That would depend on how much experience you have in working on cars and carburetors in particular. As a rule, unless the carburetor is totally wasted, its a lot cheaper to overhaul it.
If you are a little gunshy on doing an overhaul on it, catch one of your buddies that have done a few and have them tutor you on it. Most kits also include directions, of some sort.
many people think they can do it but few are successfull.i've been turning wrench for quite a while and could put kit in a holley that is not a disfunctioning carb. yet but i have not been successfull on a disfunctioning carb. to date.i have even taken a carb to jegs back when they had the shop at the 11 th ave. store and they were not successfull once.when i took it back all the shop guys were out of town racing so they gave me my money my carb. and a new carb. just like it.so it is not as easy as some make it sound.last i checked,it is just a little cheaper to buy a holley 3310 750 then it is to have it overhauled and i called eveywhere in columbus to find that out.
What type of carb is it ?
I got me a book on Rochester carbs and a couple of rebuild kits and went from there. You could also get a carb from a salvage yard and practise on that, just removing parts noting how it fits and putting it back together. Just be real careful and don´t force parts until they break.
I don´t see where anyone said it was easy.
I have had my car eleven years, it´s had four carbs, all came from salvage yards and I rebuilt them myself. Never got it right the first time or the second but practise is the key.
It´s pretty expensive to buy a new carb so for the price of a rebuild kit why not try.
malc, I totally agree. been there done that.
I was taught about basic carburetors way back in the dark ages of the early 60's, when life was much simpler. It took a few times on my own to get it right as well.
That being said, I would never want to discourage anyone from wanting to learn more about their vehicle and what makes it tick.
If you're contemplating a Holley or Edelbrock/Carter, then I would say do it. They both come with some decent instructions, although, as suggested, a carb-specific book helps a lot.
If you're talking about a Q-Jet, then it gets trickier. The suggestion about a junkyard carb ($5 here) has a lot of merit. I'd heard too many stories about efforts that wound up as a lot of parts in a box. Also, the Q-Jet kits I've seen tend to leave a lot to the imagination.
Like the man said, what kind of carb is it that needs rebuilding? The only carbs that are really difficult to rebuild are the old 2700 and 7200 series motorcraft variable venturi carbs for the late 70s and early 80s. The kits are around $40 to $60 plus a can of carb cleaner. Most carbs dont necessarily need "boiling out". Its usually just the gaskets, seals and the accelerator pumps that break down and/or wear out over time. The easiest way to rebuild your first carb is to take off the top and the baseplate off and replace the gaskets. While you have the top off replace the accelerator pump and put it back together and see of that fixes you problem.
What are the symptoms, black smoke, hesitation, runs rough, backfires, dies cold, hard starting, stumbles???
The biggest problem is if the linkages are bent or missing.
If the carb was on a motor and working but leaking from every nook and cranny then a set of new gaskets, float, inlet needle, pump and filter is about it. Take pics of the outside of the carb and
also the inside when the top comes off.
In general it´s easy but you won´t know ´till you get and do it.
Most of what needs to be done to a Q-Jet is visible with the top off, sometimes it does not need to come off the motor.
Doug Roe´s book "Rochester Carburators"(HP Books) became my bible, with my carb on a homemade stand and that book I felt confidant enough to take my carb down to the last piece. I even bought a kit from Jet to rebush the throttle shafts.