Budget-Friendly Carburetor Buyer’s Guide

If you haven’t considered installing a brand-new carburetor lately, here’s something to keep in mind: Most don’t require much effort to install, generally have the potential to free up hidden power and fuel mileage, don’t require much maintenance, and are pretty affordable. Many are ready to go right out of the box, only requiring an idle or primary jet adjustment to dial it in. This “set it and forget” attitude makes installing a new carb that much easier; getting your sled back out on the road in no time.

Getting the most out of a carburetor can be a double edged sword. With more fuel comes more power. However, with the recent surge in fuel costs, getting the most out of every gallon is becoming a priority with budget-minded folks stretching every last drop of fuel. If you considered all the other aftermarket products on the market in the same price range, you’d be hard pressed to find a component that offers the same bang-for-your-buck benefit that these carburetors offer.

These street-duty carburetors from Demon, Edelbrock, Holley, JET Performance, Pro Form, Summit and QFT all offer up race-style performance at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, we’ve made sure to include a healthy range of affordable carburetors that fall anywhere between $300 on the low to just over $400. This makes finding a carburetor for your project car or daily driver easy on the wallet and a guilt-free decision, even in this economy.

We’ve covered the gamut with a complete list of budget-friendly performance carburetors for the street. Our Budget Carburetor Buyer’s Guide includes the most street-minded, yet performance ready carburetors on the market today. Furthermore, most come complete with all the necessary hardware and gaskets with a select few even offering an electric choke.

In an effort to showcase what’s available, we’ve compiled a list with detailed specs, including the price, construction, finishes, what each includes and what manifolds they fit.

Demon Carburetion // Road Demon

With styling at its finest, hands down the Road Demon is a beautifully crafted piece. The Road Demon is aimed to provide a high-quality carburetor without all the cost for daily drivers or weekend cruisers.

These gems feature a smooth choke tower design, vacuum secondaries and patented air entries; allowing carefree operation with strong throttle response.

With Max-Density Cast metering blocks, adjustable jets and four-corner idle, dual feeds, a billet baseplate, plus large capacity fuel bowls with patented sight glasses, the Road Demon is easily tuned and maintainable.

The Road Demon is available in 525-, 625- and 725-cfm models, making options nearly endless as a perfect fit for stock to mild small or large displacement engines up to 500 inches. This makes them ideal for daily drivers as well as weekend cruising for a wide range of vehicles.

  • PN: 4402020VE
  • Number of barrels: 4
  • Carburetor flange: Square bore
  • Choke: Electric
  • Secondary: Vacuum
  • CFM: 725
  • Primary/Secondary jet: 76/78
  • Finish: Silver

Cost: $407

Where to get it: Demoncarbs.com

Edelbrock // Performer 750

The Edelbrock name needs no introduction. Edelbrock’s Performer Series carburetors are the perfect companion to any application in need of 500-800 cfm. And even further performance efforts in combination with Edelbrock Performer RPM, PRM Air-Gap and Torker II manifolds.

The Edelbrock Performer 750 features both timed and full vacuum ports for ignition advance, easily changed metering rods and a bottom-feed venturi booster design for smoother acceleration and drivability.

The new Edelbrock Performer 750 combats warpage and heatsoak through a two-piece, all-aluminum construction. No gaskets below the fuel bowl level and no plastic parts or power valves mean no leaks, cracks or blow outs. Although this version doesn’t come with an electric choke, Edelbrock offers theirs at an additional cost (PN: 1478). However, buyer’s still receive a full instruction manual with theories of operation and tuning procedures to help obtain the best performance and installation.

  • PN: 1407
  • Number of barrels: 4
  • Carburetor flange: Square bore
  • Choke: Manual
  • Secondary: Air valve
  • CFM: 750
  • Primary/Secondary rod: 0.113/0.107
  • Finish: Silver

Cost: $309

Where to get it: Edelbrock.com

Holley // Street Avenger

Holley offers a variety of carburetors in the Avenger Series from 570- to 770-cfm. However, we’re after best bang for your buck. The new, aluminum Street Avenger features a traditional, 4-barrel design, 770-cfm and a long-lasting polished aluminum finish.

Features also include a tunable metering system, fuel filters in the primary and secondary fuel bowls, center-hung floats, external float adjustment, a choice of electric or manual choke, emissions accessory ports, adjustable secondaries, a power-valve saver and dual-feed conversion fuel line.

Street Avenger Carburetors also feature a four-corner idle system that allows for superior idle control by utilizing primary and secondary idle adjustments, giving increased idle control on engines with higher performance camshafts. All of this comes with a polished finish that looks as good as it performs!

  • PN: 0-85770
  • Number of barrels: 4
  • Carburetor flange: Square bore
  • Choke: Manual or electric
  • Secondary type: Vacuum
  • CFM: 770
  • Primary/Secondary jet: 70/75
  • Finish: Tumble polished

Cost: $398 & UP

Where to get it: Holley.com

JET Performance // Rochester 2G

There’s nothing like a little variety to mix things up. With JET Performance, that’s exactly what you’re going to get in the form of their Rochester 2G Stage 1 carburetor. While it’s a well-known candidate for Cirlce Track Racing, it’s also become a formidable companion to outfit multiple 2Gs in combination for small-block powered rods and musclecars longing for a nostalgic look. 

These modified carburetors pack a punch and begin as remanufactured pieces; delivering loads of performance and a perfect match for early ’80s smog-era vehicles.

Beginning with a 500 cfm 2G, a 0.130-inch needle and seat assembly are added for adequate fuel supply while a small diameter float allows for maximum float blow volume. Venturi sizes consist of large, 1.375-inch and bore sizes come in at 1.6875-inch.

Next, based on engine and vehicle specs, the idle, transition and accelerator pump is then modified to keep the fuel curve correct throughout the entire rpm range. Finally, for easy tuning and reliability, the 2Gs are tapped to accept Holley fuel jets and finished with an attractive 3/8-inch fuel inlet. The entire process only uses the highest quality components to maintain reliability and each 2G is returned to factory color and condition.

  • PN: 37001
  • Number of barrels: 2
  • Carburetor flange: Rochester 2-barrel
  • Choke: None
  • CFM: 500
  • Primary jet: 74
  • Finish: Dichromate

Cost: $300

Where to get it: Jetchip.com

Proform // Street Series

With everyday driveability remaining a priority, Proform’s Street Series carburetors offer race-style performance at a bargain price point. These hand-assembled carbs offer up to 600-cfm and feature changeable, screw-in air and high-speed bleeds with down-leg boosters.

Each are hand-assembled using Proform’s high-flow, lightweight aluminum carburetor main body. All Street Series main bodies are constructed of CNC-machined, lightweight aluminum.

Also included are billet aluminum throttle base plates, which feature adjustable power valve blowout protection, a corrosion-resistant anodized finish, button Torx head screws, and easy access to secondary idle airflow adjustment.

Furthering value, billet aluminum metering blocks with changeable idle feed restrictors, non-stick gaskets and four corner idle system on mechanical secondary carburetor is also available. Fuel bowls are manufactured from lightweight die-cast aluminum and feature large, fuel level sight windows, an externally adjustable needle and seat, and dual-feed fuel inlets.

  • PN: 67211
  • Number of barrels: 4
  • Carburetor flange: Square bore
  • Choke: Manual
  • Secondary: Mechanical
  • CFM: 600
  • Primary/Secondary jet: 66/72
  • Finish: Dichromate

Cost: $415

Where to get it: Proformparts.com

Summit // Street & Strip 750

For years, Summit Racing has been the place for all the necessary parts and components for daily drivers, projects and race cars. Now, you can get that same reliable support with the Summit Racing Street & Strip 750 carburetor.

Summit’s carbs are 100% wet-flow tested and ready to fire from the box. All aluminum construction make them warp-resistant and a one-piece design eliminates gaskets below the fuel line for leak-free operation. Features also include dual, 30cc accelerator pumps and manual boosters, interchangeable discharge nozzles, and high-flowing power valve channel with a valve guaranteed for one million miles.

Features also include; externally adjustable center-hung floats with clear-sight glass float windows for easy viewing, exclusive color-coded vacuum ports for easier installation, thick base plates for easy sealing, and a chrome steel fuel line and a how-to DVD with each purchase. To finish it off, Summit’s carburetors with a tumble finish and black anodized trim give you great looks and throttle response for street performance in a bolt-and-go package.

  • PN: M08750MS
  • Number of barrels: 4
  • Carburetor flange: Square bore
  • Choke: Manual
  • Secondary: Mechanical
  • CFM: 750
  • Primary/Secondary jet: 77/79
  • Finish: Tumble polished

Cost: $305

Where to get it: Summitracing.com

QFT // Hot Rod Series

Getting the most from your money is what this guide is all about. Quick Fuel Technology carburetors are packed full of features and offer a range of CFM that’s right for your application. In this case, the vacuum secondary versions range from 580-780-cfm.

The Hot Rod Series carburetors include a choice of vacuum or mechanical secondaries, QuickSet sight fuel windows, four-corner idle circuits and a durable finish to last for years to come.

What’s more, each of the Hot Rod Series carburetors also include an electric choke for easy starting, duel inlet fuel bowls and non-stick gaskets throughout the entire assembly to make jet changes a snap. A universal throttle lever with sealed throttle shafts are also added into each unit for durability and long service life.

  • PN: HR-580-VS
  • Number of barrels: 4
  • Carburetor flange: Square bore
  • Choke: Electric
  • Secondary: Vacuum
  • CFM: 580
  • Primary/Secondary jet: 66/70
  • Finish: Tumble polished

Cost: $378

Where to get it: Quickfueltechnology.com

The Wrap Up

All said and done, the benefits vary by engine, based on various combinations, however there’s a good chance something will be gained from it. Quit fussing with your old and outdated carburetor and install one of these shiny new gems under the hood of your project car or daily driver. We can assure, you won’t be disappointed and your pocket book (and quite possibly even the wife) will thank you.

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About the author

Sean Haggai

The former Associate Editor of Chevy High Performance, joins publication Chevy Hardcore, Sean is a true blue Bow Tie guy and a core do-it-yourself technician. If it doesn't run a "mouse motor" or a big rat between fenders, Sean ain't interested.
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