Time to get rid of the Lean Burn

Engines, Exhaust and Fuel Systems

  1. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to cars being used as a daily driver like Dan's is it's better to stick to a stockish set up that is easier for someone to figure out what's been done and what replacement parts can be used.

    I've never had a problem with some form of 4 pin ecu and ballast. If I was going for something different it would be some form of msd type set up.
     
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  2. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, I'd like to keep things simple and close to stock
     
  3. Mr C

    Mr C Well-Known Member

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    When the LB died on the Dippy, I went Mopar electronic ignition set up. For the reasons mentioned..."stock-ish" for a driver.
     
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  4. Jnfbodyguy83

    Jnfbodyguy83 Well-Known Member

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    When I did the lean burn removal, I actually kept the stock 2 bbl for a while and just ran a ready to run distributor with the gm style hei setup with the ignition control module under the cap. it was a cheap china made one but got me by till I bought a summit one. For coil I just used a msd blaster 2. I dont have a ballast resistor in the system, apparently there wasn't a external one it was inside the lean burn computer.
     
  5. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Rebuilt or remanufactured alternators, starters, transmissions and so forth – I have had very few problems with.

    On the other hand, Rebuilt or reman carburetors – I stay very far from and they will be a source of a long list of problems.

    The reason is internal parts. Most carburetor rebuilders will rebuild 50 to 100 units at a time. They take 'em apart and toss the all of each similar part into a bucket. Get those parts cleaned, replated (or whatever), then reassemble from whatever they grab from the appropriate bucket.

    The problem is things like jet size, correct linkages, and so forth. The BBD, for example, could have one of 30 different size jets in it, and sometimes a different size jet on left vs. right side. You put /6 jets into a 318 BBD and you might to see what I'm talking about.
    I have also seen cases where the wrong base plate was installed and the gasket didn't cover all of the holes to main body.


    Now with that said, I see absolutely no problem giving a carburetor to a rebuilder – who will rebuild your existing carburetor and who will only replace needed parts (with correct ones). In that case, you will most likely get a good job once done.
    It is the company's who rebuild in mass (ie: end product comes in a box) who causes all of the problems.


    The Holley 2280 and 6280 are the same carburetor – if you don't consider the computer control parts (2280 is not computer controlled and all 6280 are computer controlled). The Carter BBD is compatible to the 2280/6280 and comes in both computer controlled, or not. I HIGHLY prefer the Carter BBD over the Holley version, but that is me.
    Carter went out of business in 1984, so all '85's (and newer) used Holley (or Rochester Quadrajet).


    With that said, there is a (yikes) Chinese company making NEW BBD knockoffs – that so far (my experience only) they seam to be a decent unit. You can find these on eBay and other locations at a price that is not too hard on the pocketbook. Be sure to get one for a Dodge in either 318 or /6 (they are different) and approximate year of yours.

    My '86 Fifth Ave is computer controlled, but the (yikes) Chinese knockoff BBD (non-computer controlled) for a '77 318 (one of the best years, IMO, in non-Lean Burn) and car is working fine. The Lean Burn computer is adjusting the carburetor like it normally does, meanwhile the carburetor is completely ignoring the computer (not even talking to each other). All is fine. The computer is still controlling the ignition system (for now) and hasn't complained once.

    Minor details: The choke thermostat is different between the 2280/6280 and BBD (different length rod) and one (or two) ports are in different location (not hard to fix either). Just don't use a BBD choke thermostat on a 2260 or vice versa. IMO, it is a good idea to change choke thermostats every 10 or so years, for best choke operation.

    Carter BBD (Hightop version - which is used on all '76-84 FMJ's)
    BBD Hightop.jpg

    Holley 2280/6280 ('85-89 M-body). The 2280 is shown.
    Holley 2280.jpg

    BudW
     
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  6. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    Dan, I do have an extra harness and an ignition module for the conversion.
    Thought I had a distributor and coil around somewhere but, I guess I got rid of them.
    Anyway, you’re welcome the the harness and ignition module if it helps you at all.
     
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  7. Hayzoos

    Hayzoos Active Member

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    I acquired a used BBD knockoff, planing on rebuilding it. I have already disassembled it. It is not as good as the one you have. It would not have run well the way it was. I have corrected the issues I found. Some were as simple as using the wrong size screws. Others were mis-aligned float arms and pivot and metering needle bracket among other things. With knockoffs, as Forrest Gump said, like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

    This I did not know, thanks. I already put in a new one for the 6280 so would have been troubleshooting cold start issues.

    I just received the parts to rebuild the knockoff BBD. In addition to the rebuild kit, I got new idle screws, the plastic parts for the shaft for the accelerator pump and metering rods and a few other parts. I checked out a few suppliers and chose QuadrajetParts.com because they had reasonable prices but also the best selection of parts, pictures of almost all, and relevant technical details. I'm sticking with the jets it came with, but they have jets and jet tuning kits as well.
     
  8. Hayzoos

    Hayzoos Active Member

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    I'm going DIY for the ignition with a GM HEI 4-pin module. I ordered parts from RockAuto. The distributor is a Cardone brand mechanical and vacuum advance for a 1979 LeBaron 318. For the module, coil, and connectors I selected a 1976 Chevette. The coil is a remote e-core with spade connectors for the B+ and -, later models used weatherpack connectors. I ordered the distributor pickup coil Borg-Warner part# ME7 to get the connector for the large and small spade side of the GM module. I will source the mating connector for the Mopar distributor pickup from my failed electric antenna to make a Mopar distributor to GM HEI module adaptor. I also ordered the Radio Capacitor assembly which is the connector for the other side of the GM HEI module with the capacitor and wire to another connector to plug into the coil. I only need a coil batt./ign connector and a few grounds to complete the circuits. The connectors will blend well with the rest of the connectors under the hood, i.e. they will not look out of place. I plan to wrap the wires like the rest of the wire harness.

    The GM HEI module is usually installed inside the larger diameter GM HEI distributor and will not fit inside the Mopar distributor. I have seen brackets to mount under or on the side of the Mopar distributor. It needs to be heat sunk however it is mounted. I don't like under because it requires removal of the distributor to access the module. I plan on fabbing an enclosure of thin plate aluminum base with formed sheet aluminum cover for firewall/bulkhead mounting. I may make a second and install a spare module in it to keep in the glove box where a spare ballast resistor would normally be kept. ;-)
     
  9. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that would be very helpful, what kind of coil and distriburtor will work with it?
     
  10. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little confused, what your saying is you have a non-computer carburetor thats working fine with the computer and they're both ignoring each other, but its working fine? So like I could buy a non-computer carb, put on, (with the computer) and it will still work?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  11. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

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    Just an update: things have been put on hold for a little, short version: a friend needed a loan and I can't done anything until I get my money back...
     
  12. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    you can but it's not working efficiently. The computer is controlling the timing based on what it thinks the carburetor is supposed to be doing and its lost any feedback from the carb so it's also not adjusting the timing properly. Spend the extra $75 and put the normal distributor on it. You'll make it back it fuel mileage being able to tune it properly.
     
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  13. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    The stock Lean Burn computer system on my '86 Fifth Ave is still controlling the ignition system and various emission systems. It thinks it is still controlling the carburetor but the carburetor is just not responding (because it can't – not even plugged in anymore). The computer doesn't give an error message - because it can't. The ignition and emission items still fuction like normal. Other than a stopped up catalytic converter – the car runs fine with the '77 BBD knockoff (non-feedback) carburetor that is currently installed on it.

    Now if a person was to disconnect the carburetor harness going to a feedback carburetor (like the original Holley 6280), then the car would run like (insert your favorite “negative” 4-letter word here).
    This is one thing about the older computers and a person can get away with doing this without affecting other things the computer manages. That can't be said with most other automotive computer systems.

    Other things I needed to do to get the '77 BBD knockoff installed, was to get the correct choke thermostat (which is a different length from the Holley 6280) and slightly re-bend the metal fuel line (which wasn't much). This is to tide me over until I get things done in the next paragraph.
    Note: I don't like or care much about Holley carburetors and have removed them from every vehicle I have owned, or will own (I've worked on way too many of 'em to like 'em). No opinion on Holley's other products. I have friends who say the same about Carter products - which is fine with me.

    My long term goal for my Fifth Ave is to install a big block, automatic overdrive transmission (A518 or compatible) with a 4-bbl appearing fuel injection system – so a lot of things to change over. I'm still in the part collection mode right now.
    BudW
     
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  14. LSM360

    LSM360 Well-Known Member

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    I'm still trying to grasp the part about you having money to loan!
     
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  15. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I would normally agree with that statement, but not in this case.
    The Chrysler rear wheel drive vehicles that have the computer mounted on the air cleaner, the ignition timing is separate from the fuel control – so very little is affected if carburetor is replaced with a non-feedback version.
    Other car lines – the same can't be said, nor the Chrysler front wheel drive computer with feed-back carburetors.

    I have a new distributor change over kit in my garage that I intend to change over, but it has been working fine for me the way it is. Car starts up easily and runs well (considering the timing chain is wore out).

    To make things simple, it would be best to de-clutter all of that and re-wire it (after ignition system changeover) and things will be so much better long term (and easier to work on). I don't need to do that yet (extra work for me that is not getting me closer to my end product).
    BudW
     
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  16. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

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    stimulus check money...only thing is it was the money I was going to use to get rid of the computer so I have to put this on hold
     
  17. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    The computer is still running the ignition side assuming the fuel side is doing what it wants it to.
    It probably doesn't make much of a difference now anyway with how old everything is because if the computer or one of its sensors isn't working right it's not working to its full potential any way. When everything is working the way it should you notice it's not running quite right when you take the feedback carb out of the picture and you see it in fuel mileage.
    Usually its the ignition side of the computer that starts lagging with age. In either case it runs ok but runs so much better when its replaced with a normal distributor.