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I was wondering how you “old timers” got by prior to fuel injection? I’m 34 years old myself and had a 1978 Camaro back in high school that was carbureted.

I was reading up on late model fuel injection and most sites said that carburetors pretty much suck in the winter or drastic weather changes…..best I can recall I don’t ever remember being broke down or having problems during the time I owned my Camaro. The car actually ran good and strong.

Heck my dad drove a 1977 Thunderbird from 1983 – 1991 and I don’t remember him having problems either.

Having said that, how did you guys get by in the 60’s and 70’s? Did you have any issues or problems?

This is something that I having been wondering so I’d thought I would ask people that were active drivers during these times……

And I'm not bashing carburators....I'm trying to decide if I want to leave the TPI fuel injection I installed on my car or go back to a really good carburator for simplicity.....
 

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Without going into a long, drawn out discussion, it is clear that for most street or street/strip applications, fuel injection has all kinds of advantages over carburetion.

That said, you have to keep in mind that for decades before fuel injection, carbs were used on virtually every car sold in the US (fuel injected C1's and C2's being a very notable exception). These carbureted cars, in spite of benign neglect and indifferent maintenance from their owners, generally performed their duties in the hot southern summers as well as the cold midwestern winters in a respectable way.

There's a reason that "starting fluid" sold as well as it did during those times, though. My father taught me the basics and importance of annual carburetor maintenance (external cleaning, idle/fuel mixture adjustment, & choke operation) on our 1970 Impala, and that car didn't give us any fuel related problems in the nine years it stayed in the family.

On my '65 coupe, I had my Holley carb tuned enough for a "no touch" start - no need to pump the pedal before starting, and it would fire right up. Keep in mind that I only drove that car in good weather, though.

I understand the desire for carburetion - if you grew up with 'em, you know what to do, how they work, and what to listen for when they have problems.

Steven
 

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For the absolute best in no leaks performance, but not necessarily top end horsepower you need a Carter/Edel AFB 650 cfm is plenty for a 350, larger engines of course need larger carbs.....

Holley carbs used to be the number ONE fire hazard on cars, according to a buddy who was a GEICO claims adjuster at the time....engine fire, Holley 95% of the time, followed by Qjet way down the list, and NEVER ONCE from a Carter AFB....he worked there 4-5 years in the late 60's...HATED the place...

Far as driveability, I would take any FI system over any carb, any damn day....CASE CLOSED......

OH, forgot to add, on my '72 here, going to TPI from that Qjet DOUBLED my fuel economy....from like 12 mixed bag to 18-20 mix bag to 24 on the highway.....stock as a stove mild cam L48 engine....

:cheers:
 

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I suppose a little history would help. The basic design for the venturi carb goes back to a hungarian inventer in late 1800"s. Some companys like Holly go back 100 years. Holly was a supplier to Ford for the Model T. These are rather crude,"puddle" type carbs with 2 moving parts. I believe Carter came in in the mid-twenties, and introduced the accelerator pump.
Fuel injection came to being in WWII, as fighters needed better fuel control for manuvers and altitude variations.
Carbs continued as the mainstay on automobiles for econoomic reasons untill EPA and fuel effeciency laws made carbs too complex to comply. The computer controlled quadrajet of 1981 was a failed experiment. IMHO
Fuel injection enebles super fine tuning and fuel consumption a science. Carbs are easy to repair and maintain.Once dialed in to your specific application, they rarely need further adjustment.
Kind of like comparing an abacus to a computer. I love my computer, but an abacus rarely fails.:laughing:
 

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Us "Old Timers" were more worried about maneuvering around the piles of Dinosaur poop than whether the car started......:rolling:

We managed with Carburetors since we had no choice. The early fuel injection was regarded as a pain in the you know what. But we learned Carbs because we had to.... If a carburetor is properly set up you will not have any issues. I never had any issues, and like said before, everyone had them so we managed.

Considering getting the right amount of fuel and air into the motor is the goal. Fuel injection came along and started to cure that. I am sure that Fuel Injection morphed out of diesel engines more than anything cause they always as far as I know had it. Aircraft motors came with both. They had mechanical injectors. Along with Fuel injection, we learned about vapor locks and all other sorts of issues.... No system is simple if you do not have the expertise to tune it.

Fuel injection today is far superior to anything these days. With an exhaust sensor and a computer, the system will dial into your needs in a msec... Edelbrock makes a sweet EFI system, but it is expensive. If I had the money I would go Fuel injection all the way. It is very reliable and simple.

The Crossfire fuel injection had/has a bad reputation from 1982. However, if the system gets set up correctly runs very well. So do Carburetors.....it's 6 of one......half dozen....

Fuel injection is more expensive, better for performance. Carburetors are much cheaper and still provide worthy performance as well. They just need to be set up correctly and maintained.

This subject can turn religious in a heartbeat. We also had points back then too.......

EFI made things much more reliable than points.... Hotter spark. But when the ignition module died, you were dead. Points just started to go down hill in most cases at least giving a warning like loss of power where you could limp back home.

Rd
 

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I remember as a teenager, that popping the hood, removing the air filter lid,
putting the pedal to the floor, and starting it up made me feel like a mechanic.

:lookinup:
 

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Growing up in the northeast I remember well my father cursing the automatic choke. That was the first thing to go on all our cars. I mean get removed, not fail. He put a manual pull choke cable on every car we had. Fuel injection is far superior IMO, but has it's cost and complications.
I tend to like mechanical things, so messing with pump cams and throttle linkage can be fun.....on the toy...the DD is programmed for performance injection.
 

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No choice...

yuppers, get good with a wench or walk, unless you could convince the wench to pick U up....:rolling: :rolling:

I never could afford some guy to mess up my car for me...so I learned by doing, and talking to others at the drag strip....I shut my mouth when they spoke, and learned that way....
 

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once you UNDERSTAND carbs and have some experiance with them, (ONCE its tuned correctly for YOUR COMBO)youll be somewhat reluctant to use EFI,, look all my current cars are MPFI cars and computers are fine but a decent carb setup can be nearly flawless and has a much larger tollerance range before you need to make changes to the tune-up specs (ONCE its tuned correctly for YOUR COMBO)
truefully the main advantages of MPFI is better mileage and better low rpm fuel economy and lower emmissions, dependability and power were never a big problem with a correctly tuned carb set-up
 

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I'm 40 now and only bought my first FI car 18 months ago with a new Dodge Durango. My 82 Vette had an Edelbrock carb on it when I bought it and that's where it's going to stay. I drove it to work a couple of times (before I pulled it to bits) and coming out at the end of day shift with the temperature about 47 degrees Celcius, one pump and it would fire straight up. I didn't mess with the tuning or anything and it seemed fine all through the range...
 

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All mine were Rochester FI Vettes until the 68 came out and I no longer had a choice so I ordered the 68 as a 435. Nothing wrong with carburation so long as it`s a wise combination underneath it. A random selection of miss-matched performance parts purchased with the idea that more or bigger is better is more often than not a disaster waiting to happen leading to horrible performance. I would favor a true racers opinion as a quality one rather than from a bunch of bench racers at a local cruise or wherever.
 

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I have only had one fuel injected car and that was a mecanical fuel injection also.I drive a carburated car all vinter here in the northern Sweden without problems,just use the choke when its cold:thumbsup:
 

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Being that I started out with a carberated car does that make me an old timer at 32? :D
I honestly had a carbonsquizer on my first vehicles since it was what I could afford. As I got older, and could afford a vehicle with EFI, I went that route.
Working on, and understanding either system just took knowledge gained from books I read. The decision over which type of fuel system is better, or worse in my opinion (which doesn't mean much) depends upon the ability to understand the principles of how each system functions, and how it will suite your needs.
Personaly I like EFI. The only reason I switched from a carb to EFI on the Corvette was really for the challenge of doing the project, and I got the TPI donor car for free. (anyone want a '87 iroc z-28 for free)
 

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old farts

well I may well be younger then you guys but I LOVED my
57 desoto it was a blast . Carb too.:rolling: :rolling: never had a problem with it and thats good. cause I might not have been able to afford to take it to a old fart that new what to do.
 

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As mentioned - it was all we had - there really wasn't a choice. But we also didn't know what we were missing so it wasn't all that bad. :laughing:
 

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I’m 34 years old myself and had a 1978 Camaro back in high school that was carbureted.
.....
34 and you're calling me an old timer. Mee thinks you are pushing old time too .:D

90% of the battle is getting it started. I plan to convert mine to manual choke soon. I don't think stock or electric choke works that well. Ive decided to quit flipping around with it.

I can modulate the choke as it warms up and keep it running good.

What is simpler than a carb? Really not much to leave you stranded like FI can.
 

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some of the best times of my life were behind the wheel of a 67 roadster with an LS-7 crate motor that had a 1000CFM Dominator carb on top.......my wife rubs it in that I sold it everytime we see a silver roadster with a black stinger hood.....ahhhh the days of Sunoco 260 right out of the pump for .50 a gallon...those were the days.
...redvetracr
 
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