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Your experience with Carbs and Weather

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by fireplug, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    I didn't want to hijack so I figured I start a new thread. My experience with carbed vehicles is limited to old VW's which always, always started and now my newly acquired (I think Q Jet) '76 Blazer.

    I hear a lot of you guys talking about how the carbed trucks don't start as well in the cold and damp. How common is this? I haven't had any probs and I'm in Canada, though this year we've not had extreme cold. What temps start to cause problems?
     
  2. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    I know weather is more important to how it runs , mine will fall on its face in the summer when its hot and humid .

    The cold weather starting problems seem to come from sticky chokes most often . And in snowy places , from icing I'm sure , but I haven't lived in snow in forever .
     
  3. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    My GMC always started on the second crank -- +40 C or -40C, snowing, raining, or fog. However, if it was cold, or damp, then it didn't like to be put under load for about 5 minutes or so. After that it was typically alright. Of course, I did adjust my carb per season. Richer in the winter, leaner in the summer, and I kept on top of it to make sure the tune was perfect.
     
  4. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    IF the qjet is tuned right and don't have the typical leaks from the casting plugs under the main body or throttle shaft holes wobbled out they run just fine.

    The q-jet in my K5 always starts quick in the cold. If I haven't driven it for 3-days or more it will take a couple of pumps on the throttle to get some fuel but it always starts after that. If its cold it kicks right up to high idle stays there until I tap the throttle to bring it down. I love my q-jet...
     
  5. Robert79K5

    Robert79K5 1/2 ton status

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    Hell I live in Georgia where it dosn't ever get really really cold and I hate carbs. Iv had quadrajets, carters, webbers and edelbrocks and I hate the way any of them act when its "cold" outside.
    Fuel injection has spoiled me.. just crank up and take off without worrying if its going to fall flat on its face when you pull out of your subdivision.
     
  6. matto

    matto Registered Member

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    i have never had a problem with my 80 k5 staring, it has the q jet on it and it starts up everytime without any problems at all. there isnt extreme cold here in ct but we have every type of weather. no matter what it is he will start. so i think that you should be all set.

    matt
     
  7. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    The Q-Jet on my '72 started perfect last winter, but not as well this winter. It always starts right up as soon as I turn the key, but I need to "feather" the gas for about 10 seconds after it starts, then it's fine. No stumbling or running rough.

    My '79 F150 (Yes, as in "Ford") has a rebuilt carb with a "climatic" choke and it works great. It even starts faster than fuel injection.

    My friend's '84 K5 starts the first time he bumps the key.

    Ironically, I have a '96 K1500 with a fuel injected Vortec 350, and sometimes it takes 30-45 seconds to get it to start :rolleyes:

    And our '95 Mustang needs a few seconds to fire also.





    .
     
  8. rcamacho

    rcamacho 1/2 ton status

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    My Holly 3310-1 runs well 80+ to 20. I have not run it in colder weather than that. If you have very wide temperature/air density changes in your area you may need to seasonally re-jet your carb if you have issues.

    For instance, if you run stoch. in the summer the carb may stumble like crazy in the winter due to the air density causing the system to run excessively lean. Likewise, a carb jetted for winter may run excessively rich in summer due to density decrease.
     
  9. theperfectgarage

    theperfectgarage 1/2 ton status

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    I Have experiance with carb's from Tucson to Flin Flon and with a good condition, well maintained vehicle I've had no probs with starting year round. The only issue I've encounterd is carb. iceing, It's allways been with aluminum intakes and with temps between about 32.f and 45.f and has everything to do with the humidity. I have solved this with the use of a " winterfront " on the grill or even a piece of cardboard zip tied to the front of the rad. Also a lessor conducting carb spacer ( phenolic, wood ) can be of some help.
     
  10. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all the input. I'm close to purchasing a new engine, and have been trying to decide whether or not to go carb. Mine right now is great, starts everytime and high idles perfectly. I love the idea of side of the road mechanics, ie. no computers, but I do want a reliable vehicle. So it doesn't sound like mine is a rare oddity in being a good performer!
     
  11. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Mine start good..

    I never owned an EFI equipped vehicle,until I got into diesels,and last year I got a 95 Contour..all my other vehicles I ever owned were carbed.(including several VW "bugs" and "busses"!..)

    All of them never failed to START in cold weather,providing the choke worked (some never had an operational one,they were wired open--or were Holley carbs that didn't even have a butterfly for the choke!)..rven those with disabled chokes DID start,but it took a lot of foot dancing and pedal pumping to get them going,and keep them running the first several minutes..

    But all the ones that were in good working order always fired right up ..the main problem I have with carbs is icing too!--its often cold and damp,and foggy here..any time its near 80-100% humidity,and between 32-50 degrees,you start to understand where the term "Cold Blodded Chevy" comes from..
    After it gets "lukewarm",after 3 to 5 minutes after starting,you'll get stalling at idle,hesitation,and sometimes it will even make the gas pedal stick,and not run at all,when ice clogs the venturi's in the carb..its very important to keep the "heat riser" or EFE valve working right around here,and that pipe to the air cleaner and exhaust "stove" hooked up..

    Its misery driving something here with a aluminum intake,an aluminum carb like an AFB or Edelbrock(especially if it has a spacer or adapter under it)..from september to may,its best to have a "stock" carb and all the "carb heat" you can get to it here..many folks use the "grille curtains" that cover part of the grille--I used cardboard in front of the radiator to get the motor hot quicker..but you had to remove it before highway driving..a PITA!!..

    But except for the "lukewarm" blues,carbs always started my vehicles right up..it was keeping them running until it fully warmed up that was sometimes difficult..I can relate to "pulling out of your subdivision",and having it flatten out and cough and sputter,while its still semi-warmed up!..makes your sphincter tighten right up!..:doah: .....
     
  12. 1985_K5_Silverado

    1985_K5_Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    I've had numerous carbed and EFI vehicles over the years, but when I bought this Blazer last month, it had an Edelbrock carb on a strong and pretty fresh GM crate 350. When it was 9 degrees out, it started from ice-cold with a half-pump on the gas folowed by turning the key, and it fired almost instantly. It's always started like a champ (and ran like a top, cold or warm), and there's a certain appeal to being able to replace the major component of your fuel delivery system for around 300-400 bucks new in box.

    Now, on engines that I'm going to leave bone-stock, I prefer EFI. On stuff I'm going to fiddle with, carbs appeal to me (and we have no smog tests here:D). I like dinking around with carbs, and maybe they appeal to my stuck-in-the-past nature. I've never had an Edelbrock carb before, having always been a Holley guy, but this carb is a breeze to tune. After I get the truck's body restored, I might put an Edelbrock Performer RPM Pro-Flo EFI system (I do like that stand-alone calibration module) on the 350, but for now the carb will do nicely enough.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I think it's all in how the carb is setup and it's condition.

    I wouldn't have run mine as long as I did had I the problems some people experience. 'teens to hundreds, the carb worked the same in all climates, at all elevation. Started reliably, kept running, choke worked great.

    Still wouldn't trade EFI for a carb. Just save for EFI later. :)
     
  14. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Hmmm. Well what do you guys think of this. I'm going to drop some coin on a GM Crate very soon (as soon as I decide). I've got a great deal which is why I'm going GM. Anyway, I'm toying with everything from a stock 290 Hp? to a stock 454. Though I'm partial to the 383.

    One engine that has me intrigued though I haven't found anyone with first hand knowledge is what they call Fastburn? It is an injected motor.

    So if I was to consider injection what would be the best way to go as far as simplicity, reliability, and cost, stock TBI (I guess chipped) or another aftermarket system?
     
  15. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    That's a hard question. If you don't put a direct replacement engine in, you are going to have issues with tune.

    If you were planning on making the swap to injection, I would throw out cost, simplicity, etc., and go with what will work the best. That's what you need to determine, how is it going to be used (towing, high RPM use, all around, etc)

    Mega-Squirt would be pretty decent if they ever get/got timing integrated into the system.
     

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