Author Topic: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted  (Read 876 times)

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wsu0702

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Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« on: July 13, 2018, 11:01:27 PM »
I am still trying to decide which carb to run on the big cubic inch FE street/strip build that I am currently collecting parts for.  I have been researching the Holley 3 barrel carbs recently and I am really impressed with what everyone has to say about them.  It sounds like the biggest issue is that it takes some trial n error to eliminate the "secondary bog".  But once you figure that out they are a top notch carb for street/strip applications. Should I spend the time/money to locate and purchase one of these rare carbs or would I be better off going with a modern big CFM carb.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 11:07:03 PM by wsu0702 »

Pentroof

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2018, 07:44:18 AM »
...once you figure that out they are a top notch carb for street/strip applications

I've never heard that. If the 3160 was the hot ticket, Holley would have made a bunch more and would still be making them.
I'll never build another carb'd motor, but based on input from others, a 3160 would not be on my list if I did. They were intended and used for big inch motors where finesse and driveability were of no concern. With poor secondary signal control, they were still outclassed by properly tuned 4150s and 4500s.
That said, I'm only repeating what I've been told by others. I've never played with one. That's how humans progress. Work with what has been proven to succeed and not replicate failure of others.
Jim

Machspeed

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2018, 10:36:20 AM »
They're not as rare as you may think they are. They are on eBay often but the prices vary and sometimes expensive. I don't know how much research you've done but I think they only made two versions, 950cfm and the 1050cfm (pictured). I considered using one after accuiring a partial 1050 assembly in a trade but I found that most of the guys that praised the performance of the three barrel carbs over modern day carbs we're simply just having trouble letting go of the"glory days". I still have the three barrel parts and they are a cool conversation piece but that's all they will ever be for me. If you're not going for a period correct type build you will be much happier with correctly matched modern four barrel carburetor. The only upside I see in using a three carburetor is when you are telling someone the details of your car and the look on their face when you say three barrel.

1967 XR7 GT

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2018, 01:42:28 PM »
I decided to try the 3 barrel, I picked up a new 1050 to play with on my build. I had seen one ran on the dyno on you tube and did some research afterwards.

So there are stories of the bog when the secondaries open, and a fix was to extend the primary shooter to the secondary, then make it mechanical instead of vacuum, and I don't know if that was done just on the 1050 or if it was needed on the 950 ?

So, there are 3 versions the 3616-1S 950 CFM the 4604 S 1050 CFM and a later version of the 4604 S rated at 950 CFM but this one came with Annular boosters in the rear.

The reasons production on the 3 barrels stopped was because demand stopped after Holley came out with the Dominators.

I wanted vacuum secondaries for a street car and the larger modern day carbs are double pumpers, so I will try some modern day tech and years of peoples tuning experience on an older carb and see what happens.
Richard

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2018, 01:47:09 PM »
Way back in the days before cammers, Jay did a bunch of carb dyno tests..  Pretty much everything with a lot of CFM he could get his hands on.. His friend JC brought a 3bbl over to try.  Not sure if it was 950 or 1050. IIRC it was one of the top performers of the group.. The reason for their existence was to get more cfm out of the 4150 architecture..That became unnecessary with the introduction of the 4500. As organized as Jay is, I bet he has those results at his fingertips.
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My427stang

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2018, 02:02:49 PM »
Nothing wrong with a 3 barrel except finding parts for them, and finding one with the choke still intact.  They can run great
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Ross

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Barry_R

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2018, 02:15:31 PM »
I had a customer bring in a 950.  Between us we had another four or five carbs to try including some newer HP stuff.  Darn 3 barrel finished on top of the pile....airflow wins

thatdarncat

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2018, 02:50:36 PM »


This '56 Sedan Delivery, "The Crusin' Missle", was built by our friend JC many years ago, featured in Hot Rod at one time. JC sold it to our friend "Polka" Jimmy probably 25 years ago. Powered by a 460 with a Holley 3 bbl. Jimmy still cruise's it quite a bit, still has the 3 bbl. Unfortunately Neither JC or Jimmy are on the forum or Internet to give us their opinion lol.

I have a couple Holley 3bbl's, tried one at the dragstrip many years ago on my 428 powered bracket car one test day when I was doing some carb testing, if I remember it edged out my 850 double pumper with just a touch more mph. This was in a 12 second car at the time, nothing too wild. I didn't try it on the street at the time, just didn't have time. I plan on possibly testing it again on the 427 tunnel port I have going together, if we use the single 4V intake.

One thing I'll note - my 3bbl carb still had the choke flap and I found that with the throttle open it would suck the choke plate closed, I had to tie it open with a zip tie to the air cleaner stud for my test. The choke plate on the 3bbl is controlled by a short cable on the carb, so it doesn't positively stay open by a "hard" link like a regular Holley. I wouldn't necessarily worry if a Holley 3 bbl you find is missing the choke, if you think your application will start fine without a choke anyway.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 02:58:56 PM by thatdarncat »
Kevin Rolph

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wayne

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2018, 03:02:57 PM »
I used to play with them a lot and still have one of each size i am sure the new stuff is more street friendly.The time i last  used one was on a well built 351c it was the best carb we tried.When i get the 428 done i am working i will try one yes they used to make squirters for the back i think i still have a new one some place.

thatdarncat

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2018, 03:13:59 PM »
I'll add, be sure if you buy a used one it has the proper vacuum secondary diaphragm with a good and intact diaphragm inside, that's the one part not available new, to my knowledge. There are a couple unscrupulous sellers on eBay who are trimming the available Mopar 6-pack diaphragms with a sissors into a more square shape and calling them NOS at a jacked up price, but it's easy to see they've been modified if you know what an original looks like, and I doubt they seal well. At least if you want to try that don't pay their inflated price. Last I checked gasket kits were still available. The rear metering plate to main body gasket is unique since the boosters are closer together on a 3bbl.
Kevin Rolph

1967 Cougar Drag Car ( under constuction )
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thatdarncat

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2018, 03:20:08 PM »
I used to play with them a lot and still have one of each size i am sure the new stuff is more street friendly...

I'd agree with that, with the array of carbs available now days with 4 corner idle screws, replaceable air bleeds, etc., probably some easier & better choices, but then you wouldn't have the fun of explaining a 3 bbl to people  ;)
Kevin Rolph

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wayne

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2018, 03:41:50 PM »
I think daytona carbs will still make a new secondary diaphragm.

fordman460

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2018, 05:11:37 PM »
I used my 1050 w/choke and a vac/pod and link of of an 1850. My choke works and has a very stiff spring on it. No chance of being sucked closed! Was on a stock 460, c-6, 3.70 gears. Later added a Crane cam and headers. Had the 3 barrel spacer on a marine (cj type) intake. Ran great. I did make my own calibrated metering block from a 3310-1. Have to do another as I use that one on a different carb now. Going to have Drew pretty it up for me.

wsu0702

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2018, 12:06:13 AM »
Ok thanks everyone.  One thing I forgot to ask is if I will have any clearance issues with my 69 shaker scoop air cleaner base?

1967 XR7 GT

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2018, 05:33:46 AM »
The clearance issue with your air cleaner base, I can not answer that question, but the only thing I can think of is if the larger diaphragm housing would interfere with your base ?


wayne is correct, https://www.daytonaparts.com/ has kits with the correct gaskets, not gaskets from other models poorly cut to fit, which is what is sold on ebay.  The kits are $60, and the correct secondary diaphragm is also $60, I had called an inquired about the kits & diaphragm, when I was looking to purchase a used one, but ended up getting a NOS one.

Richard

Rory428

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2018, 11:56:20 AM »
I have also had 950 & 1050 3 barrel Hooleys, although I never tried them on a street car, just my 428 FE Fairmont, back when it had a C6 with a transbrake. Performance wise, it ran as fast as any other big Holley that I tried, but in pit/staging lane drivability was not as crisp or smooth, but was not really a concern on a drag car.           As mentioned, finding a carb kit, spare pieces and a secondary diaphragm can be problematic. If you already have a 3 barrel in your possesion, and a kit, I would give it a try, but personally, I would not go out of my way looking for one. I have never seen a 3 barrel with annular boosters, all the 3 barrels that I have seen either had regular downleg boosters (950 version), or in the case of the 1050, simply 2 angled brass tubes on the secondary side. Also, with that large oval secondary throttle plate, and no support in the center, I have to wonder if a good backfire could bend the secondary throttle shaft.
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RJP

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2018, 02:20:58 PM »
I have 2 950s and 1 1050/3bbls. My only experience was with the 950cfm on a fairly stock 427 s/o in a flatbottom/V-drive. Carb ran well throughout the RPM range [900 rpm idle to 7000] where power dropped off. No flat spots, hiccups or any other problems. Power was linear as the sec diaphragm opened smoothly as RPM rose so there was no bog or hesitation when it opened. I never got into the sec diaphragm to see what spring was in it but it worked well for that application. If you have the patience to tinker with it it might pay off to be a great working carb for you. It did for me.         

bsprowl

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2018, 09:51:45 PM »
The 1050s are really 1030s.  Common error.

Bob

1967 XR7 GT

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2018, 10:11:56 PM »
The 1050s are really 1030s.  Common error.

Bob

According to Holley, first they say on page 5 , their listed as 1050 CFM, but then farther down on page 7 under Carburetor Numerical Listing & Parts Guide it list's as 1030 CFM.  So what ever it is, it's over a 1,000 CFM... 8)

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« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 01:47:18 PM by 1967 XR7 GT »
Richard

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Re: Holley 3 Barrels - Opinions wanted
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2018, 10:09:34 AM »
    The Holley 3BBL was created for the 426 Hemi in 1964. The list number was 3085 . Chrysler paid to have the carb developed. After their (typical) exclusivity agreement ended , the 3916 was released to the public and later the 4604. I became almost a "standard" on Big Block Chevy drag cars. Virtually every aftermarket manifold company "notched" the center divider to allow the 3BBL to work. Lots of guys still run them.