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Your engine , if the original one, would not have been a 312, but rather a 272. Same engine (Y -Block) basically, just a bit smaller in c.i.
I am pretty much a stock guy, my opinion is bound to be at odds with those who have a need for speed.I am after fuel mileage and reliability, as I have a daily driver.
I bought an Autolite 4100 from Pony Carbs. It was not the stock carb for my 59, though.They are now defunct, but he was the best rebuilder of those , as well as the 2100 2-barrel. It has been excellent, flawless really. So much so that I waited a long time to find a Pony Carbs 2100 for my 65 Fairlane. Same reliable result. But they were expensive!
The 4100/2100 are really not tuneable, if you are looking for performance. Edelbrock and Holley are the most popular brands, but many if not most put too big of a carb on their vehicle, having the false conception that bigger is better.
On a mostly stock motor, about 500 c.f.m. is plenty big enough. Too big and you could cause other problems.
Now, let all the varying opinions roll in......
Good luck sorting through them all.
"Why, yes, I have plenty of spare change, you worthless piece of crap."
'59 F250 w/an Engine, a Transmission, Some Tires/Wheels, PLUS-a Genuine Radio
New here but I'll chime with the experience I have.
For the most part I agree with Buzzard's point.
Edelbrock carbs are highly overrated IMO. I've used a few and have tried to tune a few for friends and they tend to have a bog when you stomp them wot, I've tried several things on several applications and while they got better its still there.
Also, Eddy's tend to be VERY pricey to rebuild and tune. EVERYTHING costs extra; metering rods, off road/racing spring loaded needles/seats, choke parts, pump plunger etc etc. There are a couple good things about them; They are tunable to an extent and they are a very good- take it out of the box, throw it on and go.
I've used a few autolites and they're good carbs; cheap to rebuild and you'll get your money's worth out of it many times over. The only downside, as buzzard pointed out, you're not able to make a lot of adjustments (but maybe that's a good thing (?))
The Quadrejets and Thermoquads get a lot of grief but they do work as long as they're kept up and tuned plus you can pick up a used pretty dang cheap BUT learn your casting #'s BEFORE you buy.
Holleys are good carbs and I like them also but again as buzzard mentioned, the biggest problem I see is over-carbing; people trying to throw Demon 800 double pumper on a 350 or 351 etc.
Now, my personal favorite are Strombergs but that's a different story....
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