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Chevrolet Nova: I have a 1986 Chevy Nova. It has a Toyota

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I have a 1986 Chevy Nova. It has a Toyota 4A engine. Carbureted. I don't know that exact carb on it. I can look if you want to know. The carb is apparently giving me lots of trouble. The car is slow to start when it is cold. Sluggish. it is like it is flooded or the bowl is draining into the manifold as it sits overnight. It has been running very rich lately and getting bad gas mileage. It smells of gas alot. When the car is hot, if I shut it off for a few minutes, to go shopping, for instance, when I restart the car, it smells strongly of gas. It is hard to start as if it is "flooded". I got the car cheap a few years ago. It had low miles (92K). It now has about 120k. When I bought it, it smelled a lot of gas, so I rebuilt the carb with a kit from a local parts store. It seemed to run a lot better for a couple years, but now it is as bad as ever. The carb has not adjusting screws except the throttle position for idle. I have heard that this carb is the "worst ever" on the Cartalk radio program. I think they were talking about this carb, or closely related. So, I don't trust that I will get better performance with an exact replacement, rebuilt or whatever. I have found some used ones on the internet, but really don't trust an old, unrebuilt carburetor. Also, should I change the charcoal cannister on the car, or any parts associated with it. Would that help? On this website, I found a link to the following website to find a replacement carb --> It looked good and the price was good. Could I trust that I would get good performance on this car with a replacement carb from this company? I have thought about getting a Weber carb for this car, but I am worried about what to do with all the vacuum hoses and such, because it will not be an exact replacement. I am also afraid the Weber assembly won't fit under the hood. Please advise it you think I can fix the problems with the car if I spend a few hundred dollars to get a new carburetor.
Thanks, Dave

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you by discussing your request in detail. Thanks

The number one cause of this condition is a bad float, i.e. it is either adjusted incorrectly (allowing too high a fluid level in the carb bowl), or, the vacuum diaphrams on the side of the carb are compromised (worn/cracked/torn, etc)...Either of these issues can and will give you the gas smell, the flooding, and poor performance.

before I spent hundreds of dollars on a replacement carb, I would recommend that you have this carb 'rebuilt', replacing all of the gaskets, the needle valve and seat, the float, and the vacuum diaphrams. This is a much more economical approach. Note that the vacuum diaphrams do not come in some carb rebuild kits, they may need to be obtained seperatly.

Please feel free to get back to me if you have any questions on my input on this request.

Thanks for choosing Just Answer.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. Your answer makes perfect sense. I rebuilt the carb a few years ago. Perhaps that's where I went wrong. I should let a professional do it this time. I can't remember if I changed the float at the same time. If I recall correctly, when I opened the carb to rebuild it, the float spring was completed compressed. It was not pushing the float back down. (I know I found a spring compressed if it wasn't on the float.) I can't remember what else I found wrong. I will do as you suggest.