Friday, February 2, 2018

Carburetor to Air Cleaner Gasket

It seems that anything that has the word "Corvette" attached to it costs significantly more than an identical part that does not. It doesn't matter if it is an aftermarket part or something made by Chevy. The word "Corvette" makes the price go up.

And while there's no doubt that many parts are unique and exclusive to a Corvette, there are hundreds—if not thousands—of parts that fit many other vehicles made by "The General," regardless of what badges say.

Just the other day, as I was removing the air cleaner assembly, I noticed that part of the gasket that seals the air cleaner base to the carb remained stuck to the carburetor, while the rest of it held onto the air cleaner. That gasket had seen better days.


If you are a DIYer who happens to have some gasket material laying around the garage, you can make your own. I've done that, and they usually work although they never look 100% right. So I went online to locate one.

Now keep in mind that my Vette has the stock Quadrajet and air cleaner assembly, so nothing special about it. And I am sure General Motors saved a bunch by making sure all Quadrajets were the same, at least most of the ones used in mid- to late-seventies vehicles, which included a whole boatload of them.


My online search took me to eBay where prices were all over the map, as the images below show, and while I am sure that Mahle makes great products, prices shown made no sense whatsoever. The same part number ranged price-wise from $5.13 to $19.33.

What?

Sure, shipping was included, blah, blah, blah.


One vendor was offering the gasket for "only" $0.99, which really translated into $8.39 after you factor in the $7.40 shipping charge, which makes sense since these things have to be "crated" before shipping.

Seriously?


So instead of wasting time sorting through all this mess and then waiting a week or longer to receive the item, I drove up to AutoZone and asked them if they had in stock an air cleaner gasket for my car. They did.

Cost? Around $3 which included the required Florida sales tax plus a one-year warranty. I am not making that up.



As the photo of the packaging shows, these gaskets are not so exclusive, and they fit a whole bunch of other makes, including Chevy V8 vehicles from 1958-1996 if my eyes don't betray me. And they're made in the Good Ole' U.S.A.

I paid for the gasket, drove back home and boom, it fits perfectly. Again, the gasket does not care if the Quadrajet is sitting atop a 350 inside the engine bay of a Camaro, El Camino, Malibu, Chevy pickup, etc.



My blog is not sponsored by AutoZone or anyone else, so I'm sure you can find a similar gasket at your local Advance Auto Parts, NAPA store, and more. My point is that sometimes it makes sense to shop locally, get the parts you need right away, and save a few bucks at the same time.

But if you feel better paying $19.33 for a three-dollar item, have at it. I don't judge.

Thanks for following my blog!

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