The Tail of Three Carburetors

Don't let the title lead you to believe this is about a 6 pack setup. It's not. When I broke in the cam I used a 675 CFM Carter AVS carburetor. This along with Holley's were pretty much the stock carbs used on late 60's early 70's big block Mopars. I've always liked Carter 4 barrel carbs and intended to use this carb on this build from the beginning. That said, after the cam brake-in I did a little fine tuning setting the timing and air/fuel ratio using an old school vacuum gauge. Unfortunately I could not get the AVS to idle below 1000 RPM no matter what I did. It ran fine but just wouldn't idle down. This cam should idle around 700-800 RPM and 1000 is just too high. Here's a pic of the AVS.

I had a Holley 600 model 1850 I picked up years ago sitting on the shelf and decided to through a kit in that one and give it a try. Yes I know its a little small for a 440 but I didn't intend to run the car with this carb, just see if I could get a Holley to idle down to the proper RPM. Here's the Holley.

This carb worked well. It Idled at 800 easily but had a stumble upon acceleration. Part of the problem was that this engine only produces 11 inches of vacuum at idle and the power valve that came in the kit was a 6.5 which performs well for engines with 13 or more inches of vacuum. So.. what to do.... I could just order a power valve tailored to 11 inches of vacuum and that should fix the stumble off idle but this carb would still be too small for the engine. The other option would be to find a larger Holley, and that's what I decided to do. You can still find deals on E-bay if you are careful and do your homework. What I was looking for was a 750 CFM dual inlet single pumper. Basically a 3310 Holley. A lot of E-bay offerings will be missing parts or will be damaged but if you're lucky you can find a good carb for a reasonable price. I found the exact carb I was looking for with electric choke for $60 almost immediately. Once I had it in hand I gave it a thorough inspection and sure enough it was exactly what I expected. I then picked up a rebuild kit and the appropriate power valve from Summit Racing and set about rebuilding the carb. Here is the result.

The gold color was an experiment that didn't work and has since been removed. The difference between this carb and the 1850 Holley was like night and day. The engine started easily ran great and the only adjustment I needed to make, other than set the float level, was the idle. It now idles at 750 RPM, sounds great, and there is no hesitation anywhere in the RPM range. OK, another task I can check off the list.

I mentioned in my last update that it was time for body work and paint and I've been working in that direction during the last few weeks. The body itself has been sanded and all spots that need a little work have been identified. I don't like using filler during cold temperatures so I've been waiting for the weather to warm up a bit before tackling the filler work, but the body is ready once the temps get a bit higher. You can see one of the areas I identified that needs some work circled on the fender. This is a pretty straight car so most of the spots are just small dents or creases and won't require a lot of work.

The most filler work so far has been on the passenger's front fender. It's now ready for a good coat of primer and final block sanding.

While waiting for the weather to warm up I decided to take the time to get the hood ready for paint and do the necessary modifications so the air cleaner will clear the hood once its actually on the car.

Occasionally when working on a project there comes a time you have to make the decision to go big or go home, as the saying goes. When it comes to the hood, that's exactly what I did. As you can see in the pic below there is a lot of the hood missing. Not to worry, there is a scoop that will cover this area, and you could get one of these scoops if you were one of the lucky racers who were allowed to purchase one of the original Hemi cars back in '64.

The design of the hood actually lends itself to this large an opening. You can see the stock reinforcements and how they basically create a large triangular shape in the center that can easily be removed without sacrificing any real strength. If you look closely you can see the custom curved sections that have been cut out of the factory support structure on each side. This was done in order to clear the large diameter Street Stock air cleaner. The cut-outs that were made were reinforced with sheet metal so the structure maintains its original strength and rigidity. An original hemi car wold not need these curved cut-outs as it had in line dual quads with an oval air cleaner that would clear the center section cut-out without interfering with the support structure. Here is the scoop. It's a fiberglass reproduction of the original aluminum piece.

These scoops come in two heights. This one is the stock height which is about 2 1/2 inches. The other is 5 inches high. It does do a good job of covering the majority of the hood and unlike the original "Max Wedge" scoops, this design actually looks good. You can see in the pic below the holes for the "DODGE" lettering on the front edge of the hood have been filled. This was done to give the hood the illusion of being a fiberglass piece, that and I think it actually looks better without the lettering. So, win.. win.

You can see the scoop is curved to fit the rear of the hood. This scoop was also used on the '66 and '67 hemi cars but for those the curve was different. Only the '64 and '65 hemi cars could use this particular scoop and have it fit properly.

Finally, after a conversation with my local TV weather man on Facebook he promised me a couple of 70 degree days and low and behold, he kept his promise. I used those two days to paint the hinges and underside of the hood along with a few other small items. With that done I asked a friend to stop over and give me a hand mounting the hood... that damn thing is heavy even with a lot of metal removed. This shot shows the underside with the scoop mounted.

And here's a shot of the hood after alignment. Given this is a 54 year old survivor, and over the years I'm sure the body has been tweaked here and there, it fits pretty darn well. 1/8" clearance on one side and 1/4" on the other. Not perfect but I'm not building a "show car" with an unlimited budget, so as far as I'm concerned it's just fine.

That's it for this update. I will start the general body work as soon as the temps improve, which shouldn't be too long and I'm also going to get the trunk ready to install.

Check back often for more updates...

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