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Old 07-09-2020, 10:07 AM   #1
PKW181
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Default 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

Hi All,
Been considering switching from 2x2's to a single 4 bbl on my 49. Is this a easy conversion or any modifications involved? Also best source for a Carb and manifold, new or used. Would the 4 bbl be a good switch for a DD.?


Many Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:15 AM   #2
19Fordy
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

PKW: There are many, many posts on this subject. Read thru every one that mentions the word carburetor and you will benefit greatly.
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/searc...rchid=16662496

If you use an OFFY 4 barrel intake on an 8BA it will offset the generator and fan pulley mount 7/8 in. to the right when viewing engine from the front. I don't think EDELBROCK intakes do this. LOOK carefully at what you buy and keep carb linkage set up in mind.

DO a search on: 4 barrel carb on a flathead. Or, 4 bbl. carbon 8BA
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:34 AM   #3
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

Are you having issues with your current setup?
What do you expect to gain by converting?
A good switch? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Running a 4bbl. is really just running a 2bbl. 99.999% of the time (depending on how you drive}.
I am currently running an Edelbrock 500cfm 4bbl on a Offy manifold and am happy with the setup and the ability to adjust the AFR to my satisfaction.
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:38 AM   #4
whizzernick
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

I have that set up on an 8ba . works good I am useing the original intended carb.
I might be interested in trade as my set up is in my 1933 phaeton and have been thinking about going back to more tradidional set up. what carbs are you useing. Pictures ?
I will post pictures later to day.
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:17 AM   #5
CA Victoria
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

I started out with a Fenton 4bbl manifold so I could bolt a Carter WCFB directly to the manifold without using an adapter. The WCFB worked well. I swapped it out for an early AFB which was about 400cfm, these were used on the early GM V8 engine. 1 7/16” primaries and secondaries. I did need to make an adapter plate. I patterned the adapter to the carb base profile so it didn’t not look out of place. IMO the 400 cfm AFB was a perfect match for a mild Flathead, good fuel economy and plenty of carb at WOT.
I bought a clean used carb and scrubbed it with simple green & installed the kit, a fun projdct that didn't break the bank.
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Last edited by CA Victoria; 07-09-2020 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

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"CA Victoria" - I have a question and a comment. First, why did you swap out the WCFB; (Not enough carb, condition, parts availability?). Second, I have heard that the Fenton is the best of the 4 BBL flathead manifolds; from your experience, it sounds that that may be right.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

The WCFB was running fine, I just wanted to see if there was a difference. I do not have a scientific explanation, but I believe the AFB had more pull. I don’t have a basis for comparison on the manifold, I initially wanted to be able to bolt the WCFB to the manifold and succeeded with a little mill work. I kept the copper heat tube for the choke. It ran well.
Also had a “Charlie NY” distributor.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

I always liked the early Carter for a street engine. They work very well right out of the box, provide excellent fuel economy. However they need an aftermarket distributor to provide Mach & vacuum advance.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

PKW181, if you do decide to go to a single 4 barrel on your '49, I have some restored Holley 4000 teapot carbs that would work. They are also more than likely in the ballpark as far as the correct vacuum amount to the original Loadomatic distributor. They are rated around 370 CFM and have vacuum secondaries, so you can't over carburate. The ones I have are for '56 Fords and Mercury's with auto chokes on the carb. They also fit the manifold without an adaptor like the early WCFB's and Rochested 4GC's do.

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Old 07-11-2020, 06:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

I sure like my Fenton (cast in '54 ) using a '52 Olds Rochester 4 brl. Gathering core
carbs I've discovered that Chrysler and GM used the small base for quite some time.
For instance a '54 Dodge Carter 4 brl at a glance looks like a '54 DeSoto or Chrysler
but the venturii size is quite different.....'54 Dodge about 250 cu in....'54 Chyr 331
cu in. Similar with Rochester. Just my personal opinion....I like the vintage look w/o
the need for an adapter plate.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

Many years ago we had a in-board ski boat that had a '53 8CM engine with an Edmonds 4 barrel manifold and a Carter 4 barrel carb., Mallory ignition and a Howard cam.
The eng/boat worked well for many years, plenty of low end torque that would pull adult skiers and kids right out of the water, Never had a problem with the carb.
I put an Offy Super manifold w/dual w/97 carbs on my '36 in early '54. The 59AB engine is well built, over bored, cam, modified heads and a Harmon Collins ignition.
I drove the '36 as a daily work pleasure vehicle until 1959 throughout the eleven western states. The mountains of Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and the deserts of Nevada, California, a total of over 94K miles. The dual carbs were a pain in the butt, very sensitive to altitude, heat and cold. I had to carry a box of jets and a jet wrench to re-jet the carbs if I stayed in an area for awhile during the course of my work.
Of course my experience with multiple carbs vs a 4 barrel is based on real world everyday driving, not just Saturday/Sunday car cruses.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

I have had one on my 8BA since 1971 and love it. It is using a holley 450CFM carburetor
and a Mallory distributor.
If I had a roadster with a half hood or no hood I would run 2-2's
One time I faked every one out with a 4-2 manifold. I disarmed one barrel in each carburetor so I was actually running on 4 of the barrels instead of 8.
People couldn't figure out how 4-2's ran so well on the street. Every one said 4-2's wouldn't work.....
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: 4bbl manifold flathead V/8

Dodge, That's a neat story.
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