What do 1967-2003 Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, pickups, trucks, hot rods and even some boats have in common?
The answer is simple: 350.
I’m talking about Chevy 350 engine. Since 1967, it was installed in various vehicles, from fast Camaro SS to heavy GMC Sierra — and the performance of this engine has always been perfect.
High durability of 350 is a legend, too. However, there are no engines that work with no breakages, so when the time comes, you’ll have to think about replacement of certain parts.
For instance, replacing a carburetor is one of those things that happens to all the owners of relatively old cars.
But of course, changing a carb isn’t only necessary when your old one breaks. If you want to improve the performance of your old engine, buying a new carburetor would be a good choice, too.
Well, enough with that. Let’s now talk about the details — like, what to consider in order to choose the best carburetor for 350 Chevy.
The answers depend on your goals. Do you want your car to run faster? Are you looking for improving the performance of your vehicle? Or do you just want to replace your old carb with a cheap workhorse?
You’ll need different carbs to achieve different goals, that’s what I’m talking about. To improve acceleration, you’ll need a 4 barrel expensive carburetor with a primary venturi booster.
If you are looking for a carburetor, that would help you to save money on fuel, you’ll need a 2 barrel carburetor instead of a 4 barrel one. It would also work well if you have problems with climbing. Too many details, too many things to consider.
That’s why I’ve decided to help you to choose the best carburetor for 350 Chevy.
On this list you’ll find 4 different carbs that fit 350 engine — so all you have to do is to make the choice.
Rochester carburetors are the classic choice for Chevy 350 engine. This one is also called Q-Jet and you’ve probably heard about this brand if you own your vehicle for a long time.
It’s a classic answer to the questions like “what is the best carburetor for a Chevy 350”. It’s an expensive carb, but well, they all are expensive (except one of them, I’ll return to it later). But it has several considerable advantages:
Four barrels. As usual, two primary and secondary barrels make their work — and if you had a two barrel carburetor before, you’ll be surprised by the performance of this one. Not to mention 4-barrel carbs work better with big engines, like 350 Chevy.
High speed circuits, as they call them. With such circuits, you can finally forget about throttle response lags. Of course, calibration is perfect, too.
Dual plane intake manifolds, made of aluminum. A dual plane would be perfect for a street car, and it’s the best choice for lower RPM.
Better idle speed. It’s another advantage of this Stage 2 carburetor (basically, that’s why it’s called Stage 2). Rochester also offers a Stage 1 carb, which is very similar to this one, but with worse idle and without several performance upgrades.
Choose Stage 2 to get maximum HP, choose Stage 1 to get the same performance your engine had when it was manufactured, it’s simple.
8.5:1-9.5:1 compression ratio. You can personalize the carburetor to fit your needs, increase the ratio to increase HP (but don’t forget about higher octane gas in this case).
Perfect and instant start. Whether the engine is cold or warm, all you have to do is to insert the key and to turn it. If you haven’t replaced a carburetor for decades, you’ll be happy with this feature.
If it’s going to be your first carb replacing, I recommend to think about buying the book about replacing and modifying such carburetors. An entire generation of engineers has grown up with this manual, it’s cheap and useful, so I don’t see any reasons not to buy it.
Another necessary item is oil — and when it comes to old small-block engines and Rochester carburetors, you just won’t find anything better than a Brad Penn 30W oil.
Old cars don’t need synthetic oil and zinc is really good for the engine (it creates a “coating” for a camshaft), so it’s a perfect choice.
All in all, it’s probably the best 4 barrel carburetor for Chevy 350. However, it’s still not perfect, and if you want something else, there is another great option that would help you to improve the performance. Here it is.
Working Edelbrock 1406. Another perfect 4 barrel carburetor, but with its own features
It’s another expensive and classic 4 barrel carburetor that can improve the acceleration and drivability of your old car — but it achieves this goal in a different way.
So, let’s talk about the advantages of this carburetor. I’m sure you’ll like it.
Electric choke. Such chokes are perfect when it’s cold, it’s easy to start a car with them, and they need no adjustment. Pure simplicity, pure perfection.
Fuel economy. The carb is calibrated in order to fuel economy, but if you want power, you can set it up for that.
Boosted venturi. Venturi diameter and design can influence the performance of the engine, and here the venturi is designed for the best acceleration possible.
No leaks. Thanks to the design, there will be no leaks with this carburetor.
Cold start. Even if it’s winter and the engine is cold, your car will start instantly.
Basically, it’s like the old classic Holley 4 barrel carburetor for Chevy 350, but with higher quality and better performance — so if you have a vehicle with this engine, this carb would be a perfect choice.
What about the items you have to buy with this carb? Well, I have a few of them here.
At first, some of the readers will need to buy a transmission kickdown cable. There are plenty of them, but I recommend to buy this one: TH-350. It fits Chevy 350 engine and it will work perfectly with your new carb. Do it for the best performance possible.
Another thing that would improve the acceleration and power of your engine together with Edelbrock 1406 is a new oil. I don’t recommend Multivis oils because they aren’t good when it comes to lubrication. This one (or this, if you live in cold climates) would work well.
What is the best Holley carb for Chevy 350? Well, it’s one of the questions that are difficult to answer. Holley offers both 4 and 2 barrel carburetors, so it’s easy to get confused — but given that I’ve just described two 4-barrel carbs, now it’s time to talk about something else.
Holley 2300 is a 2 barrel carburetor, as I’ve said, and this means that it’s not as powerful as two previous carburetors. However, it has its own advantages — here they are.
Fuel economy. Of course, such engines as Chevy 350 aren’t really good when it comes to fuel, but, as we all know, the lower is the CFM, the better is the economy. The CFM of this carb is 350, and it’s quite low, which leads to certain fuel economy, especially at low speed.
More torque. Less carburetion means more torque, which leads to better acceleration. Such a fantastic result together with fuel economy, isn’t it?
Manual choke. Yes, I’ve said that electric choke is a good choice, but I can say that a manual choke is good, too. Manual choke lets you to control the warm up, such chokes are almost 100% trouble-free — so it’s a good choice, too.
Easy installation. It’s very easy to install this carb even if you are not a professional mechanical engineer.
Here is the installation and adjustment manual for this carb. The recommendations about the oil are the same, and if you want a 2-4 barrel adapter kit, I recommend to pay attention to this one. You’ll also need gasket sooner or later, so take a look at the one from the same manufacturer.
A 2 barrel carb that adds your engine even more HP? Well, why not, if it’s Rochester 2GC?
Let’s talk about the advantages of this one. I’m pretty sure you’ll like it because of these benefits:
This carb adds HP. Well, they all do it, but this one doesn’t make the mileage lower. For example, if your result is 8-15 miles per gallon, it will most likely remain the same, but with the improved power, acceleration and speed. Sounds cool, right?
With this one, you can forget about fuel flooding. Thanks to the design of this 2 barrel carburetor, the fuel just can’t flood it, so with 2GC you’ll get rid of one of the most common carb problems.
Manual choke assembly. I’ve already described the advantages of this choke — you’ll have to adjust it, of course, but if you pay attention to it, it will perform perfectly.
It’s cheap! 3 times cheaper than 3 previous carburetors, with the same quality and performance.
That’s probably all I can say about this carburetor. Oh, and if you need a 2-4 barrel adapter kit for Rochester 2GC, you can look at this one. It’s heavy, the mounting holes are designed well and it’s very easy to install it.
So, which one to choose?
Basically, it’s very simple. If you want something big and powerful, you can buy Quadrajet or Edelbrock 1406 — these 4 barrel carburetors are definitely not about fuel economy, but you’ll 100% love the performance of the renewed engine.
Holley 2300 would help if you want to save money on fuel and if you are looking for a 2 barrel carb with a manual choke. Rochester 2GC is a good and cheap workhorse that will also boost your car’s power. The choice is up to you.