Throwback Thursday: What To Look For When Buying A Used Holley Carb

The week is almost over, and once again, another Thursday has arrived. I don’t know about you, but since the weekend is getting close, I have already planned what I’ll be working on in the garage. If your plans include a trip to the swap meet because you need a carburetor for your project, we can help with that. No, we are not going to buy the carburetor for you, but we can help make sure you choose wisely. Once again, we celebrate another editorial look-back, and jump into the way back machine to open the Power Automedia vault that houses our vast collection of articles and revisit another great informational piece.

In this Throwback Thursday, we’re taking a small jump back to February 2017. That’s when we reached out to the Keith Jessee of Holley Performance to get the skinny on; What To Look For When Buying A Used Holley Carburetor.

swap meet Holley

If the carburetor doesn’t have a choke assembly, the list number will be clearly stamped on the side of the body.

In the original article, Keith helps us get in deep about Holley’s 4150-, 4160-, and 4500-series carburetors. For instance, did you know when looking at a swap meet carburetor, knowing what model you have in your hand is the first step? That’s why the article takes a look at some foundational differences between each of these three series’ of carburetors that make up the lion’s share of sales for Holley.

While both the 4150 and 4160-series carburetors will physically bolt onto the same mounting manifold-mounting area, they are distinctly different, and the original article gets into those details.

swap meet Holley

Evidence of corrosion and buildup on the bowl side of this block indicates that it likely has the same amount of crud inside the passageways within the block. Be sure to clean everything! The jets have been removed, but also note the omission of a power valve (the big circle just above the jet holes.

The article goes into detail about many different Holley models, like the Street Avenger and the HP series, and if you’re looking at a swap meet carburetor, the original article is a great resource to have with you.

swap meet Holley

Holley 4160 carburetors use a metering plate on the secondary circuit that has precisely-sized holes to meter the fuel feeding the rear of the carb. They are tunable, but to increase fuel, you need to replace the plate with one having larger holes on the bottom edge of the plate, or drill out the holes in the original plate. This plate has been drilled out and thankfully, whoever did it recorded the change.

There is a lot more information in the original article, and the in-depth discussion with Keith is a wealth of knowledge. If you’re looking for some insightful suggestions about swap meet shopping for Holley carburetors, check out What To Look For When Buying A Used Holley Carburetor. You’ll be glad that you did.

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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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