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Carb Vs TBI

This is a discussion on Carb Vs TBI within the Carbureted forums, part of the Performance category; Im looking to get more performance out of my truck, i have the tbi on, and thinking about converting to ...

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    Carb Vs TBI


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    Im looking to get more performance out of my truck, i have the tbi on, and thinking about converting to a carb. which will get more performance? if i keep the tbi i will buy a custom made chip. My motor is a 5.7L 350 vortec L31 heads, edelbrock rpm manifold and a lunati flat tappet 262/268; 501 max lift. 3.42 stock rearend gears. I have 22's on it. and longtube headers. thank you.

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    Habitual Troublemaker cancritter's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    carb will be a step backwards...would keep the tbi...wouldnt even consider swapin to a carb
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    Information Director 1.721afr's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    I don't see any reason to use a carb, a 454 tbi feeds more horsepower than you will make.
    Nutkick?

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Get a bored SB TB correct year, much easier to deal with.....I have one sitting on my shelf with BB injectors from when I ran the TBI with my 383. Looking at what you have a stock TB will flow enough for your build ...you need to be tuned or get an EBL!! These guys are right why go backwards to carb something you have to tune often. I turned my back on carbs for daily drivers 10 years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by 1.721afr View Post
    I don't see any reason to use a carb, a 454 tbi feeds more horsepower than you will make.
    Last edited by canadianstroker; 07-02-2012 at 10:04 AM.



    383 with no Manners or Respect

    94 EXCSB 4x4,383 TPI gone back to TBI, Custom Grind cam- 468/495lift 222/236 @ 50 114 LSA,Marine TBI Heads 2.02/1.60 ported/ polished, 10:1 comp, Headman LT headers,Tuned, built 4L60E

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    x4 keep tbi. You can't beat being able to finely tweak your timing map and AE/PE tables, along with open loop fueling for cold startups. Read up on tuning yourself or make sure you go with a tuner that will do numerous tunes for you and has done a similar vortec motor before..

    I run a stock l31 + 4l80e with TBI. Took a while to get the tune right. Once it was close, I had 0 issues regardless of winter/summer/etc.. Everybody that's ridden in my [89] burb has commented to the effect 'damn this thing has some power'. Hillarious, because it's a stock l31.

    Only reason to go carb would be WW-III/doomsday, but in that case I'd go diesel =).

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    The main advantages of TBI over carb is that it is self -adjusting, so there is less maintenance.

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    I like the idea of the EBL system, but from what I understand you would have to have a 700R4 or a manual transmission. So if you have a 4L60E, it's not worth the trouble I think. And burning chips only get perfect if you do it yourself or a dyno could get it pretty close.

    Anyone read about Demon's new carb? The New Street Demon? Looks pretty tempting, especially the phenolic version.


    I'm a bigger fan of opening up the hood instead of a laptop to tune.
    Last edited by 94_c/1500; 07-16-2012 at 02:52 PM.

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    I'm going carb - without reservation. Check Engine lights are fine for a "mommy-wagon", or maybe a metrosexual male that is afraid to get their hands dirty - but I like the raw edge of an old fashioned system. I'll toss the computer into the garbage - and go with a manual choke even. TBI just makes for a neutered vehicle.

    Looking back at the 40+ vehicles I have had through the years, the ones that were the most memorable were the ones that had a choke knob on the dash. Only two of them had an automatic transmission. Most of them didn't have power anything. My favorite ones needed their multi-carb setups adjusted when the weather changed. All of them were a lot of fun and easy to work on. They all involved the driver in an automotive experience - they were not not just an antiseptic, boring mode of transportation. The inconvenience of a brief warm up was a small price to pay for all of the fun those vehicles offered.

    I've now got 3 GMT400s, all of which will end up with carbs on them.

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    I have a TBI that isn't neutered... so do a lot of other people. It's too bad you think people that use EFI are afraid to get their hands dirty. There is just as much, or more, involved with tuning EFI than there is a carb. You just use a computer that can fine tune something more than you ever would with a carb. Plus there's the mpg factor... if you think the only way to have fun is with something that only gets 4mpg (yes I'm using an extreme case scenario), you're in the wrong century.

    '92 Sierra (TBI 383/Vortecs/Comp 08-412-8/EBL/4L60/3.08s), '78 Malibu (Vortec'd 350/4-speed/2.29s), '87 Pontiac Fiero GT (2.8 v6/5-speed)


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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Quote Originally Posted by Doober View Post
    I have a TBI that isn't neutered... so do a lot of other people. It's too bad you think people that use EFI are afraid to get their hands dirty. There is just as much, or more, involved with tuning EFI than there is a carb. You just use a computer that can fine tune something more than you ever would with a carb. Plus there's the mpg factor... if you think the only way to have fun is with something that only gets 4mpg (yes I'm using an extreme case scenario), you're in the wrong century.
    I had no problems pulling 22 mpg out of a 400+ hp 350, running a Holley 750. I'm betting that your TBI system felt absolutely 'nadless compared to that motor. Of course - it was in a lighter vehicle than a Sierra. Fuel efficiency has more to do with gearing and aerodynamics rather than a carb or an EFI system - what do you pull out of that truck? 3.08's help with mileage, but your low end has got to suck. I had 3.70 gears with a beefed 700R4, that was a pretty nice combination. If I was getting 4 mpg, it meant that you were moving at an incredible rate of speed and accelerating very hard - or that your tires were still spinning.

    I'm pretty familiar with computers - I've been a programmer for > 25 years. There's a lot to be said for a system that isn't digital - where failure is a progressive wear issue, not a matter of a low voltage on a wire that stops the engine from running. Is it still called "driving" when a computer is involved? It's more like "riding" and pointing the vehicle in the direction you hope to go.

    There were a lot of very fun vehicles made in the last century. None of them were minivans with EFI. I've had a lot of carb'd vehicles, mechanical FI and EFI ones. At the tender age of 30, I cannot imagine that you've had anything but EFI vehicles. What do you really know about this subject? How many different vehicles have you owned in your life? This isn't meant as a put-down, but my guess is you have a very limited perspective to draw from. Forum kids tend to think that carbs are inefficient and don't deliver decent MPG numbers... Stock EFI tunes tend to error on the side of running rich rather than lean - decreasing fuel efficiency. When's the last time you had a carbureted vehicle as a daily driver?

    I believe I referred to the EFI crowd as metrosexuals that didn't like to get their hands dirty... I'm a little uncomfortable with the fact that you only objected to the part about dirty hands!

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Not trying to step on toes here, and I'm leaning toward a carb myself now that I've learned the EBL won't work with my transmission. But I'm 21, and have been an owner of a carb vehicle since I was 16. I own 2 and have done some tinkering and tuning on carbs, and I'm talking outside of school. So, dont discredit people because they are young.

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Quote Originally Posted by 94_c/1500 View Post
    Not trying to step on toes here, and I'm leaning toward a carb myself now that I've learned the EBL won't work with my transmission. But I'm 21, and have been an owner of a carb vehicle since I was 16. I own 2 and have done some tinkering and tuning on carbs, and I'm talking outside of school. So, dont discredit people because they are young.
    It's not a matter of discrediting a person because they are young - but because that when he started driving, the cars that were typically available to him were all fuel injected. The inexpensive carbureted vehicles that were available when I was in high school were no longer inexpensive when he started driving. The 10+ year old cars that most beginner drivers get were all EFI by then. The multi-carb'd musclecars and imported sportscars weren't as readily available to his generation.
    I'm questioning how much experience he has with carbureted vehicles and how much of his knowledge is second hand. Your appreciation for carbs is unusual - what prompted it?
    Last edited by DieselPower; 07-18-2012 at 08:22 PM.

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    Carb makes for better hp, and TBI makes similar power but much much more torque

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower View Post
    I had no problems pulling 22 mpg out of a 400+ hp 350, running a Holley 750. I'm betting that your TBI system felt absolutely 'nadless compared to that motor. Of course - it was in a lighter vehicle than a Sierra. Fuel efficiency has more to do with gearing and aerodynamics rather than a carb or an EFI system - what do you pull out of that truck? 3.08's help with mileage, but your low end has got to suck. I had 3.70 gears with a beefed 700R4, that was a pretty nice combination. If I was getting 4 mpg, it meant that you were moving at an incredible rate of speed and accelerating very hard - or that your tires were still spinning.

    I'm pretty familiar with computers - I've been a programmer for > 25 years. There's a lot to be said for a system that isn't digital - where failure is a progressive wear issue, not a matter of a low voltage on a wire that stops the engine from running. Is it still called "driving" when a computer is involved? It's more like "riding" and pointing the vehicle in the direction you hope to go.

    There were a lot of very fun vehicles made in the last century. None of them were minivans with EFI. I've had a lot of carb'd vehicles, mechanical FI and EFI ones. At the tender age of 30, I cannot imagine that you've had anything but EFI vehicles. What do you really know about this subject? How many different vehicles have you owned in your life? This isn't meant as a put-down, but my guess is you have a very limited perspective to draw from. Forum kids tend to think that carbs are inefficient and don't deliver decent MPG numbers... Stock EFI tunes tend to error on the side of running rich rather than lean - decreasing fuel efficiency. When's the last time you had a carbureted vehicle as a daily driver?

    I believe I referred to the EFI crowd as metrosexuals that didn't like to get their hands dirty... I'm a little uncomfortable with the fact that you only objected to the part about dirty hands!
    Ok you got me on the metro statement >.< It actually pulls pretty good, but I have no idea what kind of power it makes or what MPG is with the 383, I know my driving style makes a difference on how often I put gas in though. With the original 4.3 I averaged 24.5 from Michigan to Arizona, and that's the average of 4 tanks, I think the 5th was 20 or so because we went through a hilly area. Mine doesn't feel the least bit neutered, it pulls quite well from a stop, I hope to get the low end dialed in some more, but the throttle shaft bore in the throttle body is causing a small vacuum leak, it idles way too high when I try to add more timing than it already has... but when I did have that extra timing in the tune it pulled like a freight train from a stop, and I hope to be able to manage that once I finally get the throttle body rebuilt.

    My bad about the wrong century deal & all that, my metrosexual side was coming out ;) I'm actually sitting here typing with grimy hands waiting on some suspension parts I primed to dry so I can paint them... for my '78 Malibu. I hope to have it road-ready within a couple weeks.
    http://www.maliburacing.com/forum/vi...?f=14&t=113227
    DieselPower likes this.

    '92 Sierra (TBI 383/Vortecs/Comp 08-412-8/EBL/4L60/3.08s), '78 Malibu (Vortec'd 350/4-speed/2.29s), '87 Pontiac Fiero GT (2.8 v6/5-speed)


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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower View Post
    It's not a matter of discrediting a person because they are young - but because that when he started driving, the cars that were typically available to him were all fuel injected. The inexpensive carbureted vehicles that were available when I was in high school were no longer inexpensive when he started driving. The 10+ year old cars that most beginner drivers get were all EFI by then. The multi-carb'd musclecars and imported sportscars weren't as readily available to his generation.
    I'm questioning how much experience he has with carbureted vehicles and how much of his knowledge is second hand. Your appreciation for carbs is unusual - what prompted it?
    I've been around cars and trucks all of my life, and I've been obsessed with with them too. Been getting car magazines since I was a little kid, I have well over a thousand. I probably have over 100 books too. I went to MCCC (local career center) in high school, the teacher was the best. I went to NADC after high school, and took hi-po classes (last class better they started with the LS crap). I'm thankful I missed that.
    I just like older vehicles, plain and simple. Everything about them tends to be better in my mind. I've got 2 Jeeps, changed to a Chevy V8 in the CJ8 and it's running a 4160. The J10 has a 2 barrel Rochester. I've done some work on my friend's stuff too. He's got a '77 Hornet and an '83 Scottsdale with a straight 6. My J10 was $450, I'm fixing it up. My friend's AMC was $600, got it when he was a senior. The truck his family bought in the '90s for $600. And there's older cheap vehicles forsale everywhere. Don't expect anything in great shape, but they are out there. I love older trucks and cars, they have character. Newer stuff just don't have it. Its not just carbs, it's everything. Dad recently had a lifted '83 F350 dually with a 460, loved that truck. He had $600 in it, ended up selling for $1500.

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    Resident Dick Quyonmob's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower View Post
    I had no problems pulling 22 mpg out of a 400+ hp 350, running a Holley 750. I'm betting that your TBI system felt absolutely 'nadless compared to that motor. Of course - it was in a lighter vehicle than a Sierra. Fuel efficiency has more to do with gearing and aerodynamics rather than a carb or an EFI system - what do you pull out of that truck? 3.08's help with mileage, but your low end has got to suck. I had 3.70 gears with a beefed 700R4, that was a pretty nice combination. If I was getting 4 mpg, it meant that you were moving at an incredible rate of speed and accelerating very hard - or that your tires were still spinning.

    I'm pretty familiar with computers - I've been a programmer for > 25 years. There's a lot to be said for a system that isn't digital - where failure is a progressive wear issue, not a matter of a low voltage on a wire that stops the engine from running. Is it still called "driving" when a computer is involved? It's more like "riding" and pointing the vehicle in the direction you hope to go.

    There were a lot of very fun vehicles made in the last century. None of them were minivans with EFI. I've had a lot of carb'd vehicles, mechanical FI and EFI ones. At the tender age of 30, I cannot imagine that you've had anything but EFI vehicles. What do you really know about this subject? How many different vehicles have you owned in your life? This isn't meant as a put-down, but my guess is you have a very limited perspective to draw from. Forum kids tend to think that carbs are inefficient and don't deliver decent MPG numbers... Stock EFI tunes tend to error on the side of running rich rather than lean - decreasing fuel efficiency. When's the last time you had a carbureted vehicle as a daily driver?

    I believe I referred to the EFI crowd as metrosexuals that didn't like to get their hands dirty... I'm a little uncomfortable with the fact that you only objected to the part about dirty hands!
    I'll take my EFI, just based on winter warm-up. I hated sitting there for 10-15min pushing the choke cable in 1/16" at a time at -35.

    Carbs have thier place, not going to argue that, but it is a tad narrow minded to think EFI can't perform, or the owners are metros. I can still tune a carb, wish I still had my 86 as a toy, but my DD of 100mi/day and temperature swings of more than 140'F annually here, I'll keep my 21mpg 310hp 5800lb truck.

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Quote Originally Posted by GarrettCobb View Post
    Carb makes for better hp, and TBI makes similar power but much much more torque
    Why do you think this?

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    I'll take my EFI, just based on winter warm-up. I hated sitting there for 10-15min pushing the choke cable in 1/16" at a time at -35.
    Ok, but there are many of us that would consider -35 *F unliveable. Don't you guys hibernate up there? My choice of climate is pretty carb-friendly

    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Carbs have thier place, not going to argue that, but it is a tad narrow minded to think EFI can't perform, or the owners are metros. I can still tune a carb, wish I still had my 86 as a toy, but my DD of 100mi/day and temperature swings of more than 140'F annually here, I'll keep my 21mpg 310hp 5800lb truck.
    I don't think I said that EFI couldn't perform - my statement was that all of the most fun vehicles I have owned didn't have EFI. It seems that many people are convinced that EFI is better for reasons that are wrong. All it does it provide better control over air/fuel ratios by providing a mechanism to adjust the amount of fuel available based on air temperatures and density and by monitoring the exhaust with oxygen sensors. It provides better starting, virtually no warmup requirement and if tuned properly - much better emissions. The corresponding computer-controlled timing gives you automatically retarded timing to compensate for low octane fuel using a knock sensor. It's great for when the wife is shuttling the kids around to soccer practice - and perhaps for the snow country. I just prefer the temperamental nature of the old fashioned fueling system. I'll compromise a little on the ignition system, I am a fan of MSD.

    As to the metro statement, I still think the EFI tuners wear mechanics gloves to protect their manicures, not for any grip advantage!

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    Resident Dick Quyonmob's Avatar
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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselPower View Post
    Ok, but there are many of us that would consider -35 *F unliveable. Don't you guys hibernate up there? My choice of climate is pretty carb-friendly


    I don't think I said that EFI couldn't perform - my statement was that all of the most fun vehicles I have owned didn't have EFI. It seems that many people are convinced that EFI is better for reasons that are wrong. All it does it provide better control over air/fuel ratios by providing a mechanism to adjust the amount of fuel available based on air temperatures and density and by monitoring the exhaust with oxygen sensors. It provides better starting, virtually no warmup requirement and if tuned properly - much better emissions. The corresponding computer-controlled timing gives you automatically retarded timing to compensate for low octane fuel using a knock sensor. It's great for when the wife is shuttling the kids around to soccer practice - and perhaps for the snow country. I just prefer the temperamental nature of the old fashioned fueling system. I'll compromise a little on the ignition system, I am a fan of MSD.

    As to the metro statement, I still think the EFI tuners wear mechanics gloves to protect their manicures, not for any grip advantage!

    Hibernate? I love winter! This 100'F+ weather we've got now is killing me.

    Most of my fun vehicles has also been carb, with big cams, stinky exhaust, and constant tuning/adjustment requirements. It's what gearheads live for.

    EFI tuners wearing gloves? That makes it hard to type code for the PCM.

    That said, my carb days are probably done, unless I find another summer toy.

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    Re: Carb Vs TBI

    I'll say this

    For the past 8 years carburetors have been my lifeblood, putting food on the table and a roof over the family's heads. Now I'm in the EFI group, and it's WORLDS better. You can control so many more variables with EFI and get the milege, emissions, AND POWER all wrapped up nicely. Instead of changing a few jets, needles, accelerator pumps in hopes of having good performance at all RPM/throttle/load ranges, you can control hundreds of points, plus temperature enrichement tables, accel/decel maps, 3D ignition maps, and the list goes WAY on. It's sort of like comparing a smart phone (EFI) to a rotary telephone (carbs).

    92 K1500 WT - Gone
    92 C2500 - Current. Scottsdale, 350tbi, 4L80E, 14 bolt sf

 

 
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