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Machine Gun

My Experience With a "Rebuilt" Carburetor On My '64 Skylark

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I picked up a nice '64 Skylark a couple of months ago and drove it 100+ home with no trouble. However, there were two issues that I wanted to fix as soon as I could after I got home: severe hesitation when starting off from a stop, and the engine was running extremely rich. The prior owner indicated that he had installed a rebuilt carburetor earlier this year, but that it he thought it needed some adjustment. Here's what I found when I got around to pulling the air cleaner:

  1. The carburetor was rebuilt by Autoline, a Canadian company that sells rebuilt carburetors through Advance Auto Parts. I checked the Advance Auto website and sure enough, they list a rebuilt carburetor for a '64 Skylark with the 300 CID engine, and the one installed on my car had the correct part number.
  2. The accelerator pump rod was missing, and that would certainly account for the hesitation. I determined that the reason it was removed was because the accelerator pump lever was jammed. OK, now I'm into more than adjustments.
  3. I disassembled the carburetor and found that the pump plunger had separated from its rod, and the whole works was jammed up. The plunger was a cheap plastic thing like I had never seen before (it's been over 20 years since I rebuilt a carburetor). I decided that I should rebuild the carb myself. I ordered a kit from carbking.
  4. During the rebuild process I found that the main jets had apparently not been replaced. The ones in there had different number stampings than the new ones I got in my kit, and the old ones looked like they had been installed with a chisel instead of a hollow ground screwdriver.
  5. The power piston valve was installed without a gasket.
  6. The float level was way high and the float drop was way low.
  7. The small check ball at the bottom of the pump plunger cavity was made of steel instead of aluminum like the one that came in my kit. I'm not sure why the material is important, except perhaps that a lighter ball is required for proper operation of the system.

The car runs fine now. Imagine that!

Apart from a missing gasket, incorrect jets, broken pump plunger assembly, and improper float adjustments, the rebuilt carb was a real bargain. My point is to caution anyone who needs a rebuilt carburetor to know who your rebuilder is, and make sure they know what they're doing. Better yet, do it yourself if you can.

Jim

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Good Gawd! what a boodogle of a carb you began with. Surprised you could even drive it to begin with.

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I'm not a carburetor expert by any means, but I suspect that the reason you were given an aluminum ball to use in place of the steel ball was to lesson the chance of electrolysis between the steel ball and the carb body, when in contact with moisture laden ethanol gasoline....., just a thought.

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By observation, getting a rebuilt/reman carb from a "mass rebuilder" can be "hit or miss". Same with distributors. Reason is that when they rebuild them, in the disassembly process, things CAN get mixed up during that removal and put back together situation. I suspect that if you check the particular part number, THEIR part number, you'll find that it fits much more than just the one application you have, but that's pretty much common for any mass rebuilder, by observation. During reassembly, if one part is not there, another "will fit" part will be found, I suspect, to keep things running on the line. But, who's to say that the jets were not already the way you found them when the rebuilder got the carb as a "buildable core"?

As for the accel pump issues, those would be directly a rebuilder issue. "Quality of assembly and operation". Same with the power piston gasket.

It IS great to hear that Carbking had the kit and other items you needed to make things right again! I strongly concur on "Know your carb rebuilder". IF you don't, then it can be a variable situation . . . just verify what their warranty coverages/return policies might be at the time of purchase. Just for good measure.

Great to hear that the Buick is running well once again.

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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Good points, all. The only rebuilt things I ever bought over the years were starters and generators and never had any issues with them. It was a learning experience, and fortunately I was able to learn on the other guy's nickel. Now I can't wait for Spring when the salt and gravel will be off the roads and my Buick and Harley will be able to roll again.

Jim

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Buying rebuilt items can be Hit or Miss. About 10 years ago I picked up a rebuilt Rochester Quadrajet at Carlisle from a vendor who had a pile of carbs for $25 each. My 1972 GS 350 was running a little peeked. The secondaries weren't opening. Man I got lucky. I'd forgotten how that car could run. Jim BCA#3566

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I didn't have any better luck with one of the antique auto better known carburetor rebuilders. One was put together backwards, and I was sent another one that was okay. They rebuilt the first one again, and I saved it in the plastic wrapper until the car was finished, and the car wouldn't run with it installed. I gave up on them.

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