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chrysler carb on gm engine


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i have a 1996 echelon with 350 mercruiser engine. i ve owned this boat for 2 years and it has always been a tough start.this year i pulled the carb to get rebuilt and was told that it is a carter carb usually found on chrysler engines.is this the proper carb for this gm engine? should i have this rebuilt or bite the bullet and replace with a holley?

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Carter was the OEM carb for that year/model so that is correct. Those 2 barrel carter carbs needed to be "primed" by pumping the throttle 2-4 times before starting, if you don't do that they are really hard to start.

You will gain a lot of performance going to a Holley 650-750CFM carburetor, you might need to change the fuel line and intake manifold but it's worth going thru the modification if you have the time/energy/funds to do it.

Good luck with the project!

-Paul

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I would verify whether a Carter AFB or actually a Weber, which will be marked on the top of the carb (really the same thing, but some subtle differences). Carter AFB rebuild parts will work. I assume a 4 bbl. carb, it is actually a 750 cfm unit which offers ample airflow for a 350 cid engine. Carter carbs are very common on older Chrysler vehicles. Mercruiser used them on the tounament ski boat engine application among others.

It is the proper carb for the engine (should be painted black if original). They are a very simple carb and actually work quite well for a boat application. Hard starting is due to the need to pump / prime the engine as mentioned, but also the choke setting. I have found that ambient temperature requires a different choke setting, thus a spring / fall setting and a summer setting to keep the warm up mixture correct. I would check the carb for any dirt / debris, check the float level and make sure the accelerator pump and nozzles works properly.

I would be curious to know what performance improvements Bake's suggest they would find, but I can tell you my boat is equipped with the Weber 750 cfm 4 bbl. carb and performs very well. Along with some engine updates to improve performance, that carb propels the boat past 55 mph and accelerates better than a Monsoon, so it is not a limiting factor.

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What i meant to say is he will only gain performance for sure if he is coming from a 2 barrel Carter to a 4 barrel anything. I honestly think Holley is a better built carburetor personally but I'm sure opinions vary from person to person.

The carburetored engines with Holly carburetors (all built by Indmar not Merc's) that I've driven seem to have a lot more power than a Mercruiser equipped with a Carter or weber carburetor. Just my 2 cents

-Paul

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I thought that might be the case with the reference to a 2 bbl. in your note. I have always wondered about the Holley / Carter (Weber) comparison since the operation concept is very different. The biggest thing I found was the air valve opening rate and it's effect on performance. I have not had the opportunity to swap and do a back to back test between the two, but always wanted to.

The bolt pattern between the carbs is different, the Carter / Weber being the spread bore design, so a carb change will require either a manifold change or an adapter change.

The other option, depending on finances would be to install an aftermarket fuel injection unit.

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We havent seen a lot of performance difference between the 2 brands of carbs, where see a difference is in dependabilty of the carter over the holley.

As far as how well it is to get a cold motor started, the gas today is designed to be a rapid evaporation in the clynders for a better burn, and with all injected vehicles today they are equiped with sealed fuel tanks and evap systems, unfortunately carb. motors on boats have open bowl vents and when the boat sits for a week or so the gas evaporates out, thus you have to pump the throttle until the pump fills it back up.

We have installed electric fuel pumps on the boats which will fill the carb. as soon as the key goes on , this has helped alot.

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  • 2 weeks later...
We havent seen a lot of performance difference between the 2 brands of carbs, where see a difference is in dependabilty of the carter over the holley.

As far as how well it is to get a cold motor started, the gas today is designed to be a rapid evaporation in the clynders for a better burn, and with all injected vehicles today they are equiped with sealed fuel tanks and evap systems, unfortunately carb. motors on boats have open bowl vents and when the boat sits for a week or so the gas evaporates out, thus you have to pump the throttle until the pump fills it back up.

We have installed electric fuel pumps on the boats which will fill the carb. as soon as the key goes on , this has helped alot.

thanks will put carter back on change cap rotor wires and plugs see whats up.

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You may want to stay away from who ever told you it was the wrong carb.

GM has been putting carter carbs on for years and years.

I am sure this has been talked about but you may be ahead of the game if you buy an new Holly.

Rebuilding the carters is not hard it is the throttle bodys that wear out and unless you re-bush everything

you will get air leaks and the rebuild will be mostly a waste.

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