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Would you trust a mechanic that said it would cost $800.00 to replace a leaking carburetor?

Have a restored 69 fastback mustang. Took it to a local mechanic who said it had a leaking carburetor and that there were no carburetors “in the state of Texas” for a mustang of that year and would have to order one from California and it would cost me $800.00. To me that didn’t sound quite right…

If you are at all mechanically inclined I would be willing to take a trip to napa for a rebuild kit, It could be instead a 20 dollar needle and seat, 10 dollar gasket, 5 dolloar diaphragm, Run. do not walk to a second opinion. You need an old timer who can work on a carb, not a new wave techno punk that only knows, part bad replace, you pay!

Thanks, Barkydog. My 91 year old dad was a mechanic and always “took care of everything”, but he had a stroke last year, so I had to find someone else… I’m going to a mechanic tomorrow that supposedly “only” works on Mustangs.
The aforementioned mechanic who quoted the $800.00 charge for carb. charged me $150.00 to adjust an ignition point:( Will never step foot in his shop again. Plus, he was rude!

Depends on where it’s leaking and why it’s leaking. Also depends on the engine and whether it’s a 2 barrel or 4 barrel carburetor.

If it’s just a float level problem, maybe also worn throttle shaft bushings, you should only be looking at a $350 carb overhaul.

On the other hand, these older carbs had pipe thread fittings at the fuel inlet. I’ve seen these stripped out, cracked from overtightening, damaged beyond reliable repair. In that case, you’re either buying a complete rebuilt or new carb from the parts store (in which case $800 sounds about right) or hunting junkyards or old carburetor shops.

But like Barkydog said, find a shop that’s familiar with carburetor work. That may be a little hard to find, it’s becoming a lost art.

Thanks Asemaster,

Sadly, I don’t know if it’s a 4 barrel or 2 barrel carburetor, but think its a 4. I guess I’ll sell the car, as I know nothing. Got it new for my 16th birthday and have held onto it for all these years. Thanks for the tips. Appreciate it!

Offhand, that sounds a bit high but that price could be justifiable based on certain factors such as engine type (CJ, etc) and whether a date coded carb would be procured to keep the car original in that area.

I’m of the opinion that this mechanic is BSing you because he simply doesn’t know anything about carburetors or doesn’t want to be bothered with it.

You should be able to find a rebuilt carb from any parts house for 2-300 dollars and it should take no more than half an hour to an hour to swap it out and adjust it.
If originality is not an issue then consider adapting an Edelbrock Performer carburetor to it. These can be had brand new for 250 or so, they’re bone simple, and reliable.

If it’s a Ford carburetor they usually leak from the accelerator pump diaphragm which is external and has four screws holding the cover and lever on. It’s right on the front of the carb. Anybody can change that and the rebuld kit comes with one.

You could probably pick up a new old stock or reconditioned carb with a warranty online or locally to your neck of the woods for less than half that, and install it yourself in about 20 minutes if you’re mechanically inclined at all. So the mechanic is hugely marking up the part, and essentially charging you at least $400 for maybe an hour worth of labor, including adjusting the idle, etc. after the carb installation.

I’d avoid that place like the plague.

Since I drive a diesel, I would have to question that advice. :slight_smile:

Fine a new mechanic.

If you need a new carb, and it is a “special” one it could be $800. My ski boat has a 351 Ford Windsor motor and the 4 bbl Holley carb is about $600. There are rebuild kits for carbs. You also can buy some parts, for instance you can buy the front float for the Holley which is needed to repair stripped out threads at the gas line inlet.

I agree with taking it to another shop. A lot of mechanics don’t do carbs anymore. It sounds like your Mustang specialty shop it the way to go on this one.

You might consider a Pertronix electronic ignition to replace the points permanently. Did that on my boat motor with VG results. About $100 for the Pertronix unit. Ask the Mustang shop mechanic about it.

Just unbolt the carb and send it to a carb rebuilder and just bolt it back on when it comes back.
There are several of those outfits but I highly recommend the work done by guaranteedcarbs.com. They do good work for a very reasonable price. Your carb will act and look like new when you get it back. Bolt it back on, set the idle speed and you’re good to go.

It isn’t hard to figure out if it is a 2 or 4 bbl. Take the air cleaner off, open the choke by hand if needed, and look down in there to see if there are 2 or 4 holes.

Have you thought about getting a new carb from Holly. Holly still makes replacement carbs for many older vehicles.

Second the electronic ignition, especially if you’re having to pay somebody to adjust and replace the points periodically. If you plan to keep it, join the local Mustang club and get connected to all the local resources needed to keep it on the road.

So you got this car new for your 16th birthday, held on to it for all these years and never learned how to work on it with your dad being the one who took care of it for you…

Maybe more rubbed off than you think. But don’t sell a car that you have kept this many years over a few issues. You kept it for some reason. Even an $800 repair, which I think is bogus, is very little to spend on a classic like this and you can still remember a lot of things you and your dad did with the car over all these years.

I did the numbers, you got the '69 new at 16 years old. Now at 59-60 is just the time to have such a car, certainly not a time to sell it. You can and will find someone who can fix it at a reasonable cost. This is not a hard car to work on at all.

I got a new '67 Mustang when I was 19 and boy would I love to have it back now. 289 2bbl, 3 spd stick, manual steering, no power brakes, pretty basic but fun. Looked good with the only option being the “wide oval” tires, plus the 289, and an AM radio. Dark blue hardtop, with 2 tone blue interior. I installed a tach and drove it for about 10 years before selling it.

Thanks, everyone!

I did find a new mechanic who works on mostly older cars, including lots of mustangs:-) He said he could fix it for around $300.00. I will keep you posted!

Thanks again. Think I will keep it for now!