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Why are so many changing to Edelbrock Carburetors?


NailheadBob
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I have been seeing a lot pictures of cars, at car shows, and cars for sale, mainly 50's and a lot of 60' cars with Edelbrock carburetors, and trying to figure out why they just don't fix the originals or replace with original type carburetor? Usually the ones I see don't have the original air cleaner assembly because mostly they do not fit the Edelbrock, so you also have to purchase air cleaner assembly to fit the Edelbrock carburetor. Would it be price or convenience? I would rather have the factory carburetor and air cleaner assembly to make it look original. Where do all these old carburetors and air cleaners end up, E-bay? sold for cores or parts? there is a lot of them somewhere? I welcome your input, as I am just curious.

 

Thank You in advance,

 

Bob

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1 minute ago, NailheadBob said:

I would rather have the factory carburetor and air cleaner assembly to make it look original

I totally agree. Nothing looks stupider than a purportedly “original” car with the two pos you mention in this post. Rebuild, have it rebuilt, and keep the original air cleaner on an original car.

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Because most people can remove and install a carburetor but very few can rebuild and tune one. Easier to take it out of the box and bolt it on (along with exaggerated promises of more performance/better fuel economy/easier starting) than figure out how to rebuild an ancient carburetor, tune it, and make it work correctly.

 

Why do you think Summit Racing makes millions of dollars each year? Bolt-ons for dummies is a successful business model.

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Full disclosure: I did change the 4GC on my 62 F85 to an E-brock. (sorry, Jon... 😉)

 

I've always been a "rebuild my own carb" guy, and obviously the OEM carb is the one best calibrated for a stock engine. Not all engines are stock, however, and as Matt noted, you'd be amazed at the number of car owners who are incapable of rebuilding and properly adjusting a carb. While it won't be anywhere close to optimum, the E-brock out of the box will bolt onto 90% of 1960s V8s and run acceptably. The owner only knows and cares that the car ran like crap with the old, leaking, cruddy original carb and now it runs well enough to drive to cruise night and back. Face it, most of these cars are lucky to see a few hundred miles a year. The owner has never driven the car with the OEM carb correctly rebuilt and adjusted, so he has no idea how it should really run, and frankly once the car gets an aftermarket intake and electronic distributor, all bets are off on the correct calibration. Virtually none of these owners understands correct carb setup, jetting, or adjustment, and fewer still understand correct spark advance curves and how those need to change to adapt to modifications or today's fuel.

 

As I noted, my 62 came with the stock 4GC. This version has a cast iron throttle body and the car had sat in the Nevada desert for 30 years prior to my shipping it to the east coast. I rebuilt the 4GC twice (not the first one I've built, and in fact most carbs I've built have been the far more complex Qjets), but I was unable to get it to run correctly. In particular, the accelerator pump well would not refill properly, and the pump cup would periodically reverse itself for reasons I still cannot understand. This particular 4GC has a number of blind passages in the casting that are drilled from the outside during manufacturing and then plugged with spun-in aluminum plugs. I can only imagine that one or more of these passages were plugged (I was especially worried about the ones in the cast iron throttle body being internally rusted) and I had neither the time nor the inclination to drill out the plugs to check. In the interest of driving the car to the Oldsmobile Club Nationals in 2010, I threw in the towel and bought a new 500 CFM E-brock (the engine is only 215 cu in). It bolted directly to the original intake without an adapter. Yes, I had to fabricate custom linkage for the accelerator and throttle valve connections, and yes it has an electric choke. Neither of these has been a problem in 13 years. As I noted, it ran pretty well right out of the box. Over the last 13 years I've played with the pump timing, jets, metering rods, and step-up springs and now it runs really well. This is the most reliable car I own and once the fuel bowl fills up it starts right up each spring after sitting all winter. I rebuilt it once three years ago. In 2019 I drove the car 2600 miles in nine days for Hot Rod Power Tour and the engine didn't miss a beat (pay no attention to that broken u-joint in Kentucky, however...).

 

 

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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I see it as a generational thing. "What do you mean? Carburetors can be rebuilt and repaired?"

 

You cant open up and rebuild your ECM or your individual fuel injectors, or your Mass airflow sensor, or your  oxygen sensor.  Maybe you could rebuild a starter or alternator on a 21st century car, but why? the new replacement is way cheaper.

 

The paradigm that fuel management components can be opened up and repaired is just completely unknown to some people. 

 

As for the parts? I dont know, would you save an old O2 sensor? or a MAF sensor? or just throw the old ones away? Probably going to do the same with the carb because "They cant be fixed. I asked at the Auto Zone and they said so"

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)
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At least some folks are not doing this, as we are busier with the manufacture of rebuilding kits than we have EVER been (this is our 49th year).

 

Joe - a few observations:

 

(1) the 4GC accelerator pumps come in three different diameters, and several different lengths.

(2) an old hot-rodders trick (although I have seen in on more Carters than Rochesters) was to bore the pump well for the next larger diameter pump, thereby increasing the pump shot due to a larger fuel volume in the pump cylinder. If this is done the original pump will turn the cup upside down periodically. I have had to fabricate sleeves for the pump cylinder on a few carbs over the years. Again, mostly Carter, but did a set of 1955 Cadillac 2x4 that came off an Allard that I had to repair.

(3) many of the access plugs were lead balls. These may be drilled, removed, and the passages cleaned; and then open the tackle box, and replace the plugs with split-shot sinkers.

 

But back to the original topic: as far as WHY do folks replace an original with the clones? I personally believe a lot of the reason is the lack of professional carburetor rebuilders at this time. Due to the kit business, I quit restoring carbs about 10 years ago. I have repeatedly begged on this and other forums for someone to do carburetor restorations. Even advertising for the last 10 years that I do not do them; I turn down an average of 25 jobs per week! Right now, there is a terrific market. If I could clone myself half a dozen times, my clones still would not be able to keep up with the requests for restoring carburetors. Since those who didn't grow up with carburetors don't know how to rebuild one, they give up, and buy new. Not growing up with the cars, they are unaware of how they can run, or the fuel economy that is possible; and since the new will generally run out of the box, they are happy.

 

Interestingly, after a few years, a lot of the clones get pitched, and the enthusiast tries to rebuild his/her original. The clones will work fairly well (for a time) on Chevrolet engines. 

 

Jon

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Because most people can remove and install a carburetor but very few can rebuild and tune one. Easier to take it out of the box and bolt it on (along with exaggerated promises of more performance/better fuel economy/easier starting) than figure out how to rebuild an ancient carburetor, tune it, and make it work correctly.

 

Why do you think Summit Racing makes millions of dollars each year? Bolt-ons for dummies is a successful business model.

Matt - "Bolt-Ons for Dummies"??? Sounds like this would be a popular book, no wait a minute, it would make a popular ebook! ;) 

 

If you have not patented the phrase, I would like permission to use it from time to time!

 

Jon

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People are so used to taking something off that may not work and replacing it with "new" that they are not interested in nor have the time to learn anything or want to. Kinda like take out food, why cook, easier to bring something home in a paper carton/bag. Who drinks tea or coffee in a ceramic or china cup or mug? it is paper or styrofoam.

How do you learn history? click on a plastic button ( if the electricity is still on) but then there are a few dinosaurs out there - you may be aware of one, they drive a car with a stick shift ( and that stick is usually pretty long) and the same car may have a radio that has tubes that have to warm up in order to play, seats may be upholstered in cloth or real leather not pleather,  Same people use screw drivers with wood handles, the sales literature they look at show vehicles that were rendered with a brush - both the ones with hair and those that use air. 

By now you are thinking this was written by a certified 'fogey' who has a library of 8 x 10 photographs ( that were printed off glass plate negatives) , some printed on linen backing, magazines called periodicals and pages made of paper, books issued by car factories with a solid "hard " cover.  yeah that's me , I have friends that are the same so we keep in touch to justify that we still need to exist and not be in a museum..................

Edited by Walt G (see edit history)
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48 minutes ago, carbking said:

Joe - a few observations:

 

(1) the 4GC accelerator pumps come in three different diameters, and several different lengths.

(2) an old hot-rodders trick (although I have seen in on more Carters than Rochesters) was to bore the pump well for the next larger diameter pump, thereby increasing the pump shot due to a larger fuel volume in the pump cylinder. If this is done the original pump will turn the cup upside down periodically. I have had to fabricate sleeves for the pump cylinder on a few carbs over the years. Again, mostly Carter, but did a set of 1955 Cadillac 2x4 that came off an Allard that I had to repair.

(3) many of the access plugs were lead balls. These may be drilled, removed, and the passages cleaned; and then open the tackle box, and replace the plugs with split-shot sinkers.

Jon, thanks for the tips. I'm pretty sure the original carb wasn't modified (though I have no idea if the rebuild kit had the correct parts), and yeah, I could have drilled out the plugs but as I said, time was getting short and had that not worked, I would have been out of time and unable to attend the show, so I made a risk-based decision.  I know you're not a fan, but after dialing the carb in, it works pretty well.

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Edelbrock makes a good product. I use them. Matt is right IMO. And don’t leave out the hourly rate of shops who rebuild this stuff. Carb kit, labor and you are there. The cost of a better product. Any more you have to want to keep it original. And it will cost you more in most cases to do it. If you pull your carb and box it up, keep it with the car. No harm done, new owner can put it back to original. And I can buy the edelbrock carb at a swap meet for 1/3 the price.🙂

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How many of the the owners just send the cars to a shop to have it repaired? I would bet more then we think. and how many shops just say "take that old piece of junk off and put a new one on". Because there is more of a profit margin on it, and less time spent. I personally don't understand it, and most of these TV shows highlight that. That guy in Virginia is always throwing " this old junky system out" putting something new in and more dependable in. Because he has to warranty it!  

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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I just rebuilt the four carbs on a Jaguar V12. Pull the choke lever out 2-3 clicks, turn the key let the fuel pump run for a few seconds. Fires right up, no issues. I think a lot of people are afraid to dive into a carburetor. Most of them are very simple in design. And if you lay out the parts and study them for a minute. You will see how the whole thing works. A lot of people take a original carb to a shop. Have it rebuilt. Pay xxxx amount of money. Install it, and still runs bad. Carb was not the problem. But not knowing that, they replace it because now the shop is bad, or the carb is junk. A distributor, plugs, plug wires, fuel supply, electrical, vacuum leaks and cracked manifolds can screw with you. And your carb was fine the whole time.🤔

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48 minutes ago, John348 said:

How many of the the owners just send the cars to a shop to have it repaired? I would bet more then we think. and how many of them jus say take that old piece of junk off and put a new one on. Because there is more of a profit margin on it, and less time spent. I personally don't understand it, and most of these TV shows highlight that. That guy in Virginia is always throwing " this old junky system out" putting something new in and more dependable in. Because he has to warranty it!  

You're exactly right. The real problem is $75-150/hr for a shop to rebuild a carb (and likely poorly at that) vs. half an hour to bolt on a different one. That, and the fact that few "mechanics" today have a clue how to perform unit repair or diagnose problems. They are really just parts replacers.

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11 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

You're exactly right. The real problem is $75-150/hr for a shop to rebuild a carb (and likely poorly at that) vs. half an hour to bolt on a different one. That, and the fact that few "mechanics" today have a clue how to perform unit repair or diagnose problems. They are really just parts replacers.

Joe,

Sadly that is true in many trades today. The shop is still billing $150 for the easy job with less of a chance of a comeback, and a bigger markup on the part, and if he is real slimey he is selling the core

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1 hour ago, John348 said:

... most of these TV shows highlight that. That guy in Virginia is always throwing " this old junky system out" putting something new in and more dependable in. Because he has to warranty it!  

If it's the show I'm thinking of, that's a shame because the man and his staff are capable of repairing a carburetor and most anything else.

 

But ya have to have some drama on TV car shows or the yahoos won't watch it.

 

In 50 years of fooling with automobiles and other assorted machinery, I've had two carburetors thwart me.

 

Like Joe, one was a 4GC that simply refused to cooperate, even after I corrected a couple of buggeries that had been done to it and then set it up by the factory shop book. Either the choke would work or it would kick off fast idle, but not both.

 

I had a 1966 QuadraJet that I finally determined the limiting tabs on the secondary air flaps were cracked and letting them raise slightly above the airhorn with secondaries closed. Off-idle stumble drove me nuts till I found that.

 

Both those carbs ended up "in the bin" as the Brits say. A good 4GC that worked as designed went on the 394. The 425 I had stuffed into the 66 442 got a used spreadbore Holley 650 which I never liked that much, but it was cheaper than a reman or even core QJet at the time. As in a friend's brother had it and I traded him a brake job for it😏.

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I have 4 cars currently that are carb's One is a 82 Chrysler Imperial FS that was EFI from the factory and now has a dealer retro fitted Carter 2 bbl. carb that runs great. The 1976 Corvette still has the Rochester Q-jet and it needs attention soon.  I don't do the rebuild as my friend is way better than me, has the skills, patience as well as tools and ultrasonic for cleaning. I've come to realize that it's better to give to him to get it right. My recent  purchase is a 1971 Cadillac Coupe DeVille with the 472 c.i with the Rochester Q-jet that works fine. Thanks to the late owner who was a mechanic, so I don't need to touch it.

 Lastly my 1972 Buick Skylark has a fairly fresh rebuilt 455 with a nice working E-brock replacement and it also works great. I know it's not the original, but neither is the engine so I'm fine with it.

 I've had more problems with Holley carbs than any other make over the last 50 years. But probably due to them being on the cheaper worn out cars of my youth than quality issues. ( Had a lot of old Ford's as a kid).

 My preference is the Rochester Q-jet over the rest.  But I have no problem with E-brock's as they seem to be the only one making affordable new ones.

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Rebuilding a 4GC was the second thing that I ever did while working on cars.  I just followed directions and I may have been lucky but it came out well and worked fine.  I just gave this guy ten dollars for a 56 Chevy carb and manifold and put it on my 58 Chevy and it did wonders.  I remember the kit cost about six dollars.

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A word to all those whose car came with and has a Q jet. A replacement Edelbrock will never work as good as a Q jet in any capacity, especially for mileage and on the other side of the coin - performance.

 

It's not just carburetors that get replace needlessly, just go to your local parts store and ask for bearings, brushes, slip rings and a diode pack for your 1969 alternator let alone a 1959 generators parts. At least you can still get a carburetor kit.  

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"Why are so many changing to Edelbrock Carburetors?"

 

Hmmm, since I obviously don't know each and every individuals reason for doing it, here's some of my guesses:

 

- Marketing ! Just like with most other everyday decision making in consumerism, advertising/marketing (a.k.a. brainwashing) is very, very strong influencer on lot of it.

 

- Secondly (and as importantly as above), like Mr. "carbking" and others have noted, most people, including many so-called professional restorers, etc, let alone hobbyist, don't really know what a good carburetor rebuilding requires or what properly working one actually means. Most seem to think that dunking into or spraying it with some solvent and replacing a few caskets is a "rebuild", kind of like so many consider car having been freshly painted, upholstered and with a new set of white wall tires being "completely" or "fully" restored.

 

And like someone mentioned, replacing an old, perhaps previously badly mistreated, precision instrument with something new and shiny, which may appear working better or just enough can seem like an easy solution.

 

While I'm also a lifelong  "(vintage) Hot Rod" guy, I find it quite funny (and very sad) whenever I see some of their ("Hot Rod") engines loaded with multiple carburetors and every chromed or polished bling trinket available at their favorite print or online catalog. Yet so many of these "show off" things rarely seem to work very well.

OTOH, if it makes their owners happy or proud and helps to keep their "mechanic" employed, who am I to question ?

 

 

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9 hours ago, Pfeil said:

A word to all those whose car came with and has a Q jet. A replacement Edelbrock will never work as good as a Q jet in any capacity, especially for mileage and on the other side of the coin - performance.

 

It's not just carburetors that get replace needlessly, just go to your local parts store and ask for bearings, brushes, slip rings and a diode pack for your 1969 alternator let alone a 1959 generators parts. At least you can still get a carburetor kit.  

Around here, carburetor parts only by special order. The local FLAPS don't even stock mounting gaskets for Holleys.

 

The replacement eclone quadrajets have a horrible reputation. With experience with eclone AFB's I never have bothered even looking at the eclone quadrajets.

 

 
8 hours ago, TTR said:

While I'm also a lifelong  "(vintage) Hot Rod" guy, I find it quite funny (and very sad) whenever I see some of their ("Hot Rod") engines loaded with multiple carburetors and every chromed or polished bling trinket available at their favorite print or online catalog. Yet so many of these "show off" things rarely seem to work very well.

OTOH, if it makes their owners happy or proud and helps to keep their "mechanic" employed, who am I to question ?

Most multiple carb set-ups are done for "eye- candy"; but multiple carbs, when properly selected and calibrated WITH A WELL DESIGNED INTAKE MANIFOLD, will work better than a single carb due to better average cylinder fill density. The flow characteristics of many of the aftermarket intakes is worse (some much worse) than the factory intakes.

 

And the bottom line for any of this is: if the owner is happy with whatever he/she is using, then.........................................................the owner is happy.

 

Jon

 

 

 
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Are you looking at a ebrock carb or ebrock efi?  There is a trend now that guys are trading in their carbs for one of the many efi's now available. I was seriously considering it when I had the motor built in my 77 T/A. I saw a lot of guys doing it and figured it must be the way to go. I am sure a lot of people fall into that mindset. My mechanic said I would be crazy to do so, given how much I planned on driving my car (not a daily driver). He rebuilt the Qjet and my car runs fantastic!! Every time I see one at a show I ask the owners opinion and generally get the same answers. They run great, get a bit better mileage, but no more power and were a pain to get tuned in. It seems it is more common than not to hear stories about taking a great effort to get them dialed in just right. Another comment is that 'the car starts on the first click everytime'. I think this is a perception that people now have after years of driving modern efi vehicles. I may be doing it wrong but I grew up with carburated cars, my go to is a couple of quick pumps on the gas pedal followed by the key. Most of the times it starts, every now and then another pump and it fires up. Regardless of weather or time of year.  At a starting point of around $1k I will keep my Qjet tuned and put that money elsewhere.

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10 hours ago, Pfeil said:

A word to all those whose car came with and has a Q jet. A replacement Edelbrock will never work as good as a Q jet in any capacity, especially for mileage and on the other side of the coin - performance.

 

It's not just carburetors that get replace needlessly, just go to your local parts store and ask for bearings, brushes, slip rings and a diode pack for your 1969 alternator let alone a 1959 generators parts. At least you can still get a carburetor kit.  

The Qjet is arguably the most sophisticated 4bbl carb ever designed (some claim that distinction belongs to the ThermoQuad, but I classify that as a Qjet wannabe). Unfortunately that sophistication and resulting complexity requires people with sufficient skill and patience to set one up properly. Most people lack this.

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10 hours ago, TTR said:

While I'm also a lifelong  "(vintage) Hot Rod" guy, I find it quite funny (and very sad) whenever I see some of their ("Hot Rod") engines loaded with multiple carburetors and every chromed or polished bling trinket available at their favorite print or online catalog. Yet so many of these "show off" things rarely seem to work very well.

OTOH, if it makes their owners happy or proud and helps to keep their "mechanic" employed, who am I to question ?

Yeah, but I've been following the Facebook posts from folks on Hot Rod Power Tour this year. It amazes me the number of breakdowns people are talking about, primarily in aftermarket systems that they added. People apparently don't build cars to drive, they build them to just make it to their local cruise night, show off, and mimic what they see in cable shows (not realizing that these shows and magazines are really infomercials to hawk the products of their sponsors). I've pretty much given up trying to tell people that the most reliable hardware is the stuff that was engineered and tested at the factory for a particular application. Everyone "knows" that they MUST convert to disc brakes, then they complain that the car doesn't stop any better than stock. And I find it hard to believe that someone who can't adjust a simple carb and points will be able to properly install and tune an integrated EFI and ignition system. As you said, their money, their choice.

 

2 hours ago, carbking said:

Around here, carburetor parts only by special order. The local FLAPS don't even stock mounting gaskets for Holleys.

Worse than that, you can't even buy parts to rebuild an alternator or starter any more, just complete rebuilt units (that usually have a 50% return rate due to crappy workmanship). I stockpile spares like brushes, solenoids, voltage regulators, and starter drives to avoid the wait for repair parts. Fortunately most of my vehicles use common parts so it's pretty easy. Heck, it can be a challenge to find correct sealed beam headlights and wiper blades anymore.

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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It was nearly 30 years ago that I spent the better part of a day working with Tom Toal, one of the Rochester Products designers of the Quadrajet. He had a shelf with a few "Gold" carburetors from the divisions. Those were carbs tuned in field tests to give the best all around performance on a division engine, painted gold, set back to the plant as the standard for manufacture. Even when new GM allowed room for tuning. Tom told me that carburation is not a science. It is an art due to the many variables. He did complement me on my skills, but neither of us could fix the problem with the 4GC we worked on. He even questioned that I might be a plant sent by other engineers to play a joke on him.

I have always taken the time and effort to delve into the very basics of carbs as well as many other subjects. I like to make the off hand comment that a carburetor is just a pot of fuel on top of the engine with some orifices.

 

The number of carbureted vehicles in my life is down to two. And future carbed cars may only be transient. At almost 75, the reading table next to my easy chair has these current reads:

This is what the current generation is learning and my computerized cars are outnumbering the carbs. The effort to span generational knowledge could be the key to a longer life.

544702664_IMG_0314(1).JPG.efdf00838bb21725f0c0e2bacaba010c.JPG

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2 hours ago, carbking said:

Around here, carburetor parts only by special order. The local FLAPS don't even stock mounting gaskets for Holleys.

 

The replacement eclone quadrajets have a horrible reputation. With experience with eclone AFB's I never have bothered even looking at the eclone quadrajets.

 

 

Most multiple carb set-ups are done for "eye- candy"; but multiple carbs, when properly selected and calibrated WITH A WELL DESIGNED INTAKE MANIFOLD, will work better than a single carb due to better average cylinder fill density. The flow characteristics of many of the aftermarket intakes is worse (some much worse) than the factory intakes.

 

And the bottom line for any of this is: if the owner is happy with whatever he/she is using, then.........................................................the owner is happy.

 

Jon

 

 

 

My understanding is Edelbrock doesn't make EQjets anymore

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2 hours ago, TAKerry said:

Are you looking at a ebrock carb or ebrock efi?  There is a trend now that guys are trading in their carbs for one of the many efi's now available. I was seriously considering it when I had the motor built in my 77 T/A. I saw a lot of guys doing it and figured it must be the way to go. I am sure a lot of people fall into that mindset. My mechanic said I would be crazy to do so, given how much I planned on driving my car (not a daily driver). He rebuilt the Qjet and my car runs fantastic!! Every time I see one at a show I ask the owners opinion and generally get the same answers. They run great, get a bit better mileage, but no more power and were a pain to get tuned in. It seems it is more common than not to hear stories about taking a great effort to get them dialed in just right. Another comment is that 'the car starts on the first click everytime'. I think this is a perception that people now have after years of driving modern efi vehicles. I may be doing it wrong but I grew up with carburated cars, my go to is a couple of quick pumps on the gas pedal followed by the key. Most of the times it starts, every now and then another pump and it fires up. Regardless of weather or time of year.  At a starting point of around $1k I will keep my Qjet tuned and put that money elsewhere.

I live in Prescott AZ and there are a lot of car guys around here, and there are quite a few car guy garage sales / estate sales. Whenever there are Q jets for sale I buy  them up cheap and go through them. Best 4bbl carb made. 

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Thank you everyone for all the replies, I can't believe all "views" this question received,  and all the replies, I never imagined when I submitted this post that many would reply! I love this forum!

 

TAKerry asked  "Are you looking at a ebrock carb or ebrock efi? "

 

I am not in the market for either, but I am just curious as to why people are changing from OEM to Edelbrock , cost, easier than fixing the original, convenience 1 phone call or 1 button on line purchase, other?

 

Bob

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The reasons are legion. As examples...

 

These buyers don't know how a carb works or how to clean, rebuild or set one up, and have no desire or ambition to learn.

 

They buy into "factory stuff is no good" and "follow the herd" mentality because someone as ignorant as themselves said so.

 

The list can go on and on.

 

Bottom line is you won't find much better carburetion for most engines than what the factory engineers designed.

 

There are people who can tailor an aftermarket carb for equal or better performance than the factory design but I have yet to see any aftermarket carb than can do that out of the box. Those require tuning to get the most out of them. 

 

If a car owner can't clean and rebuild his engine's factory carburetor, it's highly doubtful he can tune an aftermarket one-size-fits-all carb to perform optimally.

 

On those Edelquadrajets, there have been topics on plenty of car forums that convinced me I want nothing to do with one. When it takes a highly regarded QuadraJet builder hours of work to get it to work even reasonably well with a ubiquitous mild Chevrolet 350, either the design or the manufacturing was bad.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Pfeil said:

I live in Prescott AZ and there are a lot of car guys around here, and there are quite a few car guy garage sales / estate sales. Whenever there are Q jets for sale I buy  them up cheap and go through them. Best 4bbl carb made. 

There are some Qjets that are highly sought after. The one on my T/A is very specific and hard to find. I looked for about 2 years before I found one up the road a short bit of all places. And he did not want a kings ransome for it.

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One  factor, already mentioned, that has significantly contributed to the rise of the clones, is the price of original carburetors.

 

There is a fully restored correct 1969 Ram Air Firebird/GTO carb on Ebay right now for more than 8K. If there are any currently doing a build needing the build date on the carb, I have no doubt that it will sell.

 

This is just one example. Someone that just purchased a 1969 Firebird with an aftermarket intake, and an aftermarket Holley that is not interested in numbers, might opt for one of the clones. Not sure which, the aftermarket Holley or the aftermarket eclone, would get the better fuel economy; but neither would come close to the original.

 

Lots of factory performance carbs have just gone through the roof in price the last few years. But there are a few (1956~1961 Chevy 2x4 is one) that have significantly decreased.

 

Jon

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One of the few original parts to the engine for my Tenth Anniversary Trans Am missing was the carb. The 4 speed car was diff. than the auto, and very few 4 speed cars were built in 79. The average price to find the correct coded carb was $700 =/- . Not quite what one for a 69 goes for but still not chump change. And the ones that are being offered for sale are junk. I had one of my guys looking, after about 6 months he called and said he did find the carb in his parts stash, and he wanted $125 for it. I made a bee line the next day to his house. Figuring it wasnt going to be the right one, but what the heck if it worked I still needed a carb. Much to my surprise it was indeed the part that I needed.

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9 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

There are some Qjets that are highly sought after. The one on my T/A is very specific and hard to find.

Pretty much every GM carb is application and year specific. There's a reason why the Rochester Carb "bible" is this thick.

 

IMG_20171201_132315831.jpg.9b0479e48b34164326f88a4157a5130e.jpgIMG_20171201_132324240_HDR.jpg.3779f2a47eed8660e9230c557d55e8a8.jpg

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5 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

Worse than that, you can't even buy parts to rebuild an alternator or starter any more, just complete rebuilt units (that usually have a 50% return rate due to crappy workmanship). I stockpile spares like brushes, solenoids, voltage regulators, and starter drives to avoid the wait for repair parts. Fortunately most of my vehicles use common parts so it's pretty easy. Heck, it can be a challenge to find correct sealed beam headlights and wiper blades anymore.

 

There was an excellent guy that rebuilt starters and alternators out of a shop in the corner of his property.

He had an old school shop with tons of cores on shelves and you could talk to him and his helper about anything starter or alternator/generator related.

His turn around time was excellent and I always got my original pieces back looking and working like new for less than a rebuilt, exchange unit would cost.

Unfortunately, he passed away about 4 years ago and the business completely shut down.

Shops like that are getting as rare as hen's teeth.

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10 minutes ago, zepher said:

 

There was an excellent guy that rebuilt starters and alternators out of a shop in the corner of his property.

He had an old school shop with tons of cores on shelves and you could talk to him and his helper about anything starter or alternator/generator related.

His turn around time was excellent and I always got my original pieces back looking and working like new for less than a rebuilt, exchange unit would cost.

Unfortunately, he passed away about 4 years ago and the business completely shut down.

Shops like that are getting as rare as hen's teeth.

I used to buy my starter / generator/alternator parts from a shop in Inglewood Ca. The two-man shop was there when I was a kid going there with my pop getting parts or the use of a growler (for free). Then one day they were gone, 50+ years I'd say. Then, I found another shop in Carson Ca. over by Harbor General and then they disappeared too. You know when I was a kid in H/S auto shop and also by my dad, they taught us kids how to rebuild those things and now I can't get the parts to do it.   

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29 minutes ago, zepher said:

 

There was an excellent guy that rebuilt starters and alternators out of a shop in the corner of his property.

He had an old school shop with tons of cores on shelves and you could talk to him and his helper about anything starter or alternator/generator related.

His turn around time was excellent and I always got my original pieces back looking and working like new for less than a rebuilt, exchange unit would cost.

Unfortunately, he passed away about 4 years ago and the business completely shut down.

Shops like that are getting as rare as hen's teeth.

I've never used a shop, I do it myself.

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7 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

I have watched the aftermarket carb swaps since the middle 1960's. The most common post-swap comment I have heard is "Man, your car sounds like its got a cam in it!"

And to some people, that's a feature. 😉

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11 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

I've never used a shop, I do it myself.

Getting the parts to rebuild one myself was always the problem.
Plus, the guy did amazing work and even replated or vapor blasted the anodized parts to make them look like new.

 

And he did work on anything from pre-war stuff to modern accessories. 

Edited by zepher (see edit history)
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