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Single vs dual 4b carb on a 283

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Old 05-11-2010, 06:20 AM   #1
Audiophobe
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Default Single vs dual 4b carb on a 283

As I a search C1's I see that the listed difference in hp between a single vs dual 4 bl carb 283's is minimal. I've only driven a single. It was OK but maybe I could have used a little more kick but no big deal I guess. I would have thought the hp difference would be greater. Does it make a a noticible difference? Can a single carb engine's hp be enhanced w/o a lot of work w/o changing the originality much?
I would think tuning a dual carb could be mor challenging.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:38 AM   #2
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There is a Very noticeable "seat of the pants" difference when going from one 4 bbl to 2x4's on a stock 283. Much stronger acceleration.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:43 AM   #3
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The easiest (cheapest?) way to get a little more "kick" out of a 283 is to replace it with a 327 and you still retain the original look unless you "look" close.

Some people think two carburetors should equal twice the power. It doesn't work that way.

There's really not much to tuning two carburetors. It's just twice the work when you do it. Once they're set right, they should run a long time without the need to be tinkering with them.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:51 AM   #4
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Well I guess that makes sense.
I have noticed no appreciable difference in price when searching the 2 vs the 4. Nobody says "But it's a dual 4 barrel", like they would if it was a fuely. And when looking for the "right car" it makes it even more difficult to add dual 4 barrel to the list of the right year, the right color, the right condition, and the right price.
I would think that a single 4 barrel should be abble to deliver good performance.
Can the single 4 be set up to deliver more performance w/o big buck or big changes to the originality?
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:55 AM   #5
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If you are talking the 230hp base motor to the 2x4 245hp....its not a huge jump. There is a definite difference in the 230hp single carb to the 2x4 270hp and the two carbs are not much more trouble to tune than a single carb. Of course this jump includes the special cam and solid lifters too.

Going from the 245hp carbs to the correct 270hp carbs on a 270hp motor is very noticeable as well...I did that on my car and the acceleration increased quite a bit.

However! WCFBs weigh 18lbs each so with 2x4s you have an extra 18lbs sitting on your manifold...AND sticking your foot in it too often means you see the gas pump more than you may like!

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Audiophobe View Post
Well I guess that makes sense.
I have noticed no appreciable difference in price when searching the 2 vs the 4. Nobody says "But it's a dual 4 barrel", like they would if it was a fuely. And when looking for the "right car" it makes it even more difficult to add dual 4 barrel to the list of the right year, the right color, the right condition, and the right price.
I would think that a single 4 barrel should be abble to deliver good performance.
Can the single 4 be set up to deliver more performance w/o big buck or big changes to the originality?
While the 270 horse dual quad setup was noticeably quicker than the 230 horse, I would not be looking at multiple carbs to improve your performance. Start with the heads. Alot of horsepower can be gained by massaging the heads.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:50 AM   #7
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However! WCFBs weigh 18lbs each so with 2x4s you have an extra 18lbs sitting on your manifold...AND sticking your foot in it too often means you see the gas pump more than you may like!
Which weighs the most? A single four barrel/cast iron intake or two four barrels with aluminum intake?

In my experience, the seat of the pants difference between a single and a dual carb engine, mounted on the base 220/230 horse engine is just more noise and little power gain. On the special cam engine, the difference is easily felt.

You can buy a lot of engine nowdays (for what a set of 2 X 4's will cost you) and still mount your single carb and have it run well.

You can also scratch around and find a WCFB single carb off a Buick of the same era. They're bigger, flow more air than the Chevy carb and will give you about the same boost as the 2 X 4 if you're talking about a base engine. It'll still look stock, too.

Last edited by MikeM; 05-11-2010 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:00 AM   #8
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Which weighs the most? A single four barrel/cast iron intake or two four barrels with aluminum intake?
A single ALUMINUM 4-bbl if its an AFB...having 'dead lifted' both off my garage floor I'll say its real close...

Quote:
... You can buy a lot of engine nowdays (for what a set of 2 X 4's will cost you) and still mount your single carb and have it run well.

You can also scratch around and find a WCFB single carb off a Buick of the same era. They're bigger, flow more air than the Chevy carb and will give you about the same boost as the 2 X 4 if you're talking about a base engine. It'll still look stock, too.
No argument, a nice, correct dual carb setup runs about 1/2 of what a similar F/I setup costs and yes, there are dozens of ways to clone the 2X4s....its all about how faithful you want to be to originality. If you are going single carb...then there are lots of options that will still outperform the duals...including more modern selections.

Audiphobe still seems to be bouncing around on what he wants.... If you want duals you gotta 'pay to play'....even more so for a fuelie. IF you do NOT care that much about originality you could drop a whole induction system (intake manifold/carb/drop base air cleaner) for a few bucks and pump performance up easily.

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Old 05-11-2010, 10:49 AM   #9
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A single ALUMINUM 4-bbl if its an AFB...having 'dead lifted' both off my garage floor I'll say its real close...

No argument, a nice, correct dual carb setup runs about 1/2 of what a similar F/I setup costs and yes, there are dozens of ways to clone the 2X4s....its all about how faithful you want to be to originality. If you are going single carb...then there are lots of options that will still outperform the duals...including more modern selections.

Audiphobe still seems to be bouncing around on what he wants.... If you want duals you gotta 'pay to play'....even more so for a fuelie. IF you do NOT care that much about originality you could drop a whole induction system (intake manifold/carb/drop base air cleaner) for a few bucks and pump performance up easily.
I'm not sure that bouncing around is a 100% accurate way to describe it. Learning as I'm looking and restricted to what is available and affordable is the way I see it. I've seen others say it's taken well over a year for them to find their car and, whereas I'm anxious to get one for the summer, I'm not going to sink alot of money into a car unless it's the right one.
I thought about it first about 5 months ago and started looking aggressively well after that, but, for example, engine hp was something I just recently realized I should take into consideration so, I guess that is a bounce.
It is frustrating to me. I snoozed and lost one. The hunt goes on...............
I guess the more modern selections could still look original, correct? What would that be?

Last edited by Audiophobe; 05-11-2010 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:03 AM   #10
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I guess the more modern selections could still look original, correct? What would that be?
You're not being very specfic. Translate the above please. It may have already been answered several times but I too, am confused.

You say you don't want to pay a lot of money but you think horsepower is important? You're gonna' pay for the horsepower and pay dearly if you think one four barrel vs two four barrels is a lot of bang for the bucks it's gonna' cost you especially if you're looking at a 283.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:18 AM   #11
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You say you don't want to pay a lot of money but you think horsepower is important? You're gonna' pay for the horsepower and pay dearly if you think one four barrel vs two four barrels is a lot of bang for the bucks it's gonna' cost you especially if you're looking at a 283.
Did I say hp was important? I may have in another post but I don't recall that. It may become important as I learn more, I'm not really sure. And of course I want a good deal especially in this market, although I am considering that spending a bit more money realizing that in the long run it could save me money!
If I bought a single and wasn't satisfied, I'm just trying to learn about my options. Like I said, the only car I drove was a single. If I found a great car and it had a single carb I don't think it would be a deal breaker. Also, I have not found that a dual vs single was a huge point in differentiating price (or sale point) like a fuely vs carb set up.
Thanks for everyone's input!

Last edited by Audiophobe; 05-11-2010 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Another Thought!
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:34 AM   #12
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Did I say hp was important? I may have in another post but I don't recall that.
Maybe I didn't understand what you meant?

"I'm not going to sink alot of money into a car unless it's the right one.
I thought about it first about 5 months ago and started looking aggressively well after that, but, for example, engine hp was something I just recently realized I should take into consideration so, I guess that is a bounce."
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:41 AM   #13
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Sorry for the confusion.
Thanks for the input all!
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:41 AM   #14
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If you want originality, you're going to pay a lot more money for a lot less performance. The base engine cars are ok if you just want to cruise and get passed by minivans. You could even get powerglide kinda like the new thunderbirds.....
The original optioned engines run a lot better and will cost a lot more, but they have much better bling. If you want the best bang for the buck, get a car with NOM (327-400) set up the way you like it. You can make it look stock if that's your thing. If you want bling, a single four barrel won't cut it for many people, which is why their cars have the multiple carbs or injection setups.
I can tell you for sure, on a good breathing engine, there is major difference between a 2 bbl, 4 bbl, and 3X2 bbl, particularly at the higher rpm ranges.
Contact some local owners and ask for a ride. SACC is a great source of information from owners.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:55 PM   #15
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Frankly, I consider my dual WCFBs a hallmark of the '61. When folks look under the hood I love the comments that they generate. It can sort of pump up the street credibility of the otherwise passenger car sized 283ci a little.

You can do the same without staying original. Tom (posted above) runs 3 deuces on his '60 and it gets the looks too (those certainly never came off the factory floor).

HOWEVER, the right carbs made a difference in my car, but the new 5-speed with its deeper first gear really woke it up. I can now dump the clutch at a healthy RPM and spin tires at will...it was a real effort before the new tranny.

"bouncing around" might have been an unfortunate choice of words... I looked for a C2 for 18 months before I looked at my '61 on a whim and I couldn't pass it up. I guess I think you might have to stay open minded about what's acceptable and don't pass up a good deal because it isn't 100% what you want....most things on these cars can be modified to your liking as needed.

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:26 PM   #16
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Frank is right, anyone can have a carb Corvette in the C-1 C-2, but it is very elite group that has 2 x4' WCFB. In the era, people pulled off the FI because a 2 x 4 WCFB would beat them on the strip.

If you buy a C-1 with 2 x 4 WCFB's, every one will ALWAYS mention the TWO 4's as Frank says.

Joe

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:31 PM   #17
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Well, I'm going out of town for about a week and a half but I'm leaning toward a 58 that I have had my eye on. I think it's a fair deal and it has the 2-4's and a 4sp. The color is maybe my 3rd favorite but not red which i absolutely don't want. I just called the guy and we agreed to meet when I get back to hammer out a deal.
I'll keep you all posted!
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #18
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In the era, people pulled off the FI because a 2 x 4 WCFB would beat them on the strip.
Quite a unique tale you've spun there. First I ever heard that one!
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:13 PM   #19
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However! WCFBs weigh 18lbs each so with 2x4s you have an extra 18lbs sitting on your manifold...
Wouldn't the aluminum 2x4 intake weigh that much less than the iron 1x4 ?? I figured they would come out the same.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:04 PM   #20
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Quite a unique tale you've spun there. First I ever heard that one!
I've heard it several times...once or twice from folks whose opinions I value... Can't say if its myth or truth tho...
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