Crazy for Carburetors!
Although carburetors may be viewed as a relic of the past, our classic cars all run on ’em. They can be an intimidating part of the car to fiddle with – with some small parts and fine adjustments going into making them run correctly. Since many of us needed to learn how to rebuild, as well as tune, a carburetor correctly – we figured the pros at Edelbrock were good candidates to teach us.
Being one of the pioneers in hot rodding, Edelbrock has a long history of getting the most out of an engine – whether that’s through manifolds, heads, carburetors, and now superchargers. Their main headquarters are in Torrance, so for our January Learning Session, the Gasoline Girls gathered over there for a tour of the factory as well as a much needed carburetor lesson.
Smitty first showed us their dyno room where much of the R&D goes on. With proven performance, driveablity, and honesty being important components to their business – the testing that goes on in the dyno room is crucial.
Next, Smitty and Troy showed us the engineering design room. Their were some old testing parts from the ’70s on the wall – and they explained how it used to take much more time to design a part because it had to be molded from fiberglass first before testing could be done.
Now they use a 3D-printer to create one-off pieces from their CAD program. Those pieces can be tested and tweeked until they decide if they want to do a real casting of the part.
Next we walked through some of the rest of their offices – such a huge change from when Vic Edelbrock Sr. first started his little two-bay garage in the 1930s. Their walls are lined with history, much involved in racing, from their beginnings.
Next it was onto the factory. Cast parts come from the foundry and then need to be machined, finished, and tested here. We saw the many different steps various parts have to go through before finding their way to our garages.
Since Edelbrock has some 8000 different parts in the catalogs, making their own products as well as performance parts for various manufacturers, the factory had a lot going on.
It was almost time for our carburetor learning…but first we had to see some of Edelbrock’s garage. In it were some cars that Vic and his daughters race as well as some research vehicles, and even one of Vic Sr’s original midgets.
Now on to the learning….the Edelbrock pros let us get our hands on half a dozen carburetors so we could do-and-learn (isn’t that the best way!) We all dove into taking the carburetors apart – and while doing so asked all of the questions we could think of.
We learned so much! Like what a carburetor does differently during cruise & power mode, what AFB stands for (Aluminum Four Barrel), why metering rods are tapered, and how to adjust float levels and idle screws…to name just a few!
Even though a couple of us are drooling over Edelbrock’s new EFI (electronic fuel injection) system to replace our carbs with, this was a much-needed lesson. Many gals agreed that working on carburetors isn’t hard – but they never would have cracked open their own without the training we received from Edelbrock. For those of you who also need to learn more about carbs…we encourage you to ask someone to teach you – or pick up an old carburetor & manual or how-to book and spend some time in the garage with it.
So a big THANK YOU to Edelbrock for hosting and educating us!! For even more pictures, check out the Facebook Album.