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Old 11-01-2019, 08:26 PM
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Cold Natured Beast

To start, I have an 88 YJ, 5 spd, 258. It appears to have a stock carb that has an air box attached instead of normal round carb air filter.



My issue is cold starts. Not just cold weather starts, but just the 1st start of the day kind of thing. I've had this vehicle for about 1 month now. When I bought it, local temps were in the upper 80's, low 90's. Now we are in the 70's. From the moment I first test drove it, it was had to start. Pump gas, start, die, repeat a couple of times, then it will idle.I have to let it idle about 5 minutes (temp gauge up to 1st line). I can then attempt to leave. If I give enough gas and ride the clutch enough, I can usually make it up the street. It may make it, it may not. When it does make it, it skips and tries to die until I've driven about 1/4 mile, then it's fine. No idle issues afterwards.


I guess my Googlefu (search) is lacking. After at least 3 days searching, I can't find similar issues. My 1st thought was a Nutter bypass. Then my attention was brought to an HEI distributor. Will either, or both, of these help.


I previously (20ish years ago) owned an 86 CJ8. I do not remember it having these cold start issues (nor the lack of power).

, localhttps://imgur.com/2JgecQ1
https://imgur.com/2JgecQ1

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Old 11-01-2019, 10:12 PM   #2
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Two quick things come to mind.
1. Your stock electric choke is either unplugged or not working. Easy enough to check. on the left side of the carb there is a round , about 1.5 to 2" electric choke motor. It will have a spade connector dead center with a single wire plugged onto it. On cold start you push the accelerator to the floor once, setting the mechanical choke closing the butterfly. The electric choke motor will keep the butterfly as closed as necessary until the engine warms up, then opening the butterfly through the electric choke motor till it is wide open. The choke motor can be preloaded to open faster or slower by turning it left or right. I adjust mine twice a year, as winter comes and goes. It can be checked by checking for 12v at the spade connector, and visually watching the choke butterfly open as the engine warms up. usually 3-5 mins.


2. Your choke linkage is not setting properly , Follow initial start above, it should close the butterfly without starting engine. If it closes, start engine and watch for butterfly close as engine warms, Keep in mind these old 4.2's are cold blooded no matter how well dialed the carb and choke are.


Try these two things first and report back.

Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:32 PM   #3
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"Airbox" sets off an alarm. Remove the airbox and post a pic of what's under the air box.
Are you sure it's a carb or could someone have converted the Jeep to fuel injection?

Good luck, L.M.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:01 PM
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:03 PM
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:08 PM
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I already some pictures, just needed uploaded.
Been a busy day. Will pop the hood as soon as I can. Thanks!
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:11 PM
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Ok, I'm no mechanic. That being said, when I'm around people with no mechanical experience, they think I'm a mechanical genius; when I'm around people with mechanical experience, we both know I'm an idiot.

So, thanks to Got it at last's advice, I looked at the choke. My multi-meter on both battery post shows 12+ volts. The ground on the neg battery and the pos on the choke spade (direct to the wire) shows about .06 volts (key off, key aux, and trying to start). I'm assuming I can be sure I do not have proper voltage to the choke. Do I need to run a wire from an ignition hot to the choke? Constant hot? (not my initial thought.)
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:20 PM   #8
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If you run a key on "hot" to the choke, you can continue to check the choke motor to see if its working, But now we need to find the cause of no power to choke. I was unable to pull up any of your previous pics, so not sure if your still running stock or modified carburation, try and post them again when you get a moment.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:33 PM
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Sorry, the images were posted though imgur. I looked and saw there are problems with that site. I have also had problems with photobucket. Who has the the best luck with what site?
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:39 PM   #10
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We never know what "improvements" the PO has done. Why is an air box any better than the stock air cleaner? Could the PO have screwed up the choke wire or hooked up the wrong one? Do you have a stock carb or an aftermarket carb?

Post some pics of what you have.

Back out two pages to the main page and scroll up to "WF Site Help & Support". Click on that and the first sticky at the top of the page is "How to post a picture" by Beastmaster.
Hold your phone horizontally with the button to your right so that the pic will post properly.

Good luck, L.M.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:55 PM   #11
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Just ran a quick check, I only have 12+ when engine is running, not sure if you checked that while running or not. A straight 12v jumper from the battery while testing will work. Only takes a couple minutes to watch the choke fully open.
pic1 is butteryfly wide open
pi2 is butterfly with choke set by pressing accelerator to floor once.

FWIW My choke wire is blue with white stripe, if you have a different color wire, somebody may have already been in there and you will just be looking for a poor connection

Good luck, Let us know
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:49 AM   #12
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I looked in my '87-'88 Factory Service Manual.
The wire that connects to the choke module on the carburetor is 16G blue with a tracer. The blue/tracer comes off of a switch that closes with oil pressure. I would expect to find that switch on or near the oil pressure sending unit.
The wire to the oil pressure switch is 14G orange and comes off the ignition switch and through the firewall connector by the brake booster.

With the ignition switch in the "on" position, I'd look for 12V at the orange wire on the oil pressure switch (not the oil pressure sending unit). If I had 12V there, I'd jump the orange wire to the blue wire and watch the choke butterfly in the carb. If it closes, I'd suspect the oil pressure switch.

We don't even know for sure if OP has a carb or FI (see statement about air box). If he does have a carb, what sort of carb might it be. A TBI can be mistaken for a carb.
Until we know more, I don't know that we can be any more help.

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Old 11-03-2019, 05:37 PM
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Hope this help.


Also, never had the Jeep running when checking power at the choke, just motor turning over. That may explain not showing power....?
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:40 PM   #14
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That would be the carter stepper carb with what appears to be the air cleaner stolen off a 4.0 somewhere. I would be interested to see what they were using for an air filter inside if any, and how that's mounted up.

Now we know what you have (Sort of), I would refer to the 87-88 FSM for wiring diagrams, carb parts ID, and other under the hood questions. Check your choke with the motor running. check the butterfly, and then move to the actual Idle adjustment screws on the lower front of the carb, you can do it by ear and idle speed, but a vacuum gauge will get you much closer. At this age you can get pretty close but sometimes close is all you can get without either a complete rebuild or new carb altogether.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:47 PM   #15
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The pics are good news. It looks like you have a re-manufactured stock carter BBD carb.
The choke plate is closed, as it should be for a cold start.

One issue with the Carter carb is if it sits for more than a day or two, the gas in the fuel bowl drains back to the tank. There's an easy cure for that. We can address that later.
What I suggest now, is dump a couple ounces of gasoline in the top of the carb and attempt to start it. What may happen is:
1- it starts and runs, then bogs and quits after a minute or so. (choke plate still closed)
2- It starts and runs, then quits after a few seconds. Do this one more time.
3- It starts and keeps running and the choke plate opens.
4- It doesn't start at all.

Once you've done the dump 2 oz. of gas and attempt to start, post again with the results.

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Old 11-03-2019, 07:24 PM
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Thank you both.

The box has a filter that appears to be made for it. What the picture doesn't show, is the bottom of the box has been cut out. I plan on trying to find a standard breather or go with a K&N style filter (probably the former).

It will probably be a couple of days before I can mess with it again. With work and a kitchen pantry remodel in progress, most of my time is spoken for.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:25 PM   #17
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If you can't find a stock air cleaner in good shape for a decent price, shoot me a PM. I have one sitting on a shelf. One other thing that comes to mind, If you do not have the stock air cleaner hooked up, What did the PO do with the vac hoses that are connected or have connections to the air cleaner itself. Some could possibly be capped with no ill effect, others could be reporting back to the pcm affecting the carb resulting in part of your problem. Now would be a good time to track down and Identify them
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:39 AM   #18
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On all the carbed vehicles I have ever owned every one of them got converted to a manual choke
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12b View Post
On all the carbed vehicles I have ever owned every one of them got converted to a manual choke
Did that on my 75 Ford Ranger Hi Boy for cold start only, Problem was I always forgot to open it back up after she warmed up.

The Jeep electric choke works just great when hooked up and adjusted properly. JMHO
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got it at last View Post
Did that on my 75 Ford Ranger Hi Boy for cold start only, Problem was I always forgot to open it back up after she warmed up.

The Jeep electric choke works just great when hooked up and adjusted properly. JMHO

Not saying that it doesn't work I've just had horrible luck with auto chokes. To the point of when I buy a carbed vehicle the first stop is the parts house to pick up a manual choke kit along with other things.


Had a '68 Mustang 390CI even though the auto choke was properly adjusted the dad-gum choke would stick every-time. Had a mechanic look at it he rebuilt the carb and I ended up pulling the air cleaner every day to un-stick the choke. Installed a manual choke problem solved. That was the first time of many others.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:57 AM   #21
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look in carb, with air cleaner "box" off, engine not running and cold, key off.
if choke plate is not in closed position, pull throttle cable back a little by hand.
plate should close and throttle stop should move to high idle position.
if not, check that choke plate moves freely. if there's no binding, check the action of the choke "element". with no power, it should be trying to move the plate to the closed position. if not, try loosening the 3 screws on the cover and rotating it a little too see if that helps.

under that black plastic cover is a bimetallic element (looks like a flat coiled up spring).
when it's cold it curls up a bit (making the linkage move, closing the choke plate)
when it heats up (from the 12 volts) it moves the other way.

maybe it's time for a new one. nothing lasts forever. it's an easy fix if that's what it is.

good luck.
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Old 11-17-2019, 04:12 PM
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So, I finally had time to tinker a couple minutes on the jeep.


I took the air box off and verified choke was closed. Poured in about 2oz of gas and it fired right up. (Wife had to keep foot on pedal or it would die if idle tried getting below about 1700 rpm.) The choke is getting power while the vehicle is running.


Jeep ran for maybe 5 minutes with Wife keeping rpm's up but suddenly died. It did not want to restart. I put a couple more ounces of gas in carb and it reluctantly started again. Once started, running as smooth as normal around 1050 to 1100 rpm. Turned if off and started right back up.


I took a couple of pictures of vacuum lines >
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red is plugged, blue is cracking a bit - will replace


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both plugged


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plugged - lower back side of carb
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Old 11-17-2019, 08:36 PM   #23
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Does it run at normal idle when hot?

If it does, it sounds from your last post that you are not getting enough gas to the idle jets. close both idle screws at the bottom front of the carb very slowly without cranking them down counting the number of turns it takes. You should get at least 1.5 full turns. Once closed open them 2-1/2 turns and try running it again.

After re-reading your entire thread, It doesn't sound like you have run all that much fuel through it. You may want to start from scratch by draining the tank, starting with at least 5gallons of fresh fuel and flushing your lines with it a bit before continuing. Crappy gas with some moisture may be your only issue.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:31 PM   #24
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Back out one page and at the top, there's a sticky titled carburetor help.
Read through the few posts to see if anything there might help you.

With all the blocked vacuum ports on your carb, your computer is unable to properly regulate your stepper motor and distributor (if it ever was, even when new). The blue arrow in your #1 pic points to a vent.
The cheap fix is a Nutter bypass and a more expensive but more complete cure is a HEI distributor.

Bubba (your Jeep's Previous Owner), didn't know how to or didn't care about keeping the Jeep in proper running order. It's up to you now, and we'll help as best as we can.

Got it at last has a good idea about draining the tank and putting new gas in the tank. It might be a good idea to install a new fuel filter.
When you go to drain the tank, disconnect the feed side of the fuel pump and blow the gas back into the tank.

Don't be shy about asking questions.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Does it run at normal idle when hot?
Yes, once it warms up, it will idle perfectly fine between 1000 and 1100 rpm. (call it 1050)


Quote:
It doesn't sound like you have run all that much fuel through it. You may want to start from scratch by draining the tank, starting with at least 5gallons of fresh fuel and flushing your lines with it a bit before continuing. Crappy gas with some moisture may be your only issue.
When I bought it, fuel gauge was showing about 3/4 tank. I put in some Sea Foam and drove it down to about 1/4. I did have 1 or 2 issues with it wanting to stall while hot and driving 30+ mph. I topped the tank (16ish gallons, iirc) with new (87) gas. No new Sea Foam. It has run better since. Now down to about 1/2 tank. I was thinking about topping off with with a higher grade fuel. On the current tank, I have only had 1 low speed stall while Wife and I were out "exploring".


Quote:
The cheap fix is a Nutter bypass and a more expensive but more complete cure is a HEI distributor.
I have been considering one of these. I like cheap. But from what I've read here, the HEI is the better option. I've looked into it a bit and can find them from @ $80 to @ $300. From my reading, the $300ish option is what I need I am willing to spend it, just hate to. I have had really good luck using Summit in the past and was considering going with them for the HEI. That being said, I have not been anxious to do that without having more knowledgeable, direct, advice to do that rather than simply spending the $ based only on what I think I have been able to glean from reading.
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:28 PM   #26
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As a learning experience, I would do the nutter bypass without hacking up your wiring just yet, so you can rule out computer/emissions control related problems. Without OBDII readings it's still a crapshoot on diagnosis. There are plenty of Youtubes, write ups etc. to help you through it. If it's computer, that will cure it, If it's carb it won't help very much.

L.M. and I will both tell you it's performance night and day with a HEI and if it's in the budget, a new or correctly rebuilt carb, Speaking for myself, once I got that out of the way I quit worrying about the damn thing starting and running so I could drive it.

I will tell you that when I went HEI, I went with Summit and when I had a question there was someone on the phone to walk me through my questions while I did what I needed to. Their service is supreme in my book and haven't had a problem with the dizzy in three years of daily driving.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:19 PM   #27
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Location: SouthEast of Denver
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Some of the online HEI distributors are complete crap! Others might be quality parts. How do you tell before you buy? I dunno. Some guy buys whatever from China and resells it for a small profit. If there's a problem, he refers you to the manufacturer. How good is your Cantonese?

I went with Summit Racing. It's a real store with real technical help. I'd heard about some HEI distributor gears eating cam gears. I called Summit about what I'd heard. The lady I spoke with told me they hadn't had any problems with theirs. The Summit HEI was in the $150.00 range about 4 years ago. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one again.
You'll need a relay and some wiring but the install is really pretty easy. When you're ready, one of us here can walk you through it. I've even got some pics.

Got it at last went with a Motocraft carb. I stayed with the Carter BBD, but bought a non-stepper re-man. He's happy with his and I'm even happier with mine because mine was about $125.00 cheaper.

If you go with the MC2100, Gronk the EBAY guy has had good reviews recently. Ask Got it at last where he bought his carb.
I went with the non-stepper re-man from National Carburetors in Hialeah FL. I'm at 6500' altitude and needed smaller jets. National offered to re-jet the carb for free. I didn't want to wait for as long as it would take to remove the carb, ship it to FL, have them re-jet it, ship it back to Colorado and then install it. Once I told the tech I could re-jet it myself, the jets arrived in the mail two days later. Free. No questions asked.

If I were you, I'd do the HEI first. If all is well, don't replace the carb. You'll have to set the needles that the stepper motor controls and leave the stepper motor unplugged. The instructions on how to set the needles for the HEI are the same as the instructions to set the needles for a Nutter bypass.

Keep us posted on how it goes.

Good Luck, L.M.
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"Wrangler....It's not just a vehicle, It's a lifestyle".
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1987 YJ-4.2L-Standard Shift- Re-manufactured Carter Carb-2" body Lift-31X10.5X15 BFG KOs-190K Miles No back seat.
HEI distributor with computer and all related relays and wiring removed.
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:17 PM
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OK, so I went to Summit. Bought an HEI, harness, wires, plugs, and a heater core (also needed - just not mentioned before).


I hope to get these on soon, but am relying on help from friends that are busy deer hunting. So...



Will update as things progress.


Thanks for all the help so far. I have others issues I trust ya'll can help with, but this is where I am starting
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:30 AM   #29
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When you get into the HEI Install, Two important things to save you time and hedaches

1. Pay extra close attention to the stock distributor orientation. most frequent issue is being one tooth off or a complete 180* on install. If you haven't swapped a dist before, the rotor turns as you pull it off, makes getting TDC a little tricky.

2. Use the yellow wire (They are all tied together inside the master harness) for the dist. power, and the green off the coil for the tach.

If you are keeping the carb and doing the Nutter bypass, a lot of wires will no longer be necessary, but don't cut any out yet, until you have everything working. then you can weed them out one at a time. everything bounces back and forth between the relays and obd plugs at the battery and it gets a little overwhelming to look at, but most of it becomes useless.

Good Luck, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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'89 YJ 4.2 with MC-2150 Carb & HEI, 2-1/2" Magnaflow Exhaust. AX-15, NP231, Adams front driveshaft, SYE kit, 31x 10.5 x15 BFG KO's, 2 1/2" RE Springs, 1" Body Lift. RS5000x shocks, Hella H-4's, XRC 9500 Winch, No emissions.

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Old 11-27-2019, 07:26 PM
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Update:
A few days ago, I drove the jeep about 3 miles into town. It died every time I pushed the clutch. It has never done that before. Got home and parked it.


Yesterday, a "mechanically inclined" friend came by and we installed the HEI, wires, and plugs. Started much easier. Idles around 850. We noted that once we attached the vacuum it didn't seem as smooth as with no vacuum. (We used the vacuum line that had been on the old distributor. It runs to the driver side under the carb to a line attached to the break booster.) Drove about 1/2 mile. Every time I hit the clutch, it died. Removed the airbox and Friend watched fuel flow. Working with flashlights by this time, he thought good fuel to carb. He did note that fuel was good at idle and as throttle was engaged. However, he thought it looked like fuel flow was lost when throttle was released. We called it a night.


After work today I needed to move it due to family needing parking space for Thanksgiving. Tapped throttle a couple of times, fired right up then died. Tapped throttle a couple more times, fired up and idled without having to play with throttle to keep it alive. Previously unheard of. Slipped it in gear and was able to move it a few feet out of the way without dying. Continued idling nicely around 850.


Two thoughts I am having. 1, I may need a new vacuum source. 2, I'm pretty sure I need to adjust the carb. In any event, I feel I'm better off with the HEI, just need some fine tuning.


FWIW this is the HEI I went with: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-850047

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