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Richard Leslie Phillips 25-09-11 04:37 PM

411 383 Carter Carbs
I have AVS fitted, from new I guess. Went to rebuild them today and was sent the wrong kit which I discovered after dismantliong. Got me thinking about change/upgrade. Anyone done it and if so, recommendations etc. Do I need a conversion kit from Bristol or is it a straight swap over using the same linkages?

Problem I have is that having broken the carbs apart none of the gaskets were correct so cannot refit - actually I did try and just had petrol pouring out so sitting here now with time to kill!

Let me know thoughts - Holleys, Edelbrooks etc. The net seems to indicate the AVS are a little troublesome and only made for a couple of years. AFB seem the more popular early option but I like the auto choke option on mine.

sv8predator 25-09-11 05:36 PM


I would stick with the AVS, it is a lovely carb.

Easy to tune and set up, and (when it comes to it) easy to rebuild.

The modern Edelbrocks are just the AVS built under license by someone else.

So if I was you at this stage, I'd get the correct rebuild kit(s) and spend a few mintutes popping it back together.

You've done most of the work already and the kits are cheap.

Ronald G. Stephenson 25-09-11 06:51 PM

Newer carbs
I would always go for the newer Edelbrock carb, as parts are readily available, and I have had great success with them on all manner of cars. The AVS is an old design and I am truly surprised that rebuild kits are available. You may want to save the AVS's a put them in a box for safekeeping.

Claude 25-09-11 06:57 PM

Richard, have a look at the prior thread which has a discussion on the subject including my posting.

When I began restoration of my 411-S1, I bought a "replacement" ABS which ran awful despite paying a great deal of money to tuners to try to get it right. Then I tried bold-on fuel injection; a total waste of money. Finally on the advice of Chris Browne who had gone down the same path, I looked at Holley. Searching the net, I found a firm that prepares custom-rebuilt carbs and bought a Holley 670 avenger. It runs very well. Custom means the fellow in Texas had a long questionnaire that described what it would be powering and for what purposes from which he set the carb up on the bench with the right jets and adjustments. It makes it a bolt-on proposition instead of then paying a performance shop another $150 to put the car on a machine and tune it.

If you do buy this (2010 price was US$250 plus international shipping from Brandon Bates in Waco Texas make sure to buy the linkage adaptor kit (HLY-20-7 $8.25), the carb spacer (TRD-2084 $19.95) and optionally the dual fuel line adapter (34-150 Fuel Line). Alternatively, you may find the Holley 20-124 Universal Carburetor Installation kit has most of the stuff you may need (I did not go that way, so cannot comment with knowledge, just web browsing).

To see the new-carb specs go to Holley Performance Products 670 CFM Four Barrel Carburetor.0-80670, but you are better off buying the custom tuned rebuild.


Ronald G. Stephenson 25-09-11 07:29 PM

Holleys, Edelbrocks and Old Carters
I have had my share of experiences with Holley carbs on a number of cars and will not consider one for anything other than racing at wide open throttle. My 1967 Mercury Cougar 390GT had a holley from the factory, and we could not get it to stop leaking, and yes, I paid good money several times. Ford and Holley had some sort of relationship for years, and if you compared the two brands side by side you would quickly see the similarities. One Holley carb had the same floatbowl casting design as the Carters, but I tried on several occasions to find out why if did not function properly. I even handed it out to some Holley fans who thought they could make it work. All of them handed it back. Now, this one tuner, and there are many, probably can make one work properly. A big name in tuning was Barry Grant, and he sold a lot of modified Holleys under his name. Holley was recently sold, and some of the men that worked for them have made changes to improve the carbs. We shall see, but not my cup of tea.

GREG 25-09-11 07:50 PM

I have the same Holley as Claude on my 411 S1 and it runs superb. A lot of press says it shouldn't but it will stay there until it's broken. Maybe a bit more thirsty !

Carters / Edelbrocks are no better or worse on other 383's I have so I guess I am no help !

Ask Martin Barnes - I would guess that he will point you towards an Edelbrock 1407 auto choke.

Dave Taylor knows where to get them for 250 ish , I think.

I may have a spare one if you are stuck or want to try it first.

Or you could put a Ford engine in and listen to Ronald !!!

GREG 25-09-11 08:35 PM

This is what my 411 S1 is working very well on

Holley R7006, inlet manifold Edelbrock, engine balanced. ( previous owners work )

rocket ship !

Richard Leslie Phillips 26-09-11 12:29 PM

Thanks guys - some good feedback there. Ordered another rebuild kit from Martyn which should arrive tomorrow. Will get the carb working in time for the BOC lunch at Gaydon on sunday. Then give this some serious thought over the winter...I think I may go down the electronic dizzie, upgrade HT leads, maybe irridium plugs ( which work really well on my Aston V8) and then look at the LPG conversion...

Carter = Edelbrook basically does it not - are they not just the same model renamed or am I missing something?. Guess they did not do a remake of the AVS and is the AFB version.

Anyone else going to Gaydon from this forum?

Ronald G. Stephenson 26-09-11 02:44 PM

A ford engine? Why not?
I don't know how the messages got mixed, but I didn't suggest going to a Ford engine, but most any engine will work in a speicalist car like a Bristol. With the Chrysler small block as installed, it is among the widest of the small V-8's from the American manufacturers. I have dimensions on all American V-8's. Sit back and enjoy this one: A fellow in the Mopar hobby was able to purchase an Aston Martin DB series with a blown engine (destroyed), and he substituted a Plymouth slant six and Torqueflite. Takes it to many meets. My wild experiment was with an XK-120. Tired old six got a transplant with a Chrysler hemi. You could start from a standstill in any gear. Much torque, very much. The small block Ford is among the lightest of the small vee eights,and has gone into many sports cars, perhaps the most famous being the AC Cobra. Never say never, but the small and big blocks from Chrysler are among my lifetime favorites. They are practically bulletproof, even when abused and neglected.

Richard Leslie Phillips 30-09-11 08:28 PM

Help PLEASE!!!!
OK - finally rebuilt the carbs with the right kit and fitted earlier today. However all is not well. The car started up instantly and then died - investigation shows the secondary set of barrels totally full, and I mean FULL, of fuel with the venturis tight shut. How is this happening? I checked the floats, swapped them round in case there was a bias in them - they seem to move freely and needles are OK. Autochoke is clearly operating as car has not had any chance to warm up so how and why is petrol getting in - the level was so high that it was pouring out of the hinges for the flaps. The accelerator pedal was not depressed at all, nor was any priming or pumping done. Where am I going wrong? Have I a linkage the wrong way round? The gaskets all look tight. Fuel flow is normal so not a high pressure thing from the pump. Clearly I have made some kind of mistake in reassembly but cannot think what. HELP! I am going quite mad trying to work it out....

Richard Leslie Phillips 02-10-11 05:48 PM

Float problem
Finally established the problem - the floats were full of petrol. Whilst resettting the levels I clearly weakened both joints which resulted in a crack in the seams. So....does anyone have a spare set I could have for an AVS?! It was a rather disasterous weekend - having fixed the leak with epoxy the car made it to the hotel I booked...or 200 yards from it as we ended up coasting to the entrance where the car remained for the rest of the night! Stripped the carb down this morning in the hotel car park to discover the problem was the epxy had not set and was pourous - tried to solder but no luck and had to have her recovered back to Cambridge on the back of a low loader so missed the BOC lunch at Gaydon. Damn it. The joys of old car ownership. Lucky I have an understanding girlfriend! And it was a lovely sunny day....

GREG 02-10-11 06:34 PM

I have a spare carb you can swap floats from

livermoreb 13-02-18 02:02 PM

Conaversion to EFI
[When I began restoration of my 411-S1, I bought a "replacement" ABS which ran awful despite paying a great deal of money to tuners to try to get it right. Then I tried bold-on fuel injection; a total waste of money.

What was the problem with the fuel injection? Has anyone else tried this conversion?

irienz 15-02-18 04:49 AM

Conversion to EFI
Here is a short history of my experience with EFI conversion. My car was converted from stock carb to a Holley single point injection system in 1986 by Martin Barnes in London. I was very happy with it; the car was quieter, more responsive and more civilised (but no more economical). I imported the car into NZ in 1987 and for a period it continued to run well.

Problems emerged and were diagnosed as a component failure in the Holley unit. However a replacement component did not resolve the problem. A local tuner recommended and installed a Link engine management system to replace the Holley. However it could not be made to run consistently - the idle would move about for no apparent reason (and I discovered that trying to stop a 411 in traffic when the idle suddenly sticks on 2500 rpm is a bit challenging). The tuner gave up and replaced the Link set up with Holley Commander 950 (from memory) but, while an improvement, it was still insufficiently stable in operation. After seeing whether another tuner could set the Holley up acceptably, on his recommendation, I fitted a Holley Avenger 670 cfm. I have had no further trouble with fuelling - the only thing I now miss from EFI is seamless cold running.

I never categorically determined the reason for the EFI instability but most likely explanation was probably insufficiently stable voltage in the car's electrical system. As I understand it, EFI systems require absolutely steady voltage readings as their reference points and any instability (never an issue for a carb set up) destabilises the settings in an unpredictable manner. That is why I gave up and installed a more modern carb.

Chris Browne

Claude 09-03-18 11:48 PM


Originally Posted by livermoreb (Post 9198)

[When I began restoration of my 411-S1, I bought a "replacement" ABS which ran awful despite paying a great deal of money to tuners to try to get it right. Then I tried bold-on fuel injection; a total waste of money.
What was the problem with the fuel injection? Has anyone else tried this conversion?

As we all know, when Microsoft established the benchmark for anything related to programming, customers paying good money were used as Beta Testers. That's what happened with my EFI purchase for a 1970 Big Block Chrysler in my 411. After spending thousands, I never was able to find a shop who could get it to run right. It was beyond my skill to figure out what was happening in an environment that requires access to the electronic brain and precision engineering.

If you are serious about EFI, it makes more sense to buy a complete system, not a bolt-on. For example, try only tell them you don't want a fire breathing monster, just a Chrysler big or small block set up for fuel injection. When it comes to messing with this stuff, it works out best to rely on a single shop that does everything every day.

If you are not in America and want your Detroit-powered Bristol sorted and are prepared to pay real money, consider sending it over to America for the work. Shipping costs are equal to about 30 hours of shop time. Where a Chrysler is an exotic overseas, in America it is bog standard, even 40-50 years old, thanks to the hot rod culture that keeps them running.

Look on line for classic car shops near Newark NJ or Port of Norfolk VA, a major shipping port to/from UK. For example, this shop is about 30 miles from the port and comes with good online comments: With Yelp it is easy to get a sense of quality without face-to-face first.

Or, as Chris finally concluded in NZ (it was his advice I followed) just buy a Holley 670 Avenger, get it tuned for your Bristol (I used BATES PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS | eBay Stores), bolt it on with a Wieand 8008 manifold or equivalent and drive off into the sunset, happily ever after.


livermoreb 19-03-18 11:07 PM

Thanks for the heads up. After reading about your experiences I think I'll stick to the carburettor! I was considering an EFI system from a local company - - but I will forget it now.

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