Build your own 200 mpg carburetor

Build your own 200 mpg carburetor

Postby ponun » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:07 am

The 200 Mile-per-Gallon Carburetor: The Story of the California Carburetor

This is also the same concept known as a Vapor Carburetor.

"It is not the fuel that burns, but the vapors" - Secret behind vapor carbs.

The illustrated carburetor was designed by Roy Marks, and was granted US patent number 710,330 on September 30, 1902. This patent, together with number 710,329 (Explosive Engine for Motor Vehicles), covered all the major features of the California Carburetor.

Like many of the day, it worked on the "surface" principle, and was basically a box in which the fuel was allowed to form a vapour that could be mixed with air and fed to the engine. Unlike the European examples typified by Minerva and De Dion, Mark's carburetor used cotton wicking to draw the fuel up onto a series of shelves to give a larger surface area for evaporation.

There was no equivalent of a float chamber. The rider had to open the tap every so often and add fuel to the appropriate level, judging by the level glass on the front of the tank. Tricky to do while riding!

In practice, with fuel consumption claimed to be close to 200 mpg, one fill would keep you going between stops.

The solution has been found. It is real. It was one of the popular technologies used when the automobile engine consisted as a large one or two cylinder engine that ran not much faster than 600 rpm — a fixed speed.

Throttle control technology had not been discovered yet. Engine rpm wa fixed by some form of governor applied to the sparking system (if any) or to holding a valve open when the rpm increased above a certain speed. Road speed was generally achieved by using two forward gears — one gear used for a fixed low speed and the second gear for a fixed higher speed. Very rarely did the high speed exceed 15 mph.

powered by 200 mpg carburetorTo build a 200 mph carburetor for yourself is not difficult [note: allpar does not recommend this]. Remove the lid off of your air cleaner; remove the air filter, and fill the cavity with cotton cloth waste. Disconnect the fuel line from the carburetor and plumb it into the air cleaner using some form of a shut off valve similar to a toilet valve [but capable of carrying fuel without damage]. When the fuel rises to a given level, it will be shut off. As air passes by the gasoline soaked rags, the fumes generated by evaporation would be sucked into the engine and the engine would run. Sort of, with a drivability problem or two.

The carburetor butterflies would sort of control the mixture into the engine, but not well. When you shut the engine off, there would be a fair amount of evaporation of the gasoline still taking place; the fumes would be obvious. But that could be solved by using a system such as the one boats use to vent the engine compartment before the engine starts to prevent explosions. In the winter, you could route the hot exhaust gasses up to the air cleaner to encourage the evaporation to take place, as long as you carried a fire extinguisher along and did not store the car indoors, there should be no real concern.

The oil companies did not buy this patent! Why should they, it was hardly practical in the first place! It was used for a time, but automotive technology moved onwards and it was largely forgotten.
Automotive orphans

Would it surprise you to find out that there has been over 5,000 different manufacturers of automobiles since the turn of 20th Century in the U.S. and Canada? That includes about 165 manufacturers that filed the proper paper work to become a company and never went any further than that. This does not count the approximately 1,000 or so trucks that were manufactured during that same time frame, powered by steam, electricity, and the gasoline and diesel engine. In many cases these vehicles had a production run of under ten before they too became orphans, while others managed to stay in production for a number of years before they either closed their doors or were bought out by some other firm.

Being an orphan in this hobby is not necessarily a bad thing. We have at least one orphan car show a year that has always had a good review by anyone who has attended. The orphan population out numbers the Corporate aligned collectable cars by at least 100-fold and includes such reputable cars as the Duesenberg, Marmon, and Pierce Arrow, along with Twombly (1913-1915), Veerac (1905), and the ever popular Smith & Mabley Simplex (1904-1907, produced in New York City).

So! Hedge a bet, if you see the opportunity to purchase an orphan from the early years, it might just be your financial ship coming in. Of course it might not, too.
Credited To

You can download the patent 710,330 and 710,329, go to and type in the patent number. It will then be ready to download as a pdf file.

Here is the Famous Pogue carb that caught a lot of attention in the 1980's. Another vapor carb

We are Looking for people to get involved in building these for further research, so if you are interested and want to spend a few days building and testing these units out (small scale on a lawn mower first or large scale on a vehicle) just go ahead and do it and post your findings.
Thanks in advance.

In suppressed Inventions you will find a similar device used in a Ford Galaxy 500 that went across Texas on a gallon of gas. His unit was tested by a University and several other professionals, yet the device was never marketed because of pressure from oil companies.
There is also a Youtube video showing a lawnmower running on vapors.
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:49 am

Return to Motorized Transportation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest