Hey guys . I'm 22 years old, and loyal to Chevrolet. I wanted to direct this question to a group that is dedicated to Chevrolet performance as I. I had bought a 1978 Chevrolet Malibu, to fix up with a small block. I purchased a remanufactured 350 from ATK. Stock except slightly higher compression from the heads being milled (9.1 to 1). The only modifications are as follows. It has a Edelbrock rpm intake, 600 cfm carter carb, headers with 1 7/8 primary tubes, and full crane roller rocker arms (1.5 ratio). MY PROBLEM IS. I started to notice a heavy smell of fuel, a bit of a miss at idle, and hard starting with my car. I proceeded to pull the carb off and noticed a puddle of fuel exclusively to the drivers side toward the rear. It started real simple with replacing the needles and seats, replacing the floats, adjusting the float, and drop levels to no avail. I replaced the stock mechanical pump three times with oem pumps, installed a pressure gauge and regulator. I have about three foot of rubber fuel line. The problem never went away. I thought maybe heat soak so I installed a 160 degree thermostat, and 1/2 inch plastic moroso spacer. problem remained. I just assumed it was a junk carb so I purchased a new one. I bought a new edelbrock carb-same problem, a new holley carb-same problem. I returned those with the understanding that it wasn't a carburetor problem. Several months later and hundreds of dollars wasted on gaskets and pumps, etc. I began asking for help. Some people suggested a valve miss-adjustment. I adjusted the valves several different ways, running-mates method, engine running, and each individual cylinder by turning the crank in 90 degrees increments. I even put the stock rockers back on, I still had the problem. I completely gave up and bought a new 78 Malibu, this one with a 305. It came with a wiend stealth intake, a 600 cfm edelbrock carb, and stock exhaust manifolds. I thought good- I get a chance to compare. I pulled the carb and there was no raw fuel in the intake, just fuel like coloration. I thought my problem was solved, so I started transferring some of the components from my last engine to this one. Namely my serpentine pulley system, my ignition system, my roller rockers, tall edelbrock valve covers, and my 14 inch air filter element. I couldn't believe it when I pulled the carb to check and found fuel in the intake. Now I can say this, throughout all the times I've pulled these carbs ( and it's probably been a good fifty times ) I have seen the fuel in heavy concentration, sometimes on the passenger side, and even sometimes none at all. NICE CLEAN ALUMINUM COLOR Never to the front of the intake though. Now am I completely wrong and this is normal. I don't know what to think anymore, its turning my spark plugs an orangish color, and I certainly can't see it being any good for the rest of my engine. I've had 2 people tell me not to worry about it, and fifteen telling me its a problem Yet they've never heard of it and don't know how to fix it. I have access to the internet and have written to all the performance publications some responded, but weren't very helpful ( its your carb check your timing) those type of answers. I'm not expecting you to be able to say ronnie this is it, and like that its fixed. What I really need is some facts like no this is not normal and you can have a nice chevy smallblock without this type of problem. I also feel that it is a problem that I am causing and that just makes me even feel worse. I'm kind of leaning toward a bad valve adjustment. But again I've had several people tell me it could be the valves and others say there's no way, its strictly a carb issue. I can also swear that I drove around at first with those roller rockers for a year with no problem, no idle problem, no clatter, so it seems that my adjustment is okay. ( by the way I have them set at 1/2 turn down from zero- my timing is at 10 degrees initial with 36 degrees total. I put my stock hei ignition system back on, that did not solve the problem either. Is it ever normal for gas to sit down in the bottom of the intake like this? Right now I'm running 5 psi. Are dual-plane manifolds prone for this? One source told me to block off the exhaust heat passage, another told me not to it was to prevent the puddling. Actually my last edelbrock intakes passage was blocked off. This one I don't know. If the heat helps prevent puddling, then why is it the lower plenum (closer to the heat) that is having the problem? Please help me Im going crazy. Can you help me rule out some areas? And if this is all related to the exhast passage, Im going to be buying a new vortec 350. The edelbrock intake for this has no provision for that passage. Will I have this problem all over? Should I get an electric fuel pump? Could it be vapor lock? Is a 14 by 3 inch filter element too small?
Ronnie g. Williams
2372 Ridgecrest Dr.
Arnold MO 63010. THANK YOU RONNIE