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trouble free carb????

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ronk16, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. ronk16
    Joined: Mar 27, 2010
    Posts: 351


    On my T-Bird I have the 390 4 bl engine with the 4100 autolite carb, at this time not so good on the idle side of things and needs rebuild. Read a few articles that praise the autolite as the easiest and possibly the best 4 bl carb of it`s time. Now as of todays standards is this worth rebuilding or is there a better replacement for regular driving. The motor has had the heads redone and a little larger cam, ignition has been upgraded with petronix ignitor 3 and stock exhaust thats it. Need some opinions here .....Thanx fellas.........
  2. grey46
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 166


    Ease of tuning and reliable = Edelbrock
    Go fast and mess with all the time = Holley
    As always just my opinion ....
  3. Normal Norman
    Joined: Aug 9, 2006
    Posts: 510

    Normal Norman
    from Goshen IN.

    Ronk, Are you sure the poor idle is caused by the carb? I would first look for vacum leaks around the throttle shafts. Check all vac. hoses and pcv. And check around the intake manifold sealing surfaces. You might even check the timing. If you find leaks around the throttle shafts then a carb change might be in order,otherwise I'd rebuild what you have. Assuming you didn't find any other vac. leaks . Normal Norman
  4. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 750

    4 pedals
    from Nor Cal

    Everything I've ever read about Autolites says they're great. There's a couple outfits doing specific rebuilds for large $$$. I've played with a couple of them, haven't been able to get them to run right.

    If you want to drop one on and forget about, buy and Edelbrock. I haven't been able to fine tune them as much as I'd like, but as for a drop on and run, they're pretty damn close right out of the box.

    I prefer the adjustability of a Holley, as well as all the aftermarket support and pieces available. It's taken some learning and trial and error, but I can make them run the way I want now.


  5. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,959


    If your idle issue is the only reason you feel the carburetor is defective; try reinstalling a set of points and condensor before you throw rocks at the carb.

    And if it does turn out to be the carb; there is absolutely nothing new that will run as well on your Ford out of the box as rebuilding the original.

    In the hands of really experienced tuners, some spreadbore carbs would be better, but require a change of intake manifold as well.

  6. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,940


    Ron, for something you can drop on there and forget about, try an edelbrock. Check craigslist, I bought a perfect one for my F1 off there for $50 a few months ago.
  7. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    I really like the Edelbrock carbs as well. Pretty much bolt on and go.
  8. ronk16
    Joined: Mar 27, 2010
    Posts: 351


    Thanx for info guys. I have gone through the entire engine and stopped any vacume leaks and replaced the vac-can. Car does run better, called the previous owner and he said the carb is bone stock untouched 1966 autolite carb that has never been off the motor. I am now going to get me one of those edelbrock carbs and rebuild my autolite this winter. Once again the Hamb has been good to me.....
  9. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,599

    from Michigan

    What ever happened to "fine tuning" a new one and then go??? :rolleyes:
  10. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,661

    Larry T

    I'd fix the Autolite. Neather of the others will be anymore reliable and troublefree than the Autolite if it's in good shape.

    They have a diaphram type powervalve (identical to Holley) that will get hard or rupture after enough years (just like Holley). I'd probably check that first and give the carb a good cleaning.
    Larry T

    BTW If it were a 4300, I'd be inclined to chunk it. I'm not a big fan.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  11. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    from Central Ca

    I agree with Norman, make sure of all the supporting elements before blaming the carb. I never set point gaps, I always set the dwell, and to me is simpler to do on a point distributor, if that's what you are dealing with. Just My 2 cent's worth:D
  12. ronk16
    Joined: Mar 27, 2010
    Posts: 351


    Pulled the carb off, that was a bitch all in itself, Larry T, is the daily winner with the worn diaphram answer. Not too bad inside, but there was alot silt on the bowl bottoms. Dropped on an Edlebrock carb and you guys are right, damn thing ran like a new car, then I had to give it back to my neighbor. ALL the supporting elements were previously replaced or upgraded, points got booted along time ago for the Petronix ignitor 3 and matching coil, rebuilt the alt, new regulator ,starter, selinoid, battery and cables.
  13. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,959


    Do you think the Edelbrock will last until 2056? :p

  14. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950


    Carb kit is ~ $ 20 on ebay.

    1 left:

    You have found the problem with it, Silt in the float bowl and ruptured/cracked diaphram.
    -That's basically all that every goes wrong with them.

    There is nothing to rebuilding the carb and once done you will be good for another 40 years.

    Also, amongst all the 4 barrels, Nothing beats a Autolite for economy even when you put your foot into it (The 4100 is close to fuel injection in that it atomizes the fuel for a better burn)

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  15. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    Nothing wrong with an Autolite (on a Ford). Good economy and driveability. Next choice would be an Edelbrock, but they won't work as smooth as the Autolite will. BTW, I hate Holleys! Even though I do run a few of 'em.
  16. ronk16
    Joined: Mar 27, 2010
    Posts: 351


    Went yesterday to the local hi-po shop, (K n S) for you Niagara area Hambers, and bought a Edelbrock 1406 carb. I am now a believer that something that used to be a royal pain in the ass is now that friggin easy. Dropped the carb on hooked up the vac lines on the proper ports, set the electric choke and fast idle, boom the T-bird runs like new. Thanks to all for the advice and the comments..............Ron

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