Despite what many may think, carburetors still occupy a special place in the heart of automotive hobbyists. Proof of that is that renowned brands like Edelbrock still invest time and money in launching innovative products like its next-generation AVS2 Series Carburetors in addition to continuing producing legendary carburetors like the Edelbrock 1406.
In this article we will focus on the latter, the Edelbrock 1406 carburetor, exploring the features that make it so unique and desirable as well as answering the most common questions regarding its design, applications, and other concerns that car enthusiasts constantly ask us at Mike’s Carburetor Parts.
What is and what is not the Edelbrock 1406 carburetor?
The Edelbrock 1406 is hands down the best OE replacement carburetor you can buy, however, it’s not a race-grade carburetor.
First things first, we must clear up one of the most common mistakes among high-performance enthusiasts when dealing with the incredible Edelbrock 1406 carburetor. This specific carburetor is aimed at daily driver vehicles. It comes with a convenient electric choke and its thoughtfully calibrated and designed to offer unmatched reliability, fuel economy, and street performance. In other words, this is not a carburetor intended for demanding racing applications or seriously modified engines.
Yes, the Edelbrock 1406 offers a significative performance improvement over your factory-equipped OE carburetor, but “street performance” is not the same as competition-grade performance.
Once you understand that simple fact, you will start to love the Edelbrock 1406 as much as we do at Mike’s Carburator Parts.
Edelbrock 1406 main features
Being one of the most reliable carburetors for daily usage it’s just one of the many features you can enjoy from installing an Edelbrock 1406. Take a look by yourself:
- 4-barrel, square bore carburetor with 600 CFM rating
- 0.098” primary metering jet, and 0.095” secondary metering jet
- Fully calibrated by Edelbrock, meaning that you can enjoy instant performance improvements right out of the box
- The 1406 carburetor employ metering rods to transition between circuits meaning it delivers an unsurpassed experience for both, city and highway driving
- Float levels are set at the factory and adjustments are rarely needed
- It has no power valves to blow out in case the engine backfires
- The carburetor rods can be changed in seconds without the need of removing the carburetor or draining the fuel lines, which is perfect if you want to spice it up a bit using our Performance Kit for AFB and Edelbrock – 1406
- The Edelbrock 1406’s design allows it to maintain a consistent calibration, eliminating the need to constantly tuning up your vehicle.
- This amazing carburetor features a lightweight all-aluminum body, say goodbye to corrosion associated with cheap alloys
- The Edelbrock 1406 two-piece body allows it to resist warping thus increasing its service life considerably
- Ultra-reliable, and super easy to tune up when required.
- Single feed fuel inlet with air valve secondary
- Convenient electric choke with 4-barrel square bore carburetor flange
- You can calibrate the Edelbrock 1406 for maximum fuel economy, off-road, or street performance applications
- Includes both timed and full vacuum ports for ignition advance
- Gorgeous silver finish that makes your engine stand out from the rest!
- Optimal performance when fitted in engines operating up to 5,500 rpm
- Ideal OE replacement carburetor for cars, trucks, 4x4s, and recreational vehicles
What applications is the 1406 carb good for?
Short answer, the Edelbrock 1406 is second to none when used on unmodified (or slightly modified) daily driver and recreational vehicles. In that regard, Edelbrock has been very clear about what you can expect from its 1406 carburetor. Let’s review the main aspects you should consider before using this incredible and beautiful carburetor.
Engine size. Many people ask if they can install this carburetor on a big block engine. Well, according to Edelbrock, the 1406 model was specifically designed for small-block and small displacement big-block engines. Matter of fact, in its official documentation Edelbrock state that the 1406 carburetor should be used in a dual-carb setup for displacements ranging from 396 to 502 cubic inches. So for instance, if you own a Chevy 454 CID big-block engine or a Ford 460 CID big-block engine, then you should consider installing a pair of 1406 carburetors. On the other hand, if your project involves using a small-block 350 CID or a 302 CID engine, then you should not have any issues. Just remember, the Edelbrock 1406 is a 600 CFM carburetor, as long as you remember that limitation (and don’t install a camshaft with a wild profile) you will be fine.
Airflow required by the engine. We have mentioned carburetor’s CFM for a good reason. Carburetors are rated according to how much air they can flow. That value (also known as carburetor size) is expressed in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). The Edelbrock 1406 is rated as a 600 CFM carburetor, meaning it should not be used on engines requiring an airflow above 600 CFM. You might be wondering where can I check my engine’s CFM? Sadly, in the case of engines, finding the CFM is not as simple as with carburetors. To calculate your engine CFM you will need the engine displacement (in cubic inches), maximum RPM, volumetric efficiency, and more. Fortunately, there are plenty of online CFM calculators so you don’t have to worry about finding that information. For example, using this one, if we assume a maximum engine RPM of 5,500 and 350 c.i.d. then we get as a result that for such a small-block engine you will need a carburetor with 473.45 CFM (for street usage) or 612.7 CFM (for racing applications). That’s an estimation, but as you can see, our little Edelbrock 1406 can be used with confidence on a stock 350 CID small-block Chevy. Furthermore, given that in theory a 350 engine only requires 473 CFM you still have some room for mild-performance enhancements, perhaps a better intake manifold?
Intake manifold design. Carburetors and intake manifolds are closely related. This means that you better avoid installing a racing-grade aluminum intake manifold alongside the Edelbrock 1406 because you will not get good results. What manifold design should you use then? Luckily, Edelbrock already did the math for us. The Edelbrock 1406 works best when matched with either an Edelbrock Performer or Performer EPS manifold since both are designed to deliver the same “street performance” level of the 1406 carburetor. In fact, the Edelbrock Performer line has been thoroughly tested in dynamometers to ensure optimal results across the entire RPM range.
Up to this point, we know that a Chevy 350, a Ford 351, or a Chrysler 360 is an adequate engine size for the Edelbrock 1406 carburetor. Also, we know that you can improve your power and torque curves when you pair it with an Edelbrock Performer or Performer EPS intake manifold. However, suppose your project involves a vehicle for having fun on the weekends.
How else can you improve the performance of this carburetor without losing its reliability? So far we have talked about airflow, but what about fuel? Can you use high octane gasoline or octane boosters?
Fuel type. The Edelbrock 1406 carburetor is purposely calibrated for using common pump gas, gasohol, and blended fuels. Moreover, the 1406 carburetor is not compatible with alcohol, race, or E85 pump fuel. However, if you really want to use ethanol or octane booster additives, there is a simple solution. You can install a high-quality carburetor kit such as the one we have at Mike’s Carburetor Parts. Our US-made Edelbrock Performer Carburetor Kit (P/N K6146) is 100% ethanol-ready and also includes several extra parts not normally included in cheaper carburetor kits like the check weight and metering rod retainer springs. All in all, an excellent solution that doesn’t affect the trustworthiness of the 1406 carburetor.
Marine applications. Last but not least, we have to clarify the misconception concerning marine applications. Since the mighty 1406 is made from aluminum many assume it can be safely used in marine applications. Truth is, you can use it, but it will not perform as it should nor will last as long as a marine carburetor. The reason is simple, although Edelbrock’s 1406 body is built from premium aluminum the rods, shafts, and other components don’t. At Mike’s Carburetor Parts we strongly suggest you using an Edelbrock marine series carburetor instead since they comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards and come with PTFE-coated shafts and pump arms for durability and protection as well as other application-specific modifications that ensure optimal reliability at sea.
Without any doubt, Edelbrock did an amazing job designing this carburetor. The 1406 is reliable, requires low-maintenance, offers easy serviceability, has reasonably good fuel consumption, and most importantly, delivers predictable driving experience. Hands down, the ideal choice for people looking for a carburetor that delivers a smooth throttle response during any driving condition and does not require constant tune-ups.
Summing up, if your project involves a daily driver vehicle, a weekend warrior, a classic, or even a mild-modified Hot Rod, the Edelbrock 1406 certainly will not disappoint.