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Old 08-24-2010, 08:21 PM
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Looking for 25 mpg from my T-bucket

A little background here to start . I had a new '78 K10 part-time 4wd with a 350 and 2.76 gears that I tuned the Q-jet and got 22mpg 55 mph in a 4500 lb truck . Also had a new '75 Nova SS with a 350 and standard trans that I put a Q-jet and manifold from a 275 hp 327 on along with headers , and got 24 mpg at 55 mph . So am I being unrealistic to think that I can replace my 1405 Edelbrock with a Q-jet and with experimentation with jets and metering rods get 25 mpg with my T-bucket that turns 2200 rpm at 55 mph and only weighs 1800 lbs ? It has a 8004 Edelbrock intake which is made for a Q-jet and I am using a Mr Gasket adapter under the 1405 . The engine is stock 1974 350 other than being .030 over and has flat-top pistons . BTW . I drive my bucket a lot and spend over $40.00 a week on gas .

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Old 08-25-2010, 05:55 AM
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Should be able to. I'd think it would get better than 25mpg with a well tuned Q-jet. The aerodynamics will be limiting factor, if it has a tall/flat windshield.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adantessr
A little background here to start . I had a new '78 K10 part-time 4wd with a 350 and 2.76 gears that I tuned the Q-jet and got 22mpg 55 mph in a 4500 lb truck . Also had a new '75 Nova SS with a 350 and standard trans that I put a Q-jet and manifold from a 275 hp 327 on along with headers , and got 24 mpg at 55 mph . So am I being unrealistic to think that I can replace my 1405 Edelbrock with a Q-jet and with experimentation with jets and metering rods get 25 mpg with my T-bucket that turns 2200 rpm at 55 mph and only weighs 1800 lbs ? It has a 8004 Edelbrock intake which is made for a Q-jet and I am using a Mr Gasket adapter under the 1405 . The engine is stock 1974 350 other than being .030 over and has flat-top pistons . BTW . I drive my bucket a lot and spend over $40.00 a week on gas .
Only if you keep your foot out of it. Mine gets terrible mileage but My foot is in it a lot of the time.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:12 AM
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I have a T-Bucket with a 350/TH350, 3.73 gears. Gets about 15-16 mpg now. The change that resulted in a significant increase in mileage was to move the vacuum advance to full-time vacuum. Regardless of the all the controversy about full-time vs ported vacuum especially on this forum, this was a winner when it came to economy - engine seems to run cooler as well.

I was running a Edel 1406 with an Air Gap manifold and have recently replaced that with an 1806 (did not do that for economy reasons). Although buckets are a disaster aerodynamically, I would think with 2.73 gears and an overdrive trans you could pretty easily get 25 mpg.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:24 AM
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A Q-jet run on the primaries is a small 2-bbl carb w/excellent signal to the boosters. It will get better mileage (all else being equal) to an aftermarket performance calibrated carb. But the thing is- you have to stay out of the secondary as much as possible.

There are adjustments that can be done to delay the secondaries coming in, and to the amount the secondaries are allowed to open to help in that regard.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:56 AM
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You don't need a different carb you just need to tune the one you have. Edelbrocks are harder to tune than most carbs as they are too simple and require some innovative manipulation. If you don't know how to tune a carb the a quadrajet is an easier approach or a 390 holley.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:38 AM
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Long version reply . I bought a calibration kit for the Edebrock and experimented with different springs , jets , metering rods until I've got it running as lean as it will with this carb without getting flat spots . As a side note I had (way back in '74) a '72 rally Nova with 350 2 bbl that I switched out for a 4 bbl . A friend heard I had done that and bought my 2bbl and manifold because he wanted to get better mileage from his Q-jet carbureted 327 . I sold it to him with the warning that he would be disappointed . I saw him a few weeks later and he had put the Q-jet back on because his mileage was worse with the 2bbl. He couldn't say I didn't warn him before I took his $20.00. So at any rate , it looks like cobalt answered my question . Any way I think he did . If I understand him correctly , because of the tiny primary bores of the Q-jet I should be able to calibrate a Q-jet to get better mileage than I can get out of the 1405 . Please correct me if I'm wrong Cobalt327 . 'Cause I don't want to go through the time and expense of finding , rebuilding and installing a Q-jet if I can't expect at leat another 2 mpg . I use my cruise control ALOT on the boulevard . As I said . I burn about $40.00 worth of gas a week . That's a good prime rib dinner for the wife and I .
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSedan64
Should be able to. I'd think it would get better than 25mpg with a well tuned Q-jet. The aerodynamics will be limiting factor, if it has a tall/flat windshield.
Yeah , I also thought about the aerodynamics of the 20" tall windshield . But then I thought , Hmmm my '78 K-10 was pretty tall also considering the grill area (huge) and the windshield . Just about all of my cruising is done at 40 to 50 mph . That is the speed limits on McCorkle Ave which runs for about 30 mi just a half mi from my house .
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:55 AM
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You could be running it too lean...

All things considered a well tuned edelbrock will return the same mileage as a quadrajet. There's no magic to a quadrajet, not a bad carb but not magic.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbolover
You could be running it too lean...

All things considered a well tuned edelbrock will return the same mileage as a quadrajet. There's no magic to a quadrajet, not a bad carb but not magic.
I have pulled and checked the plugs a couple of times after takiing a nice leisurely cruise and found them to be a pale gray , not white . I thought this was the best I can get without getting too lean . Am I correct or ?
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:44 AM
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A pale plug is a sign of being lean. You can try a wideband O2 sensor for tuning and maybe pick up .5 mpg. You probably need to come to terms with driving a T-bucket with an sbc and not a prius. It sounds like your getting rather good mileage already. A "magic carb" doesn't exist. If it is that important you need to look at a different drivetrain/car.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbolover
A pale plug is a sign of being lean. You can try a wideband O2 sensor for tuning and maybe pick up .5 mpg. You probably need to come to terms with driving a T-bucket with an sbc and not a prius. It sounds like your getting rather good mileage already. A "magic carb" doesn't exist. If it is that important you need to look at a different drivetrain/car.
Thanks for the input , tubolover . Sounds like I'll just consider the $40.00 a week the price of having fun . :-) I do LOVE driving my T-bucket . I haven't actually checked the mileage yet . I was just wondering if there was some way to improve it with the existing drivetrain . As someone has on their profile . "Never tell her it's done" I'm just looking for something to do . It runs great , but it can always be better , right ? What do you think about a different cam this winter ? What would maybe give me better mileage than a stock cam ? Right now it almost idles too smooth . LOL . Sounds like it's gotta be a dog , until I just tap the throttle and chirp the tires . I can smoke them anytime just mashing the throttle at idle.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:14 PM
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If you really want mileage I would look into a complete running TPI or LT1 engine. A cam swap rarely makes a significant mileage improvement. Usually the more fun you have the worse the mileage gets.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbolover
If you really want mileage I would look into a complete running TPI or LT1 engine. A cam swap rarely makes a significant mileage improvement. Usually the more fun you have the worse the mileage gets.
LOL ! Thanks turbolover . I guess I'll just keep having fun with what I have . I guess I'll have to find something else to do to occupy my time , other than messing with the drivetrain. I am retired and have lots of it. Time that is . Money ? Not so much .
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:09 PM
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If you have more time than money get a electric grinder and some cartridge rolls. Do a rering on your engine and clean up all of the casting. I know a guy that cleaned up every little nook ad cranny. It won't make a huge difference but it helps and it gives you something to do. Anoyher thought is cosmetics, paint and upholstery. Another idea is to watch ebay or craigslist for some old hot rod parts you can restore and put on your ride- it always looks better when its rebuilt and not bought new.
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