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carb selection: Autolite 4100 vs. Edelbrock

1952 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Don65Stang
There seems to be a lot of users of the Autolite carb here. Is this because it's what
came on Mustangs originally? Or is there something about the Autolites to recommend them?
I've been told that the Holleys tend to be more tunable but that they _require_ more tuning. The
sort of carb you use if you enjoy fiddling with it. The Edelbrock is supposed to be a well
behaved carb right out of the box at the expense of that last 10% of performance. How does
the Autolite fit into this spectrum? (FYI - I'm looking for up to 600 CFM, vacuum adv., elec. choke
for SWMBO's daily driver).

'67 C-code 'vert (Dees67)
'69 GT FB (project car)
Check out my band: Brickyard Blues
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if you don't want to tune it all the time go with the Edelbrock.
if you dont mind playing with a carb every weekend then go with the Holley...
i have 2 holley 600 carbs on my stang and during the summer when i drive it i spend an hour or so TUNING the carbs

I like the 4100 for a couple oof reasons. First they have a good design. The float bowls are all one piece so they tend to leak less than designs like holley that rely on gaskets to seal the float bowls below the gas level. This also make them easy to trouble shoot since the top is essentially just a cap that you can take off and look at everything. Second they have the correct vintage look. Another benifit is they look just like the 2100 from the front. So if you've got a C-code car and you've got the original air cleaner on, most people can't tell you've upgraded to a 4 barrel.

I haven't even adjusted my 4100 since I've first got the engine running. It idles smooth and the secondaries come in right on time. I guess I could probably pick up a tenth of a second or 2 if I got a Holley and spent time tuning it, but I'm not a drag racer. I'm just a really cool and attractive guy with a 4 barrel convertible.
66 C-code convertible
66 C-code coupe
65 GTO hardtop
76 Nova hatchback
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I ran an Edelbrock Carb right out of the box for about a year. Tuned it once...and that was all. it is easy to tune as well. The only reason I HAD to tune it was because it was a bit big for my application (750cfm on a 351C). A 600 on any small block should be fine out of the box.

I recommend them.

Full Throttle
I had no experience with the autolite 4100 until I purchased my '65 2 years ago. I have used Holleys and Carters, which are similar to the edelbrock. In my opinon the 4100 design is superior to both the others as far as design, atomization, reliablilty. Tuning parts are available from sources like pony carbs if you need to change the metering. It's a smaller carb, but most guys think they need more carb than they do. On a relatively stock 289/302 that won't be revving over 5500rpm, the autolite is the way to go.

The poster formerly known as JAV65

That's me on the left...
I've seen Torquewrench. He's neither cool nor attractive. *LOL*

Coppertone's current condition:
I've had my Edelbrock for a while now and haven't really tuned it yet (I know, I know), and it runs excellent on my mild C right out of the box. They are extremely low maintainance, reliable carbs, I'd buy another in a second.


'72 Mach 1 || '90 Talon TSi AWD
"Thats not a leak, my car's marking its territory!"
"If you've done it, it ain't braggin'." -Roy Rogers
Good question and lotsa good responses. I think that 4100s were very good carbs (and still are...). However, you can't buy a new one and a properly-reconditioned one is quite expensive. They're popular because when set up properly (ask Midlife about when they're not), they provide very good service and appear factory-original. Edelbrock/Carters are also an early-60s design and perform pretty well. They're also usually about right, right out of the box. Holleys can make a car run good, but you've heard about their liabilites.

Glenn Morgan 66 GT Fastback 351w+toploader
Whoa - hold the boat! I can't buy a new 4100? Honestly, I didn't realize that! I think
I'd really rather have new carb than a reconditioned one. What does a 4100 go for on
the open market then? If it's significantly more than the Edelbrock, then my decision's
made (given that I don't want to make a career out of the Holley).

Man I feel so ignorant sometimes. I don't even know what I don't know...

'67 C-code 'vert (Dees67)
'69 GT FB (project car)
Check out my band: Brickyard Blues
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I could be wrong (happens occasionally*G*), but I think the last 4100s were produced by Motorcraft (successor to Autolite) back in the 70s. Most of the carbs out there have been rebuilt several times. That doesn't mean they can't be "re-rebuilt", but the bores for the throttles shafts are usually pretty worn by now and they leak vacumn. Any bore can be bushed, though. I'm thinking Pony Carbs (the recognized leader in Ford carbs) gets about $350 for one - somebody who's checked recently can tell you for sure. I paid $200 for my Edelbrock.

Glenn Morgan 66 GT Fastback 351w+toploader
Hey Jim - meant to tell you - your little guys are really cute. I'll bet there are not many dull momemts at the Vogle house!

That other photo with you in the left seat - isn't that a bogey at 12 O'clock?

Glenn Morgan 66 GT Fastback 351w+toploader
I wen't with a reconditioned 4100 from Pony Carbs. It is excellent. By far the best carb I have ever run. Jon at pony carbs will custom build whatever you want. I would at least check with him b4 you buy. Seems like it cost about $300.

1965 Convertible, 351W, Tremec, 9", continuous "improvements"
1996 Explorer XLT - daily driver
2000 Taurus - wife's driver
2001 Giant OCR3 - my 2 wheel road warrior for getting in shape
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