1960s / French

Project update: RWP’s 1968 Solex 3800

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the newest member of the Ran When Parked fleet: a 1968 Solex 3800.

I bought it on a whim as a non-running project from the daughter of the original owner. I was told it ran when parked, so I paid the asking price and stuffed it in the trunk of my wife’s Citroën C3.

The first step was fitting new tires and inner tubes, which was pretty straight-forward. Then, I began cleaning out the fuel system. Like I mentioned, as these things sit for prolonged periods of time (which they often do) the gasoline evaporates and the oil turns into a mud-like sludge that hardens and clogs up whatever it finds its way into. I took the entire fuel system apart, from the tank to the carburetor, and either cleaned or replaced every single component. That fixed my fuel delivery issues, but the Solex still wouldn’t start.

Next, I turned my attention to the ignition system. I noticed the timing was completely off, and that one of the two screws that hold down the points was stripped. Someone had clearly tinkered with this 3800, which is why I’m pretty sure it didn’t run when the previous owners decided to stuff it in the back of their garage. Luckily, this is a moped and not a Testarossa.

I replaced the stripped screw, set the timing correctly, and finally got a spark, but it didn’t look very good and the 49cc two-stroke still refused to start. I ordered a new coil, a new condenser, a new spark plug, and a new spark plug wire. On Sunday night, at about 11 pm, I put the ignition system back together and gave it a whirl. For the first time in decades, my Solex came to life.

Success!  The next step is to put it back in one piece and wash it. Expect better pictures soon.

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2 thoughts on “Project update: RWP’s 1968 Solex 3800

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