While EFI is the new fascination of young hot rodders given that most vehicles have had some variation of EFI on them since around 1985 or so – if you stroll the pits at any drag race this weekend, you will find that about 85% of the vehicles running have some version of the Holley Four Barrel Carburetor.
Holley carburetors have been in their current basic form going back to the early ’60s. And over the last 15 years a number of different outfits have offered their version of the carburetor – either a “blueprinted” Holley unit or a manufactured unit that can use Holley replacement parts. In our case, we have several cars now and they run either Holley or QuickFuel units.
Tuning one of these carbs is either simple or complicated with that mostly dependent on your understanding of what adjustments do what to the carb in question. Everything from jet changes to fuel pump shooters and air bleed screws are changeable items on the latest versions. As in most cases, more options can end up sending you into a deep mess but that is a subject for another time.
What I have found to be the ultimate Holley or Holley type carburetor tool is just as close as your favorite home d-i-y store, in my area of the country that is mostly Home Depot or Loews Home Improvement stores. The tool itself is available for less than $7 and it allows you to tune just about every item on the carb. The tool I am talking about is a multifunction screwdriver like this one from Home Depot.
Home Depot calls this a 6-in-1 Reversible Screwdriver. I own several of these, keeping one in the truck, shop and race trailer. I have yet to figure out the “reversible” part but this is the one that fits the bill as an ultimate carburetor tool. It comes with two removable tips that have large and small straight & Phillips screwdriver blades. You can remove the tips and you have a 1/4″ or 5/16″ nut-driver – perfect for removing the newer style fuel bowl screws on the Holleys. The barrel that holds the tips is about 3/8″ in diameter and is the correct size for setting the fuel bowl float levels. Bonus is that the tips and nut-drivers are made of good material, I haven’t had any issues with rounding off screws or bolt heads.
What I really like about this tool is that for one it doesn’t take up much space and secondly it’s self-storing – as long as you remember to put it back together, it will be ready for the next tuning job.