Q&A / Tech

Mailbag: Old School Carb Tech and New Generation GM Power

Got questions?

We’ve got the answers—Mondays when the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we troubleshoot a carburetor and build some serious LS horsepower!

From: Joe Landreth • Simpsonville, SC
Q: I’m running a 331 small block in my 1963 Bel Air. Recently, I installed a new carburetor. It ran great for a while and then out of the blue it started idling really high. I replaced the power valve, switched jets, and even changed the plugs, wires, and distributor with still no improvement! The engine runs perfect in the higher rpms but not at idle. Why is this happening?

A: Fuel contaminants or dirt may be clogging your carb’s needle and seat. When a carburetor is functioning properly, the needle and seat will stop fuel from entering the carb after the proper float level is reached. If the needle and seat is clogged, it’s unable to shut off the fuel, causing your engine to run at a higher idle. The motor will naturally run better in the higher rpms because it’s able to use the excess fuel. To fix this problem, clean out your needle and seat, and install a fuel filter to prevent clogging in the future.

If that doesn’t fix your problem, you may want to check out Edelbrock’s video series on installing, tuning, and troubleshooting carbs.

From: Steven Branyon • Conyers, GA
Q: I want to get 450-500 horsepower out of my 2002 Chevy Camaro Z28. My car already has an 80mm BBK throttle body, a Granatelli mass airflow sensor, an SLP LS1 airbox with K&N filter, and a Flowmaster American Thunder exhaust system. I’ve thought about installing a new camshaft, cylinder heads, intake manifold, and a nitrous system. What combination of parts will give me the power output I want and still keep it a daily driver?

A: There are hundreds of power-building components to choose from for the LS1 engine. To get the biggest bang for your buck, I’d suggest a Trick Flow GenX Top-End Engine Kit (TFS-K306-500-460)—it includes a pair of GenX Street/Strip cylinder heads, a matched Trick Flow camshaft, Trick Flow heat-treated chromoly pushrods, and Harland Sharp roller rocker arms, plus Chevrolet Performance Parts gaskets and bolts. It has everything you need to transform your LS1 Camaro into a 500 horsepower street machine!

Make sure you also pick up a Motorvation custom chip so your Camaro’s ECM can compensate for the massive power gains generated by the Trick Flow kit.

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