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Unread 02-09-2016, 07:18 PM   #1
Vegasjones
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Need carburetor or EFI opinions

Hello all. I have a 1979 CJ with a 304. When I bought it the guy was all excited that he just installed a brand new 4 Barrel Edelbrock on it!!

First things first it's a turd I'm almost positive it's running WAAAAY too rich. The exhaust smell is absolutely awful at times and it spits out the exhaust pipes as well. I'm sure I could jet it down but I really think I need to go another direction.

I've looked through different EFI options, MSD Atomic, FAST, and others. I've considered the Howell but I believe I'd have to go back to a 2bbl manifold for that although I could be mistaken.

And I've considered different carbs as well including the MC2100 which would also force me to install a different manifold which I'd prefer to avoid.

So, I'd really just like some advice. If this was your Jeep with a 304 with a 4bbl Edelbrock on it, what would you do? Try to pin down the proper jetting? Go EFI? Or go with a solid carb?

Emissions isn't an issue for me. Money isn't a huge issue as I was about to drop over $2K on the MSD Atomic and it seems like most other options are less.

I'd really just like some thoughts on other's setups, what you might have done differently, etc.

I realize this is a loaded question. Not trying to start a debate but also want some good dialogue on different opinions.

Thanks.

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Unread 02-09-2016, 08:00 PM   #2
CJ7Pilot
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I think I'd go with the Howell kit. I'm pretty sure it comes with an adapter for your manifold. It might not be the most high performance solution, but it should be super reliable and relatively trouble-free.

I have a stock TBI350 in my Suburban, and it's pretty much unstoppable. I'd love to have the same thing in my Jeep, but for smog reasons, I'm stuck with the carbureted version for now.

When I had my CJ7, I put in the MOPAR MPI kit on the 258 (I realize that is apples vs oranges in this case), and it made a world of difference in driveability across the board.

As you can tell, I'm a big fan of fuel injection....

Have fun!
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Unread 02-09-2016, 08:09 PM   #3
berserk71
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I just installed a Street demon 625 on my 460. Its based on the Thermoquad, best 4 barrel carb ever IMO for a DD. I had an Edelbrock 600 and 750 on it previously. The Street demon is really proving to be a superior carb over the Edelbrocks. Idle and off idle response is much better. Carbs are cheap. They do require a bit of attention but they will always get you home if you know a little about them. Not so, with Fuel injection. Although F/I is generally more reliable they are also more fickle about fuel quality and there are many components in F/I that are not field repairable. As far as mileage is concerned a properly sized and tuned carb is capable of getting better mileage. This would likely best be done by a dyno tuner though. If you plan on doing it yourself get a wideband A/F monitor. It will make life much easier. Out of the box will work but may be a bit rich. Leaning it out will give better mileage.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 08:38 PM   #4
Vegasjones
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The more I read on the EFI systems it sounds like I'll get as much out of a $1400 Howell kit as I would out of a $2400 MSD kit.

I'm sure I can make this Edelbrock work but I figure if I'm going to dump $$ into tuning it I may as well dump that money into something that will be more efficient for me all around.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 08:51 PM   #5
BagusJeep
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I am cheap so I say keeo the $600 carb and manifold already installed and save the $1400 - $1800 you would spend replacing it. Nothing wrong with EFI, but Jeeps can run very well with carbs.

First you need to check what exactly is on there, as you seem a little hazy.

Which carb do you have on it? Edelbrock are available in a range of cfm ratings but this is an AMC V8 in a Jeep, it is not a strip racer and I would have expected to see something around 500cfm in size. The Edelbrock Performer, if that so what you have, has a decent reputation as an off road carb but you need to read up on the mods for great off roading performance and see if it has been done.

You may find that it is a simple fix to get it running right and can turn your mind to the other things that need work.
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Unread 02-09-2016, 09:27 PM   #6
Vegasjones
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I'm actually 100% certain what's on it. Currently has the Edelbrock 1403 which is a 500cfm. I've just read up a lot on these forums and not too many folks are fans of the Edelbrocks on the Jeeps. They're not necessarily anti carbureted just anti Edelbrock. I don't like throwing money away by any means but I just think this thing might do better if I went in another direction. If I could make the 1403 perform as well as any other carb and do it without shelling out hundreds I'll do that but from the research I've done, which I'll admit I can always do more, this Edelbrock wouldn't be anyone's first choice.
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Unread 02-10-2016, 03:39 AM   #7
motiv8ya
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There's a used Howell kit off a Jeep w/304 on Craigslist here in Vegas for $550.
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Unread 02-10-2016, 04:09 AM   #8
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegasjones View Post
I'm actually 100% certain what's on it. Currently has the Edelbrock 1403 which is a 500cfm. I've just read up a lot on these forums and not too many folks are fans of the Edelbrocks on the Jeeps. They're not necessarily anti carbureted just anti Edelbrock. I don't like throwing money away by any means but I just think this thing might do better if I went in another direction. If I could make the 1403 perform as well as any other carb and do it without shelling out hundreds I'll do that but from the research I've done, which I'll admit I can always do more, this Edelbrock wouldn't be anyone's first choice.
I've got no experience with the 1403, but I do know that it's a popular carb in the collector and hot-rod crowds. It's got a bad reputation on this board because it's not a particularly good off-road carb.

If it were mine, I'd take a stab at tuning the 1403, mostly because I enjoy tinkering with carbs and haven't found one I couldn't tune, yet. Your 304 should run fine with that setup, with minimal effort.

If you're intimidated by carb tuning, or just don't care for it, then FI may be a better fit for you. Along those lines, a system that controls fuel AND timing, like the MSD Atomic, would be my choice.

Matt
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Unread 02-10-2016, 06:19 AM   #9
firegod33
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While Edelbrock makes a good, easily tuned carb, I would go EFI. The Howell kit is decent (I have it on my 258) but if I were to do a conversion again, I'd be looking for something better. I've heard good things about the MSD but have no personal experience.
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Unread 02-10-2016, 07:21 AM   #10
swatson454
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I've heard some pretty crappy reports on the 500 cfm Edelbrocks. Something about the design of the discharge boosters and their relation to the size of the bores. 500 cfm is on the small side so that could be some of your problems.


Shawn
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Unread 02-10-2016, 07:38 AM   #11
swatson454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berserk71 View Post
I just installed a Street demon 625 on my 460. Its based on the Thermoquad, best 4 barrel carb ever IMO for a DD. I had an Edelbrock 600 and 750 on it previously. The Street demon is really proving to be a superior carb over the Edelbrocks. Idle and off idle response is much better. Carbs are cheap. They do require a bit of attention but they will always get you home if you know a little about them. Not so, with Fuel injection. Although F/I is generally more reliable they are also more fickle about fuel quality and there are many components in F/I that are not field repairable. As far as mileage is concerned a properly sized and tuned carb is capable of getting better mileage. This would likely best be done by a dyno tuner though. If you plan on doing it yourself get a wideband A/F monitor. It will make life much easier. Out of the box will work but may be a bit rich. Leaning it out will give better mileage.
I've been eyeballing the Street Demon for a bit now. It's nice to hear a good review on it. I think installing one in place of the Edelbrock 500 would be a smart move.

I'm still having a hard time justifying the expense of a throttle body injection system.


Shawn
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Unread 02-10-2016, 08:05 AM   #12
Vegasjones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motiv8ya View Post
There's a used Howell kit off a Jeep w/304 on Craigslist here in Vegas for $550.
I'll definitely go check that out today. Thanks for the heads up
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Unread 02-10-2016, 08:09 AM   #13
Vegasjones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motiv8ya View Post
There's a used Howell kit off a Jeep w/304 on Craigslist here in Vegas for $550.
Looks like it's actually in Yucaipa, CA. He says its "mostly complete" but for that price may be worth the drive.
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Unread 02-10-2016, 08:14 AM   #14
Vegasjones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegasjones View Post
I'm actually 100% certain what's on it. Currently has the Edelbrock 1403 which is a 500cfm. I've just read up a lot on these forums and not too many folks are fans of the Edelbrocks on the Jeeps. They're not necessarily anti carbureted just anti Edelbrock. I don't like throwing money away by any means but I just think this thing might do better if I went in another direction. If I could make the 1403 perform as well as any other carb and do it without shelling out hundreds I'll do that but from the research I've done, which I'll admit I can always do more, this Edelbrock wouldn't be anyone's first choice.
I've got no experience with the 1403, but I do know that it's a popular carb in the collector and hot-rod crowds. It's got a bad reputation on this board because it's not a particularly good off-road carb.

If it were mine, I'd take a stab at tuning the 1403, mostly because I enjoy tinkering with carbs and haven't found one I couldn't tune, yet. Your 304 should run fine with that setup, with minimal effort.

If you're intimidated by carb tuning, or just don't care for it, then FI may be a better fit for you. Along those lines, a system that controls fuel AND timing, like the MSD Atomic, would be my choice.

Matt
If I can make the 1403 work I'd like to do that, unfortunately I don't have any experience tuning carbs. Not that I'm intimidated, it's just something I'll have to dig into in order to learn it.

I may still consider the MSD but from some of what I've read I'll need to go with an MSD ignition as well as a new distributor to make it work properly. The Howell kit sounds like it's pretty well just plug and play although I could be mistaken on both fronts.
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Unread 02-10-2016, 08:15 AM   #15
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegasjones View Post
Looks like it's actually in Yucaipa, CA. He says its "mostly complete" but for that price may be worth the drive.
Depends on what the incomplete items are. I'd try to confirm, first.

Have you done any tuning at all on the this 1403? Or, have you just written it off based on what you've read on the inter-webs?

Matt
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