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FAQs Concerning Carburetors
Does your classic car have a carburetor or use fuel injection?
Very few models built after 1990 offered carburetors. That group includes the Subaru Justy, Isuzu Pickup, Honda Prelude, Jeep Grand Wagoneer and police interceptor versions of the Ford Crown Victoria. By the late 1980s, nearly every model sold in the US had some type of fuel injection, including throttle-body injection (TBI) units.
Where is the carburetor located?
On top of the engine’s intake manifold.
How many barrels are there in a typical carburetor?
That answer varies, depending on the vehicle. All carburetors come with at least one barrel or passageway, also known as a Venturi. Cars built during the 1950s typically offered, four-, six- and eight-barrel carburetors. By the 1970s, most vehicles offered one-, two- and four-barrel carburetors. The larger the engine displacement, the more likely you will find a multi-barrel carburetor for optimum air distribution.
Signs You Need a New Carburetor
- Sign 1 - Sluggish engine performance. Any change to engine performance may point to a failing carburetor. This problem is evident when acceleration falls off or fuel economy declines.
- Sign 2 - Difficulty starting. A failing carburetor won’t offer the proper fuel-air mixture, making it difficult to start the car.
- Sign 3 - Engine overheating or backfiring. Anytime an engine overheats or backfires usually points to a problem with the carburetor. Ignore this problem and you may face more costly repairs to the engine.
- Sign 4 - Dark smoke from the exhaust. An engine running too much fuel will make the exhaust smoke dark, even black. An increase in pollution and fuel consumed may mean the carburetor needs replacing.
- One-, two- and four-barrel - Smaller engines typically have one barrel or passageway for mixing air and fuel. Most classic cars utilize two barrels, while performance models such as the 1964 Chevrolet Corvette with a 327 cubic-inch engine runs with a Holley four-barrel carburetor.
- Two-barrel subtype - You’ll find a pair of subtype two-barrel carburetors offered when shopping for a replacement part. The first type contains throttles that open simultaneously, while the second type opens at different speeds.
- Side draft - Carburetors that allow air to flow in horizontally are known as side draft units. These units are ideal for engines where space is limited.
- Down draft - Like other carburetors, down draft carburetors sit on top of the engine. Larger barrels are employed and utilize gravity to deploy the fuel-air mix to an engine’s cylinders.
How to Install a New Carburetor
- Obtain the correct carburetor for your vehicle. Once you remove the old carburetor, move on to the next step to install the new carburetor.
- Apply grease to the gaskets. Rub grease or gasket sealer on both sides of the gasket for improved sealing.
- Install gaskets. Install the first gasket on top of the engine intake manifold. Next, install the spacer, before adding the second gasket.
- Mount the carburetor. Place the carburetor on top of the gaskets, securing in place with studs.
- Attach cable linkage. Secure cable linkage to the carburetor then tighten each stud with a ratchet wrench.
How to Solve Common Auto Carburetor Problems
- The carburetor is dirty - Not all performance problems require a new carburetor. Built up deposits should be removed with a product such as Gumout Carb/Choke & Parts Cleaner. With the engine cool, remove the air cleaner and clean the inside of the carburetor and the linkage. Allow to penetrate and clean.
- Engine is flooded - A flooded engine can cause a fire, especially if the fuel flows out of the carburetor onto a hot engine. The problem here may be the float is set too high or leaks. Adjust same or replace the float as necessary.
- The car hesitates when driving - Any kind of vehicle hesitation or stumbling suggests the power valve inside the auto carburetor needs replacing.
- Old fuel is the culprit - If you stored your classic car and didn’t take the necessary steps to remove the old fuel, then that could be reason your car is running poorly. Siphon and properly recycle the old fuel and replace with new gasoline. Buy carburetors online or visit your local Advance Auto Parts store and have one of our knowledgeable Team Members help you.
What should I use to maintain my carburetor?
Maintain it with Gumout.
Are there parts associated with the carburetor that may need replacing?
The float or power valve may need replacing.
What does it mean if my car stalls?
It could point to another problem, such as a bad spark plug.
Should I consider buying a remanufactured carburetor?
You can save money by purchasing a remanufactured carburetor, costing about half the price of a new carburetor.