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Installing A 770 Holley In A 1979 Chevy Camaro - CHP Garage


Jun 1, 2009

Backyard Follies: Fire!
Guys, the term "backyard follies" is great ("Letters," CHP Garage, Apr. '09)! You should make a recurring feature out of it. My own experience came when I was installing a new 770 Holley on my 79 Camaro. No big deal, I've done it all before, right? Not really. Got it all bolted down and the linkage connected and went to install the fuel line. Since I hadn't ordered a fuel line yet, I just used the tee connector, the fuel bowl nipples, and the rubber hose Holley includes with the carb. I must have had a major brain cramp, because even though I got all the hose clamps snugged down just fine, I left the fuel bowl nipples only finger-tight. Naturally, when I twisted the key it only took a blink of an eye for fuel to spray out and another blink for a huge yellow flame to erupt from under the hood.

I sprinted into the house and grabbed a pitcher to fill with water, but it took a couple seconds to realize the car would be totally slagged before I got it filled. I ran back out on the porch, looked to my left, and saw my dog's water tub with about 3 gallons of water in it. So I grabbed it and doused the inferno. By this time my wife had realized something was seriously amiss and came out just in time to see me drown my car. God bless her, she didn't say a word. She just looked at my ghost-white face, grinned, and walked back in the house shaking her head.

Believe it or not, there was no damage beyond a set of toasted plug wires! I had all the wiring in convoluted plastic loom, and the loom melted instead of the wire. It was just a matter of peeling off the melted covering and replacing it. I'm glad the car was outside instead of in the garage!

By the way, wish Kevin McClelland good luck for me. His tech advice has been invaluable to me, especially his knowledge of '80s engines and electronics. Had it not been for his mentioning Tom Woodside at GMCOPO, my son and I would have had serious difficulty with the 305-to-350 swap we did on his '86 Z28. Transferring the carbureted OE induction setup off the old LG4 presented some unexpected obstacles that Tom guided us thru with ease, and Kevin's development experience with GM was very helpful with cam and head selection. Let us know what he's up to when he gets back down to SoCal.
Marion Keepper
Via email

How is it that we all mange to catch our cars on fire at one point or another? As for Kevin, he's already acclimated to SoCal and now working for K&N. He's still handling our PQA column. As far as I'm concerned, he has a permanent home with us.

I enjoy your magazine and read it cover to cover. I also wait for my new one every month. I like it because of the hands-on information I get. Please don't change a thing. I don't need to read about showcars that cost thousands to build and are never driven (another Chevy magazine) and built by anyone except the owner. I am working on my own hot rod, a '65 two-door Impala, but don't want to bore you with the details. Keep up the great work. I am a subscriber for life.
Jerry Kenzel
Carthage, NC

No worries. We don't plan to change our format by any means. If anything, we're only adding to the program. To give you a little insider info, if all goes according to plan, I'll have a big announcement in next month's Shop Talk

Just want to let you know I love your magazine. Articles are great and I read it from cover to cover every month. I have a '72 Chevelle pro-touring project, and I always love to see articles on Chevelles. I know I am nit picking here, but can you guys do some more layouts on'71-72 Chevelles? I know the '70 Chevelle is the favorite of the fourth-gen group, but I personally think that the "big-eyed" Chevelles are cool too. Hey, if you can't find one, mine will be done soon (probably three more years)!
Josh Staudinger
Newhall, CA

You can expect to see more big-eyed features. Matter of fact, turn to page 74 to check out Kenny Hillin's cherry '72. You have to admit that was a pretty quick response, right? Also, Newhall is just an hour north of us, so be sure to keep us posted on how your Chevelle is coming along and email us pictures at chevyhi@sorc.com. Thanks for writing in!

G-Body Parts
Another great source for '78-83 Malibu parts and other G body stuff is Dixie MonteCarlo Depot, in Midland, North Carolina. These guys even have reproduction stuff for the B-pillar and for the stuff surrounding the back side windows. They are great in terms of knowledge and service. Reach them at 877.24.DIXIE or www.dixiemontecarlo.com.
Paul Kennedy
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Who?
I'm a longtime subscriber, and I just got my hands on the Apr. '09 issue in the mail. I always enjoy reading your Shop Talk editorial right off the bat. As excellent as it was, I have a quick question. How is it you were able to describe how good the AETC conference and PRI tradeshow was and who you saw there if you were writing it on the plane on your way to the events? Seems like you must have a little "Dr. Who" thing going on there.

By the way, great piece on the concept Gen V Camaros. I can't wait to get my hands on one as soon as my '05 Silverado is paid off next year. (Depression, schmession!) Keep up the good work!
Len Torney
St. Johns, AZ

You caught me. That was a mistake I made by mixing two editorials into one. I started my editorial on the plane, looking forward to the events. I even finished it on the plane. Later I realized I should have rewritten it instead of just adding the event highlights I had enjoyed. Still, I like your Dr. Who theory better. I'm going to stick with that one! As for the new Camaro, I hear you. As bad as I want to get one, I have to wait at least another two years until the truck is paid off. Thanks for writing in, and I'll get a plate out to you for it!

Letters are a bit slim, so help us out. Give us a shout, ask some questions, or tell us how great we are. Send emails to: chevyhi@sorc.com

Rooster Call
Sean Haggai
I wish you could see it now. It's pure comedy. I could sit atop my cubicle and watch the fiasco all day long. If we had more room in this section, I could throw in an image to help get my story across better. Four to five people stood around in amazement to watch one person fix the printer. In the meantime, I'll just use my super-skills as an associate editor.

Now, bear with me. Most of you are probably familiar with what I tend to call the printer Olympics. It's a great sport that no one wants to play, yet they volunteer to join in without even realizing it. Let me set the tone. After clicking the printer icon on the screen, a digital relay is sent to the networked printer on the floor. You walk over to retrieve your paper, but nothing. It's not there. The printer's screen reads "Paper jam in tray 3." "Oh great" seems to be the common phrase muttered beneath everyone's breath.

Without knowing, they have just created a chain of events that sends everyone clamoring to the printer to claim their work and then to voice their opinion as to how to fix the situation. The funny part is, you know as soon as you break open that printer that everyone else's work won't come out either. Essentially, you have just volunteered yourself to mend the situation. This makes you the person to fix it. You could just walk away and act like nothing is wrong (like I do), or stick around and fuss with it.

"Is the printer broken?" someone asks. "Yes, the printer is all jammed up." Then out of nowhere the masses arrive. What was once one person babbling to himself about the printer suddenly explodes into four or five members of the office. They all end up digging around, pushing buttons, and conversing as to who sabotaged the printer.

"There it goes!" one cries out.

"Wait, never mind. False alarm. It's still broken," another says, depressed. Eventually, the rogue paper that seemed to magically wedge itself in the endless mechanical workings of the printer is found, but not before being removed piece by piece with the fingertips. Here we go again.

High-Octane ChessIf you're into chess, then you'll dig this. Jeremy Twiggs from Rev Rods in Murphy, North Carolina, sent us a link of his latest creation: a complete chess set created out of used engine and transmission parts. Here's a list of how everything was created. For more information on availability and pricing, check them out at www.revrods.com.



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