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Topic: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad)

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Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (1/12)
 6/15/22 12:29pm
Doc4421
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Berlin, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1974 Corvette 350 V-8 T-Top


Joined: 9/1/2021
Posts: 7

Folks,
I've worked on enough stuff to know that preference is going to be key to any argument over what is best or what isn't. I also know that everyone's experiences vary. That said, I need some help because I'm rebuilding my father's dream car (at my mother's insistence) that they want to drive around in before they're too old to enjoy it (approaching 80 right now).
The car is a 1974 C3 Corvette that Dad bought in 1976 from a guy who was getting married and had to sell it. The guy had done some alterations to it before Dad bought it. As of this writing, it's basically been started about once a year to move it in and out of the garage to get the snowblower out before winter.
I've spent the last 9 months (on and off) working through every lousy seal, disconnected wire, random bit of crap and so forth that have occurred over the past 40-some years. I'm actually a Ford guy (68 mustang, 66 F250, 75 F150XLT over time) so I know my way around a wrench, but I'm not an ASC pro.
I need to pick out a carb to replace the old one. (Not rebuilding it, as previous rebuilds have damaged it to a point of no return. Just trust me...) As it sits, it's got a Holley on it with some sort of choke I've never seen before (not manual, not electric, not heat tube. Looks like a diaphragm of some kind).
Specs are: a stock 350 in it. Automatic transmission, Hooker headers, no smog control, disconnected AC. Shifting it to a Pertronix ignition.

The key is this: I've had all sorts of carbs over the years and done fine or lousy with them based on a number of things. two-barrel, four-barrel, Motocraft, Edelbrock, Holley, Q-jet etc. What I NEED now is basically the best "set it up and leave it alone and it will basically work every time, even after sitting for a while" kind of carb.

In other words, if you were putting a no-muss, no-fuss, works great, don't need to screw with it when the temperature changes 4 degrees, carb on a car that your elderly mother was driving to the grocery store, WHAT would you pick and WHY?

Thanks for the help in advance.

Vince 

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Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (2/12)
 6/15/22 2:21pm
manchestersharkLifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.


Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 2114

Greetings,  In my opinion, unless you put a electronic fuel injection system on it, you will Always be tinkering with a carburetor, no matter what it is. They are finicky as you know,  and no two are the same. Each has its own quirks. The best one, is the one that came on it from Bowling Green. Have it professionally rebuilt, with new bushings and cross shafts. I have one on a 72' that is very reliable. Happy choosing.



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Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (3/12)
 6/15/22 3:26pm
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 752

If it still has the stock manifold or a spread-bore type manifold then I would recommend putting a Q-jet back on it. They're easy to work on and tune and rebuild kits are available.  HP Books and Cliff Ruggles both have excellent Quadrajet books. Cliff also sells very good rebuild kits.



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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (4/12)
 6/15/22 8:34pm
NorskyLifetime Member
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Twin Lakes, CO - USA

Vette(s):
SOLD - "The Toy" - 1970 Convertible
SOLD - "The Beast" - 1990 ZR-1 (#682)
"BLKBRRD" - 1978 Trans Am, 400ci/225hp, 4 spd, Black w/black interior, Hurst t-tops


Joined: 1/23/2002
Posts: 7000

Have to agree with both of the above replies.  How's that for help...!!!

When I bought "The Toy" it came with a Holley spread bore.  It had the stock manifold.  No idea what happened to the original Q-jet.  The only thing I did to that setup was to put some spacers between the carb and the manifold to reduce the carb heat soak which fixed the hot starting issue I had with it (that modification required fabricating a new link for the choke, which was easy to do).  Over all the Holley was a very reliable carb.

"BLKBRRD" came with its original Q-jet and it was rebuilt while the engine was out of the car during its restoration.  It wasn't right before or after the rebuild and I got tired of playing with it.  So on went a TB-EFI setup.  LOTS of tinkering with that and it still isn't right yet either.  So I'm twixt-n-tween on spending more time dialing in the TB-EFI or having the Q-jet rebuilt, again.

Bottom line tho' is ANY fuel delivery setup will be somewhat problematic if not run on a regular basis. 

Not much help was I?



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Jim Olson 

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Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (5/12)
 6/15/22 9:25pm
Adams' AppleLifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas


Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19917

Best bet is to get a rebuilt Quadrajet sized for the engine. There is NO such thing as a "bolt it on, no adjustment, drive it from now till doomsday with no problem" carb. Get a good, correct sized Quad, put it on, do a few minor adjustments for the idle mixture/rpm, and move on to something else. Make sure the fuel system is clean first, and be sure the carb(or fuel line) has a filter on it somewhere. Once the idle mixture, rpm, and timing are all set properly, it should be trouble free for quite some time. 



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Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (6/12)
 6/15/22 9:36pm
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 752

Whatever you decide to do, please don't use rubber lines on the pressure side of the fuel pump. There's a good reason GM and probably other car manufacturers use steel lines. A gasoline leak under pressure in a hot engine compartment can be truly disastrous.  🔥🔥

Steel lines can be easily fabricated with a small investment in the proper tools.  🙂



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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (7/12)
 6/16/22 2:18pm
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 1138

'74 Vettes were built in St. Louis.

You might join Corvette Forum and PM a member called "Lars".  He is a Quadrajet guru.  Was a GM engineer.

If you do decide to go Quadrajet, do not buy a chinese copy/rebuilt.

The Quadrajet was a good carb, no reason not to put one back on it since that is what originally came on it.

73 and later were all Quadrajets.



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Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (8/12)
 6/16/22 5:27pm
manchestersharkLifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.


Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 2114

Correct on St. Louis, but Rochester 4 barrels were first put on in 1966. 



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Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (9/12)
 6/16/22 5:38pm
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 752

manchestershark said:

Correct on St. Louis, but Rochester 4 barrels were first put on in 1966. 



You're both right. All he was saying was was that from '73 on, no other carburetor was used except for a Quadrajet on Corvettes.



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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (10/12)
 6/16/22 8:05pm
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 1138

73shark said:
manchestershark said:

Correct on St. Louis, but Rochester 4 barrels were first put on in 1966. 



You're both right. All he was saying was was that from '73 on, no other carburetor was used except for a Quadrajet on Corvettes.


That is exactly what I meant.



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Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (11/12)
 6/25/22 4:23pm
hank51Lifetime Member
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MENTOR, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1979 L-82, dark blue


Joined: 9/15/2003
Posts: 577

I had Cliff Ruggles rebuild the Qjet on my 79. Runs like a top. See no reason not to use the Qjet. Traveled to his house on a Saturday. Learned alot to.

Re: Carb Choice: Holley or Edelbrock (Help me help Dad) (12/12)
 6/26/22 10:59am
gapl1953
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Springbrook, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1974 L82


Joined: 10/18/2020
Posts: 23

I have the stock Quadrajet setup on my 1974, L82 and it works without problems. In fact I have never found a carburetor in good working order to be a problem. It's when people that don't know what they are doing, neglect or mess with them that causes a issue. 

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