Submitted for your consideration...the dirtiest carburetor ever?
New member here, and proud owner of a recently acquired Ford muscle car, that is if you count Mercury's as Ford's, and if a 390 FE counts as muscle? It seems like you are, and it would, and an internet search for information about my carburetor lead me to this forum.
The car is a 1968 Mercury Montego MX Convertible, that was saved from rusting away in a field, and the carburetor is the Autolite 4300 4v off a 390 FE. My goal is to turn this car into a weekend cruiser, maybe even a daily driver. The last time the car was registered was in Colorado in the late 1990's, and in a testament to how Ford used to build them, I'm submitting this dirty carburetor entry in the subcategory of yeah baby, I got that bad boy to start, ok so I used starting fluid, and it idled a little high, probably at around 900 to 1000, but I also drove it around the block a few times, and it didn't catch on fire, nothing fell off, or went clunk, and I didn't hit anything.
Now the carb is off and this is my first attempt at rebuilding one. Please notice the before and after pics. I soda blasted it, I'm assuming this is clean enough for a rebuild, and I'm asking anyone who cares to comment, should I paint it with that Eastwood carb paint...any reason not to do that other than the $15 for the paint? Any cheaper alternatives Eastwood doesn't want us to know about?
Also, I was unable to get the choke chamber as clean as I would have liked, and plan on switching to an electric choke, unless someone here says, whatever you do, don't do that.
Also I can not find any number stamped into the jets to indicate their size, and the nice lady at Mike's Carburetors couldn't find her Autolite/Motorcraft book to recommend stock jets for me. She suggested I measure the old ones with a drill bit, but here is why I don't want to do that...this car used to live at 5,000 feet, and might have be re-jetted for altitude. The car now lives between 500 and 1000 feet above sea level, and that is where the bulk of its future mileage will be. So could anyone who knows please tell me what size jets were original, AND/OR with modern gasoline, I intend to use only "real" gas with no ethanol whenever possible, what size jets should I put in it to just cruise with the top down on a sunny day, and get as good as gas mileage as physically possible?
I inspected the float, looks like the original kind, probably isn't the original one, right? Could it be? It floated, didn't leak air bubbles under water, etc. I'm guessing it wasn't sitting in fuel for the past 20 years in that field, so it didn't get gas-logged. It seems fine, I'm tempted to just put it right back in, because well you know, if I replace everything that isn't perfect on the car, it will cost too much and take too long. Unless, as before, someone warns me, whatever you do, don't do that.
Thanks in advance, and I'm glad to be here.