Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Getting the Rochester Quadrajet Rebuilt

Attempting to properly tune the Edelbrock 1406, so my '76 Corvette would run properly, has proven to be a frustrating and expensive experience, as well as a losing battle.

I had three professional mechanics tinker with it, and it would either run too lean or too rich, and it would bog down in some occasions. Eventually I took matters into my own hands and got it to work significantly better, but no one is reimbursing me the money I wasted having "pros" tune it up.

Alas, the Edelbrock continues to have issues that have made me decide, once and for all, to give up wasting time and money trying to get it to work as advertised and, instead, have the original Rochester Quadrajet professionally rebuilt.








Originally I was going to use a carburetor company located in Daytona, but they are no longer offering carburetor restoration services so I decided to contact All American Carburetors in Jacksonville, Florida and they can do the job for around $200, which is a lot less than what the other company charged.

One change that I will make to the stock configuration is to convert the choke from hot air to electric. I will discuss this with the guys at All American Carburetors when they call me (I just shipped the Q-Jet to them) and see if they offer that conversion, Otherwise, I can buy the kit from the local auto parts store and do it myself.

One of the issues my Quadrajet had was the common, age-related problem of worn out throttle shafts, but All American installs new bushings so that will take care of that issue. They also rebuild carbs using ethanol-resistant parts which include new accelerator pump, needles and seats. In addition to all that, All American also live-tests 4-barrel carbs to ensure proper float setting, accelerator pump function and that hot and cold idle adjustments and mixture screws are properly set.

From talking to All American Carburetors, my Quadrajet will be ultrasonically cleaned, media blasted and then polished. They will also Zinc Dichromate all steel parts to prevent corrosion. So for all practical purposes, it will be (and look) like a brand new carburetor.

The process takes anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks, which is fine since I also decided to have the air cleaner and original fuel lines powder coated. I dropped them off this morning at a shop in Longwood that specializes in the powder coating process for commercial clients but also takes care of automotive enthusiasts. For $100 plus sales tax, my air cleaner, fuel line and a few related small parts will look better than new.

After doing a bit of research online, I decided to have these pieces powder coated with a "Black Pearl" finish, since photos of NCRS quality Corvettes showed that these parts were shiny from the factory, instead of the satin finish they develop after a few decades of use. Besides, I think they will look great with the "Black Pearl" finish I chose, compared to my spray can "resto" a while back.






I will have photos of the finished product in a few weeks, so stay tuned, and thank you for reading.