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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 26,971
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
If someone was able to find a Carter WCFB for a 265 V8 that hasn't been worn out, rebuilt, and worn out again, it would be interesting to see some dyno run figures on a 235. Of course, a proper 4 BBL intake would also need to be sourced from somewhere.

"It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and eliminate all doubt!" - Abraham Lincoln
Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. - Ernest Hemingway
Love your enemies and drive 'em nuts!
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,325
An acquaintence of mine has what I believe is the most powerful 261 in the country. He has done some pretty crazy things with his motor, things I would never attempt myself. Runs the Cliffor 4 bbl and a 650 double pumper (at least the last time I saw the car). Runs low 13s and he may have cracked the 12s. In my view, if you are trying to drag out every single bit of power out of a 235 or 261, a four bbl carb is what is going to do it. Not 5 strombergs, or three rodchesters, not even two holley 2 bbls or two holley four bbls.

Those pontiac carbs were pretty trick and someone speant some time at GM figuring out the calibration to make them work right.

For a street set up, if you are inclined to multiple carbs, for whatever reason, I think a progressive carb is where its at. A holley 2305 would be my choice but they are unavavialbe and unobtanium anywhere. They were rare when they were still sold by Holley. Tom Lowe over at inliners and the owner of is pretty clever and a very good machinest. He actually sorted out a way to take a stock 2300 and make it into a progressive 2300. Unfortunately I understand from Tom it was a lot of work and not inexpensive to reproduce. Otherwise, I still like the dual 5200 Ford Pinto carbs. Not quite as big as the Weber 38 mm DGEV units, and the Pinto units are progressive. My car ran terrific on those carbs.

Now all of the above being said, a couple of years ago I was salavating over an unrestored 55 station wagon. 235, powerglide so hydraulic lifters. It belinged to the man's grandmother. That motor ran so whisper quiet that I was taken back a bit. I had forgotten just how quiet they were. Stock single carb. I am going to restore one of my core motors and it will have a single carb on it. Jon and I have had a couple of conversations and I am fan of the Carter products. Never knew until he posted his list of replacement carbs that Carter sold an direct replacement for a 57 235 motor. That is what I will use for a stock rebuild. If I was going to install a pair of 1 bbls on a motor, I would go with the W1. Jon actually explained to me why the YF is a good but not the best choice in that regard (W1 has a mechanical power system as opposed to the YFs partial vacuum power system). Duals on a 2x1 conversion would be the 5200 Holley weber. Duals on a really warmed up motor, a pair of 2300 holley 350 cfm carbs. Are there others, you bet, 390, 450 holley, others. Its all about tinkering and playing and having a little fun investigating. In the end, does it really matter whether your 235 makes 120, 140 or 160 horse power if you are enjoying the experience modifying the motor. I dont think so. Does it matter that you like a single 1 bbl because its reliable and works without much fuss or muss on a nice stock motor, certainly not. Life is way too short to be worrying abuot that kind of stuff.

Last edited by Dragsix; Thu Mar 10 2022 07:16 PM.

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,137
That 261 is naturally aspirated and running low 13s? Must be a pretty light car?

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,325
Its not light, and when you see it run, you ask your self how can that be. But it has crazy stuff done to it and truth is, I dont know all of it or even enough to scratch the surface except crazy crank work, crazy rod work, all sorts of crazy stuff.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,567
Carburetion specialist
Mike - if you still have that 3x1 intake, would really like to see what you could get with it, solid linkage, and 3 Carter W-0 carbs.

I have not personally had an opportunity to see these run, but have suggested them to a couple of customers that report back they work well.


Good carburetion is fuelish hot air
The most expensive carburetor is the wrong one you attempt to modify
If you truly believe "one size fits all" try walking a mile in your spouse's shoes!
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,137
As long as we’re throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks….

There was a QJet calibrated for a 4.3L Mercruiser. I know nothing, less than nothing about Marine carbs. Perhaps their setup is a complete non-starter for a motor vehicle. Educate me.

I was just curious because 4.3L is about dead nuts for a 261.

Last edited by JW51; Thu Mar 10 2022 10:11 PM.
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,978
In addition to the displacement difference (230 / 292 = +27%) and RPM range (5,000 vs 7,000), the Sprint is a 12 port engine with very different activity in the intake ports. Don't count on it being a close match out of the box. I suspect the high speed air must be tweaked.

The 390 has 1-7/16" throttle discs and 1-1/16" venturis

Sorry, slipped up on AFB, must remember not to trust memory more than 50 years.

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 10,724
Renaissance Man
I've said it before, I'll say it again. If you want the most out of a truck which has a 216, 235, or a 261, leave the engine stock except for maybe put a Carter YF on it, and put a better drivetrain behind it.
That would be a T-5 transmission and a rearend geared best for the T-5 you end up with.
If GM would have come up with the T-5 in the '40s, there would be fewer auto manufacturers right now.
It is that good behind a stock Stovebolt engine. Just ask anyone who has done that swap.
Every time you shift gears and dump the clutch, you are in the optimal power range of these engines. You have more gears and they are closer together. No more lugging, then gradual increase in RPM until you make it scream so as to prevent it from lugging from the next gear change.
I am not trying to take the fun away from engine tinkerers, but those gains are hard to find.

Last edited by 52Carl; Fri Mar 11 2022 12:22 AM.
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,968
Panic you summed it all up in one sentence:
"Adding CFM to a truck will only help at engine speeds you don't want to use."
If one has a stock 235 engine in a stock AD truck, that is driven at speeds and manner that it was originally designed, the Carter YF (235 replacement model) is best.

Now, to satisfy the curious (like me) and the thrill seekers (who wish to go faster than stock):
Again assuming a bone stock 235 engine.
The 390 has a slightly smaller primary venturi than the smallest Carter AFB (9400S).
The bores are the same size. Other than the venturi, what advantage does the 390 have?
Are the secondaries even used?

Attached Images
AFB 9400S.jpg (125.13 KB, 152 downloads)

"Adding CFM to a truck will only help at engine speeds you don't want to use."
"I found there was nothing to gain beyond 400 CFM."
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,325
Jon, I do still have that intake. The last time I ran it, which was quite a few years ago now, I had three glass bowl holleys on it. They are still on the intake. I forget now, but I am pretty sure that intake has the wider later bolt pattern for the carbs. I will have to look but I a, pretty sure I had to make adapters to get the glass bowls to fit. Might be the same size as W-1. Have to keep my eye out for some W-1 carbs. Then I guess I will have to build another motor, lol.

Last edited by Dragsix; Fri Mar 11 2022 02:40 AM.

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