Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Edelbrock 1406 600 CFM Carburetor Installation

A few weeks ago, I had a new Edelbrock intake manifold installed. I also had the original Rochester Quadrajet rebuilt. Everything seemed okay at first glance, but the car had a flat spot upon acceleration, so that prompted me to bring the car back to the guy who had done most of the work on it, right after I bought it.

What we found upon closer inspection, was the fact that the other mechanic had first, failed to really tighten a lot of the bolts that hold the intake manifold in place. In addition to that, there were signs of coolant leaking from the thermostat housing, again, since the bolts had not been tightened properly.

So with those issues addressed, my mechanic proceeded to install the new Edelbrock carburetor.

Out with the old...




... in with the new!



Any original piece of equipment will start to develop issues after 40 years of use, and the carburetor is no exception. At that point, your options are, one: Have it professionally rebuilt, which costs anywhere from $400 to $450. Or two: Purchase a new carburetor.

I chose option number two and after some research, decided that an Edelbrock 1406 600 CFM carb would be the right choice for my Corvette.

Since I already had an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, there was no need for an adapter plate. This saved me about an inch in height which is a good thing, since—at this time—my car still has the OEM hood. I plan to get an L-88-style aftermarket hood in the future, but for now, space under the hood is minimal.

My new carb came with a free Edelbrock 14" air cleaner which I was planning to use. But we immediately ran into a few issues. First, it would only fit if I removed the distributor shield. Not my favorite thing to do since I really like the way it looks under the hood. And second, it would need a spacer between the carb air horn and the air cleaner base so it would clear the fuel line.

At 3 inches, the air cleaner is not very tall, but adding the spacer would make closing the hood impossible, so another air cleaner would have to do.

I found another Edelbrock round air cleaner, also powder-coated black, but this one is only 10" round, and about 2" tall. This one should fit okay under the hood and clear the distributor shield. We may still need to put a spacer under it, but the lower profile will give us extra room.

Having said that, I also ordered a much smaller triangular air cleaner assembly, also by Edelbrock, which I was told, would also work for my car.

For $20 I was not going to argue. Besides, if it does not fit I can return it for a full refund, since I purchased everything from Summit Racing, and they stand behind what they sell.

But back to the carburetor installation. After Will made a new custom fuel line, we double checked everything and fired up the car to do some tuning.

He tinkered with it for a few minutes and asked me to shut it off since he thought we had a vacuum leak somewhere. So out came the smoke leak detector machine and sure enough, the brand new intake manifold was leaking! WTF?!?!

In less than a minute my shopping list became a little longer and the repair bill a lot more expensive. I would need new intake manifold gaskets plus the associated labor.

At that point I also decided that if I was going have him do all that work, I might as well bite the bullet (again) and order new Edelbrock Elite II valve covers and gaskets, since the cast aluminum ones I found on eBay a while back, are already starting to corrode like crazy, something that is bound to get worse as time goes by.

So I spent just shy of $200 on new parts. Have no idea what the labor will cost but I will find out soon enough.

It never fails that trying to save money can become an expensive proposition rather quickly, so if you're looking to replace a few parts on your ride, spend the extra few bucks and get brand-name parts. Doing so may save you money in the long run.