Just a forewarning, I'm pretty green when it comes to mechanics, which is why I would love some second opinions and the 2 cents of you gurus out there.
First of all, the application is a 1970 Dodge A-108 with the 318 automatic.
I want this to be a safe, reliable campervan, capable of traveling long distances.
When I first got the van, I had a good mechanically minded friend take a look, and make suggestions on upgrades that would help it be a strong running vehicle. One of his recommendations was to replace the stock carb with a 4 barrel + intake manifold.
Well, I got myself a refurbished-by-manufacturer Edelbrock carb (500 cfm) and a used intake manifold (Edelbrock Performer for the 318/360).
The manifold is a little sketchy.. after giving it a clean-up, I found a small crack (under exhaust soot, doubt the seller knew of this) under the exhaust tunnel where exhaust goes to operate a manual choke. So I had it welded. Well, now there is another crack. And I don't even need that exhaust tunnel/channel, since my new carb has an electric choke. If I were to use this manifold, I'd have to get it welded again, and find a block-off plate (or have one fabricated) to block off that exhaust tunnel thing.
So, it's looking like a new manifold would be my best bet IF I want to pursue the 4 barrel carb.
After talking with my mechanic, I'm second guessing the whole 4 barrel carb conversion. Is it worth it? The van has been running for 45+ years with its current carb and setup. A 4 barrel may eat up a bit more gas as well. My mechanic (60+year old, good with old cars) said that I would want to get a camshaft kit and timing kit if I were to put a new manifold and 4bbl carb on. Is a 4bbl carb worth the time and $? I already HAVE the new carb, however it could be sold.
So, like I said, I'm unsure at this point. A 4 barrel would probably help climb hills and pass cars, but is it necessary? How important (or not) of an upgrade would it be? I would love your opinion and advice. I don't know if I should try to keep it stock, or go ahead and pursue the 4 barrel carb.
Any input is appreciated. My apologies for the long message.
Thanks so much,