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A carburetor basically consists of an open pipe, a "throat" or "barrel" through which the air passes into the inlet manifold of the engine. The pipe is in the form of a venturi it narrows in section and then widens again, causing the airflow to increase in speed in the narrowest part. Below the venturi is a butterfly valve called the throttle valve — a rotating disc that can be turned end-on to the airflow, so as to hardly restrict the flow at all, or can be rotated so that it (almost) completely blocks the flow of air. This valve controls the flow of air through the carburetor throat and thus the quantity of air/fuel mixture the system will deliver, thereby regulating engine power and speed. The throttle is connected, usually through a cable or a mechanical linkage of rods and joints or rarely by pneumatic link, to the accelerator pedal on a car or the equivalent control on other vehicles or equipment.

Fuel is introduced into the air stream through small holes at the narrowest part of the venturi. Fuel flow in response to a particular pressure drop in the venturi is adjusted by means of precisely-calibrated orifices, referred to as jets, in the fuel path.

Multiple carburetor barrels

While low performance carburetors may have only one barrel, most carburetors have more than one venturi, or "barrel", most commonly a two barrel, with 4 barrels being common in higher performance larger displacement engines, to accommodate the higher air flow rate with larger engine displacement. Multi-barrel carburetors can have non-identical primary and secondary barrel(s) of different sizes and calibrated to deliver different air/fuel mixtures; they can be actuated by the linkage or by engine vacuum in "progressive" fashion, so that the secondary barrels do not begin to open until the primaries are almost completely open. This is a desirable characteristic which maximizes airflow through the primary barrel(s) at most engine speeds, thereby maximizing the pressure "signal" from the venturis, but reduces the restriction in airflow at high speeds by adding cross-sectional area for greater airflow. These advantages may not be important in high-performance applications where part throttle operation is irrelevant, and the primaries and secondaries may all open at once, for simplicity and reliability; also, V configuration engines, with two cylinder banks fed by a single carburetor, may be configured with two identical barrels, each supplying one cylinder bank. In the widely seen V8 and 4-barrel carburetor combination, there are often two primary and two secondary barrels.

Multiple carburetors can be mounted on a single engine, often with progressive linkages; four two barrel carburetors were frequently seen on high performance American V8s, and multiple four barrel carburetors are often now seen on very high performance engines.

Carburetor adjustment

Sometimes you have to adjust the carburetor so that it works to your liking. If it is set to high then your engine will run to high. If it is set to low then your engine will stall. It is imperative that your carburetor stays clean and taken care of.

Performance Carburetors Just to name a few Holley and Edelbrock as some of the lead competetors
American Muscle History How the Muscle car changed the world of driving.
The Carburetors One of the most important factors of American Muscle
Muscle cars Different types of Muscle
Work Cited Works Cited