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Why Carburetors are Obsolete - 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,126
edited June 2015 in Chevrolet
imageWhy Carburetors are Obsolete - 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Long-Term Road Test

The smell of burnt gasoline persists from the side pipes of our 1966 Chevrolet Corvette. But this smell was coming from the engine bay.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Posts: 863
    So... is the speedometer/odometer issue fixed permanently? Doesn't seem like much work is getting done on it.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Probably a stuck or bad float. That and maybe a bad gasket.

    Kits are still available and I'm sure you have somebody on staff there at Edmunds who still remembers how to rebuild a carb.
  • handbrakehandbrake Posts: 99
    I would like to go on record as predicting that the Yugo will (1) be more reliable and (2) less flammable than the Corvette.
  • fordson1 said:

    Probably a stuck or bad float.....

    Tap it with a hammer.

  • Just things you have to expect in a 50 year old car. A great idea when you first buy a vintage car is to take it to a trusted mechanic and have them go through it completely and fix all the stuff that's wrong before you drive it on any regular basis. Just think, this was built 50 years ago to not quite exacting standards then, so imagine all the carp that could have happened to it, was done to it by previous owners, and what nature did to it. Better safe than sorry, and well worth Edmund's bucks.
  • good points markinnaples_

    For a car like this you either need to not care about costs and have a good mechanic lined up or love working on it yourself. Then take everything that is a wear item and you don't have a paper trail for and inspect, rebuild or replace it: hoses, belts, steering components, suspension, brakes, carbs, fuel delivery etc. A car can look great on the surface but still have a lot of key parts worn out.

    When it was my only form of transportation I didn't like working on a 40 year old car. When I've got backup vehicles I really enjoy it. It is the difference between having to get it completed that night and being able to take a week to finish it up.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,342
    The cars of yesterday like this Corvette demand a lot more attention than today's cars require. I often miss the old days when we could expect to rebuild a carb a day.
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,349
    Why'd they bother getting this? It's the ideal vehicle for somebody that wants to work on a classic car. Not their thing, I guess...
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    texases said:

    Why'd they bother getting this? It's the ideal vehicle for somebody that wants to work on a classic car. Not their thing, I guess...

    Have to say I agree...all this talk of having a mechanic lined up...trusted mechanic, etc....you better like and be able to work on it yourself, or you're not only gonna be paying for this $55,000 car, you're going to be making the payments on the mechanic's $55,000 boat, too.

    There is an online info and experience repository for cars like this that is truly formidable...much moreso than for any modern car. Rebuilding the Holley on this car yourselves really is jumping in at the shallow end - honest.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,342
    texases said:

    Have to say I agree...all this talk of having a mechanic lined up...trusted mechanic, etc....you better like and be able to work on it yourself, or you're not only gonna be paying for this $55,000 car, you're going to be making the payments on the mechanic's $55,000 boat, too.

    There is an online info and experience repository for cars like this that is truly formidable...much moreso than for any modern car. Rebuilding the Holley on this car yourselves really is jumping in at the shallow end - honest.

    Hmmm. What boat? Besides, the total bill wouldn't make half of such a payment, and the GP much less. An overhaul on one of these is in the ballpark of $300, considerably less than what it costs to just replace it with one out of a box.

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021

    fordson1 said:

    Probably a stuck or bad float.....

    Tap it with a hammer.

    That would be the traditional way to stop the fuel. Often it is just a bit of gunk in the float needle from sitting. A wrap with a hammer or screwdriver blade would very likely take care of the problem.
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514
    This is why my father never understood the nostalgia of car cruises; he knew modern cars were much more reliable, and didn't miss the Bad Old Days.
    This repair shouldn't be too bad, but you'll have a steady diet of this stuff for the duration.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    You can always convert the Vette to fuel injection. The car will certainly start and run better. Just keep the old stuff in a box somewhere.
  • m35x2m35x2 Posts: 1
    Today's gas with minimum 10% ethanol is hard on these cars. It sounds like the fuel percolating out of the bowls, this is a common problem especially with Holley carburetors. Adding a heat shield and isolator gasket can help cool down the carb, use of Stabil Blue with each fill up also helps offset the issues with ethanol.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    m35x2 said:

    Today's gas with minimum 10% ethanol is hard on these cars. It sounds like the fuel percolating out of the bowls, this is a common problem especially with Holley carburetors. Adding a heat shield and isolator gasket can help cool down the carb, use of Stabil Blue with each fill up also helps offset the issues with ethanol.

    Could just be percolating, but I doubt it. Adding a couple of Hayden fans to the back side of the radiator, as I stated in another comment, in addition to your suggestions, will also help...especially at idle.

  • lmbvettelmbvette South FloridaPosts: 93
    texases said:

    Why'd they bother getting this? It's the ideal vehicle for somebody that wants to work on a classic car. Not their thing, I guess...

    Agreed.

    They buy a classic and don't do any of their own work. They just send it someplace to have it fixed. Silly. Edmunds, your job is testing and writing about cars because you are car guys and girls. You have 20 cars in the fleet. If a car needs to sit a few days it can, no reason to pay for a mechanic for this sort of stuff.

    Non-car people drop their vehicles off at a shop to have them fixed, car people do not (unless under warranty).

    I expected pictures and write-up of removing the carb and cleaning/replacing various parts. Instead, we get this.

    Pathetic.

    Honestly, I would work for you guys for free to have an opportunity to fix the carb on this thing.

    Don't worry about what other people think. Drive what makes you happy.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,342
    lmbvette said:


    They buy a classic and don't do any of their own work. They just send it someplace to have it fixed. Silly. Edmunds, your job is testing and writing about cars because you are car guys and girls. You have 20 cars in the fleet. If a car needs to sit a few days it can, no reason to pay for a mechanic for this sort of stuff.

    Non-car people drop their vehicles off at a shop to have them fixed, car people do not (unless under warranty).

    Not even a warranty is enough of a reason to take a car back to the dealer from my POV. It's easier to just fix it myself. Now recalls, that's a different animal because of the paperwork so that the manufacturer can prove that the work got done.
    lmbvette said:



    I expected pictures and write-up of removing the carb and cleaning/replacing various parts. Instead, we get this.

    Pathetic.

    Honestly, I would work for you guys for free to have an opportunity to fix the carb on this thing.

    Free? Sheesh....
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