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Technical Flathead carburetor question

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ted62, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Ted62
    Joined: Apr 14, 2019
    Posts: 10


    Hi all, I recently bought a 1950 ford with a stock 8BA flathead. It runs and drives great but I want to dress it up. I would really like to put dual carbs on it, but I’m curious your opinions if two carbs on a stock flathead is too much fuel, and would I be creating a problem? Also I have heard if changing to dual carbs I should change the distributor because of problems with the vacuum advance on the stock distributor then. I’ve also heard suggestions of doing tri carb and only running off of the center one, but personally I think that’s a little tacky haha, also I just prefer the two carb look on the flathead. Any thoughts or advice on the matter? I’ve searched the message board but seen mostly considerations concerning flatheads with some work in them (cam etc. )
  2. terry k
    Joined: Jan 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,592

    terry k
    from toledo oh

    I like the 2 carb set up. I ran it on my '50 Ford. Best thing you can do is install elec. ignition. Starts every time. Follow with w pr. of headers.
  3. Ted62
    Joined: Apr 14, 2019
    Posts: 10


  4. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 807

    from Florida

    Couple things to think about. Location of generator and type of carbs, besides the distributor.

  5. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,074


    As far as the distributor goes, get a Chevy conversion from Bubba here on the Hamb or Charlie NY on the Ford Barn. I'm running a Bubba Chevy on my basically stock 8ba with EAB heads and it was the best thing I did. JMO
    RMR&C likes this.
  6. Stash31
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 100

    from New Jersey

  7. Step 1: Replace the distributor. The stock "Loadamatic" will not work with dual carbs.
  8. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,111

    1. Maryland HAMBers

    +1 on two carbs with a bubba's elec dist.
    I have mine set up progressive.
  9. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,145


    To elaborate on what "AngleDrive" posted, the manifold he shows is a "Regular", which (as shown) can be used with the generator in the stock location. The other type is the "Super" which places one carburetor over each set of input ports. This gives better fuel distribution than the "Regular", but has the disadvantage of requiring either an offset generator bracket or converting to an alternator. Both of these options add complications. Also, with a "Super" you have to run straight linkage on the carburetors. Some people say you can run a "Regular" with progressive linkage, but others recommend against it. I'd try it both ways. Another option for a distributor would be another aftermarket brand. They were made by such companies as Mallory, Accel, and MSD and can sometimes be found on the used market. These are usually centrifugal advance only, but I have found that they work pretty well.

    There are some choices to be made, so you are wise to do some planning. One thing I would recommend is make sure that any manifold that you get was made specifically for the 8BA type engines. While some people will try to sell you an earlier manifold and say it will work, they are not a good choice with an otherwise stock engine. They will bolt on to the block, but an 8BA uses a completely different crankcase ventilation system than the earlier cars, and unless you make proper provisions for it, you could end up with problems. This can lead to a discussion of PCV systems, which is a little beyond what we are talking about here.
  10. Ted62
    Joined: Apr 14, 2019
    Posts: 10


    Thanks everyone for your input! The two pictures that were posted are great looking set ups. Generator location is something I’ve certainly thought of along with the process as well (just the in case it’s needed). Given your input I definitely think I’ll go with a dual carb set up, most likely a “regular” dual intake. Any preference on carbs? Stromberg 97’s vs Holley 94’s vs ford brand 8ba?

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  11. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,007

    from VA

    2 carbs will make a difference that you can feel in the seat of your pants ,& see on Speedo/Tac but requires Tuning .
  12. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,798

    from Wa.

    A wide spaced manifold (Super type) will make a very noticeable increase in hp over a narrow spaced one.
    You will need to install 3 long studs for the generator bracket. On an 8ba this is about a 20 minute job.
    DO NOT try to run progressive linkage on a 2 carb manifold. It is against Boyle's laws of physics.
    There is no way you can get proper fuel distribution over the low and mid rpm range.
    Just because people do not understand or believe in the laws of physics does not mean the do not apply to them.

    2 carbs is not too much for a stock engine. Use Stromberg 48's if you can find them. Try Charlie in New York or
    Uncle Max in Utah. They are on this forum.

    You do need some form of after market ignition. The original Loadamatic can be made to work but it will be marginal at best. Talk to Bubba. He is on this forum.

    As a side note, there is a way to run 3 carbs on a stock engine that works very good. Expensive though because it requires 3 Stromberg 81 carbs. They are scarce and expensive. You can run straight linkage also.
    Ted62 and 19Eddy30 like this.
  13. oldbanger71
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 131


    I used to have a 3 x Stromberg 97 carb set up with Offenhouser 3 carb intake ( front and back running and middle blocked just for looks ) looked nice but performance wasn't that good, tried it with 3 carbs : at hi refs and speed was good but otherwise not handling well.
    As you can think blocking one carb is not the way how the intake was designed to work.
    All depends on how you want to drive your rod.
    Bildschirmfoto 2019-04-15 um 08.33.01.png
    I run now : Edelbrock super dual intake with two original Stromberg 97,
    ( if you read many threads here on HAMB, it seems a good advise to use genuine Stromberg, since the aftermaket carbs produce a lot of trouble for some reason )
    Electronic distributor is a good advice.
    I had them with progress-link, but didn't work nice, so i'm changing now to fixed parallel set up. Bildschirmfoto 2019-04-15 um 08.36.08.png Bildschirmfoto 2019-04-15 um 08.35.19.png
    I have a cupple jet-sets to experiment. Dual choke too. I have a offset aternator in a generator housing with the Offenhouser offset bracket.
    Some run the Stromberg 97's on S= summer or W= Winter adjustment that maks a differance too.
    I have one extra that i would sell, but i guess shipping would be horrendous from my location.;)
    Something you should think about too, is how high you want the carbs, since you can't access the jets with the jetwrench when the carbs sit direct on the intake, so to change the jet's, you need the take them off each time.
    Also carb riser change the airspeed and caracteristics of performance.
    I have ordered Stromberg 2" riser to see what's it doing ......
    It's all up to your imagination and how good you are in tuning / synchronising muli-carb set up, can be done but, you will need to work your self into the theme and understand what your doing. Have fun with it, nothing you can't change agin.
    A friend is running the Eddy Meyers Slingshot Dual setup which is nice to look at and he's most happy with it. Bildschirmfoto 2019-04-15 um 09.04.46.png
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  14. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,968


    Read post 12 again and go with what he says, some good advice right there.
    FWIW, .... I run a single holley 1&1/16” on my 8ba, and it is a good improvement over a single .94”
    I feel that the Only way to run progressive linkage with 2 carbs is on a Y manifold. (Others may disagree).
  15. Ted62
    Joined: Apr 14, 2019
    Posts: 10


    Thanks everyone for your advice. A few things to certainly consider! Pete1 especially, all makes sense and I want to make sure I do it right. Great advice!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  16. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,145


    As to carburetor selection, it is mainly a matter of cost; it goes like this :





    For a '50 Ford, which is a relatively heavy car, 94's would probably be best, plus you may only have to buy one.:) As to 97's the word is that the new English built 97's are every bit as good as the originals, plus, they are just that : new. The ones to avoid like the plague are the "Nine-Super-Sevens" available from one of the major Speed Emporiums. It's odd, but I have never seen a definitive judgement posted on the new Edelbrock 94's. I would expect them to be excellent, given Edelbrock's reputation, but every time I check a thread on them, it seems the jury is still out. I will admit I'm not looking actively, so my information isn't completely up to date.

  17. if you can afford a little verticle height under the hood, I would recomen one of the best performing intakes. The Edlebrock Slingshot is a very good choice. I have one, see pictures. It will give you great performance, doen't matter if you run a single carb or both carbs. The intake has a common plenum, this will allow you tune without starving any cylinders. The intake is also sort of an early tunnel ram, gives you great fuel mixture because of the long runners. The intake will aslo allow you to run the stock generator location.

    Intake is available through Summit, it is a little pricier but well worth the investment


    If you decide to call Charlie in NY tell him your situation and he will build the carbs and distributor to your specification. I highly recommend him. he will run the equipment on his personal vehicle and confirm performance before it leaves his shop.

    I would run Holley 94's, you will be able to jet them up or down easily as well as pay with the power valves.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  18. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,145


    From what I can see, the Edelbrock "Slingshot" is available for the early flatheads only, with no provision for the 8BA breather system. This, and the height, make it not the optimum choice for a "near-stock" '50 Ford. I also personally think it would look too "early" installed on a '50 Ford.
  19. Ted62
    Joined: Apr 14, 2019
    Posts: 10


    I definitely have the hood height for it, and I don’t mind the hi rise look. I do see Eddie Meyer hi rise for the 49-53 engine, would that be on the same par as the Edelbrock slingshot?

    Also seems that for the Edelbrock super dual I only see for earlier flatheads, but Offenhauser has a super dual for the 8ba I would certainly lean towards as well.

    Also thanks for all the input about carbs and such from Charlie in NY. He certainly seems highly recommend and someone I would like to deal with!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. Ted62
    Joined: Apr 14, 2019
    Posts: 10


    I also have a weiand “regular” dual carb intake sitting on the shelf at home. But if a super dual would run better I certainly have no qualms leaving that on the shelf to buy a different intake for this particular set up.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app

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