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Old 07-12-2012, 01:13 PM  
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Tuning CARBURETED old school jeeps....

Post all your old school, old timer, by ear, vacuum gauge, by smell, look at the plugs, full manifold advance, point gap, dwell, jet size, motorcraft, autolite, Holley, quadrajet, Edelbrock, 2bbl, 4bbl extended vent, run upside down, fuel pressure regulator, bowl baffle, spring loaded seat, or other CARBURETED engine tips and tricks go here....

I think there is a lot of lost knowledge in this area. We didn't always have fuel injection and people made carburetors work pretty dang well. My hope is that some of the old timers on this board can dig through the cobwebs and tell us young'nz how they did it back in the day.

What works and what doesn't?
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:16 PM  
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I posted this in another thread and figured it would be a good start...

This was written by a former GM engineer as a response to a similar question (ignition related ) on a Corvette board:

As many of you are aware, timing and vacuum advance is one of my favorite subjects, as I was involved in the development of some of those systems in my GM days and I understand it. Many people don't, as there has been very little written about it anywhere that makes sense, and as a result, a lot of folks are under the misunderstanding that vacuum advance somehow compromises performance. Nothing could be further from the truth. I finally sat down the other day and wrote up a primer on the subject, with the objective of helping more folks to understand vacuum advance and how it works together with initial timing and centrifugal advance to optimize all-around operation and performance. I have this as a Word document if anyone wants it sent to them - I've cut-and-pasted it here; it's long, but hopefully it's also informative.

TIMING AND VACUUM ADVANCE 101

The most important concept to understand is that lean mixtures, such as at idle and steady highway cruise, take longer to burn than rich mixtures; idle in particular, as idle mixture is affected by exhaust gas dilution. This requires that lean mixtures have "the fire lit" earlier in the compression cycle (spark timing advanced), allowing more burn time so that peak cylinder pressure is reached just after TDC for peak efficiency and reduced exhaust gas temperature (wasted combustion energy). Rich mixtures, on the other hand, burn faster than lean mixtures, so they need to have "the fire lit" later in the compression cycle (spark timing retarded slightly) so maximum cylinder pressure is still achieved at the same point after TDC as with the lean mixture, for maximum efficiency.

The centrifugal advance system in a distributor advances spark timing purely as a function of engine rpm (irrespective of engine load or operating conditions), with the amount of advance and the rate at which it comes in determined by the weights and springs on top of the autocam mechanism. The amount of advance added by the distributor, combined with initial static timing, is "total timing" (i.e., the 34-36 degrees at high rpm that most SBC's like). Vacuum advance has absolutely nothing to do with total timing or performance, as when the throttle is opened, manifold vacuum drops essentially to zero, and the vacuum advance drops out entirely; it has no part in the "total timing" equation.

At idle, the engine needs additional spark advance in order to fire that lean, diluted mixture earlier in order to develop maximum cylinder pressure at the proper point, so the vacuum advance can (connected to manifold vacuum, not "ported" vacuum - more on that aberration later) is activated by the high manifold vacuum, and adds about 15 degrees of spark advance, on top of the initial static timing setting (i.e., if your static timing is at 10 degrees, at idle it's actually around 25 degrees with the vacuum advance connected). The same thing occurs at steady-state highway cruise; the mixture is lean, takes longer to burn, the load on the engine is low, the manifold vacuum is high, so the vacuum advance is again deployed, and if you had a timing light set up so you could see the balancer as you were going down the highway, you'd see about 50 degrees advance (10 degrees initial, 20-25 degrees from the centrifugal advance, and 15 degrees from the vacuum advance) at steady-state cruise (it only takes about 40 horsepower to cruise at 50mph).

When you accelerate, the mixture is instantly enriched (by the accelerator pump, power valve, etc.), burns faster, doesn't need the additional spark advance, and when the throttle plates open, manifold vacuum drops, and the vacuum advance can returns to zero, retarding the spark timing back to what is provided by the initial static timing plus the centrifugal advance provided by the distributor at that engine rpm; the vacuum advance doesn't come back into play until you back off the gas and manifold vacuum increases again as you return to steady-state cruise, when the mixture again becomes lean.

The key difference is that centrifugal advance (in the distributor autocam via weights and springs) is purely rpm-sensitive; nothing changes it except changes in rpm. Vacuum advance, on the other hand, responds to engine load and rapidly-changing operating conditions, providing the correct degree of spark advance at any point in time based on engine load, to deal with both lean and rich mixture conditions. By today's terms, this was a relatively crude mechanical system, but it did a good job of optimizing engine efficiency, throttle response, fuel economy, and idle cooling, with absolutely ZERO effect on wide-open throttle performance, as vacuum advance is inoperative under wide-open throttle conditions. In modern cars with computerized engine controllers, all those sensors and the controller change both mixture and spark timing 50 to 100 times per second, and we don't even HAVE a distributor any more - it's all electronic.

Now, to the widely-misunderstood manifold-vs.-ported vacuum aberration. After 30-40 years of controlling vacuum advance with full manifold vacuum, along came emissions requirements, years before catalytic converter technology had been developed, and all manner of crude band-aid systems were developed to try and reduce hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen in the exhaust stream. One of these band-aids was "ported spark", which moved the vacuum pickup orifice in the carburetor venturi from below the throttle plate (where it was exposed to full manifold vacuum at idle) to above the throttle plate, where it saw no manifold vacuum at all at idle. This meant the vacuum advance was inoperative at idle (retarding spark timing from its optimum value), and these applications also had VERY low initial static timing (usually 4 degrees or less, and some actually were set at 2 degrees AFTER TDC). This was done in order to increase exhaust gas temperature (due to "lighting the fire late") to improve the effectiveness of the "afterburning" of hydrocarbons by the air injected into the exhaust manifolds by the A.I.R. system; as a result, these engines ran like crap, and an enormous amount of wasted heat energy was transferred through the exhaust port walls into the coolant, causing them to run hot at idle - cylinder pressure fell off, engine temperatures went up, combustion efficiency went down the drain, and fuel economy went down with it.

If you look at the centrifugal advance calibrations for these "ported spark, late-timed" engines, you'll see that instead of having 20 degrees of advance, they had up to 34 degrees of advance in the distributor, in order to get back to the 34-36 degrees "total timing" at high rpm wide-open throttle to get some of the performance back. The vacuum advance still worked at steady-state highway cruise (lean mixture = low emissions), but it was inoperative at idle, which caused all manner of problems - "ported vacuum" was strictly an early, pre-converter crude emissions strategy, and nothing more.

What about the Harry high-school non-vacuum advance polished billet "whizbang" distributors you see in the Summit and Jeg's catalogs? They're JUNK on a street-driven car, but some people keep buying them because they're "race car" parts, so they must be "good for my car" - they're NOT. "Race cars" run at wide-open throttle, rich mixture, full load, and high rpm all the time, so they don't need a system (vacuum advance) to deal with the full range of driving conditions encountered in street operation. Anyone driving a street-driven car without manifold-connected vacuum advance is sacrificing idle cooling, throttle response, engine efficiency, and fuel economy, probably because they don't understand what vacuum advance is, how it works, and what it's for - there are lots of long-time experienced "mechanics" who don't understand the principles and operation of vacuum advance either, so they're not alone.

Vacuum advance calibrations are different between stock engines and modified engines, especially if you have a lot of cam and have relatively low manifold vacuum at idle. Most stock vacuum advance cans aren’t fully-deployed until they see about 15” Hg. Manifold vacuum, so those cans don’t work very well on a modified engine; with less than 15” Hg. at a rough idle, the stock can will “dither” in and out in response to the rapidly-changing manifold vacuum, constantly varying the amount of vacuum advance, which creates an unstable idle. Modified engines with more cam that generate less than 15” Hg. of vacuum at idle need a vacuum advance can that’s fully-deployed at least 1”, preferably 2” of vacuum less than idle vacuum level so idle advance is solid and stable; the Echlin #VC-1810 advance can (about $10 at NAPA) provides the same amount of advance as the stock can (15 degrees), but is fully-deployed at only 8” of vacuum, so there is no variation in idle timing even with a stout cam.

For peak engine performance, driveability, idle cooling and efficiency in a street-driven car, you need vacuum advance, connected to full manifold vacuum. Absolutely. Positively. Don't ask Summit or Jeg's about it – they don’t understand it, they're on commission, and they want to sell "race car" parts.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:31 PM  
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Don't forget to adjust points, and file as necessary to get the right gap
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:44 PM  
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I have always adjusted carburetors and timing with a vacuum gauge.

I try to get the highest and steadiest reading I can. A lot of times going back and forth between the distributor and carb.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:25 PM  
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as a guy who has installed standalone engine management in three race cars, i'll admit that the ONLY thing i know about the carb in my flatty, is that so far its worked without a single problem.... thank god, cuz when it messes up, i'm SCREWED.

i'll be watching this thread closely, thanks for starting it meiser and saving me the trouble of posting the dreaded "my engine stopped werkin, HALP pleez" thread.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:34 PM  
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No problem.

The golden rule of carbs. If it works don't touch it!

I'm going to try and get some good detail on my autolite/motorcraft 2100...
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:34 PM  
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A long good discussion on vacuum advances.....My 47 CJ2 has no vacuum advance...I know if any flat fender had it originally?
I set the timing with a light at a slow idle in the usual manner.Seems to be a bit snappier off idle if I advance the timing a bit more than the stock 5 degrees.Flatheads generally run less total timing than an OHV design....
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:22 PM  
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First thing you need to do is find an accurate top dead center. I can't tell you how many times I have found incorrect timing tabs, mismatched timing marks etc. Once you verify that, then you can make it correct make and begin. For me that was always step one.

I've never used a vacuum gauge. Whether right or wrong, I never had access to one. I always did it by ear, smell and checking the tail pipe for soot. It could take me a week of putting around town, making adjustments at every stop. I always set my stuff up a little on the rich side.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of a solid ignition system. You can fiddle all you want. But if you have a 30 year old coil and 10 year old wires you will never get it to run right. Your spark will drop off at higher rpm. You will forever try and dial out that hard start problem. HEI really is one of the best. It's even available for the odd fire. For F and L head I had great success with the Pertronix conversion. So maybe a solid step 2 would be to inspect and make sure ignition is up to snuff.

Tip for the V6 guys. An often over looked carb is the Rochester Dualjet. It's essentially a Quadrajet with the secondaries lopped off. With minor float tweaks the damn thing will run on it's side. I ran them on all my V6s until the TBI swap came along.

Last edited by nofender; 07-12-2012 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:24 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADChevy4x4 View Post
A long good discussion on vacuum advances.....My 47 CJ2 has no vacuum advance...I know if any flat fender had it originally?
I set the timing with a light at a slow idle in the usual manner.Seems to be a bit snappier off idle if I advance the timing a bit more than the stock 5 degrees.Flatheads generally run less total timing than an OHV design....
To the best of my knowledge, no they did not.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:55 PM  
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Not my tip, I learned it on the cj2a page:

If your stock carb on a L134 is idleing rough, rev it up and place your hand over the inlet like you are trying to choke it, let off just before it dies. It will usually suck free any debris in the jets/circuits.

has worked for me in the past!
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:25 PM  
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No problem.

The golden rule of carbs. If it works don't touch it!

I'm going to try and get some good detail on my autolite/motorcraft 2100...
Best settings forthe 2100 are the stock settings on both needles.
Turn in until needle seats lightly, then turn out 1.5 turns on both. the float level is set by engine. I could find my chart, if you want.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:51 PM  
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Best settings forthe 2100 are the stock settings on both needles.
Turn in until needle seats lightly, then turn out 1.5 turns on both. the float level is set by engine. I could find my chart, if you want.
Yup, that is where I started. 1.5 turns out on my 1.08 primary version got me started. I tuned the idle mixture from there with the vacuum gauge. I have #47 jets currently.

I'm currently in the middle of a bit of a redo. I noticed some low vacuum, and had a few hard starts last Friday when I drove it to work. After playing with things for a bit to long I finally noticed that I have a vacuum leak on the base gasket on the rear. When you back the idle speed screw out all the way and the motor doesn't shut off something is wrong! I used a little WD40 to find where the leak was at....

I don't really know if I had ALWAYS had the vacuum leak or if I just finally noticed it or it developed in the hotter weather. I had about 15" of steady idle vacuum so I just don't know. I think my engine should have a little more but just don't know.

I ordered up a factory heat isolating gasket ( or two now ) to hopefully help the problem a little bit. The gaskets are thicker which should help. If that doesn't fix the issue I might have to face the bottom of the carb.

The isolation gaskets are part number....

Felpro 60677
Holley 108-52

I ordered one of both to try out and have a spare. Autozone totally dropped the ball TWICE on that so far. I ordered the Holley version online tonight. I will see which one shows up first. The Holley version has a full heat shield for the bowl. The Felpro version has a 3/4 heat shield for the bowl.

More when I get parts.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:38 PM  
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Remove said carb and replace with tbi, mpfi
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:50 PM  
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Remove said carb and replace with tbi, mpfi
Go make your own thread! OOOOOOooooo look at me I have a computer in my jeep. haha
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:44 PM  
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Quote:
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I posted this in another thread and figured it would be a good start...

This was written by a former GM engineer as a response to a similar question (ignition related ) on a Corvette board:....

....For peak engine performance, driveability, idle cooling and efficiency in a street-driven car, you need vacuum advance, connected to full manifold vacuum. Absolutely. Positively. Don't ask Summit or Jeg's about it – they don’t understand it, they're on commission, and they want to sell "race car" parts.
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I guess Im trying this on saturday.

FWIW, I have been really satisfied with the MC/Autolites that I have had on the 4.3 in my junk. To the point that Ive had a few EFI guys ask me wtf I did.
Lowered float, and a 4PSI electric fuel pump, and a manual choke.

The one Im running now is spec'd out for a 65 Mustang with a 260. Runs my GM4.3 just fine.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:54 PM  
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I guess Im trying this on saturday.

FWIW, I have been really satisfied with the MC/Autolites that I have had on the 4.3 in my junk. To the point that Ive had a few EFI guys ask me wtf I did.
Lowered float, and a 4PSI electric fuel pump, and a manual choke.

The one Im running now is spec'd out for a 65 Mustang with a 260. Runs my GM4.3 just fine.
Was your carb a factory manual choke or a conversion?

Any idea what size primary it is? Mine is a 1.08 version I think.

Do you have any idea of the fuel level with the lowered float? I always try and measure mine with a full bowl of fuel and the top of the carb off. I have seen some pretty good differences in the same 'float' level depending on the float age and type.

Did your 2100 have the float spring? I have been looking for one of those. It is suppose to help with float bounce I guess. They where factory on some of the 2150's and should retrofit. It's basically like a spring loaded seat I think?

I have always had good luck with the 2100 carbs. I decided to go back to my roots on my Willys and went back to something simple that I am familiar with. The Holley 2300 I had was terrible!
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:01 PM  
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Hey mieser, for what it's worth, the rebuild kit for the 2100 is ~16 dollars at NAPA and is a quality kit. Comes with EVERYTHING you need. I had bogging issues and flooding on engine turn-off with mine, rebuilt it, new float, needle, seat, etc.. Completely worth it.

And the float spring you're thinking of goes between where the float actually pivots and the arm that holds the float on. My guess is that if you don't have one, your carb has been rebuilt and it got launched somewhere into oblivion. That's what happened to mine.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:56 AM  
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I already rebuilt it. The kit was only like $13 at autozone

The new base gasket I ordered is the thick one with the heat shield. The one in the rebuild kit was just a thin one. I think over the years ( with the factory thicker base gasket ) the carb gets tightened down and the base gets slightly bent.

yup....no float spring. Need to find one of those.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:39 AM  
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Im sold on the tuning by vacuum and manifold vacuum for advance, I just redid my buddies mustang with great success, one good tip is that tribal knowledge for engine, whats that magic timing number???

so my thing is get the magic timing number, do the idle by vacuum and done

you can get the timing number by tuning as well but its easier to have the magic one to start with

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Old 07-13-2012, 06:44 PM  
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advance

flatfender cj's didnt come with advance..but some l134's in pickups did...


i did everything i could think of to adjust my carb...brought it to my buddies dad who is an old time mechanic..heard it run..said turn it off....worked like the tasmanian devil for 20 seconds..said hit it..and its never been better....voodoo magic i tell ya//
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:47 PM  
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L134 have centrifugal advance, just not a vacuum advance.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:39 PM  
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I already rebuilt it. The kit was only like $13 at autozone

The new base gasket I ordered is the thick one with the heat shield. The one in the rebuild kit was just a thin one. I think over the years ( with the factory thicker base gasket ) the carb gets tightened down and the base gets slightly bent.

yup....no float spring. Need to find one of those.
I run mine without a float spring, haven't had any problems yet.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:34 PM  
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Tip for the V6 guys. An often over looked carb is the Rochester Dualjet. It's essentially a Quadrajet with the secondaries lopped off. With minor float tweaks the damn thing will run on it's side. I ran them on all my V6s until the TBI swap came along.
After 20+ years in my flatfender the Rochester 2bbl just got replaced with another one. Drop the float level a little and its happy at any angle.
I might put my old jets in tho, folks behind me was whining something bout their eyes waterin.
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:51 AM  
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L134 have centrifugal advance, just not a vacuum advance.
Yes,I have a F head 4 Willys PU ,they have a vacuum advance in addition to the mechanical advance.I believe the distributors will bolt into a flathead 134? I do know the advantges of using vacuum advance on street driven engines.Wonder if a vacuum advance on a 134 flathead will make any difference,or just not worth the bother for a 1929 designed engine
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:58 AM  
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Yes,I have a F head 4 Willys PU ,they have a vacuum advance in addition to the mechanical advance.I believe the distributors will bolt into a flathead 134? I do know the advantges of using vacuum advance on street driven engines.Wonder if a vacuum advance on a 134 flathead will make any difference,or just not worth the bother for a 1929 designed engine
Mine must have had an engine/distributor swap at some point, cause I have one
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