Hot rodding thrives on making and maintaining power. Whether the added power is supplied from a full-flowing exhaust system, better cylinder heads, or adding a better carb, the search for more performance never stops. To add that extra power, many performance enthusiasts choose proven Holley carburetors. They work great, are easy to install, and look cool when the hood is up. But as with any component, proper installation and maintenance are key to optimal performance. To help with that, we spent an afternoon with carburetor guru Ted Granger from Ted's Carburetor Service in Lancaster, California. Granger showed us the best, time-tested ways to get the most performance from your carburetor.
Ensuring that your carburetor operates properly requires routine inspections. After several thousand miles of use, check that the carburetor mounting nuts are tight. But be certain to never over-tighten anything. Warped baseplates from over-tightening can create vacuum leaks or cracks. Vacuum hoses should also be periodically inspected. The most common cause of poor driveability can be attributed to vacuum leaks.
After adding performance parts, many enthusiasts decide their carburetor needs to be jetted, but usually the factory jetting is right where it should be. If your carburetor is not performing as well as you think it should, consult a Holley repair manual and try the stock jetting. A properly jetted carburetor provides a crisp throttle and delivers better fuel economy.
Granger says that he often receives carburetors that are simply out of adjustment. Whether it's the electric choke or air/fuel mixture screws, many carburetors have been adjusted far from the factory settings. Returning these settings to factory specifications frequently makes the carburetor perform like new.
To repair Holley carburetors, Granger recommends using either a Holley rebuild kit and gaskets or a quality aftermarket kit. Inferior gaskets can cause driveability problems or fuel and vacuum leaks. It's also important to use the proper tools. Flare wrenches, correct-size screwdrivers, and a clean work space all contribute to a quality rebuild.