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The Vintage Kadron History Thread with Questions
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57baja Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:09 am    Post subject: The Vintage Kadron History Thread with Questions Reply with quote

I'm a Kadron nut, and I realize I'm a little whacked, but I thought it might be fun to start a thread about vintage Kadron set-ups and post some photos. Maybe some "Old Timers" could pitch in and help put together some pieces of the Kadron history puzzle for me and answer some questions...

First of all, we've all seen the Kadron red and white logo'd old school linkage. It had a decal on the face that looked like this:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Lately, I've been putting together some old school single-port Kadron kits with the earlier, and far less common red, white, and black aluminum emblem on them. Then, I happened to have run across a kit with a yellow and gold logo'd aluminum emblem. I'm assuming this is a really old kit. Can anyone confirm that this is the earliest Kadron kit that was made, or is there another Holy Grail of Kaddies that I need to search for?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This kit came with metal fuel rails, as is common for the older kits, and they have been cut, so I'll be swapping them out with unmolested ones. The fuel distribution tee on top is more squared off than the standard one that I'm accustomed to seeing.

Another thing I noticed, is about the linkage. The "newer" style linkage is of two-pice design. There are two small screws that hold the two pieces together, as is shown on the bottom of the three in the following photo:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Occasionally, I run across a kit with a one-piece linkage like the middle one shown. This is a much older linkage, and usually comes with kits with single-mport manifolds that were of the one-piece design. Usually, you find these manifolds with the middle section of the balance tube cut out, but occasionally you run across an unmolested one. The linkage that came with this yellow and gold stickered kit is different than I've ever seen before. It has a little adjustable section on the end to allow adjustment of the linkage without popping the balls off:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I have to assume this is stock for that early kit, and not someone's garage modification. Can someone confirm that please? Also note the three-holed spring attachment bracket on the opposite end. Did it come like that?
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Last edited by 57baja on Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating! More!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...makes me kinda wish I still had my old DDS and Treuhaft aluminum single port manifolds for those "K-Duds" lol
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice. I'm curious if the older kits had a variation to the mesh air cleaner covers. I've seen small tight circles, and slightly larger circles. Also joined and not joined. Any thoughts?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yes. Good stuff. I took some filters apart last night and have a bit of new insight on the filters, too. I won't spoil the surprise, though. I'll post more photos soon. I promise.

Nobody else can chip in on the history of the Kadron and add some insight?
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Last edited by 57baja on Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get together with AJ Sims, he is also a K-Dog nut... or at least used to be. If you don't know AJ, He has a shop in Orange on Batavia.

I have to say, after installing my first set of Kadrons back in 1986 or so, I never in a million years would have expected anyone to be so passionate about those carb kits... I was pining for webers, could only afford K-dogs. Throwing a set on my original owner '67 beetle's fresh 1641cc really woke it up, but the commonbar linkage (must sync them warm), loose thottle shaft holes (no bushings), made them not such a good choice for me.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomSimon wrote:
Get together with AJ Sims, he is also a K-Dog nut... or at least used to be. If you don't know AJ, He has a shop in Orange on Batavia.

I have to say, after installing my first set of Kadrons back in 1986 or so, I never in a million years would have expected anyone to be so passionate about those carb kits... I was pining for webers, could only afford K-dogs. Throwing a set on my original owner '67 beetle's fresh 1641cc really woke it up, but the commonbar linkage (must sync them warm), loose thottle shaft holes (no bushings), made them not such a good choice for me.


There are fixes for those issues, if you know what you're doing. For horsepower-per-dollar spent, there is no better set-up. Certainly AJ is the undisputed king of Kaddies, and has been for a long time. I know of him. There are a couple other guys around that are pretty good with them, too! Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great info.

When were Kadrons first introduced onto the market by the way?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

paulski wrote:
Great info.

When were Kadrons first introduced onto the market by the way?


I put my first set on a car in 1976 and I think they were available for year or so before that. They were steel dual port manifolds. Don't remember what the sticker looked like.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did they have different linkage before? I'll post a pic of my old EIS ones without air filter mounts when I get a chance.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking they were made earlier, like '71 or '72, but I'm not sure. Did you know Kadron actually made fiberglass buggies, too?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I was thinking they were made earlier, like '71 or '72, but I'm not sure."

You may very well be right. I was only recounting when I was first aware of them.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow, I misplaced my camera cable for the computer. I have some more really cool stuff to share! I'll be back on this thread soon. Maybe some old farts can answer the previous questions in the meantime!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found my cable! OK. Here are a couple more things regarding vintage Kaddies....

The first way to spot a really old set is by the black nylon spacer plates between the carburetor main housing, and the base plate. Here's what it will look like:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Notice it also has some other things about it that make it unique: The accelerator pump screws have recessed screws, this one has a thumbscrew on the passenger's side carb for easier adjustment, it has an idle jet with a screwdriver slot in it. The plug for the vacuum advance circuit is also recessed, rather than flush. There is a screw in the side of the pump cover, rather than a press fitting....

Check these things against this photo, for instance, of a later "early" carb:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


One thing that shows up in this photo is what I call the "Mariner" emblem. Both the "early early" and the "late early" carbs have this. I call it that because it reminds me of the very first baseball hats worn by the Seattle Mariners. I don't know what it signified. There's another question that deserves an answer if anyone knows it. Note that the top older carb has it, but it's hidden by the pump mounting nut.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


They ditched the "Mariner" deal at some point. I don't know why.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's a photo of a "really old" air filter:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I don't know this for absolute sure, and would love some clarity, but I think the date code is the black ink-stamped lettering in the forefront. According to my best guess (for whatever it's worth), by being familiar with date codes on other parts, this air filter might have been made on January (or June) 8th, 1975. I don't know. Maybe someone else could post a photo of their date coded filter, and we could actually figure out their coding system. Look hard, and you'll see where it's stamped "Kadron" on the filter right by the date code, too. Also note the cool outer and inner metal air filter meshes that are built right in. These things were beefy!!!

Here's an "Early late" filter for comparison:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Let's talk about the nuts on the accelerator pump for a minute. The older sets had a two-piece brass screw design, whereas the newer ones are made of plastic. Here are a couple photos:

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Are we having fun yet? I can post more if anyone is interested....
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More please
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bravo!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple more things...

Fuel line tees: Both styles of the early kits had fuel distribution rails that consisted of a tee that bolted to the top of the linkage bellcrank, and metal fuel lines that wrapped around the fan shroud at both sides, where rubber hose connected them to the carburetor inlet fittings. Most of the time when you see these, they are the "rounded" style, but occasionally they are the older and rarer "squared" style. Both are shown here. Unfortunately, someone cut the metal lines on this "square style" tee.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Fairly early in the game, Kadron air cleaner lids came with this "Shield" type emblems stamped into them.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


For whatever reason, they are still more common than the later style rectangular logo, which is also rarely seen in chrome form.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Presumably, Kadron didn't make these later elements for too long. I'm guessing this was sometime in the early 90's, before Cofap bought Kadron in 1995, marking the beginning of the end.

Again... somebody chip in if they can contribute information or speculation.

Maybe we can talk about manifolds next. There were (and are) many different manifolds available throughout the years. They were originally only available with steel manifolds for both single-port and dual-port applications. The most hard-to-find manifold (and most expensive these days) is probably the un-cut one-piece single-port manifold like this:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Most of the time, you'll see that people have ended up cutting the center section of the balance tube, leaving them to look like this (see the ones on the far right).

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The ones in the middle of the photo are the original steel dual port manifolds. Eventually, they added aluminum manifolds as an "option", and later as the standard equipment, phasing out steel manifolds altogether. Most people think this was a performance addition, and there is probably some truth to that. It is my personal opinion that the introduction of aluminum manifolds also had to do with the manufacturing process. I think the steel ones were actually more expensive to produce, and are CERTAINLY stronger. How many cracked steel manifolds have you ever seen?

Yes, I agree that aluminum ones are much better in many ways, too. For instance, you can match-port them to your custom heads, and they heat up quicker when you live at the top of Pike's Peak! That's a topic for a different thread, though.

Other manufacturers also followed suit, producing aluminum manifolds. Treuhaft immediately comes to mind:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Look at those corny air filters! There's no end to the Kadron fun!

Here is a photo of the height differences between some manifolds:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I bet you didn't know there were so many things to know about Kadrons, huh?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now THAT's freaking cool!
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