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WCFB vs. Edelbrock 500 cfm carbs for #653 intake on modified engine
I see the main advantages for the Edelbrock carbs being new, easy to tune (I'm familiar with Edel. carbs), readily available tuning parts, and a pair can be bought for around $450. I see the disadvantages being they do not look stock, 1000 cfm is a bit much for my engine.
I already have the 2613S front carb and the #653 intake. I intend to buy a correct rear carb, even if I initially run the Edel. carbs. The main advantage I see is that they are correct, and I'm slowly trying to make the car appear more as it did when new. The cfm of the WCFBs probably more closely matches what my engine will actually need. The disadvantages I see are the carbs are used (wear may lead to tuning probs, even after a rebuild), tuning may be difficult due to availability of jets and metering rods. If they can be made to work reliably, I'd prefer to run the WCFBs.
I've heard of people having good driveavility with the factory 2 X 4 set-ups on mild 327 and 350 engines. My engine now displaces 377C.I. It will be topped with ported #550 heads; intake flow peaks at 232cfm, with 228cfm @ .500", exhaust flows 80% of intake across the lift range. The cam will be a solid flat tappet, possibly an Isky "grind # S 652", with .528" lift (with a 1.5 rocker), 270* adv, 242* @ .050", on a 110 LC. The compression is approx. 9.7:1. Exhaust will be headers with 2.5" dual exhaust.
Advice from those experienced with the WCFBs would be appreciated. TIA Wes
I have run a pair of WCFB's on a 283, and aside from the fact that they were a bit too much carb at WOT, they ran fine. WCFB's are necessarily about 40 years old, and need to be properly rebuilt, but the parts are readily available. It is imperative that the butterflies be properly adjusted so that they don't leak too much air at idle. Only disadvantage i can see is that WCFB's originally set up as dual carbs are a bit pricey, but you can modify 2 singles if they don't have to be all that correct.
I had the ones on the 283 adjusted so that the front carb was virtually a "dummy" carb at idle and the progressive linkage set so that the secondary carb didn't kick in too early. That probably wouldn't be a problem on a larger engine.
62Fuelie, thanks for the reply. How did you like the driveability of your 2 X 4 set-up? I drive my car a lot and spend way too much time stuck in traffic... my 80 mile round-trip commute takes 3 hours, on a good day, and I drive my '59 2-3 days per week.
I plan to buy the correct (currently missing) rear carb to have, whether I run it now or not. I also think the 770 cfm supplied by the stock carbs would be perfect for my engine. I figured due to their age, if I went with the stock carbs, I'd probably send them out to get rebuilt to eliminate any surprises when I go to fire my engine-up... I really hate the thought of sending my parts out for a rebuild. It seems the only times I've not happy with something that's been done to one of my cars is when I've paid someone else to do it (which isn't often)... for example, I originally planned to run a '61 F.I. unit on this engine. I took it to the local expert "everyone" swore by... long story short, after 5 months, he hadn't started, never did return phone calls, so I ultimately cancelled the project and sold my parts. I really don't want to deal with this crap again. This is why I'm kinda leaning towards the Edelbrock carbs, or I may just rebuild them myself and see if I can't get them to run right on my 350 before putting them on the new engine.
Can anyone recommend a carb shop that will do as they say and deliver when promised? I won't wait 3-4 months for a carb rebuild. Has anyone used Holley carburetor's resto shop? Does anyone have experience with mztercarb on ebay; he always seems to have WCFBs for sale? I'd be interested in hearing your experiences. Thanks again, Wes
I did not have any driveability issues with the dual fours. I bought a used set that had sat on a shelf for about 30 years. I rebuilt them myself, and kept having trouble with one carb. I took it to a local rebuilder, who simply boiled the carb out and reinstalled my rebuild parts "just the way you had them in there". Apparently, in cleaning the carb in a vat, he was able to get something cleaned out that I was not able to. There are some carb gurus around, but I suspect they all have long lead times. If you have a local carb rebuilder with a good reputation, I'd give them a shot. Nothing magic about a WCFB, but it helps to have the right equipment to clean it out properly.
Just for your info, I am running a pair of Carter 500 CFM "comp." carbs (for all practicle purposes, same as the Edelbrocks) on my 355 CID SBC, and do not feel that it is overcarbed! Winds past 6500 with nary a hicup (with single points besides). Starts right up (without a choke). Does run a little "fat" for everyday driving, but it does get up and haul when called upon. Normally get 14 MPG in typical suburb driving.
Plasticman, thanks for the info. Are you running the 500 Carters on a factory or aftermarket intake? Do you happen to have a P/N for the 500 Carter Carbs? I met a forum member in Torrance, and he was running a ZZ4 with the Edel C-26 intake, with a pair of 500 carbs, with the Edel progressive linkage. He was real happy with the combo.
Have you tried adjusting the jetting or metering rods, or does it just like running a little fat at idle? Your mileage numbers don't seem too bad; what kind of rear gear are you running? I'm currently getting about 16 mpg when I'm not stuck in traffic, and would be happy with the same on the new engine.
Because of traffic, I spend a lot of time at idle and in first gear. So, whatever set-up I ultimately run, I'll have to spend the time to dial it in so that I won't be fouling plugs. Thanks again, Wes
The Carter carbs are p/n 4758S (full numbers are 3J3-4758S).
Running on an Offenhauser 180 deg. manifold. It is a little different from the Edelbrock C-26, in that the carbs are spread out further (fore & aft) so that they are more directly centered over the intake ports. But, this causes the rear carb to be too close to use a larger dist. (HEI). The linkage is a cheapo Mr. Gasket progressive, that I have changed by adding better Heim joints and polished SS rods (looks a lot better now). I have tried to eliminate the progressive linkage, and did not like the results.
Have adjusted the jets, rods, and springs. Still too fat for everyday driving (plugs are always very dark, but have never fouled the plugs), but if I lean out the carbs, the cold engine low speed drivability goes into the toilet (note: Carter comp. carbs do not have chokes), and even when warm, I get a slight lean surge even if one size smaller jet is used!
I am running the idle mix off of both carbs. A little more difficult to adjust, but not terrible.
Rear gear is a 3.55, but acts more like a 3.70 when combined with my 235/60-15 rear tires. These tires are 26.1" in diameter, whereas the stock tires were 27.1".
I also need to admit that the engine has headers. When the headers are uncapped, we really fly but they do tend to lean out the mix as well.
Mztercarb on ebay is the handle for the guy at Chicago Corvette; some forum members in other posts have questioned their work in the past. Supposedly Bob Kunz out of St. Louis (314-845-2566) is one of the best, but I have never sent anything to him, so you might ask around.
I have a 2 x 4 set up on my 61. They are original carbs that I rebuilt and I have no drivablity issues at all. The engine idles and runs excellent even on 95 degree days in traffic.
Even after a hot soak the car starts immediatly.
I did lean the idle circuit a little bit and lowered the float levels about 1/8".
I drive mine every chance I can.
Plasticman, thanks for the part numbers of the Carter carbs. I think I've seen one of those intakes; does it have two dual plane plenums, rather than the 2 four hole plenums on some of the other intakes?
Loren59, thanks for the heads-up on MzterCarb, and the tip about Bob Kunz. It's the second time I've heard Bob Kunz recommended.
The Offenhauser is "called" a 360 Equa Flow design. I would call it dual plane, since it has a barrier right down the center (with a small equalizing opening in this barrier) of the large plenum, creating two 1/2 size plenums. In other words, the right side carb. barrels (all 4 of them on a dual quad setup) feed only the right side intakes from a common plenum area (1/2 of the main plenum opening), and the same for the left carb. to the left intake ports via the other 1/2 of the plenum.
They recommend AFB carbs for this manifold, since like all dual quad manifolds, Holley carbs are too long. I don't have the hgt. specs handy, but it is the lowest intake that I could find (at the time).
P/N for the SBC version was 5603, but I don't know if they are even still in business!
Last edited by Plasticman; 08-24-2004 at 09:19 PM.
Plasticman, thank you for the detailed explanation and the other advice you provided so far.
JohnZ, thanks for the further confirmation of Bob Kunz's work. I called Bob today and told him what I was doing with the engine, and he recommended a set of 348 "clone" carbs that will work with the stock linkages and fuel lines. He spent a lot of time with me on the phone asking about my car and what I was trying to do. The carbs should be ready around late September or early October, which is around the same time I should be ready in time for my engine swap.
Thanks again to all who replied and offered suggestions.