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Unread 11-10-2013, 05:31 PM   #1
drespecki
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Howell TBI more power than Weber or Motorcraft 2100?

Is there anyone with a good running/properly tuned Weber 38/38 or motorcraft 2100 that went to a Howell EFI and notice any power increase? I know the Howell has better overall drivability/starting etc. but is there a seat of the pants increase in the overall ooomph?
I have the Motorcraft 2150 on my 258 and it runs okay but is has no acceleration and struggles to reach 65 (I know it is a tractor motor and high speed is not its virtue)
Spoke to Tom and Bud at Redline about the Weber 38/38 and he said there will be a noticeable power increase (over the motorcraft). Anyone experience that?

Would like to make a decision but don't want to go through 3 different setups to decide.....

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Unread 11-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
TrebleHook
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I went from a 2100 to a 32/36...smoother running - much, much, less power. Put on a GENUINE Weber 38 (not a sticker clone) and it was an AMAZING difference in power, performance, start-up, idle, etc. I highly recommend the genuine Weber 38. It's worth the $$ to get the real deal and if you do a couple of searches here you'll see (lots of good threads) that if you do the initial set up correctly with the carb off the manifold (in your hand)...it's virtually plug-and-play.

Can't speak to TBI on a 258 - but I do enjoy TBI on my 360. It'll be a lot more work and more things to go wrong (theoretically - electric fuel pump, electrical gremlins, etc). If I still had a 258 - I'd still be running my Weber 38 without a doubt.

Good luck!

Cheers,
TrebleHook
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Unread 11-10-2013, 10:21 PM   #3
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrebleHook View Post
I went from a 2100 to a 32/36...smoother running - much, much, less power. Put on a GENUINE Weber 38 (not a sticker clone) and it was an AMAZING difference in power, performance, start-up, idle, etc. I highly recommend the genuine Weber 38.

If I still had a 258 - I'd still be running my Weber 38 without a doubt.

TrebleHook
Me too.

Matt
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Unread 11-11-2013, 12:51 AM   #4
BagusJeep
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It depends on what you mean by "power".

For a given airflow there is a range of fuel contents that would suit your engine. Around a ratio of 12 air/fuel you will get most power because you are burning a lot of fuel, releasing energy. At 17 you are really lean but will get decent economy, 14 generally is a compromise.

What carb designers and injection designers struggle with is the compromise between power and economy and emissions. Generally the more clever and well built and adjustable the design the closer you can get to your desired outcome. "chipping" of injection systems is popular because you can adjust those trade offs at little initial cost.

Weber 38 is a great carb, well designed by a leading company and well made and adjustable. You may well be able to get this carb to deliver a richer fuel/air mix when accelerating at the moment you want it, which will appear as more power. (There are tuning threads on here which beggar belief that anyone would have such perseverance to get there)

However it will never be as adjustable as a modern electronic fuel injection system which can adjust its mixture many times a second and can be programmed to match your engine's characteristics. Modern fuel injection has mutliple sensors, the carb only has vacuum and throttle to work with.

So yes, Howell injection will probably feel more "powerful" and a brand new Weber 38 will feel more powerful than an old Motorcraft 2100 which will feel better than a 30 year old Carter BBD.

When I installed a 38 DGMS over my 31 year old BBD it was like night and day.
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Unread 11-11-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
drespecki
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Thanks for all the replies....the 'power' factor I am looking for is the ability to accelerate briskly instead of just a long, slow increase in speed. The Motorcraft 2150 I have on the 258 now is one of the 'new' 2150 clones sold by the Ebay guy and it works well but is slow to move things along. It seemed like it should wake up the 4.2 along with the DUI hei I also have in there.
I know without a hot cam, free flowing exhaust, better head, etc. the 4.2 will never wake and snort but just to accelerate nicely would be great.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
drespecki
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Thanks again for the input.. I am still on the fence regarding the 38/38 weber (maybe even the 32/36 if it is 'better' than the motorcraft) or the Howell TBI..

Can anyone that has gone the real weber route made in spain version that has also ran or been around the Howell throw their 2 cents in?
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Unread 12-17-2013, 05:19 PM   #7
Matt1981CJ7
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All things equal, I doubt you'll notice a significant performance difference between a Weber38 and a TBI on pavement.

Where the TBI will shine is in extreme altitude changes. The computer will compensate the A/F mixture automatically, whereas the carb will require a little tinkering.

If you wheel, the FI will handle extreme inclines and off-camber stuff better, or so some claim. Personally, I never met a hill the 38 didn't handle easily, but I don't get too radical with mine.

Matt
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Unread 12-17-2013, 06:00 PM   #8
Always2L8
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Perhaps I missed something, but could lack of power/weak acceleration be a gearing problem? I didn't see any gearing/tire information in your profile. For example, if you are running larger than stock tires on 2.72 gears - TBI or new carburetion may not help all that much. Do you know what rpm you're turning at 65 mph? If you've already considered this - I apologize.

Good Luck
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Unread 12-17-2013, 06:30 PM   #9
skizriz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7 View Post

If you wheel, the FI will handle extreme inclines and off-camber stuff better, or so some claim. Personally, I never met a hill the 38 didn't handle easily, but I don't get too radical with mine.

Matt
The MC2100 does a good job also. I've been thrilled with mine since getting it adjusted properly. It was still running perfectly fine at this point.



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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:37 PM   #10
gmakra
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Actualy the Weber will give you more all around power than the Howell kit. There are several reasons for this comment one is the design of the 6 intake mainifold which has three different lenghts of runners.the Weber atomises the fuel much better than the Howell kit.
If your interested I can go into further detail when I am at a regular computer
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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:39 PM   #11
swatson454
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For what it's worth, the Engine Masters' Challenge guys are barely getting the EFI set-ups to finally out-power carbs and that's with using state-of-the-art electronics, carefully placed injectors, and individual cylinder air/fuel ratio and timing mapping. I think an OEM throttle body that's been necked way down to fit, set on an extremely inefficient log manifold that only uses 14 psi injectors without any of the benefits stated above is gonna be extremely hard-pressed to compete with a well-tuned carb as far as power is concerned.

There are other, obvious advantages to EFI that a carb can't compete with but the question is about power.

Just my opinion, however.


Shawn

Edit: A good friend of mine, Mark Dalquist, (he's the builder of the engine below and is the man standing in the doorway of the dyno cell with the dude holding a camera above his head) will apparently grace the first page of the EMC spread with his Pontiac entry. He won the award for the best "classic" entry: meaning non LS, non Modular, etc, but I can't remember what that award was called. Either way, he'll also be awarded a full center spread on his Pontiac build in an upcoming month of Popular Hotrodding Magazine. Ok, there's my semi-shameless plug for a friend and the magazine that allows badazzes to be badazzes.

Here's a pretty sweet test of an EFI engine. Mark told me after-the-fact that his dyno carb (950 IIRC) was up nearly 15 HP on the EFI numbers seen here. They nailed it this year and beat the carb but it took a lot of work.


Point is, if it's power that you're looking for, a well-prepped Weber 38 is going to be extremely hard to beat. If you're after the cold-starts, the off-camber stuff and not having to worry about jet swaps for altitude/seasonal changes, etc., EFI may be the ticket.


Shawn
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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #12
seabass1858
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I contiplated on getting an efi setup but I kept the carb for simplicity and after a successfull rebuild of the bbd, I dont even want the headache of getting the efi right. I may try a weber in the future but im happy with my setup now. I am however kicking my A** about not upgrading to MSD 6 and coil, instead i just replaced the original duraspark
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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:54 PM   #13
skizriz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass1858 View Post
I contiplated on getting an efi setup but I kept the carb for simplicity and after a successfull rebuild of the bbd, I dont even want the headache of getting the efi right.
Every time I get the urge to make the change read up on doing EFI, I change my mind also.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 08:10 PM   #14
gmakra
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Well given the choice between a real EFI and a Weber I would go EFI .TBI or Weber I would go with Weber.
Shawn hit the salient points on the problems with Howell kit plus there are a few more like lack of ignition timing.

There are things the Howell kit does better than the Weber but all around the Weber does better.
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Unread 12-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #15
drespecki
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Great info! Thanks for the power output production comparisons...it does help me out!
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