The SU Reference Catalog is actually a collection of the SU Workshop Manual and SU Reference Catalog with a Burlen Fuel Systems Brochure and price list thrown in to boot!
The workshop manual has a wealth of information on all the various styles of SU carburetors and fuel pumps. The manual starts out with an easy to follow and very explanative summary of the basics of the SU carburetor design and functionality. The manual is well organized into sections covering the basic families of SU carbs and fuel pumps. Each section on the carburetors gives concisely written instructions for disassembly, inspection, reassembly and tuning. Each section includes excellent illustrations that clearly show the components and support the text well. The instructions are logically ordered, easy to follow and quite complete. While some of the information presented in the manual is available in other locations such as in car specific workshop manuals. This manual covers all the various types of SU carburetors and allows the user who wants to upgrade their car with an alternate carb style to understand the requirements and differences of the carb from what they may be used to.
The SU Reference Catalog is a hefty spiral bound catalog that starts out with an interesting history of the SU carburetor and the SU company. After the history lesson, Burlen manages to elegantly intertwine a sales pitch of their parts and services with some interesting and useful information about SU carburetors, their identification and restoration.
Following this section are descriptions of the various types of carburetor kits and a clear description of what is included in each which can be particularly handy when trying to buy kits with a limited amount of description.
Next, the highly detailed exploded diagrams of each of the carburetor families and the associated parts list provide an excellent reference for those who look to buy the individual components or those trying to determine what all the little bits and pieces are in the pile of carbs and parts they just bought at the flea market portion of the car show they just attended.
The next section is a mind boggling 100+ pages of application information for SU carbs. This section is segregated alphabetically by manufacturer and type of vehicle and is well identified in the table of contents at the front of the catalog. The information is presented in a clear, organized way, showing what number and model of carburetor(s) was used on each vehicle, as well as information on the required repair kits, major components and even the standard, rich and lean needles for the application. With such a wealth of information at my finger tips, the only thing more I could ask for would be a cross reference listing all vehicles using a specific type of carb (i.e. all models using AUD 69R&L’s or all HS4 applications). Oh well, maybe at some point Burlen will have this available in a searchable spreadsheet format.
Next, a listing of the needles in the haystack, showing both the 1,2, or 3 letter/number designation as well as the official SU part number. I’m not sure of the value of this table as I have never heard of anyone having to use the actual part number, but it’s there if you need it.
Finally a section of many miscellaneous bits and pieces including linkages, fuel bowl lids and even manifolds include detailed sketches and descriptions, part numbers and application info can prove to help identify the final little finishing touches needed for repair or restoration without having to purchase complete carburetors.
Lastly, the price list and brochure from Burlen are a good reminder of those parts and items still available as new. After browsing the price list (which unfortunately is organized by part number only, not by part type or name) I am reminded that for certain small bits such as needles and jets, it is probably not worth the time scouring E-bay or flea markets for second hand or even NOS parts when new parts are available from the only remaining manufacturing source of genuine SU parts.
All in all, this collection of SU information is a must have for anyone from the SU weekend tinkerer up to those with a stable of SU carbureted vehicles. This information will become a valuable part of my reference library. Now if it was only available in a pocket sized, grease resistant edition for easier carrying to collector car flea markets and auto salvage yards!