CARBURETOR OR FUEL INJECTION

Fuel and Air Systems

  1. relam

    relam Well-Known Member

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    I have been getting more frustrated with the performance of my engine. I cant seem to get it to idle properly and that it chugs consistently now at about 70 mph, like its in a vapor lock. One day its totally fine then the next it runs like, well I will say crap. I am at a point of either replacing the carburetor again, or going to fuel injection system. 389 with a 4 barrel Edelbrock carb. I have rebuilt the carb once already, I have cable linkage as well and that seems to be staying in a high idle as well. When I drive and get home it seems to be idling fast in park, if I put my toe under the pedal and drop it the idle will then drop. Just little things that are making the car run inconsistently. BTW I do live in the state of California :( , so gas may be playing a part in this as well? I have played with jets on the carb and the idle adjustment but it just seems the carburetor is so inconsistent, fuel additives don't seem to do squat.
    Electronic fuel pump?
     
  2. tmaleck

    tmaleck FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Once you have a modern fuel injection system, you'll wonder why you waited. Edelbrock Proflow 4's are one of the best bang for buck IMHO.
    Tim
     
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    • relam

      relam Well-Known Member

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      Ok 1 for FI thank you TMALECK !
       
    • Don Frelier

      Don Frelier FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Yes injection is nice, but pretty sure you can't get a ProFlow for a B engine.
      For now I would suggest just taking the top off the Carb and see what it looks like.
      Usually once a carb runs crappy it doesn't self heal, but I have seen them idle better after a long trip and then same crap the next day.
      Water, rust etc...
      Filter and tank are clean?
      Fuel pump pushrod OK?
       
    • relam

      relam Well-Known Member

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      Fuel Pump less than 3 years old, I cant SaY whatTHE CONDITION OF TANK is, BUT i HAVE CONSIDERED REPLACING THE FILTER, 2 YEARS OLD now.Someone mentioned putting a gallon or two of racing fuel in at each fill up to help the performance because of the gasoline we have to deal with nowadays? Carb is clean , throats look good.
       
    • Don Frelier

      Don Frelier FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Just to be sure, it's clean INSIDE the carb?
      What is the distributor? you may want to do a quick check on the mechanical and vacuum advance if they exist.
      I've seen the advance be "sticky" and I've had a bad shaft bushing which was dry and tight that made the engine do things similar to what you describe.
      A bad ignition module "orange box" can do what you describe as chugging at 70mph. I've seen that as well.
       
    • slepr1

      slepr1 Well-Known Member

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      Seems you have other linkage issues that a carb or FI won't fix.
      I agree that a crappy carb doesn't self-heal. I have fuel injection on my 71 Cuda and a holley carb on the Cordoba. My experience so far...

      After fighting with the carb on the Doba for years I replaced it with a new carb. No more issues and runs great. Very happy and relieved.

      On the FI cuda, when it runs good I'm happy. When and if there is a problem with it I'll be lost. It will be sitting till it can be diagnosed by the help desk and I can just imagine replacement parts prices.

      Bottom line is if you don't mind the learning curve for fuel injection, it runs great. Otherwise a carb is easy and cheap to fix, diagnose or replace.
       
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      • hanks73340

        hanks73340 Well-Known Member

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        I went to the FiTech EFI. Wont look back. Had Edelbrock carb and had same issues.
         
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        • Cranky

          Cranky Banned Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Not a fan of Eddy carbs. I know some that race with them and run good but racing is much different than street driving. How many miles are on the 2 year old filter and how long does the sit between runs?
           
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          • relam

            relam Well-Known Member

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            Bout 1000 miles it’s driven once or twice every 2 weeks
             
          • 70chall440

            70chall440 Well-Known Member

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            I have an EFI 6 pack on my Challenger running a Holley computer, an EFI 6 pack on my 73 Cuda running a FAST computer, and a FITECH system on my 52 Dodge PU (330 Desoto Hemi in that). All that said, I will never run another carb if I can help it.

            If you drive the car frequently, I think either system will work fine, there is much larger expense (and work) changing to EFI, but IMO it is much more reliable especially if the vehicle sits for prolonged periods.
             
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            • CoronetDarter

              CoronetDarter Well-Known Member

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              Have an Eddy carb on the Dart; FiTech efi on the Coronet. The Dart will never see efi. Converting to efi was the biggest waste of time and money I've ever spent on a car.
              If you're having trouble tuning your carb then you will be lost trying to dial in an efi system. They are not plug n play.
              Besides the efi you gotta go intank electric fuel pump, upgrade your entire fuel delivery system. And if the charging system is stock you need a bigger alternator and upgraded wiring. And if you're experiencing any heat soak voltage drop issues when starting you need to upgrade the wiring and eliminate the voltage drop.
              So you wind up spending $4K-$5K (more if you don't do all the work yourself) and pray nothing goes wrong. Or buy the best carb out there, pay a reputable shop to throw a tune on it and you'll have an extra $4K for new tires and rims.
              Other than that, efi is the way to go.
               
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              • 66plysat

                66plysat Well-Known Member

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                I had an issue with my 66 Satellite a while ago, it would stall out for no apparent reason. I thought it was a vapor lock so I added heat resistant cover for the fuel lines and anywhere the fuel line was close to a heat source, exhaust etc. This didn't change a thing. Then on New Years Day my engine builder called me and said he figured out the problem while working on a Road Runner with the same issue as mine. He discovered the push rod in the new fuel pump was hollow with caps on each end. The end cap came off and now the fuel pump would not work correctly. He replaced the push rod with and old style solid core rod that he had remilled and saved. Once the solid push rod was installed the stalling stopped on the Road Runner. We did the same thing on my Satellite and the issue was fixed. You might want to check your fuel pump push rod and see if it has separated if it's a new style hollow rod with end caps. Good luck.
                 
              • Andew Sury

                Andew Sury FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                I have installed at least a dozen Holley Snipers on customers cars and have had zero comebacks. And you are all in for $2k with installation.
                I have played with FiTech, HallTech, MSD Atomic, the Eddy stuff, and converting old stuff to newer factory stuff and the Holley has been the least troublesome.

                I was on the fence on doing my Hemi, but I remembered I can work on carbs. Carters just being the last one I had to learn, x2
                 
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                • hanks73340

                  hanks73340 Well-Known Member

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                  You are correct when it comes to cost. Some of these can get ridiculous on costs. Sorry to hear that you may have a bad taste about EFI's.

                  At first I was somewhat leery about converting over to an EFI unit, but I was getting extremely frustrated with my carb issues that just kept going on and on. Finally after a lot of homework and talking to individuals that did convert to EFI's, I decided to convert also. I purchased the FiTech Go Street 30003 that can get you up to 400hp(some extra work is involved), but I wasn't worried about the 400hp. I just wanted consistency when starting the car, acceleration from a dead stop or when hitting it at a high speed, always worried if it stalls at a red light. Had an Edelbrock 650 and to consistently take it to my friend that has his own shop. He rebuilt it 3 times and suggested to get either a new carb or an EFI unit. I made the change. Since I never installed one before, I had him install the EFI. He ordered all the parts required and completed the job in 1 day in my garage. The cost to me was 2800.00, pizza and some beer. In my case it was plug n play. There is a little hand held device that you put in all the info required(follow the directions) and you can monitor it while driving. The more you drive, the more it learns. Yes you need to install an electric fuel pump inside the gas tank, new return fuel line and so far the alternator's working great. Did not have to worry about the wiring. Had all new wiring done when car was restored a few years back, but yes some wiring may be required if its old and cracked. For me I've been extremely happy with the overall improvement and the issues are gone. I also like the improvement on gas usage and the car definitely has some more gitty-up-and-go when cruising. Don't get me wrong, there are many cars that are awesome with the carb setup, but sometimes some of the old cars just need the newer stuff to keep on truck'in......:drinks:
                   
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                  • Dennis H

                    Dennis H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    At Sea level and 1000 miles a year to cars and coffee, don’t bother. If you DRIVE your car, then maybe. The Pro Flo 4 Edelbrock EFI is the best thing since the wheel. Flawless. It’s the fuel that is the fly in the soup. Figure out the lines, tank, and pump - everything behind the firewall and you got it made. Ask users how many miles they actually have driven.
                     
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                    • Don Frelier

                      Don Frelier FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      He has a B series engine I believe. Edelbrock does not offer a Pro Flo 4 for a B intake.
                      So he would have to choose one of the others or perhaps look into DIY autotune, but you need to be kind of tech oriented to undertake DIY.
                      https://www.diyautotune.com/support/faq/which-megasquirt/
                       
                    • 70chall440

                      70chall440 Well-Known Member

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                      When I put the Fitech on my 52, when I went to put power to the system to input the parameters, I went too far and hit the starter, the truck fired up and ran much to my amazement. I turned it off, then put in the parameters and that truck has run very well ever since; I could/should tune it a little but it runs great. Now, the EFI on my Challenger was more of an issue because it was the first one I ever did, plus the Holley system needed to be completely set up. That turned out to be a good thing as it forced me to develop an understanding of EFI systems. Once I figured that out, or better said got somewhat of an understanding of it, it was great. I am running a Hall effect distributor so I can control timing and fuel from the lap top. On the Cuda, using the FAST system i have to set the timing like normal but other than that it is good to go.
                       
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                      • Don Frelier

                        Don Frelier FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        If you do choose EFI, I would recommend one that allows you to control the timing.
                        That way the EFI system can totally control the way the engine performs.
                        In order to do this you likely need to get a distributor as well, but that can be phase 2.
                         
                      • 451Mopar

                        451Mopar Well-Known Member

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                        A big part of the problem is the pump gas formulation. If you don't drive much, get some race fuel. Sounds like you don't need the high octane, but higher vapor pressure.
                        If you are going to run pump fuel, then I would recommend the EFI setup with the pump in the tank. Having the fuel pressurized increases the amount of temperature it takes to turn if from a liquid to vapor, and most EFI run a return regulator style, so the fuel circulates pretty much eliminating any vapor lock issues.
                        I think all the Holley Sniper EFI have timing control, where the FItech only has timing control on the "Power Adder" versions.
                        As mentioned, you don't need to use the timing control, but being able to have the computer adjust the timing, can make the engine run better at all RPMs.
                        You can program the engine to start with some set timing, like 10-degrees, then once the engine starts, the computer can advance the timing at idle to 20+ degrees to get a smooth idle. Then when a driving or a load is applied, the engine RPM and map sensor will tell the computer to adjust the timing up or down for best power or economy.
                        The EFI needs a real clean fuel supply, so run a good EFI filter, and make sure to flush the fuel lines before connecting them to the fuel rails. Debris in the fuel lines, improper fuel pump installation, and bad wiring are usually what causes issues with a new EFI install.
                         
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