It looks like the carbtune gadget is just a very fancy way to synchronize the three carburetors. I don't see how it does any tuning.
You can do an adequate job of synchronization with an old fashioned "Unisyn", currently sold by Edelbrock and available from Summit and others:
To actually tune the carburetors for proper air/fuel ratio you need (or at least I strongly suggest) a wide band air/fuel gauge such as is sold by Innovate Motorsports. This is their LM-2 model:
Thank you Jim!
i'm thinking that all i need to do is to sync the three carbs every once in a while, i think they are in sync now, but my dad wanted to send me his but he's got the mercury one and i don't want it.
so i was thinking about getting something that just wasn't mercury.
the wide band air/fuel gauge is really necessary for a 1954 with the carter carbs?
i apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge in this subject.
i ran out of gas two days ago and was stuck, and now having to use starter fluid to get the darn thing started again, so i have my work cut out for me tonight removing the two air cleaners and going thru i'm sure flame out's thru the carbs (hate that it's scary) just to get the fuel pump which is only a 6v to get the gas back up and flowing again.
It's worth checking the synchronization of the carbs but it's not a maintenance task. That is, once you get them in sync and lock down the set screws on the shafts, they will remain synchronized forever.
I'm not familiar with any sync tool which uses mercury. The Unisyn uses no mercury and is modestly priced. I have one. I haven't used it on my '54 in years.
Regarding wide band air/fuel gauges of any type: If your car's carbs have their original jetting and the car otherwise runs well and gets good fuel economy, you don't need one. But if you do want to do any real tuning for which you experiment with the air/fuel ratio, there is no substitute.
To get your car to re-start, you might just need to experiment with different starting techniques.
My '54 will always start cold if I pull out the choke and turn the key to start. No starting fluid, no pumping, just crank.
If it's been a long time since the car has run, it does take a long time for the engine to fire. In that case, I keep a charger connected to the battery and crank in short bursts.
Hot starts involve just turning the key to start. Any pumping of the accelerator dooms the engine to flooding and it won't start at all.
If the left side of the car is higher than the right side, it will start more easily. Gravity is helping get fuel from the carbs into the engine.
If the front of the car is higher than the rear, engine floods .... at least the one in my car does..... and starting is extremely difficult.
My 54 had been in a museum for 8 years, so the gas you know is probably beyond anything you would ever want in your car, so yes i happen to get screwed and ran the thing out of gas just driving down the street on this past Thursday.
Anyway didn't get a chance to start working on until last night, i couldn't get it to start for anything, oh yeah i could get it to run on starting fluid for as long as it lasted in the carbs, but that's it. so of course i'm thinking that the gas isn't getting to the carbs at all.
well after i tried and tried last night enough to kill the battery, i just left it for today. prevailing heads got together (my dad and me) by the way dad lives in Arizona, not here in Dallas, so he calls me says he's thinking that i need to check the plugs.
well he was right, i've had plenty of small blocks, 455 olds etc. that i've never seen the plugs so bad before! wow!
anyway went and got new r45 ac deco plugs, gapped them at 3500th or .035 if your a decimal freak, and put them in put the plug cover back on and pulled the choke turned the key, and bazinga she starts.
she backfired a few times, but got her running, slowly pushing the choke back in, then she ran on her own. it's cold today in Dallas, she didn't seem to want to get hotter then 170, but at least i got her running.
so in the long run, my dad is happy that his little girl (not so little 51), has got her mom's lovely 54 running again! she's looking down at me saying i knew you could do it.
i just wished i had the stupid 13/16 deep socket wrench, had to go and get one, that was kinda a bummer.
anyway, i'm happy with my efforts, and i am proud of myself too, it's been a long time since i have worked on any engine, i still got it.
funny found out that in Arizona they only have 91 octane, but here in Dallas we have 93. so she's much happier on the higher octane gas!
so i'm going to rest for a bit, get someone to follow me to the gas station, to top her off so this doesn't happen again (running out of gas), just to make sure that i don't get stuck again, i doubt it will ever happen again.
you all are the best!
now i just need to join a corvette club to top this day of right!
so i went to rest a bit, got back in the car let it warm up then it started to sputter again i revved it up and it started dying agin….ugh ugh!
so i pushed it back into the garage, let it cool off took the spark plug cover off, took out all of the new plugs one by one some were sooty to me real bad, #2 wasn't so anyway, i re-gapped them and cleaned them off, just wiped them clean didn't use any cleaner or anything then put them back in, haven't tried to start it again, i came in the house to post this.
don't understand why, but maybe i let it idle for too long, but really i don't think i did.
car was sitting in a museum for 8 years took it out on Nov 16, 2013, it was at the point in Arizona, i had Horseless Carriage bring it to me to Dallas, that was on Dec 4, 2013, drove it to the Chevy dealer to get it inspected on Dec 6, 2013 drove it home, we had an ice storm that weekend and it's been cold since then, took it out to go pick up my daughter on her last day of school on Dec 19, 2013, about 300 yards from my house it started sputtering and then just quit. until today when i did get it started by just replacing the plugs, but now i'm at a loss.
WOW! Very nice '54. What about the "bad gas" that was mostly in the tank? Do you know the condition of the plug wires and/or the other ignition components above and beyond the fact that they are 8+ years old? Dennis
Last edited by Bluestripe67; 12-22-2013 at 06:07 PM.
WOW! Very nice '54. Do you know the condition of the plug wires and/or the other ignition components above and beyond the fact that they are 8+ years old? Dennis
i'm thinking that the plug wires are very much older, i was just saying that it sat in a museum for 8 years, i've added about 5 gallons of 93 octane to it, because my dad told me that he never was able to get the gas gauge to work, even changing everything out.
could it be that the gas was just really bad that was in the car?
don't know if bad gas or old gas i mean would cause it to really cake on the carbon like that or not?
ok so i went out and turned her over, she started right up, i had the choke out, then i pushed it back in, and it died, i didn't open up the garage door so i opened it up and then every time i tried to start her again, i touch the gas peddle and it dies, did that about 4 times, now it turns over and won't start, each time it would only start when i had the choke on. i'm at a loss. so sad