Cleaning a carbeurator

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  #1  
Old 11-20-02, 11:55 AM
mako's Avatar
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Cleaning a carbeurator

OK, this 86 Cutlass is the first carbeurated car I've ever had (well, once, an 85 Riviera with the same 307Y but I never cleaned it). Since my dad passed away I haven't anyone to show me how to do this and show me neat tricks and hints and tips. This is a quadrajet, not sure of the exact type.

So, if you just bought this car a couple of months ago, and want to give the carb a good cleaning, what would you do? Is any old brand carb cleaner good? What is different about owning a carb vs. fuel injection as far as maintenance goes?

When I pull off the filter assembly and expose the carb, the only thing that looks built up is the base of it. Looks like plastic and really isn't all that built up. The choke plate and the rest of the metal seems to be in good condition. But I have no idea how clean the inside is. Choke works fine- closed when cold, slowly opens as it warms.

Suggestions?
 
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Old 11-20-02, 02:01 PM
davidf
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Buy a can of carb. cleaner at autoparts.There are two kinds,the spray aresol type that you spray the carb. body and linkages that have silicone in it as a lube for the linkages.The other kind comes in a tin can that you pour down the throat of the carb while the car is runnung and then you let the engine stand for about 15 minutes so the cleaner can do the job of disolving the gum in the carb and conditioning the combustion chamber.A lot of smoke comes out when you pour this stuff down and it is mostly carbon deposits from the combustion chamber.Don't oil the linkages because oil attracts dirt while dirt bounces off silicone lubricated surfaces.Also make sure the choke vacuum break is adjusted and works
 
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Old 11-20-02, 06:21 PM
Joe_F
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Mako:

Leave it alone until it's rebuild time. No need to clean it unless the linkage sticks or there are issues there.

More harm than good is done by cleaning it most times. If it has issues, it's rebuild time, not cleaning time.

The stuff DavidF refers to is GM Top Engine Cleaner. No need for that on most vehicles. Yes, the smoke it creates is pretty collosal .
 
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Old 11-21-02, 09:59 AM
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I can't speak from experience with a quadrajet, but it has been my experience with other carbs (and TBI FI models too) that the engine runs and idles better if you spray a can of carb cleaner through the intake if it hasn't been done in a few years.

I just rev the engine up and spray right in the barrel(s) Chances are if your carb needs this kind of cleaning it's the 2 front barrels that are giving you trouble (assuming you have rough idle and rough low end running). If you want to clean the back 2 you're gonna have to rev the hell out of it to get them to open. (be careful).

I've heard that it's a good practice to allow the engine to be flooded to a stall with carb cleaner and then start it up with the pedal to the floor. Let the engine rev up quite far when it does start. (I've left piles of carbon behind the tail pipe doing this in a TBI car of mine)

It can't hurt, though.... well unless the carb spits back and catches everything on fire. Just be careful!
 
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Old 11-21-02, 10:03 AM
Joe_F
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Lol. That's right, watch it.

Chances are the Gumout and sprays won't clean it the way you want to. Only hot tanking it in HydroSeal or other cleaner will really clean it out.

No need to clean it out unless you are having problems or issues with it. Leave it go. No need to wash all the cylinder walls with all that petroleum.

If you do, change the oil and filter when you are done.
 
  #6  
Old 11-22-02, 05:56 AM
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Oil change due up anyhow....

Honestly the car only idles slightly roughly. Really, in a smooth engine like this I'm not to concerned. And once it's warm, REALLY warm, say, after 20 minutes of driving, it's barely noticeable.

Since it only idles rough on cold mornings (and stammers and shakes if I try to drive it), say 40 or lower degrees (remember I'm in SC- that's cold to me!), I think I'll just leave it.
 
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