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Discussion Starter #1
What's up guys, this is a little bit of a rant, with some good tech thrown in. Maybe i just need a distraction from politics today, but i wanted to write this in defense of carburetors.

From my many posts, i am a big fan of carbs, this doesn't mean i hate EFI, it simply means that i can get the same job done with a simpler, cheaper, more understandable device. By no means am i an expert of either method of air/fuel management, but for me, there is something very satisfying about using strictly mechanic agents to control all the aspects of what's going on under the hood. Not sure if i would feel this way about Mod motors, but for a push rod motor it just seems to jive :)

i love the freedom from wires, sensors, CEL's, injectors, and Maf's. Big air cleaners, big fuel lines, and fender walls free from holes!

IMO when EFI works, it's great, don't mess with it. but none of us bought these cars to just leave them alone. I know that modern aftermarket EFI is getting cheaper/easier all of the time, but it will never be cheaper than a carbureted set up. wide bands/data logging will never compare the ease of vacuum gauges, plug reading. i know with new tech, comes better management, more power/MPG etc... but that all costs more/more things to break. this also requires me going to tuners, which are not that available to many. It also means getting a good tuner, how many of us have been burned by tuners?? I would take an old school mechanic who knows his way around a engine over a scanner-reading "tech" any day.

I know the common arguments. EFI=better MPG. this i will not argue, BUT like all things you have to compare the cost. if you can squeeze 5 more MPG at the cost of $2,000 how many gallons of fuel would it take to offset the initial cost? for DD's, EFI makes sense, but for weekend toys, that see low miles, carb's fit the bill. (like paying $40K for a hybrid version of a $30K car, to save at the pump, you may save some in the looooong run)

EFI=more power. this is hotly debated, and all i can say is power equals $$$$ usually the guys with the most, go the fastest regardless of the method. i have a buddy running his $30K car against some $200,000-$400,000 programs. He usually loses by a few 10'ths, but for what he's got into it, he couldn't be happier!

Driveability/cold starts/etc.... a properly tuned carb with a choke will give you about 90-95% the same manners as a OEM EFI car.

As far as emissions/smog/etc... that is something i have been fortunate enough to not have to deal with. i am not out there trying to pollute, but i would HATE living in a state/county that does not allow motorswaps/conversions.

I have to say my favorite factor of a carbed set up is the ease/cheapness of it. Mustangs are the working mans sports cars, that can take the rich boys lunch money with a little work! i sold off a 351w based EFI set up for about $1,500. i did this a few times, and i replaced it with about $600 worth of components. this helped me put my project back on the road months ahead of what i was expecting, due to paying for it as i went. originally i thought i would go EFI in the future, and just start with a carb to get it broken in, but i have been smitten by my carb now! i am still learning the total ins and outs of tuning carbs, but the more i learn, the more i like them. i hate the idea of going to tuners, relying on sensors, computers, etc... i want to control all aspects of my car. a carb lets me do this.

So the point of all of this is if YOU are considering a winter project/daily driver/Auto X champ/etc... don't count out carburetors. i have some recommendations based upon experience if anyone is interested....stuff that could have saved me some frustration.

thx guys!
 

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LOL - so what is it? This -- "In defense of Carburetors!" or this:

"BEFORE I SWAPPED TO THE NEW CARB, i was having issue with the previous edelbrock dieseling at shut down, and a few back fires, but nothing major. i have had this carb one the motor since day 1, and once i got it adjusted, no issues. i assumed i had gotten bad gas, i put in some premium from a different location, and the dieseling was less, but still there about 1/3 times. like i said it had never dieseled before, and i think it all stared when it backfired, and blew off a coups of vacuum plugs.

Now i am trying to get the new carb to work. i attempted for the first time yesterday and i flooded it pretty bad fouling the plugs and caught fire 3-4 times. ;(

i have now gone through:
1. all new plugs
2. triple checked my wire routing/firing order
3. confirmed TDC on #1 cylinder, and it matches the diz button
4. pulled valve covers, all is good.

i am trying to figure out why keep catching fire???? everything says that that is an ignition issue, but nothing has changed, and it only started doiing this recently. i got the new carb to run at a really high idle, and as i was backing it down, i blipped the throttle, causing the squirters to squirt, and it caught fire again.

any help would be greatly appreciated."
 

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LOL - so what is it? This -- "In defense of Carburetors!" or this:

"BEFORE I SWAPPED TO THE NEW CARB, i was having issue with the previous edelbrock dieseling at shut down, and a few back fires, but nothing major. i have had this carb one the motor since day 1, and once i got it adjusted, no issues. i assumed i had gotten bad gas, i put in some premium from a different location, and the dieseling was less, but still there about 1/3 times. like i said it had never dieseled before, and i think it all stared when it backfired, and blew off a coups of vacuum plugs.

Now i am trying to get the new carb to work. i attempted for the first time yesterday and i flooded it pretty bad fouling the plugs and caught fire 3-4 times. ;(

i have now gone through:
1. all new plugs
2. triple checked my wire routing/firing order
3. confirmed TDC on #1 cylinder, and it matches the diz button
4. pulled valve covers, all is good.

i am trying to figure out why keep catching fire???? everything says that that is an ignition issue, but nothing has changed, and it only started doiing this recently. i got the new carb to run at a really high idle, and as i was backing it down, i blipped the throttle, causing the squirters to squirt, and it caught fire again.

any help would be greatly appreciated."

LOL, where did you find that jem?

.....Oh! http://forums.corral.net/forums/gen...-its-beautiful-weekend-carburetor-issues.html
 

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I know that modern aftermarket EFI is getting cheaper/easier all of the time, but it will never be cheaper than a carbureted set up.
But for a car that already comes with factory EFI, it could also be said that a carb you don't already have will never match the cost of what is already on the car. Now, of course, most people will be wanting to get new intake manifolds, throttle bodies, MAFs, etc., and I don't really know how much carb setups are in comparison. You mentioned aftermarket EFI, though, and it is a false comparison to use that as the standard for EFI when most people are running modified stock EFI.

wide bands/data logging will never compare the ease of vacuum gauges, plug reading.
Who said that wideband and other (external sensor-based, not from the ECU of course) data logging is for EFI and the old school methods are for carb? It depends on how close to perfect you want to get it. They didn't fail to use those back when carbs were the norm because the mechanics shunned the complexity... they simply did not exist at that point. Now, you could have a computer log the RPM, manifold vacuum, and air:fuel ratio, and that graph would be tremendously useful in getting the carb dialed in.

Reading plugs is great for main jet size, but you can still have idle and transition circuit issues that will drive you nuts, and those can't be read by plugs, and there is no chance of datalogging from the ECU to see what the carb is doing. Technology can be complex, but it also improves things.

i know with new tech, comes better management, more power/MPG etc...
...longer engine life from less gas dilution of the oil...

but that all costs more/more things to break.
More part numbers doesn't necessarily mean "more things to break." If you consider the EFI system as a whole, the way you consider a carb a whole (rather than dozens of tiny parts), then it is one thing in each case. It's a good deal easier to check and replace (if necessary) a sensor than to tear the carb down and try to figure out a fuel problem.

A carb has many parts within it that can fail too... lots of passages that could plug up (and are more prone to that than fuel injectors are), various diaphragms that could be rotted out by the gasohol crap we're forced to run these days, et cetera. And when that happens, you don't get a CEL to warn you something has changed. The CEL is not a burden-- it's a gift. It can be a PITA when the government forces Ford to engineer the CEL to light up when we modify our cars, but it still has more utility than detriment.

this also requires me going to tuners, which are not that available to many.
I've never been down that road, but why are they not available to many?

It also means getting a good tuner, how many of us have been burned by tuners?? I would take an old school mechanic who knows his way around a engine over a scanner-reading "tech" any day.
How many old school mechanics that know how to tune carbs are there around? I'd guess you're just as likely to be burned by a bad carb tuner as a bad EFI tuner, if you can even find one. You don't just slap a carb on the engine, hook up a gas line and throttle cable (and power for the automatic choke), and call it a day.

if you can squeeze 5 more MPG at the cost of $2,000 how many gallons of fuel would it take to offset the initial cost?
These days, about four. ;)

for DD's, EFI makes sense, but for weekend toys, that see low miles, carb's fit the bill. (like paying $40K for a hybrid version of a $30K car, to save at the pump, you may save some in the looooong run)
I must admit that I don't get the "weekend toy" mindset. If I have a car that I like to drive, I want to drive it all the time. I don't want to drive a boring car for all the necessary trips to work, stores, etc., and then have a car I enjoy which I drive for entertainment. I can do my entertainment driving and my drudgery driving at the same time, and that way the commute and errands are not nearly as bad.

Driveability/cold starts/etc.... a properly tuned carb with a choke will give you about 90-95% the same manners as a OEM EFI car.
Properly tuned... therein lies the rub. It's not always a simple thing to get a carb into that category. And even if it does have decent driveability, odds are great that it is still dumping a lot of extra gas into your oil while it is doing it.

Not only that, but a carb is only in tune at the elevation at which it is tuned. If you go up or down in elevation, it will be too rich or too lean, which can lead to driveability issues.

I have to say my favorite factor of a carbed set up is the ease/cheapness of it.
Except that they're not necessarily any easier, and they're not cheaper than an EFI system that is already on the car (subject to the caveats above).

i want to control all aspects of my car. a carb lets me do this.
Depends on how you look at it. You can't control the air:fuel ratio with anything close to the precision of an EFI system. You can't have a carb tailor the mixture and spark advance to the engine's need in terms of load, coolant temperature, and RPM. The only way to get that level of control is to use EFI-- a carb is not up to the task.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
M.Y, I realize the irony from someone who is still having issues and trying to work it out. My point is simple that this trial and error process that I am dealing with is part of the fun, and I don't mind it, considering the alternative.

Asc, I'll check on your reply later, only got a sec.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ascaris, I'm on my phone, so I'll be brief. Most of what I have been referring to is for highly modified motors. When I said working EFI is great, I meant it, and you have certainly hit those points, my point for this post was to try to help the guys who are pushing the envelope of what their OEM EFI could do. I hit that wall, and my alternatives were carb (bew eauipment, efi new equipment/pay someone to tune it for me. Or really high end new equipment that I could try to tune myself. If you are ever in the boat of having to make that choice, the difference ease of a carb is really appealing!

More to come later.
 

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Just jerkin' your chain a bit -- there is actually a logical resolution to the apparent paradox that the 2 posts pose (nice bit of alliteration there). And that is -- you probably fixed it yourself!

I'm old enough to have spent significant time in both worlds (efi and carb). My first car was a '55 Chevy with the venerable stovebolt 6. A raging 1 bbl Rochester carb. Haven't owned carbed car since '78. Can't imagine ever owning one again. My preference. And that's all it is - preference.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i'd be the first to admit that this car has been a huge learning experience. i just like the ability to try to correct the issues on my own, the trial and error part is the learning experience.

im not opposed to new tech, just can't afford it ;) but seriously, i am considering getting a good base line, then doing some trial and error, comparison to try to get the best tune. might even use a wideband along the way!

as far as the DD vs. Toy, if you have a bolt on car, then daily duty is no big deal, but if you have a pretty modified machine, then DD is typically not ideal. i am blessed to be in FL, so my motorcycle is my daily, but even in the past i had to have an automatic daily. not driving it ever day makes you appreciate it more. it's also nice to be able to take your time, and not have to hustle to get the job done, so you can go to work the next day. (spent a lot of sunday nights like that).
 

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I've had two foxes w very similar gt40 motors (an 85 and a 93) and to over simplify...

In my experience:
carb-better mid to top power.
efi-crispier and better low to mid.
 

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I'm also old enough to still remember the days of carbs and use to rebuild them too (OEM customers cars, stock) although as for having experience with "performance tuning", not so much and that was ~30 yrs ago too.

If any car came with EFI, I'd keep it EFI. I'd prefer EFI anyday and you can "tune" that just as well (if not better) than a carb IMHO.

The ONLY reason my Mustang has a carb is that it came that way from Day 1 and changing it to EFI would be costly and a hassle.
 

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I think of it this way. EFI guys will pretty much always love, and run EFI, while carb guys will always pretty much love and keep their engines carbed.

Its sorta like pro life, vs abortion, or gun control. Your just not going to convince one to change to the other.

My preference is carbs mostly for the reasons the OP stated, except that I drive mine EVERYDAY. Plus they will ALWAYS be cheaper, and easier to tune than EFI, IMO.

For example one sensor can cost almost as much as a new carb.
 

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I think of it this way. EFI guys will pretty much always love, and run EFI, while carb guys will always pretty much love and keep their engines carbed.

Its sorta like pro life, vs abortion, or gun control. Your just not going to convince one to change to the other.

My preference is carbs mostly for the reasons the OP stated, except that I drive mine EVERYDAY. Plus they will ALWAYS be cheaper, and easier to tune than EFI, IMO.

For example one sensor can cost almost as much as a new carb.
Which sensor??
 

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Which sensor??
I'm not going to get into semantics's with you, but I can think of one right off my head, and that is the MAF sensor {performance version##.

Vortech Maxflow Mass Airflow Sensor Housings 8A202-022 - SummitRacing.com

Like I mentioned before EFI's will argue down everything that is good about a carb setup, and the carb guys will do the same to EFI.

Its a no win argument, which is why I'm going to stop here.

You like EFI fine, I like carbs fine..........
 

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I'm not going to get into semantics's with you, but I can think of one right off my head, and that is the MAF sensor {performance version##.

Vortech Maxflow Mass Airflow Sensor Housings 8A202-022 - SummitRacing.com

Like I mentioned before EFI's will argue down everything that is good about a carb setup, and the carb guys will do the same to EFI.

Its a no win argument, which is why I'm going to stop here.

You like EFI fine, I like carbs fine..........
You chose the absolute most expensive MAF made. I bet the most expensive carb made is more though..
 

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in my case carb was cheaper and i wish i had started with carb. my car had a used edelbrock intake set up on it and after replacing iac, maf, temp sensors, tps and im sure more i have forgot it still would not idle right. i got a used edelbrock carb $50 and a used air gap edelbrock intake $175 quick fuel regulator $70 the car runs like a champ!! fired as soon as i hit the key and never felt as strong as it does now.

like he said, efi is great when working as it should but after 20 some years old it can be a PITA to test unlike obd2 systems that are very reliable and easy to correct issues.

BTW: i think it was the injectors giving me issues causing loading up on two cylinders but i was done with efi at that point and refused to put anymore money in that setup
 

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I bought my fox already swapped. I learned how carburetors work and how to diagnose problems and tune them, and I love it. Add to that it's a toy and may only see 5k a year, and I doubt I'll ever go back to efi in this particular car. I'm about to pull the trigger on an 87 gt to fix up and DD and it will likely stay injected because it's all already there and (probably) functional. If I ever get to the point where that car becomes a toy like this one and I've maxed out the stock efi, it will be carbureted as well. Upgrading fuel injection is much more costly than upgrading a carbed car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i'm glad to see im not the only one who appreciates a carburetor. as stated from the VERY beginning, working functional EFI, GREAT! but once you really, really get into some performance mods, you come to the cross road. especially if you are building it all from scratch.

Do you want to use a stock ecu, 20 year old sensors, buy bigger maf/injectors, and then pay someone to make it all "play nice together"? maybe i just got screwed with my SN factory computer, but it seemed that EVERY mod i did messed up the idle, caused stumbling, etc... i would ask how to fix these things, and people would refer me to "trick a sensor" kinds of mods/products. i do not like using hokey things like that, but i also didn't have access to any reputable tuners. the folks i talked to would recommend buying aftermarket stand alone set ups to i could change parameters on my own. i don't feel comfortable with that, and the price is too high for it to be feasible. the newer cars all come with programmers. add a CAI, plug & tune. that would be sweet, but not going to happen for our dinosaur pushrod mo'chines!

bottom line, i like turning wrenches, not programming my car. ANYONE has the ability to tune a carburetor. Like me, it may be a little bit of trial and error, doing some research, reading a book, but you have the tools available. i like that.

I do not like the idea of paying someone to program it. then i need to factor in the cost of RE-paying them to change things in the future if i plan any upgrades. If total, 110% MAX power, push the envelope, kick the tires & light the fires then yeah, get the biggest/baddest stand alone EFI set up, pay to dyno every last bit of power out of it, and post your results. i would like to be that guy if i had the coin, but for me it all comes back to $, and a carb will get you comparable power all day long, and it's cheap.

$.02
 

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EFI can become expensive if the end user has no experience with tuning parameters, thus buying an expensive aftermarket system for simplicity. i found it the same with carb setups, i.e. proper intake and a good carb.

winter 2010 i was looking for a way to tune my SD setup and found there isnt much out there for what i wanted. most people opt for the mass air setup. after digging around in a few JYs, i discovered that i am at the mercy of the aftermarket or private sellers. i couldnt justify shoveling out $$$ to a privateer who knew that its a popular upgrade and priced to match the demand. hell no, i dont want an overpriced factory setup. and furthermore, i dug around for some mass air calibrations and didnt find anything other than stock calibrations. i also cant justify spending cash on a stock calibration with no hac for further modification or complete disassembly. too expensive. ive already played around with GM cals at the time, with my blazer. so i figured, hell with it, im gonna swap to a GM ecm and use a highly developed calibration. went to the JY, grabbed a harness and ecm out of a 92 pontiac sunbird with the 3.1 v6. the ecm is p/n 1227730, same as those used in the TPI F bodys. used the important parts of the EEC harness, didnt even touch the fuel pump circuit. blah, blah, blah. only mod was to the guts of the TFI dizzy, it now has duraspark guts and a GM ICM where the TFI was located, only noticable different is a heat sink. a couple of other things were changed but this is already a novel. so anyway, engine is contolled via GM ecm, with all the capes of smog crap, high resolution fuel and spark tables, even extended to 8K rpms. thats just naming a few. also has high speed datalogging, WBO2 patched into the datastream, and i can control whatever data i want to see. other capes include, switching code/masks for 2/3 bar boost, or nitrous. no adjusting for elevation, temp, baro, temperature like a carby. tuning is mainly done from the driverseat. only items under the hood that need set is minimum air and base timing.

cost...
lots of time studying lol
50 bucks for ecm and harness, snuck out with a MAP and IAC for free.99 too
coolant sensor 10 bucks
GM ICM 40 bucks
reused ford TPS
reused factory NBO2 sensor and harness
add 20 bucks for butane/solder/shrink wrap
a few small things im forgetting

total cost ~150 bucks for a system thats better than EEC capes and some argue its better than MS.

other tuning gear...
moates ostrich 2.0 150 bucks
tunerpro-free
calibration-free

downside is learning how to tune, but thats free. lots more support for GM cals, IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow, never even considered that option. Good thinking!
 
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