Throwback Thursday: A Swap Meet Holley Rebuild For Cheap

Wow, how time flies. It’s once again time for another Throwback Thursday? Let’s do everything we can to make this a great day. The arrival of the day after Humpday means another week is almost over. For this week’s look back, I thought we would check out an article published in October 2011. Yes, I’m going back a few years, but the information is still relevant.

It was a long time ago when we published this article with help from Holley Performance Products, discussing how you can easily rebuild a Hooley double-pumper. Sure, the original article used an 850-cfm model, but the basics relate to any Holley double pumper. That’s why I felt From Junk To Champ: A Swap Meet Holley Rebuild For Cheap would be a great article to look back upon.

Holey rebuild

One of the main concerns many have about rebuilding a Holley carburetor is the linkage. Don’t what looks like a confusing array of intricate linkages, springs, and hardware scare you off. You really can do this at home.

Back in 2011, we showed a carb that we scored at a swap meet. This original 1968 850cfm Holley mechanical double pumper was snagged-up for a paltry $85.00. What a deal. There are thousands of these great carburetors sitting on guys’ shelves and beneath their workbenches. You can score one of these too just by looking around.

As the original article stated, it may seem old-school in the age of laptop tuning, but some of us would rather swing a flat-blade screwdriver to adjust the idle mixtures rather than tote around a friggin’ computer. Amen!

The Holley carb was used so dependably over the last bazillion years, it’s no wonder they began showing up on many Detroit-built vehicles from the assembly lines. They work, are simple to operate, and if taken care of, showed years of trouble-free operation. What’s more, they’re still around! Visit any number of your local swap-meets or pick-a-part yards, and you’re bound to stumble across one; like we did!

Rebuilding a venerable Holley carburetor is not rocket science. Most renew kits include all the necessary gaskets, O-rings, pump diaphragm, needle and seat, power valves, instructions, and hardware for a complete rebuild. Kits are available through any parts store or online performance retailer or through Holley’s website. We ordered up a complete rebuild kit (4150-style), metering block (PN: 134-66), and four-corner-idle base plate (PN: 112-119).

Holley rebuild

The needle and seat are what allows fuel into the carburetor. This assembled part can be found on the ends of each fuel bowl. They’re simple to remove, only requiring a flat-head screwdriver and wrench.

If you’re thinking this is still too complicated, don’t let the seemingly endless assembly of intricate linkages, springs, and hardware scare you off. In the original article, we showed you exactly how to disassemble a Holley double-pumper and illustrated what it takes to upgrade to a four-corner idle system with a new Holley base plate. The best part is, within most of the Holley lineup, disassembly and upgrades are all relative. This means no matter which Holley you prefer, all Holley’s carburetors work the same way, just like our double-pumper.

There is a lot more interesting and what might seem surprising information in the original article, and to learn more, you really need to check out From Junk To Champ: A Swap Meet Holley Rebuild For Cheap. Check back with us often, as we’ll be sure to bring you more great tech you can use.

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About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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