I know, I know, Ford guys are smart too. I’m only busting Big Block Ranger’s stones because I can, and because he will expect it. Especially since he even has a hammer, aka Ford Tool, in one of his photos. But back to the great little tech write-up that BBR, aka James Pringle, wrote in the BangShift Forum. Many of us have been using the same Holley carbs for years, or have purchased parts or complete carbs at the swap meet. Since we are hot rodders and have pulled them apart a jillion times, the threads in the main body that are used to hold the float bowls on aren’t always in the best of shape. If they get sketchy you are always worried about fully stripping them out, or they won’t tighten up all the way and that means a leak. We hate leaks.
BBR wrote a very simple and easy how to on fixing them using Helicoils. There are fancier thread repair solutions as well, so use whatever you like, but this fix is cheap and easy and will ensure your Holley carb lives to see another mile or another finish line. If you need parts for your Holley carb, visit Holley.com.
Stripped Holley bowl screw fix how-to. By BBR
I did this last night and thought I’d throw up a little how-to.
I had 2 that were fully stripped and 3 others that looked like they were on their way out. Such is the caveat of buying used parts sometimes. Luckily, the fix is fairly easy.
Step 1: Buy a 12-24 Helicoil kit. I bought mine at NAPA, but they can be purchased online or other places as well. The NAPA one comes with 12 inserts so you have plenty for all 8 bowl screws.
Step 2: Assuming the carb has been removed from the vehicle, pull the bowls and metering plates off the carb.
Step 3: Mask off the entire metering plate area and anything else that you do not want metal chips in.
Step 4: Locate holes thru the tape and carefully drill out the holes with the recommended 15/64″ bit. It drills really easy, so if you go slow and you can control the metal chips much better.
Step 5: Tap the holes. Go slow and keep the tap lubricated with something like WD-40. This promotes cleaner cutting and also helps the chips stick in the flutes of the tap. Turn the tap 3/4 turn at a time, and then a 1/4 turn back. Repeat until tap reaches the bottom of the hole. Resist the urge to just screw the tap straight in as this can lead to galling and possibly a broken tap.
Step 6: After tapping all the holes you need to repair, thoroughly clean the holes and remove the tape. Insert the Helicoil using the provided tool. They can be a little irritating to get started sometimes, so be patient. Screw them in until the top of the coil is at least a 1/4 turn down into the hole to prevent them from pulling out. Take a small punch that will fit inside the insert and with a sharp tap, break off the installation tab from the bottom of the insert.
Step 7: Sometimes, the holes will have a slightly raised lip after drilling and tapping. Take a small file and gently smooth this lip off.
Step 8: Put the plates and bowls back on and you are ready to run!