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We're bringing a project car and a brand new Mazda MX-5 to SCCA Tire Rack Solo National Championships.
I've "rebuilt" the carburetor on just about every vehicle I've owned (they've almost all been carbureted). "Rebuilt" is in quotes because I've always just done the routine of: -buy the kit -disassemble the carb -clean questionably -reassemble
I've got my '83 Z28 running, but it's not running right and I don't really want to rebuild an old q-jet myself again and have it be an unknown quantity (the one on there now is an unknown quantity to begin with...purchased used off a member here, slapped on, and it ran...)
I was eyeing Summit's remanufactured carbs earlier in the year and now I see they're on sale for a few bucks off (every little bit helps)...or about $270.
I know these are "remanufactured" in bulk and all, but I figure they're probably still in better shape than what I'd be able to do at home. Plus, then I'd have a known-quantity to work with.
Does anyone have any experience with these types of "remanufactured" quadrajets (yes...the quadrajet, in particular)? Is there any thing I should look out for?
Are there other good sources that might be less (I'm not ready to afford a JET one)? Jeg's has them too for abut the same price, but not on sale right now.
I was actually just thinking about this myself. There is a guy with an old Q Jet off a '79 Cutty that I can pickup for $40 and I was figuring on picking that up then do my first ever carb rebuild. Then I saw the price on the Summit ones but it sounds like I might be better off rebuilding (not to mention it gives me a bit more experience).
Whats a good book or something on rebuilding and maybe modifying a bit a Q-Jet?
EDIT: Duh just looked on the Cliffs site and found their book. Is that a good one to pickup for this?
In reply to rebelgtp:
I think Cliff's boot is the best out there. I have a few Qjet books and his is so much better I'll probably never pick up the others again. The best thing is all the color photo's and detail. A high quality that I normally don't expect, actually never expect, in a how to/rebuild type book.
Cool I will pick that book up then.
On a side note is $40 a good price for a used carb that I will be rebuilding? Anyone around here have one they are looking to unload?
The Carburetor Shop, while only about an hour away from me, seems to be oriented to restorations and parts sales. And their website is dysfunctional, at best. Oh...and they only do stuff that's older than '74 (not that that's bad, but just more their niche).
I'll check out Cliff's this evening and see what they have.
If the Summit rebuilds really are suspect, I might just buck up and pay a few dollars more for a JET one...?
rebelgtp wrote: Cool I will pick that book up then. On a side note is $40 a good price for a used carb that I will be rebuilding? Anyone around here have one they are looking to unload?
I think I paid roughly $35 shipped for mine right here off the classifieds. I'd rebuild it myself except it has the inlet coming straight off the front of the carb (instead of to the passenger side like my car is suited better for). So...I'm looking for another carburetor anyway.
I'd say $40 isn't out of the ordinary...
ClemSparks wrote: The Carburetor Shop, while only about an hour away from me, seems to be oriented to restorations and parts sales. And their website is dysfunctional, at best. Oh...and they only do stuff that's older than '74 (not that that's bad, but just more their niche). I'll check out Cliff's this evening and see what they have. If the Summit rebuilds really are suspect, I might just buck up and pay a few dollars more for a JET one...? Thanks, Clem
There website isn't great, but honestly I don't expect much when dealing with carbs. You might just check with them since they are close to you. They get great reviews on the poncho site I go to. Cliff's is awsome, but sometimes he has a backlog.
There have been some right horror stories about cheap rebuilt carbs over on one of the 'vette forums I occasionally lurk on. I think you're better off rebuilding it yourself or getting it rebuilt by someone who knows these things.
Around here there are several shops that rebuild carbs. Last one I had done was a Holly 4bbl, cost 125.00, (years ago) worked fine. Check local, might score. Plus service is close if there is a problem.
BoxheadTim wrote: There have been some right horror stories about cheap rebuilt carbs over on one of the 'vette forums I occasionally lurk on. I think you're better off rebuilding it yourself or getting it rebuilt by someone who knows these things.
While I hardly consider $300 a "cheap rebuild"...that's really only the half of it.
To find a good core is going to be kind of a pain (I need a different carburetor anyway). I was seriously hoping a name like summit would be selling reasonable rebuilds. I could be wrong (and that's what I've heard thus far in this thread). But I really thought Summit had a bit of a good reputation (I've been happy with them the few times I've used them).
Thanks for the comments folks!
I have to agree with boxheadtim. I love Summit too, but not their quadrajet rebuilds. The summit and even the jett builds seem inferior. The benefit about using a good rebuilder is they can tune to your specific vehicle and use. 300 is not cheap, but for a the same cost or a few bucks more you can go with a good rebuilder that will taylor to your application.
Jon at the Carburetor Shop is one of the best (and even if his website isn't the greatest he is a pretty good guy), but I think even he would probably tell you to send a Qjet to Cliff Ruggles - he is the man when it comes to that particular carburetor. Both guys are regular contributors to the Pontiac web boards.
Rebuilt Q-jets are expensive. $300 is a cheap rebuild, $600 is more normal. If you have a way of replacing the throttle shaft bushings, rebuilding it yourself is an option, otherwise you will at least need to have someone else rebuild the base plate for you.
Cliff does sell a rebuild kit for the throttle shaft on his website.
i bought a reman one for $240 from the parts store and it had stripped threads on the mixture screws that leaked vacuum.
i sold my car cheap thinking something big was wrong since it ran bad with brand new carb and ignition. guy that bought it put on an edelbrock and it ran beautiful. makes me sad thinking about that.
Folks...please keep in mind that I'm looking to PURCHASE a carburetor...not simply rebuild one.
I had always heard good things about JET...I thought. Maybe that was just the writers at HotRod and CarCraft saying good things about their advertisers or something.
Has anyone used a JET carburetor? Summit sells them and says they bush the throttle shafts and such.
I dunno...this is driving me nuts. Why are carburetors so darn expensive!?
Dam $600? I would start looking at a ford CFI unit or something. I have not touched a carb in years as all m cars are now EFI.
I never paid anyone to rebuild carbs I always did it my self. With my Z28 I usually would go to the yard and get a couple carbs off the trucks and strip them down. Put them in a 2.5 gallon pail of this nasty stuff my friend got from an MIT lab and in a couple days they were squeaky. Then it was a matter of inspection and piecing together a carb from the good pieces. I was usually getting a 3-4 / 1 ratio but at $10 each for the carbs it was cheep.
As for purchasing I would go to a local shop and see if they had one to sell you. Many rebuild places end up with stock on the shelf that is never picked up or just forgotten. I have got many car bits this way over the years.
Summit carbs have a bad rep but no one has ever told me why? i tent to think it may be one of those stories that just keeps getting repeated due to one or two people getting a bad one. You end up with the classic situation of everyone has heard that they are bad but no one actually knows anyone that has a bad one. or if they do due to the Internet making a singe bad carb a national event in the automotive Internet world all of a sudden one bad out of 10K carbs sold causes every rebuilt carb Summit sells to be bad.
Ok off my soap box now.
I would call summit and ask them / tell them about the feedback you are getting and see what they have to say about it. What is there warranty? Hell due to them getting a reputation they may up the warranty for you. You have to ask the worst thing they can say is no.
After looking at Summits site I see Edelbrock's are on sale also, some even cheaper than the Summit rebuilds. Is there a reason why another brand with/without a adapter plate won't suit your needs?
I have the deal for you!
I have a very very new very low use (like 20 mile) Holley Carb (I think it's a 750 CFM 4160, it may be a 600 CFM I can verify when I get home) with an Aluminum Intake of some sort (street eliminator I think). I had it mounted on a 82 Iron head 350 350 Chevy so the intake should fit your 83 Z28 engine. It may need to have the meetering block blown out with carb cleaner as it's been sitting fora bout 2 years, it wouldn't need a re-build, but might need cleaned. I'd sell it for $150 for the setup, as it's sitting in my garage and I'd much rather see someone get some use out of it, and my V8's are EFI and probably going to be from here on out. I'm actually going to be in St. Louis next weekend, and could bring it down at least that far If interested.
Hmm...that does sound like a good deal, Nocones, and I'll think about it.
I was really hoping to just stick with a q-jet because I've always heard good things about them and the car is set up for it already (spreadbore intake manifold).
I'm not really interested in an edelbrock as I am not familiar with them at all. I've had and worked around Holley carburetors in the past and don't mind them...but I really don't want to go to the hassle of changing out to a different style. It may seem strange, but that's how it is ;).
Frankly, I'd like to phase my fleet into fuel injection as well...but this car is just going to be carbureted.
The engine in the Z28 is a "junkyard" (read: unknown, likely stock) 2 piece rear main seal 350.
I'm still considering the Summit q-jet. I figure I can look it over pretty good and see what I've got. I can return it if I don't like it. I won't be driving the car until spring, when it warms up...so warranty is kind of moot. I think they've got a one year warranty on them though...
Just let me know if you want it.
I actually bought it to replace a Quadrajet because the car I had needed a rebuild and I to was considering the Summit Q-jets, but my local Autozoo had this with an intake for a little more than the Q-jet. Install was super easy and the car fired right up (after I got the plugs put on not 180 out) and idled smooth, seemed to be jetted correctly. About that time a real good deal on a much newer, much nicer Wago-beast came up so I yanked the intake/carb off and sold the old wago-beast to a Demo-Derby guy.
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