Holley Made In China


While I had the Sunbeam Tiger engine on the Dyno at QMP racing (Here is the dyno video) I got a call from Mike who kicked a$$ building  the engine. He was running the Tigers SBF on the dyno and said that the carb I supplied was hurting HP a bit, likely too small a carb. The carb is a billet MADE IN USA version from damBest carburetors (www.dambest.com). Some back story on these,  I have run 2 other smaller versions on the engines in the Ripper (my 65′ fastback track car) and both were dynoed with comments like, WTF I can’t believe the throttle response on these.  Both different engine made pretty good power, one 530hp with flat tops and a street roller, and the the other 570 with more compression and bigger cam.

So back to current, the Tiger motor is a different beast, it’s a 12+ compression motor, Edelebrock Victor heads (not the sissy Jr’s), T&D shaft rockers, Titanium Valves,  Oliver billet rods, and all the rest of the parts you would expect. I had a similar motor dyno and pull a 622Hp at about 8,000 rpm. So back to where Mike calls and said my carb may be a bit small for this motor, and he had a Holley 0-80804HBX as his go to Dyno carb and he popped it on and power came up on the engine starting at 5500 to 8000 ultimately about 15 hp. I was a bit taken back as I had given the folks at damBest a good idea about what the motor was and they did the rest. BUT in all fairness the carb I purchased from them was for Road Racing and specifically set up for that, so it was characterized for better throttle response and not wide open max power. It’s really a beautifully made part.  I’m totally OK with that. BUT in my head I keep thinking I should just go out and get one of the Holley HP carbs and be done.

SO I started looking at them and what they were going to cost and was thinking I could easily and quickly sell the damBest and get the Holley. Easy. So I find they have them at Amazon, Summit, Jegs, even Speedway Motors. All were the same price so no big whoop where I get it.

BUT in looking at the specs I see that the carb is MADE IN CHINA. WTF? This is not an 0-1850 600 CFM vacuum secondary entry level deal, but the flagship line of Holley carburetors. And let me say this here, I’m not saying anything bad about the quality or performance of the part, but the fact that it’s made in China. I have used a Holley on every car I have had and have had good results from that first 600 CFM Vacuum Secondary carb I got for 99 bucks, to every swap meet carb I had to fix and tune to make work. Now I have this gut feeling like — NO F’n way I’m spending over near $900 dollars on a made in China part, and it’s not a matter of how well it works but it’s the whole idea of how their is a shift in the aftermarket industry from the larger player.

My options are to keep the damBest and give up a tick of HP in exchange for better drive ability, see if I can dig up my old Holley 830 NASCAR style and have that cleaned up, or support the current Holley “It’s OK to make $hit in China” regime.  Dang, I really wanted to like the HBX carb but not where it’s made.

More as my mind unravels…

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