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55 roadmaster 322 , 2 barrel carb problems


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here is what I got folks ,  the carb on my 322 roadmaster  its seems preety slapped out . I took it out for another drive of about 20 miles on sunday an it was stumbling on accel from a dead stop an very sluggish on accel  while moving at speed limit . when I brought it back to the garage after this ride . I did a lil closer inspection of it , 1 I cant find any id tags on it but think its a Rochester . 2 the rods for the butterflys appear to have excessive "slop" in them . 3 I am also very suspicious of the accelerator pump is either working poorly or not at all .  4 questions now .1 based on my initial diagnosis here , with all of the slop in the linkages an rods dose any one feel this carb is worth rebuilding ?

                                                                    2 are there any after market 2 barrel swaps that have been successful obviously with minor mods .

                                                                    3 is there a way to positively id this carb with out its id tags for replacement .

                                                                    4 are there any other oem or replacement carbs available . as my research has done nothing more than confuse me , and I cant seem to find anything pre built an ready to install an tune .( I may be looking in the wrong places though.)

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The Rochester 4 bbl carbs have been recipients of many complaints about that hesitation. But have not heard that about the 2bbls. The Roadmaster should have the 4 bbl but who knows what went on in the past? As for loose linkages, i doubt thats the main problem.  If you still have the prior accelerator pump you may try re-installing that one. But the lack of pickup on the open road could be an adjustment to the stator activation linkage, especially if the original 4bbl was replaced with a 2 bbl and the 4 bbl linkage was used.

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OK - your post has me confused.

 

According to the carburetor literature I have available to me, the Roadmaster 322 came ONLY with a 4-barrel (the Super with the 322 did come with a two-barrel). And the first Rochester 2-barrel used by Buick was 1961

 

So, unable to answer your questions until you supply more specific information other than in general.

 

(1) Any of the 2-barrel carbs used in various years in the 1950's (Carter, Rochester, and Stromberg) are EXCELLENT carburetors, and virtually always can be rebuilt.

(2) Maybe

(3) Maybe

(4) Probably

 

Questions for you:

 

(1) Are you certain it is a 322

(2) Identify the MAKE of carburetor (Carter will be on a Carter, Stromberg will be on a Stromberg, GM will be on a Rochester)

(3) If Carter or Stromberg, exact identification IS possible.

(4) If Rochester, we need pictures from all 4 sides, plus the center to center measurement of mounting studs both front to back and side to side.

(5) And no offense, your title says 2-barrel, but your text states rods for the butterflys (plural) which indicates 4-barrel. Please clarify.

 

And before throwing rocks at the carb, check the dwell and timing!

 

Jon.

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You can put a vacuum on the distributor advance and see if it is working, maybe question the age of the spark plug wires.

 

The carburetor is just a little pot of gas on top of the engine with air sucking through drilled openings. Lots more going on with the ignition.

Bernie

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1 hour ago, carbking said:

OK - your post has me confused.

 

According to the carburetor literature I have available to me, the Roadmaster 322 came ONLY with a 4-barrel (the Super with the 322 did come with a two-barrel). And the first Rochester 2-barrel used by Buick was 1961

 

So, unable to answer your questions until you supply more specific information other than in general.

 

(1) Any of the 2-barrel carbs used in various years in the 1950's (Carter, Rochester, and Stromberg) are EXCELLENT carburetors, and virtually always can be rebuilt.

(2) Maybe

(3) Maybe

(4) Probably

 

Questions for you:

 

(1) Are you certain it is a 322

(2) Identify the MAKE of carburetor (Carter will be on a Carter, Stromberg will be on a Stromberg, GM will be on a Rochester)

(3) If Carter or Stromberg, exact identification IS possible.

(4) If Rochester, we need pictures from all 4 sides, plus the center to center measurement of mounting studs both front to back and side to side.

(5) And no offense, your title says 2-barrel, but your text states rods for the butterflys (plural) which indicates 4-barrel. Please clarify.

 

And before throwing rocks at the carb, check the dwell and timing!

 

Jon.

1 yes the engines id falls within the correct years (should have written it down but can follow up is needed)

2 pics below

3 sorry , I was referring to the choke rod an butterfly an the throttle rod an butterfly

4 unable to measure its base plate at moment

5 converted the distributor to electronic , more specifically a pertronics ignition points eliminator. plug wires up graded as well

6 I have checked the ignition timing prior to this an it was spot on an steady no wavering at all in the marks on the scale

 I included a pic of the intake manifold part number in hopes this may help the top of this motor is exactly the way I found it upon opening the hood with the exception of the distributor changes which I made .

carb 009.JPG

carb 010.JPG

carb 011.JPG

carb 012.JPG

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Hmmm. Looks like a number of mods have been made. Twer it me, given your symptoms,  before I started pulling things apart I'd put a vacuum gauge on it. Mite want to give the air cleaner a good douche too..............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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OK, the carburetor is a Stromberg, and can definitely be identified.

 

(1) Remove air cleaner

(2) Look straight down on the top of the carburetor and note there are 4 screws along the front, and 4 screws along the back.

(3) Acquire a wire brush, and brush the top casting of the carburetor on the top surface, but along the sides, not the front or back.

(4) You should see a stamped (not raised) number in the format 7-nnna where nnn is a 3 digit number, and a (not always present) is a letter

(5) Examples: 7-91B, 7-91, 7-101A, 7-101 The number 7 means Buick. The number after the 7 is the identification number (with the 7). The letter is the engineering change status

 

And with a Pertronix conversion, ALL THE MORE REASON TO TEST THE IGNITION SYSTEM THOROUGHLY!!!

 

Now, back to your original questions. IF the carburetor (and not the pertronix) IS the culprit, rebuild the Stromberg. Parts are readily available. (Opinion) One of the finest 2-barrel carburetors ever made at any price at any time anywhere on our planet!

 

Others have mentioned compression tests, and vacuum tests. BOTH are excellent ideas.

 

Jon.

Edited by carbking (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, carbking said:

OK, the carburetor is a Stromberg, and can definitely be identified.

 

(1) Remove air cleaner

(2) Look straight down on the top of the carburetor and note there are 4 screws along the front, and 4 screws along the back.

(3) Acquire a wire brush, and brush the top casting of the carburetor on the top surface, but along the sides, not the front or back.

(4) You should see a stamped (not raised) number in the format 7-nnna where nnn is a 3 digit number, and a (not always present) is a letter

(5) Examples: 7-91B, 7-91, 7-101A, 7-101 The number 7 means Buick. The number after the 7 is the identification number (with the 7). The letter is the engineering change status

 

And with a Pertronix conversion, ALL THE MORE REASON TO TEST THE IGNITION SYSTEM THOROUGHLY!!!

 

Now, back to your original questions. IF the carburetor (and not the pertronix) IS the culprit, rebuild the Stromberg. Parts are readily available. (Opinion) One of the finest 2-barrel carburetors ever made at any price at any time anywhere on our planet!

 

Others have mentioned compression tests, and vacuum tests. BOTH are excellent ideas.

 

Jon.

will do an follow up with results . thank you all so far .

 carbs are another 1 of my weak areas of expertise .

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9 hours ago, thegnu said:

here is what I got folks ,  the carb on my 322 roadmaster  its seems preety slapped out . I took it out for another drive of about 20 miles on sunday an it was stumbling on accel from a dead stop an very sluggish on accel  while moving at speed limit . when I brought it back to the garage after this ride . I did a lil closer inspection of it , 1 I cant find any id tags on it but think its a Rochester . 2 the rods for the butterflys appear to have excessive "slop" in them . 3 I am also very suspicious of the accelerator pump is either working poorly or not at all .  4 questions now .1 based on my initial diagnosis here , with all of the slop in the linkages an rods dose any one feel this carb is worth rebuilding ?

                                                                    2 are there any after market 2 barrel swaps that have been successful obviously with minor mods .

                                                                    3 is there a way to positively id this carb with out its id tags for replacement .

                                                                    4 are there any other oem or replacement carbs available . as my research has done nothing more than confuse me , and I cant seem to find anything pre built an ready to install an tune .( I may be looking in the wrong places though.)

img_5a6fd4e4c17cd.jpg.d07e3caa0279f0499545e398e6ced953.jpg

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Your air cleaner might also be choking the carb. Stock 2 barrel air cleaners were massive in comparison. If you do a modern conversion, you'll also have to re-wire your ignition system if it hasn't been done already.

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21 hours ago, old-tank said:

Identify the engine first:  HERE

 

The reason to identify:  What I see is an early nailhead with a 2bbl carb that was messed with a long time ago (incorrect and non original paint that has "patina").  That engine could be a 53, 54, 55 322 or a 54, 55 264.  The original engine in that car would be a 322 with 4bbl carb.  It was not uncommon for owners to swap a 2bbl in an attempt (misguided) to get better gas mileage; also I have seen the smaller 264 engine installed because it was the only running option at the time.  Depending on the engine it might have 150 hp or up to 255 hp.

22 hours ago, 1956322 said:

Also when the ignition was converted the ballast resistor was bypassed right?? It needs full battery voltage

If using Pertronix in a mid 55's Buick, use a stock coil and incorporate the ballast resistor into the circuit as original!  This will give 12v for starting and reduced voltage for running.  If running constantly on 12v the rotor will burn...burn as in catching fire (crispy critter style).  The carbon rod between the center of the rotor and the tip cannot handle increased voltage constantly.

rotor.thumb.jpg.c3fdb5846a33efb8c06f96a26a71ff77.jpg

 

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On ‎3‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 11:02 AM, thegnu said:

. . . . . yes the engines id falls within the correct years (should have written it down but can follow up is needed) . . . . .

 

carb 012.JPG

 

(EDIT in bold italics)

♦  This number on your intake manifold is for a 1953 Buick SUPER (50-Series only) 322 cubic-inch V8 engine. According to the books, your Stromberg or a Carter 2-barrel carburetor was OE.

♦  You say that the "engine id falls within the correct years". Hopefully you are not confusing this Part Number with the Engine Serial Number. Engine Serial Numbers did not have a --2 suffix.

♦  Posting your Engine Serial Number would clear up a few issues. The last digit (or suffix) would tell a lot. Other details in your pictures show that you might have a 1954 engine in lieu of an early-1955.

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint" 

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, 1953mack said:

 

♦  The casting number on your intake manifold is for a 1954 Buick SPECIAL (40-Series only) 264 cubic-inch V8 engine. According to the books. your Stromberg or a Carter 2-barrel carburetor was OE.

♦  You say that the "engine id falls within the correct years". Hopefully you are not confusing this casting number with the Engine Serial Number. Engine Serial Numbers did not have a --2 suffix.

♦  Posting your Engine Serial Number would clear up a few issues. The last digit (or suffix) would tell a lot. Other details in you pictures show that you might have a 1954 engine in lieu of an early-1955.

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint" 

I have cleaned the area between the exhaust manifold runners on the left bank better than I did first time , the engine number is V786245 . there are no other ledgible markings  that I can make out as any sort of letter or number .

also the ballast resistor was removed and a updated version of the rotor installed .

this weekend I should have an open bay in my garage , I intend to do a vacuum check on the distributor an compression test . amongst other things I do want to check the adjustment on the kick down linkage as well , it seems to me that its not functioning at all , an also check to see if the accelerator pump is working at all . I am suspicious that it is not . an also get positive id on the Stromberg .

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1 hour ago, thegnu said:

. . . . . the engine number is V786245 . there are no other ledgible markings . . . . .

 

♦  Your engine number is an early 1953 V8 322 cubic-inch block number . . . March 1953 . . . OE from a 1953 Super (the last digit "5" = SUPER 50 Series) and came without a harmonic balancer. An OE Stromberg 2-barrel carb for that model was an AAVB-267. 

♦  I originally said that the intake manifold had a 1954 casting number. That number is actually a 1953 2-barrel intake manifold Part Number. I will edit my previous Post accordingly.

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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2 hours ago, old-tank said:

The engine number should have one more number digit...anyhow if the last number is 5 then is was originally in a 55 Super (series 50).

Updated rotor? (need more info)

I spent about an hour in an older parts store here with my micrometer an cross checking part numbers , if I find the box I will post the part number of the newer rotor , im sure it  came from a 60's gm product .

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If the original leather pump is still in the carb, place the pump in a small jar (baby food???) with enough light machine oil (sewing machine, 3n1, neetsfoot???) to cover the leather, and let it soak overnight. 99 times out of a 100, this 60 year old piece of cow's belly is superior in performance to the modern synthetic pumps. And its less expensive! ;)

 

Jon.

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1 minute ago, carbking said:

If the original leather pump is still in the carb, place the pump in a small jar (baby food???) with enough light machine oil (sewing machine, 3n1, neetsfoot???) to cover the leather, and let it soak overnight. 99 times out of a 100, this 60 year old piece of cow's belly is superior in performance to the modern synthetic pumps. And its less expensive! ;)

 

Jon.

 

Mine was in rough shape.  I have a 4CG.  I did replace with a newer pump offered in the kit.  Completely new performance overall. Like a new car.  Anyway, being this 322 has newer electrical  ignition components and taking a look at the picture of the carb....I would believe ignition is good(although check) and the carb has not been opened since 1953.   

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ok here is what I got gentlemen .

1 . found id on carb now I know what to order  , but now very unsure it actually needs it .

2. checked accel pump , it is functioning seems like too small of a shot , maybe a lil lean not sure . thinking on it more  ,with more reasearch .

3. adjusted kick down it now makes contact at the proper spot . still need to drive it to see if there is any improvement.

4. vacuum tested the vacuum advance working properly no slow leaks or loss of vacuum. additionally rechecked function when I reset the timing , held timing light on timing marks an slowly increased rpm an watched the advance slowly increase with rpm . slow smooth an steady.

5.  checked ignition timing , found someone had set it at about 14 degrees before tdc , followed book procedure an corrected to , a setting of about 7 degrees tdc . immediate change in the engine sound an idle it kind of surprised me .

6. set idle at as close as I could get to spec but it holds at 600 super smooth .

7. checked compression ,  should be around 100 lbs  or more, actual at 90 lbs average . not much variation between cylinders at all .

8. set proper gap on spark plugs at 32 . all spark plugs have a nice light tan look to them. (kind of surprised there is always 1 or 2 that are either wet or a lil oily , but happy that's not the case here.)

9. anything I could have missed here ? Your input is very much appreciated . also here is a few pics of the plugs an compression results.

 

engine diagnostic 001.JPG

engine diagnostic 002.JPG

engine diagnostic 003.JPG

engine diagnostic 004.JPG

engine diagnostic 005.JPG

engine diagnostic 006.JPG

engine diagnostic 007.JPG

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The accelerator pump should be a healthy shot of fuel. Your carb can only benefit from a kit at this point. If the car runs without issue after your work here, then let it be I'd say. However, might still be a good time to see if your jets need cleaning or to double check float levels.  Having everything else in order now will just be icing on the cake. 

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10 hours ago, thegnu said:

9. anything I could have missed here ?

 

Pull the intake manifold pipe plug and use that as the vacuum source for a vacuum gauge check of your engine................Bob

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2 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

 

Pull the intake manifold pipe plug and use that as the vacuum source for a vacuum gauge check of your engine................Bob

I was going to do that but could not find a fitting in all the junk I have here , amazingly enough , that would fit in it .

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It would be worth a trip to the hardware store for a common barb fitting. A proper vacuum reading tells an awful lot about the general health of an engine and often tells one where to look for a problem..............Bob

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19 hours ago, thegnu said:

5.....checked ignition timing , found someone had set it at about 14 degrees before tdc , followed book procedure an corrected to , a setting of about 7 degrees tdc.....

7.....checked compression ,  should be around 100 lbs  or more, actual at 90 lbs average . not much variation between cylinders at all.

 

♦  Your engine serial number indicated that you have a 1953 Buick V8 engine block. Are you using the OE 1953 painted-yellow flywheel tooth for the suggested 5° before upper dead center timing or did someone install or transfer an indicator mark onto the crankshaft pulley?

♦  At cranking speed, your compression readings and average is way low. Are you happy with these numbers and what does your book say they should be? Overall low compression readings could point to bad rings or valves.    

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

 

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im happy for now , all indications to me point at a rebuild of the motor they tell me its high mileage .  the rebuild isn't in the budget at this time im going to need time to save some cash .

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21 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

It would be worth a trip to the hardware store for a common barb fitting. A proper vacuum reading tells an awful lot about the general health of an engine and often tells one where to look for a problem..............Bob

 

14 hours ago, 1953mack said:

 

♦  Your engine serial number indicated that you have a 1953 Buick V8 engine block. Are you using the OE 1953 painted-yellow flywheel tooth for the suggested 5° before upper dead center timing or did someone install or transfer an indicator mark onto the crankshaft pulley?

♦  At cranking speed, your compression readings and average is way low. Are you happy with these numbers and what does your book say they should be? Overall low compression readings could point to bad rings or valves.    

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

 

In addition to engine diagnosis use the vacuum gauge to set optimal timing.

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10 hours ago, thegnu said:

im happy for now , all indications to me point at a rebuild of the motor they tell me its high mileage .  the rebuild isn't in the budget at this time im going to need time to save some cash .

 

I would think a rebuild of this engine would not suit your desires.  Consider that as a '53 , with a 2 bbl carb, then the engine came from a Super.  A quick look at the Hometown Buick site shows the original compression ratio is 8.5-1, and the hp is 170 @ 4,000 rpm.  However, since this is already two years younger than your car, and it is already so modified, you do have a choice of 54-55 and, with some additional work, a 56 engine.   The 55 engine is also a 322, and can come from a  Century,  Super or Roadmaster, and advertises 236 hp @ 4600 RPM.   All of these would have had a 4 bbl carb.

And if you wanted to make the adjustments for a 56 engine, then you would have 255 HP from these same three models, with 9.5-1 compression.

 

Here-to-fore unmentioned is the question of which Dynaflow you have. If you have a 53 engine, do you by chance have a 53 Dynaflow too?  The 53 Dynaflow does not have the advances made by 55 that greatly alters the drive-ability in terms of off the line pickup and on road acceleration.  The 56 trans is a step better than the 55 although all of them are very reliable.    There is a code on the trans visible from the bottom.  This will identify which trans you have .

 

Therefore I recommend searching for a 56 engine and at least a 55 Dynaflow  (assuming you do not currently have one) for your rebuild project, and then just saving the 53 engine for a rainy day backup, if needed.   As a side benefit, that would allow you to take on the rebuild while still driving your car.

 

By the way, you cannot go forward to the 57 and beyond without some additional fabrication.  But I can tell you the 56 engine and Dynaflow is a very satisfying combination.

 

If you have not seen it yet, here is an awesome site you should visit for further information :  https://www.hometownbuick.com/buick-models/

 

 

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50 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

I would think a rebuild of this engine would not suit your desires.  Consider that as a '53 , with a 2 bbl carb, then the engine came from a Super.  A quick look at the Hometown Buick site shows the original compression ratio is 8.5-1, and the hp is 170 @ 4,000 rpm.  However, since this is already two years younger than your car, and it is already so modified, you do have a choice of 54-55 and, with some additional work, a 56 engine.   The 55 engine is also a 322, and can come from a  Century,  Super or Roadmaster, and advertises 236 hp @ 4600 RPM.   All of these would have had a 4 bbl carb.

And if you wanted to make the adjustments for a 56 engine, then you would have 255 HP from these same three models, with 9.5-1 compression.

 

Here-to-fore unmentioned is the question of which Dynaflow you have. If you have a 53 engine, do you by chance have a 53 Dynaflow too?  The 53 Dynaflow does not have the advances made by 55 that greatly alters the drive-ability in terms of off the line pickup and on road acceleration.  The 56 trans is a step better than the 55 although all of them are very reliable.    There is a code on the trans visible from the bottom.  This will identify which trans you have .

 

Therefore I recommend searching for a 56 engine and at least a 55 Dynaflow  (assuming you do not currently have one) for your rebuild project, and then just saving the 53 engine for a rainy day backup, if needed.   As a side benefit, that would allow you to take on the rebuild while still driving your car.

 

By the way, you cannot go forward to the 57 and beyond without some additional fabrication.  But I can tell you the 56 engine and Dynaflow is a very satisfying combination.

 

If you have not seen it yet, here is an awesome site you should visit for further information :  https://www.hometownbuick.com/buick-models/

 

 

I haven't considered the trans having been changed with the motor at all . but I have made a lot of corrections to the one I have , although I am yet to have a chance to drive it an see if my changes made a difference . the car will never be oem spec , too many mods prior to my owning it . I also tossed around the idea of swapping out the trans an rear axel till another member here schooled me literally ! an I listened to what I would be getting into . I am probably going to leave it alone , an just do my home work ,figure out the cost of rebuild versus just removing everything an installing something newer as in motor trans an rear end , I already have a rear axel that will fit and a powerglide from a 60's Camaro as well as the 307 from the same car , a 307 can make some good power with a mild cam an vortec heads . it all boils down to can I do it affordably ?  I do have some fab skills an weld very good . an then I would have a nailhead , dynaflow , an rear end for another build I was getting ready to do when this buick came my way . but until I make that jump I want to be confident with this motor , an as for now im fairly confident that it will get me around to the local shows an hangouts .

 

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If you're thinking about engine swapping it, wait until you find a wrecked 2018 Buick Regal and pull the 3.6L DOHC V6 with the twin turbo. A lot better than a SBC and it'll be a buick engine.

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