You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We work with the Summit Racing tech department to help you tackle your auto-related conundrums. In this week’s Mailbag, we’re discussing removal of emissions controls on, and rebuilding a carburetor for a G-body Monte Carlo SS.


Q: Two questions:

I have a stock 1980s-era Monte Carlo SS with a 305. I have taken the A/C and air pump off. What emissions stuff can I remove without harming performance, and what electronics can I remove?

The second question is about my carburetor. It’s the stock four-barrel Rochester. What can I do to upgrade it? Would bigger jets help without affecting the computer?

maroon 1987 chevy monte carlo ss
(Image/OnAllCylinders – Nicole Kunar)

A: You might want to hold off on removing emissions controls in your Monte Carlo. Depending on where you live, it might be illegal. But legal stuff aside, it doesn’t actually improve performance like you think it might. By removing your air pump, you may have actually decreased performance a little by making the engine less efficient than before.

Considering the age of your Monte Carlo, we assume it’s a high-mileage vehicle. Instead of removing the emission controls, we recommend concentrating on the condition of the engine.

In other words, if the engine is worn out, performance is going to suffer.

On low-mileage engines, upgrading your camshaft or cylinder heads are good upgrades to increase performance.

A carburetor rebuild may also bring back lost power. If you’re uncomfortable doing a rebuild yourself, ask around. It’s a common job, and most competent shops can do it for you without much hassle.

If you don’t want to deal with a rebuild, there are several fully prepped aftermarket Quadrajet carburetors available.