Updated: Dec 27, 2019
A Ride in the 55
Chasing carburetor issues lately has been a lesson in a lost art among most. Years ago when I acquired the 292 Y Block from a company that re-manufactured engines, I decided to install a late model 4 barrel to get the engine and the car up and running until I had enough time to go through the car with a repaint and some vital restoration needs. Edelbrock seemed to be the way to go as many friends and online acquaintances gave the brand (actually a Carter design) good reviews for drivability. Up until the time I re-installed the engine in the car things were fine, but over the last 4 or 5 years the car has sat quite a bit, the ethanol has done much damage, and after putting the car back on the road most of the work has included tuning and tinkering. I am not sure why, but most of the time the engine runs a little too rich. Even after using a vacuum gauge, a tachometer, and all the rest, there is still a faint smell of raw fuel. Maybe the issue has something to do with the fact that I purchased this carburetor as a re-manufactured unit (2004 reman. date). It is only a 500 cfm carburetor with vacuum secondaries but even after all this tuning I am still not 100% happy with the idle quality as far as fuel mixture is concerned. Along the way, I end up learning more and more which is a good thing. At times, I even have to make parts or fabricate pieces for both form and function. For instance, I fabricated a permanent linkage rod using brass stock and new heim joints.
Installing such items as the fan, a new alternator and air conditioning set up, etc has made for challenges in performance. The redeeming factor when facing each trial (remember the issues with the overdrive transmission this past year!) has been that after each adjustment and/or installation we MUST complete a test run! The more the car is on the road the more that people have a chance to gawk, ask for rides, and participate in the fun. One such friend was Bob Winn - a fellow employee at our church here in Milford, Ohio. Bob happened to be stationed in Germany in 1973 across from the hospital where I was born as both he and my dad were serving in the US Army. I did not meet him until 2016, but since that time we have developed a wonderful friendship. A short time ago, Bob retired and so I promised him a ride in the 55. I used a dash camera so there is some background noise, but we love this view!
I am beginning to experiment with a mounted camera to see how best to post videos that are instructional in nature. The static videos I have already made have not been too difficult. It is easy to pick up a quality smartphone and make HD video with decent sound. When the car stars moving – that’s another story!
The dash cam helps of course, but this past week I used a visor mounted iPhone XR to film the following footage. The only down side I witnessed was the vibration through the visor once the car was under power and rolling at speed. I am thinking a suction cup, three point mount might be the way to go. At any rate, the carburetor made the engine respond very well to the settings.
One of the major adjustments I made was to increase the float adjustment (I believed it was flooding out a bit last week). The cover on an Edelbrock removes pretty easily. I went from 7/16 to 31/64 and a drill bit was used to check the measurement.
After the 20 minute test run I checked the idle quality, vacuum, and did an unscientific "smell test" to see how rich the engine was running. There was great improvement, but I was still not satisfied that the carb was metering the supply very well. There may be a Holley 1850 in the future!
the Hot Rod Reverend