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Old 09-22-2003, 08:03 PM   #1
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Astrodokk's Avatar
1992 30' Airstream 30
Santa Rosa , Northern California wine country
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HELP! Need correct carburetor '81 454

*Note: See also thread on CA smog.

I was told that the carb on my MH may not be original because the part # doesn't match what GM says should be on it.

So, they are going to cross reference the part # of what 'should' be on it and try to get an Edelbrock Q Jet that corresponds to it. I let them know that for my year and engine, it should be EDL 1903 (rebuilt) hot air choke, or 1906 electric choke, as stated in these forums. They said those model numbers may not be good for CA smog, but they'll check on them. Also, that I don't want a rebuilt...they suggested new and I agree after reading threads here.

So folks, which carb will fit my 1981 28' A/S Excella GMC 454/ TH400 trannied MH? They wanted to know if I wanted to buy it and let them install (which I don't install these), or if they should order it for me. They said they mark it up a 'little'.

Before I left, they said that now it won't start and I need a new starter Then they asked me what all the leaking is under my rig I just told them to make it pass smog and I'll come back for a Banks system and Gear Vendor. The owner said he'll get right on it himself and reinspect everything by tomorrow and let me know which part I need, Sir.

So, before he does, I want to know if he's right when they call. HELP

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Old 09-22-2003, 08:15 PM   #2
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Either of those carbs will work. The electric choke is more reliable that the divorced choke model.

Eledebrock garuntees that the carbs meed CA Smog rules.

Now for a bit of advice.

Even if it won't start get a tow truck and GET IT OUT OF THERE.

It sounds like they think you are made of money and are looking to clean out your bank account. If it wasn't leaking before you took it in, why does it now? If you had no starter issues before, why do you now?

Unless they can SHOW YOU where the leak is and you can hear it not start I would be VERY leery of the shop.

The 200.00 check out fee is bad enough, but the way I see it you paid 200.00 to have them tell you to spend 400+ for a carb, plus install of 150.00. That is before you get to the "leak" and the starter issue. I am always leery of shops that start the what is this leak and your right front tire is wearing odd, then the brakes need work, etc.

Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 09-22-2003, 08:51 PM   #3
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1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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I wouldn't be too concerned about getting a rebuilt Q jet from Edelbrock. The rebuilts from the chain auto parts stores are the ones I had bad experiences with.
According to Edelbrocks website, the edl-1906 is the stock replacement with no modifications needed.
The 600cfm square bore Performance Series carb seems to be the only other one available for smog controlled vehicles. Its a great carb, but it needs an adapter plate to fit the manifold.
Call Edelbrock in the morning and verify that the 1903/1906 is legal for your application.
edl-1906 @summit racing $461.-
You may also need part number EDL-1997, a 9.- small bracket for the vacuum delay.
1983 310 Classic Motorhome
1997 30' Excella Trailer
AIR #13
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Old 09-22-2003, 11:54 PM   #4
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1982 34' Limited
Tidewater , Virginia
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The Correct Carb:

Hi Astrodokk,

The correct carb for your vehicle is the 795CFM Q'jet model M4ME now sold by Edelbrock as the ADL-1906. This is a NEW carb! It's a good carb and will do the job. You should have the electric choke model as that was the most prevelent version in the early 80's. This carb will be a bolt on, with transferring some linkage being the only slow down to nearly painless install. The necessary linkage is already on the old carb so there should be fairly easy.

This carb is 50 state legal! Please don't buy a rebuilt carb from anyone unless you know the throttle shafts have been replaced and the bores sleeved to remove the wear that comes from many thousands of miles of daily use. Since there are very few rebuilders willing to take the time to sleeve and bush bores, most don't.

New carbs cost a little more that rebuilds and are a far better value. This carb should be about $460.00 give or take a few dollars.

Hope this helps,

Old trucks and old trailers . . . a comfortable combination!
AIR 1446
A-6E All Weather Attack Driver, BUFF
USN Aircraft Maintenance Officer, Ret.
'91 Suburban R-2500 w/BBC
'78 Honda GL-1000
'72 Triumph T-100R Daytona
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:58 AM   #5
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1992 30' Airstream 30
Santa Rosa , Northern California wine country
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Thanks Brett, Peter, and Sean.

Your combined experiences shared here have helped me alot in deciding what route to take in this dilemma. I'm thinking about doing what our city buses on natural gas!

No, just kidding, although the buses actually do that here. After doing alot of research on the internet and talking with and hearing from good Airstream folks like you, the winner of the honor to be placed on my engine is the Edelbrock (EDL) #1906, electric choke Quadrajet carburetor (new). It will be replacing what should be the old Rochester Quadrajet hot air choke model. It's direct replacement would be the EDL 1903 hot air choke. Peter and Sean, you guys are right with that part number...there are so many, but maybe 3 or 4 for our applications due to year and size of engine. It's good that they're 50 state legal too!

Brett, I honestly appreciate your advice on the mechanics, as I am a suspicious sort when it comes to this type of thing since I am not well versed on it. That's why I do this research alot before committing so that at least I feel like an informed ignorant. For the record, I must admit that my baby has had these leaks since I got her. My wonderful neighbors pointed that out to me after I had her parked on the street for three days (the limit). That starter has given me problems before, especially when she's hot, and I accidentally turn off the ignition for gassing up or a break. She won't start again even with the battery booster until she cools down. Luckily I had TV and a bed to rest on. Anyway, these mechanics seem to be catching what I've already been told by the Chevy dealer a while back when they did my vehicle inspection. It seems that this rig didn't have much preventive maintenance done on it, although the engine and tranny are strong (I hope) These guys are highly regarded and recommended in this area.

I think that I'm suffering from something called Bauxitis, penned by someone on this site who has succumed to it as well, and knows why we do the things we do when it comes to these classics.

Thank$ again everyone!
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