vehicle at sea level. It also didn't factor in things like performance on inclines and side angles or in other words things important for off roading.


Note on highway driving RPMs from Teriann

Jim did an excellent job pulling together all this data, but I personally think actual engine running RPM s should be taken into account as well. Bigger is not always better.

The engine torque curve is very steep below max torque. I drove my 109 with a tach for about 15 years and developed a sense on how the engine behaves at different RPM. While the engine can run smoothly under load down to 800 RPM or so there is almost no power there. If you are climbing a hill and need to down shift but want to keep your speed as high as possible you want to down shift somewhere between about 2400 and 2500 RPM. If you are almost at the top of a hill and you are feeling lazy, you can let the RPM slide down to around 2200 before the power starts to drop off quickly and you really need to down shift.

The engine seems happiest cruising in the 2800 to 3200 RPM range. I'm guessing best fuel economy around 2800 RPM on level roads under most normal driving conditions (The slower you are going the better the fuel economy).

During the 1960's the factory gave a peak power 4250 RPM spec. But during the 1970's they only provided a 4000 RPM spec.

Running a fairly fresh SIII 8:1 engine with Rochester carb I found 3800 RPM about as high a shift point as I wanted to use for maximum acceleration. Most of the time I up shifted at around 3500 RPM. I think that while the peak HP may be at 4250, the power curve is mostly flat above 3700 RPM and the added RPM doesn't give you anything to write home about.

From my experience the most important part of the curve is between 2500 and 3500 RPM or between about 80 and 115 CFM


Comments on the carburetors from Teriann

First a note about the 10% ethanol fuels. Ethanol does not produce as much energy as petrol.  You will not have quite as much power using a blend and your fuel mileage will suffer a little. Since it is less efficient you engine will likely run leaner and you will likely have to enrich the mixture by going up one or two main jet sizes.  The blend is hard on old formula rubber fuel lines and on plastic parts immersed in the blend.  Keep an eye on plastic floats and if you have an electric fuel pump with a plastic diaphragm it may not hurt to carry a spare pump.  Ethanol blends tend to wash more oil off the sides of cylinder walls so Mystery oil added to the fuel tank might be a good idea for long term engine longevity.

The Solex is a very good carb for driving in the lower RPM range but probably starts getting in the way above 3400 RPM. One of the other carbs can give you a tad more power at the high end of the shift curve or if you are cruising the engine at faster revs than the engine is happy at. But otherwise the extra flow really isn't noticeable.  The Solex is usually the best choice for the lower RPMs.  Great for a ranch truck that doesn't really see 3000 or higher RPM.  But rebuild parts can be hard to find anymore.

A Zenith works fine through out the engine's RPM range.  The replacement Zeniths have been plagued from top cover warp, but that can be fixed with sand paper and a flat surface. The plastic floats on the replacement Zeniths are not standing up to the 10% ethanol blend fuel.  Hopefully new formula floats will arrive.  The original factory Zenith is about a perfect carb for the stock 2.25L engine.

The Rochester from the smallest of the Chevy six cylinder engines is the best of the Rochesters and a very good match for the stock 2.25L and 2.5L and a warmed over 2.25 or 2.5L engine.  Jim tested the next size larger Rochester because it is the easiest one to find.  It too is a good choice but may be a tad weaker on the engine's bottom end.  Both carbs will work well with the stock 2.25L cam and even better with the 2.5L cam (direct replacement for the 2.25 cam).  The Rochester is a rugged reliable carb that works well at steep angles, is easy to work on and they are cheaper than the Solex or Zenith.

The common Weber 34-ICH is a generic replacement carb and often comes under jetted for the Land Rover engine.  If you fit one take it to a shop that can check air fuel ratios for you to make sure the jetting is OK for your engine. If you notice a real increase in fuel mileage it could be because the carb is running too lean and if you put long miles on the truck you can suffer a hole in the piston or burnt valves.

The Weber 2 barrel carbs over carbureted a 2.25L engine. Especially if the barrels are set up to operate in tandem.  It is best to stay away from them unless you have a fresh performance rebuilt engine can can get hold of the discontinued Weber that came stock on the 2.5L petrol engine.  It flows the lowest of the Weber two barrels and has a small primary barrel allowing the engine to work at low RPMs.  In general they overabundant the engine, tend to be real finicky and you loose power at the low RPM range.

If you do a lot of freeway driving you might consider a dual air cleaner system.  Keep the stock air cleaner in place but leave it unconnected on paved roads.  Use a low restriction filter for paved roads and remove it and reconnect the oil bath when going off the pavement.  Nothing cleans like an oil bath filter. High flow filters tend not to filter as well and they tend to clog in fairly short order under high dust situations.

AND MOST OF ALL, No carburetor can compensate for a worn tired engine. Timing chain stretched, valves not sealing well, worn rings, worn, out of spec distributor... None of these can be helped with a bigger carb.


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