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Carburetor on 1955 Tbird 292

Posted By Allan McMurtry 4 Years Ago
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Allan McMurtry
Posted 4 Years Ago
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Hitting on all eight cylinders

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My 292 was bored back decades ago.  It is slightly bigger than 292.  How much I don't know.  My current carburetor is an 1850-1.  That is the right number for a 600CFM carb.  That isn't the recommended CFM for a 292 which is more 350-400CFM.  Further I have the intake manifold of a 1957 Tbird.  I own the correct manifold and carb for the 1955 Tbird, So, I'm sitting here needing a carburetor overhaul of the 1850-1 (not correct for the Tbird).  The fuel lines are set up for it, but I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off to get the carb for the 57 Tbird.  However, it is designed for the 312, not the 292.  I'm resurrecting this car from my high school days.  It won't be a show car, it will be a short haul driver.  Still, I'd like it to look nice.  I thought I'd drain the brain power on this site for some suggestions.  The 57 manifold with the 1850-1 won't let the hood close on the correct air filter, duh.  The cheapest route seems to be the 1850-1 rebuild, though I have a shot at a 1273 for the exact manifold (though it is for an automatic 312, not a standard 292).  It's that the fuel line receptacle don't match on the 1273 that is slowing me down.  I won't even go into the choke.  I'll settle for manual.  Finally, Tbird manuals distinguish between a carb for an automatic versus a carb for a manual tranny.  How bid a deal is that?

Sorry I made this so complex.  I didn't know the manifold didn't match when I got the car 54 years ago.  Likely some kid was trying to make his 55 bird faster.  Dropping a 289 would have done that better and more effectively than swapping manifolds and carburetors. 
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charliemccraney
Posted 4 Years Ago
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You are also going to need a '57 or newer distributor to go with the newer carburetor.  This is not optional.  Of course, you can ignore this and do what you want but it will never work correctly with the newer carb as it does not provide the correct vacuum signal.

If the engine is more or less stock, then the 600 is far more than it needs.  I presume it has been working.  How was it while it was functioning correctly, before needing a rebuild?

Fuel line is easy to make so a change in the fitting location is no big deal.  Get a bender that will bend the line without kinking it.  Lever style benders are common work very well, and are easy to find.  For example, http://www.ebay.com/itm/SUPERIOR-TOOL-Lever-Type-Tube-Bender-66575-/331810035782?hash=item4d416b5846:g:-t0AAOSwZ8ZW8aAf  Single flare tools and cutting tools are also easy to find.


Lawrenceville, GA
Allan McMurtry
Posted 4 Years Ago
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Hitting on all eight cylinders

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Thanks.  I don't think any mechanic knew this intake manifold wasn't stock.  I had dual ignition, but no more.  Dual ignition was on some of the 55s.  The car ran pretty well.  And when the dual ignition was changed out, I have no idea what was put in.  At that time they could have gotten an original distributor.  Maybe I need to have the 4000 Holly teapot rebuilt and put the original intake manifold on.


Appreciate it.
Allan 
charliemccraney
Posted 4 Years Ago
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First Identify the distributor.  The Holley 4000 will work fine with the '57 or newer distributor because it has mechanical advance.  However you cannot use the vacuum signal produced by the Holley 4000 with the  vacuum advance of the newer distributor.  You will either leave the vacuum disconnected entirely or use manifold vacuum.

An easy way to determine what you have is to remove the distributor cap.  If you see ignition advance springs, then you have a '55 or '56 distributor, which will not work with the newer carb.  If you do not see the advance springs, then it is '57 or newer.

Either way, the newer distributor is an upgrade because the vacuum only Load-O-Matic wasn't great to begin with.  On a T-Bird, however, it is not easy or cheap if you want to retain a tachometer.


Lawrenceville, GA


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