Re: GM, Ford reputations take a hit

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Steve wrote:


Good one. I cant deny that FEs were as bad as any Chrysler engine for leaking.

Uh, no. Ford generally used Autolite carbs, and GM used mainly Rochester. I believe most Chrysler products used Carter. They all used Holley carbs from time to time. You will find the occasional Quadrajet on a Ford, but this was an exception. The most common 4 barrell on Mopars was the AFB(?) and it was a very good unit. The TQs were leaky and temperamental, as were the 2 barrell carbs. Holleys are a PITA no matter what they were used on IMHO.

No myth Steve, I've seen it for myself many times. You just got lucky. If I had a nickel for every ballast resistor I replaced back then, I would be pretty well off. I used to carry one in the glove box of my car to help out stranded motorists. If you saw a Chrysler product broken down beside the road, most often it was due to the ballast resistor.
Don't get me wrong Steve, I'm not saying this just to rag on Chrysler products. All of the manufacturers had their quirks. I always preferred Fords and dealt with my share of flaky chokes, hard starts on damp days, bent pushrods and cracked exhaust manifolds. Now that these cars are collectible, folks tend to forget the faults that were common when they were in daily service.
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Tom Adkins wrote:

Except in high-performance applications.

And quite a few Holleys.
Neither of which is an improvement over Carter or Holley....

Overall, I'd say it was very close to 50/50 Holley and Carter.

And 80's Mopar copcars, too, after the TQ went out of production

50's thru about '68, after that it was the Carter AVS. Then around 70 or 71, it became mostly Holley 4-barrels (although the hi-po engines kept the AVS), and then the Thermoquad after that.

And absolutely WONDERFUL when you take good care of them. IMO, it was the most advanced carb ever made before fuel injection ended the carb era. I've got a small stash of them, and currently run one on my 318 car. I get about 3 mpg better with it than any other carb I've used. When I built the engine in my 440 car, I put an M-1 intake on it but now I really wish I'd used a spread-bore intake so I could properly run a TQ. Especially in the winter when this high vapor-pressure winter-blend crap fuel tries to vapor-lock every time the outside temp gets over 60. I could run an adaptor, but that is pretty third-rate.

The Holley 2-barrels were creeping crud, and so were the 1-barrel Holleys that sometimes showed up on the slant-6 instead of the Carter BBS. But most 2-barrel Mopars got the Carter BBD, and that was a bulletproof little brick of a carb.
Holleys are a PITA no

Well, I happen to agree there. I'm a die-hard Carter guy. Holley and Autolite *both* used rubber diaphragm accelerator pumps that were just as likely to dump fuel all over the top of the intake manifold as they were to squirt it inside the carb :-/ Gotta admit, the Quadrajet is a nice piece too.

Oh, I agree there are always going to be quirks. To me that's 90% of the appeal of owning an old car- they have character and class. I was hoping you'd clarify what you thought the actual Mopar carb quirks were, because I was going to offer my opinion on what might have caused what you remember: on most 2-bbl small-block Mopars, the exhaust crossover passage below the carb had a tendency to plug up pretty solid with carbon over the course of about 5 years, particularly with a lot of short-trip driving. Once the carb heat was effectively blocked, all sorts of cold driveability problems cropped up. It doesn't seem to happen if you put dual exhausts on the car, and my suspicion is the slight imbalance in back-pressure is enough to keep the passage cleared out better.
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Steve wrote:

Mostly in performance applications. I'm referring to the other 90% of the cars on the road.

Hmmm. I never saw a Q-jet on a Mopar. That's a new one on me.

Ahh, that's right. I couldn't remember those initials, AVS.

The TQ was a great carb when it worked properly. I tossed out many a worn out Q-jet and replaced it with a TQ on GM cars. My experience with them, though was that they were leaky and tempermental. Vapor lock also comes to mind. Maybe I just didn't know how to fix them correctly. Wasn't there an issue with the fuel bowls warping or something along that line.

My experience with the BBD wasn't as good. It's been many years, but I seem to remember quite a bit of internal vacuum leaks and hot start issues. The Holley 1-bbl may be tainting my view of other carbs used by Mopar, though.

Me too. For non original applications. The Carter based Edelbrock carbs great. The AFB and AVS were,IMHO, the best carbs made in their day.
Holley and

:) Yup. Although, I'm partial to Autolite.
Gotta admit, the Quadrajet is a

All in all, carburetors were a pain in general. I just seem to have had more issues with Holley and certain Carter units than most others.

Today, those quirks add character. When they were in daily use, the description would contain a few 4 letter words.
I was hoping

That could be what I'm remembering. As I've said, it's been a looong time. On the Mopars that I care for today, the Carters are very little trouble (all 4-bbl). The 3 6-Pack cars (Holley) are a constant battle tweaking and stopping leaks.
As for oil leaks, I'll quote the fellow that owns them: "If a Mopar didn't leak oil, I'd think there was something wrong it".
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Tom Adkins wrote:

I was as surprised as anyone, but when Carter stopped the TQ in about 84, Chrysler switched over to the Quadrajet since they only had spread-bore 4-bbl manifolds still in production (and spread-bore carbs work so well on the smallblock Mopar v8). They were used in the copcars as well as trucks and Ramchargers that had 4-bbl carburetion. What *I* haven't seen or known about until you mentioned it was that Ford ever used the QJ.

I won't argue that the TQ is a difficult animal. It doesn't tolerate rough handling, and it doesn't tolerate a lot of fuel additives. The weakest link is the "X" section O-ring pair that seals each main jet in the main body to the "well" in the throttle body when you bolt it all together. They are basically a routine maintenance item because they WILL harden and start leaking over time, which bypasses the primary metering jets causing the carb to run richer and richer. But it DOES actually resist vapor locking far better than other carbs- the whole reason for the phenolic main body was to keep the fuel cooler. It typically cuts the fuel temperature by 20-30 degrees F compared to an aluminum carb on the same engine/manifold combo.

But *MY* daily ride *IS* a 1966 440-powered AVS-carb'd (Edelbrock repro, actually) Mopar :-)

I've never owned a Mopar 6-pack or GM tri-power, and I probably never will! A good large 4-bbl actually performs better unless the 6-pack setup is perfectly tweaked... and they never stay tweaked.

They don't leak oil. They mark their territory.
I can actually get a vintage big-block Mopar to be completely dry if I'm careful. And before you ask... NO, my current one isn't completely dry :-p But its close, one small weep on the passenger-side valve cover.
The smallblocks, with those PITA manifold end-seals and the Chevy-style 3-piece oil pan gaskets are a different story. They went to a 1-piece pan gasket on the 92-up "Magnum" smallblocks along with all-machined gasket surfaces instead of rough casting surfaces, and that finally fixed the leaks for good.
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Steve wrote:
What *I*

I was surprised too. I've only seen 1, but I've heard of that application occasionally over the years. I believe it was used in police applications for a brief time in ~1970.

I guess that was my original point. Today there is a certain amount of fun to be had, and pride to be taken, in the care and feeding of these carbs. Back when these cars were new(ish), these problems could be a real inconvenience for folks that relied on them for daily transport.
But it DOES

I thought that was the case.

SWEET!

I certainly don't own them. Way to rich for my blood. I just live vicariously through someone else's toys. I consider myself lucky and I've gained an appreciation for Mopar in the last couple of years. The 6 Pack cars are: 69 Super Bee 440, 71 AAR Cuda 360, and 71 Roadrunner 440. You might appreciate the other muli carb one in the bunch, it's a 63 Savoy Super Stock 426 Wedge. That car is downright scary.

:) :)

...for a little while. ;)
And before you ask... NO, my current one isn't completely dry

Well, "If it didn't leak..."
I've often wondered why we fight our little battles with these old beasts. They were supposed to have been scrapped years ago. We spend money, time, money and frustration to keep these cars alive. Is it love? sentiment? nostalgia? Naw, I think it's a virus.
We had about 2 feet of snow here yesterday. Excuse me while I go fiddle with the choke and dry the distributor cap on my Ford. Hmm, I think that accelerator pump is starting to dribble...again!
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Tom Adkins wrote:

Works of art, those early dual-quad long-rams with the carbs sitting way out over the shock tower! The super-stocks were unbelievable, but just a plain old dual-quad 413 in a Chrysler 300 is scary enough.

But truth be told, I spend the same or LESS actual money on the old car than on my wife's modern one. More parts get replaced on the old car, but 10 of those parts are cheaper than 1 sensor on the newer car. Nevermind that the new car cost around 20k just to buy in the first place. Some people would ask "what's your time worth," but since it doubles as a hobby I can answer "my time's worth too much to waste it playing golf when I could be spinning wrenches and having FUN." :-)

No snow here, but it was around 28 degrees this morning. The ol' 440 fired right up like any other day. Gotta love the electric chokes on these new Carter/Edelbrocks :-)
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Steve wrote: Some people would ask "what's your time worth," but since it

I couldn't have said it better!! I hope you noticed the tongue in my cheek as I wrote the last part of that statement. I love old iron, no matter who made it. In addition to cars, here's the other way I have fun: www.lakeshorerailway.org How much is my time worth? I actually pay $20 per year to do it!

I haven't actually had a car with a carb in some time, Fuel injection is a wonderful thing. Here's a bit of an oddity that you might appreciate. My daily driver is a 1984 Lincoln Mark VII. It's a 5.0 with Central Fuel Injection. The CFI unit actually has a heated "choke" spring, fast idle cam and "choke" pulloff just like on the old Autolite carb. It's just a fast idle system though, no choke plate.
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Tom Adkins wrote:

I work with "kids" who've never even DRIVEN a carbureted car :-/ Fuel injection is amazing to someone like me who grew up with carbs.... Until something breaks ;-) No, I'm not a luddite who fears or dislikes it. Its very reliable and easy to fix when something does go wrong... just tends to be expensive. Mainly because there ARE no cheap parts in it like there are in a carb.

The only EFI from that era that I'm really familiar with was on the gone-and-not-missed Cadillac HT4100 (talk about "reputations taking a hit!") that I used to care for and feed for my parents. It was a full-up digital throttle-body EFI, though, all idle speeds controlled by computer. I've looked at the EFI used on the 81-83 Imperial a little, and it was pretty far ahead of its time too. It was actually a mass air flow system, but it reached a little far ahead of the state of the art and was regarded as a failure. Still a number of them out there running around though- they sometimes show up at Mopar shows.
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Crude. Before they figured out how to program a computer to sense what an engine really needed. My '86 Chrysler with TBFI also has a few crude remnants of past approaches.
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who wrote:

Crude for sure. It doesn't even have a way for the PCM to adjust the idle speed. There's just a kicker solenoid to bump the idle up when the AC cycles on (just like on a carb). A year or so later the same CFI system used an Idle Speed Control motor that was controlled by the PCM. It always seemed to me that they pushed CFI into production before it was quite ready.
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Steve wrote:

Also when you do replace a $5 part, you don't have to disassemble half the engine to get to it due to the order-of-magnitude increase in number of surrounding parts and super-tight integration.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Tom Adkins wrote:

Carb problems? only carb problem I had with a MoPar was one with a POS Holley 1bbl. on a slant six, replaced it with a Carter et voila, problem solved.
nate
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replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.nix wrote:

I'd have to agree. The mid-70s "lean burn" engines had some problems, but that was because the lean combustion process was *incredibly* hard on them, with very high peak temperatures and pretty much continuous detonation. The fact that they worked as well as they did was a testament to the underlying mechanical design. And of course all through the 80s they wrapped very solid drivetrains in wretched K-car garb...

I'm a fan of all American cars from that era. Really my only engine gripe among the American automakers was with Chevrolet and to a lesser degree Pontiac. And don't get me wrong, I'd still take either of them over a Toyota or Honda! The small block Chevy was a basically good engine- actually a superb basic design and far ahead of its time as anyone will tell you, but the constant push to make it *cheap* to produce really compromized the implementation. It was pushed all the way to 400 cubic inches without an increase in deck height, and that really hurt longevity because of the terrible rod ratio that resulted. Even the venerable 350 has a pretty bad rod ratio, the 327 and 283 being far superior in that regard. But the soft block material was a real killer on all of them. And the rather weak ball-stud valvetrain was a huge problem on the big-block Chevy engines. Oldsmobile made very bulletproof engines, Buick made a very solid v8 engine and still does in the 3800 v6. And the aluminum Buick v8 that got sold to Rover and was used in British cars for 40 years was also a work of art. The true Cadillac engines were great in the 50s-70s, HORRIBLE in the 80s (HT 4100 anyone? Or a V8-6-4?), and good again after the switch to the Northstar series. Fords could be "quirky," with some odd oiling system characteristics and the FE series had that funky manifold/head setup that liked to weep oil and made service a pain. And the 429/460 were just WAY heavier than they had any right to be, but they were pretty solid. The small-block Fords (Windsor) were in a way opposite of the SB Chevy. On paper they *looked* worse than the Chevy (tiny deck height up through the 5.0L displacement, etc.) but yet the implementation was always pretty darned good without as much of the push to cheapen things that seemed to dog the Chevy.

Well, I'm not a fan of any of them built in the late 70s to early 80s. By that time the tooling was getting OLD and neglected because of the financial condition of the company, and when you start tearing one from that era down you find that there was a lot more slop than 10 years before or from the mid 80s on. I'm not talking about things like clearances, which were controlled during assembly, but things like the decks not being perfectly parallel to the crank axis, lifter bores not being perfectly perpendicular to the cam axis, combustion chamber volumes varying all over the map, cylinder wall thicknesses being very non-uniform, castings with flaws that would have made them rejects in earlier years, etc. That kind of thing is where the 50s Chrysler Hemis were SO superb despite being at a disadvantage in terms of materials compared to later engines. They left the factory "blueprinted" practically to a level that required a custom machine shop in the 70s or 80s. Its also why they were phased out as being too expensive to produce.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.nix wrote:

I don't know about Ford, but Chrysler made the switch to a very hard block alloy across all engine families in 1962, along with major changes in casting methods to lighten the blocks. That was the longevity turning point for Chrysler engines, although the 50s Hemis lived a long time simply because of very high build quality compared to the industry average at the time. I think most of those changes were already in place for the slant-6 when it debuted in 1960.
Olds, Pontiac, and Buick switched block materials around that time as well, with Oldbmobile blocks being particularly well-known for hardness. Only Chevrolet continued along with cheap, soft, low-nickel block material all the way into the 80s and 90s.
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True, but those electronics give superior performance.

The new auto transmissions do need good maintenance and there have been some poor ones, in the haste to keep up with the compedition.
The old 3 spd manual transmissions were tough, but they were very crude, no syncro on 1st., and clutches were a constant maintenance item. Auto transmissions now shift better than most people can manually shift.
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Engines 50 years age had a lot more tongue. Modern engines, particularly todays Jap engines run at much higher RPMs than engines back them Remember all the 4cy Jap engines of those days, they used hollow cast cranks and machined the aluminum block as the main bearings, like a motorcycle or a lawn mower engine? When a bearing failed you had to junk the engine That is one of the reasons you never see any Jap cars form the seventies at an old cars show LOL
mike

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wrote:
The very crude Yugo from a out of date car company is not worthy of mentioning in an intelligent conservation. I doubt if they lasted more than 2 years here. >:)
Quite a few years I heard this story in the UK. A chap went into a car parts shop and said he wanted a side view mirror for his Yugo. After several seconds of thought the car parts chap said: "OK I'll do that trade."
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Thinking back to all the cars I owned in the 60's and 70's, I can't agree. Not one of my cars from that era lasted as long or ran as well as my cars from the 90's. Of course, there will always be exceptions.
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My experience has been increasing durability over the years. As Jeff says SS exhausts don't need replacement, unless you break them. I used to replace the rear muffler every 2 years, the pipe in front of it every 3 years. My wife's '87 Daytona (first year they had SS exhaust) had it's original exhaust when she traded it at 14 years. Shocks last a very long time, those on my Concord are fine at 90k miles, whereas in the 60s they lasted about 40-50k miles max. The interiors look fine at 10+ years, in fact my 12 yr old Concord's drivers seat looks as new. Upholstery seems to last forever, who now bothers with seat covers. Dashboards now stand our summer sun. Exterior paint lasts well over 10 years looking very good. With clear coat I haven't waxed my cars since pre '86, just use a wash and wax- Turtle wax. Body rust is a thing of the past due to galvanized steel, unless driving is on gravel roads. My previous '86 Chrysler also stood up very well, but not as well as my current '95 Concord. Our engines seem to go forever, not even burning more oil than when new at over 90k miles. We haven't kept one longer than that.
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And not go through hoops to get the repairs covered.
My father has a 2001 or so Grand Prix. My dad a lot of engine rebuilding and head repair work for the dealer over maybe 40 years. When there was a problem with the transmission, most of the costumes got a replacement transmission, but had to pay for the labor. However, because my father knew the people in shop, they got GM to pay for the whole thing. All the costumers, not just my dad, should have gotten the whole thing done without cost. After all, they paid for a working transmission when they bought the car.
Jeff

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