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Carb Sizing

Considering that an engine is only an air pump...air in and air out, with every cycle of the engine it inhales a measured amount of air based on the cubic inches of displacement and exhales more due to the expansion within the combustion chamber.  The variable is the amount of fuel you add to the air and what the combustion chamber does to it.

When you go WOT your carb butterflies create a big hole to the intake port, the bigger the hole the lower the velocity or air speed....too big a hole and you lose too much velocity this loss of velocity and the valve open time being so short it can't fill to it's max potential or sweep the spent exhaust gases out of the combustion chamber...too big of a carb equals lower horse power/tork output, poor drivability, tip in stumble, poor low end tork and for the Drag Racer a time slip that shows a mediocre 60' time.

If the carb is too small it creates a restriction or vacuum condition in the intake and again the intake valve can't deliver a full charge of fresh air (O2) and fuel.

These variances in the intake manifold vacuum signals send a message to the carb and dictate how much fuel it's going to add to the air rushing through it.

This balance is critical to achieve optimum performance.

This is not a mystical theory but a calculated scientific formula based on:

Load:  Weight, gearing, tire size, trans type and convertor stall.

Demand: Cam lift, duration, manifold type, intake runner size, valve sizes, header efficiency, basically the ability of the engine to breath.

Combustion Chamber efficiency: Size and shape of the chamber, compression ratio, swept volume and combustion chamber quality.

Application: Drag Racing, Road Racing, Off Road, Street, Circle Track, Trailer Queen, Grandma's 67 Polara Station Wagon Grocery Getter.

Here's a quick Calculator designed to help you size your carburetor:

CFM Calculator

When all these things are considered the correct size and series of carb can be chosen and optimum efficiency will be obtained.  To think that you can carb the worlds performance market with 3 carbs like some company's is surrendering the optimum for low level mediocrity.

The art of fine tuning a carbureted engine is nearly lost, there's only a few old timers left that can listen and feel the performance of an engine and determine which screw needs to be turned, which way and how far.  Modern automotive tech schools keep a carburetor around just to show our up and coming parts changers what they look like and as a comparison to modern fuel injection.....they keep them in a glass case like old bones in a Museum.

If your not a carb tuner then you need to be sure and purchase your carburetor from someone who is, once you learn the basics and get it all dialed in keep a screw driver handy and the first  person who attempts to "Tune" your carb....stab him!

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