Friday, April 1, 2016

Remanufactured Rochester Quadrajet Carburetor

A few weeks ago I shipped my Corvette's original Quadrajet to All American Carburetors in Jacksonville, Florida.

I was using a new Edelbrock 1406 that I purchased online, and while I finally got it to run properly and to my liking, I did not care of the limitations it imposed as far as not being able to use the OEM air cleaner assembly.

I considered buying a new L88-style hood in order to have the clearance required for a different air cleaner, but that would've been a costly solution to my dilemma.

While researching having the Quadrajet rebuilt, I had gotten a very expensive quote from a specialty shop, so it made more sense to get the Edelbrock carb instead. It was only after I'd made the purchase that I heard about All American Carburetor in Jacksonville so I called them to find out what they did and what the cost would be.

The first thing they explained was that they remanufactured carburetors versus simply rebuilding them. This meant my Quadrajet would be completely disassembled, media-blasted, polished and re-colored to factory-original condition.

The restoration process also included a zinc-dichromate process to protect all steel parts. They would then reassemble the carb with ethanol-resistant parts, the throttle shafts would also be checked and new bushing installed in order to prevent vacuum leaks.

The final part of the process consisted of a live engine test of the carburetor on a Chevy 350 to ensure proper operation.

While I talked to one of the reps on the phone, I asked about having them add an electric choke. For only $25 it would've been absurd not to get that done. So I went ahead and sent my carb in. It took about five weeks to get it back, but the wait was worth it.

Here are a few Before & After photos. And keep in mind that All American Carburetor restores the carb you send in. This in not a different part but the original carburetor that came with my '76 Corvette.



As promised by All American Carburetor, the only adjustment required after re-installing the Quadrajet on my car, was to the idle screw. They had it idling at 700 rpm, but I dropped it to 600 rpm. The car starts easily and runs beautifully, and the original air cleaner and carburetor sit proudly upon the motor with no clearance issues, even with an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold.

Needless to say, the air cleaner assembly looks better than new since I had it powder coated. I also refinished the air intake plenum that sits above the radiator core support. Since it is a plastic piece and had age discoloration as well as a few scratches, I refinished it with bedliner paint, and it looks great.

Maybe I should have a new decal made that reads: "Keep your GM car mostly GM."

And this is the air intake plenum with the textured finish. It looks great!
In sum, as well as hindsight, now I wish I had avoided all the headaches of trying to get the Edelbrock carb running properly, as it would've saved me time and money. Guess I have to keep learning things the hard way.

Having All American Carburetors restore the original carburetor your car came with is one of the best investments you can make. Yes, it takes several weeks of downtime, but after seeing the amount of work they do when remanufacturing them, it makes sense to be patient. You'll save money by going this route, too.

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