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Installing a Holley 750 on our C10 SBC

The Next phase of our ’69 C10 Project Begins

Mar 13, 2020

Many years ago, a certain enthusiastic magazine editor was making good progress on his C10 project, but then that same editor decided it would be cool to have two C10 projects going simultaneously, and the rest is history. Well, more like history still waiting to be made. To be fair, there has been a ton of progress made on this '69 C10 since we first got our hands on it. After all, this truck started out as a six-banger, three on the tree longbed pickup with a nice coat of house paint red on it, and it was being used to haul rocks every day—as evidenced by the completely sunken bed floor. So even though it is now 'bagged on 20s with big brakes and has a killer 383/700R4 combo, the truck has sat around long enough that just about everything needs to be gone through again. The first step was to uncover the thing, charge up the battery, air it up off the ground, and see if it would run. No such luck.

Photo 2/29   |   1969 C10 Holley Carb Install 02

We got it to turn over easy enough, but there was no way it was going to fire. After some trial and error, we held the primaries open on the 750 cfm Holley carb and sprayed some starting fluid. The truck fired right up for a second, then died. We did it again and held the rpms up over 2000, and it ran like a top, but if we tried to let it idle even for a second, it died. We finally determined that something was clogging up the primary half of the carb and proceeded to rebuild the front half while on the truck, but it was a wasted effort. We decided to save that story for another day and order up a shiny new 3310SA carburetor from Holley. It was exactly like the one we were replacing, except it was the shiny version instead of the classic, and its primaries weren't full of debris.

Once we had the carb in hand, which only took a few days, we went about the task of making the swap, and removing all the rat poop from the area while we were at it. This is just the beginning of getting this C10 back on the road, as we have suspension, interior and sheetmetal upgrades on the docket as well. The plan is to be able to drive it to a few of the summer shows this year, so wish us luck. Check out the install below, and give Holley a call if your current carb is giving you trouble.

Photo 3/29   |   Well, it doesn't look that bad at a glance, and we did have the air cleaner on it the whole time, but something got itself lodged in just the right place to close up the front half of the Holley carb. And we know it was not a factory defect or anything of the sort. This carb powered our BluePrint 383 to 441 hp on the chassis dyno just before we installed it!
Photo 4/29   |   Seeing this bitchin' engine in this state is like realizing you left your dog out in the rain. The rats were harvesting kumquats from our tree and storing them right next to their toilet, evidently. We covered the carb back up and did a little cleaning before proceeding.
Photo 5/29   |   The carb we ordered up is the 3310SA. Part of the 4160 Series, 3310SA is constructed from aluminum, which, compared to its zinc counterpart, equates to a weight savings of 40 percent. The aluminum will hold its shine and also can be hand polished. It's based off the 3310C—the exact carb we're removing. The dual feed fuel inlets assure you get all the fuel you need while the vacuum secondaries and manual choke make it amazingly universal. This carb is well known for its performance calibration and 750 CFM and is probably the most widely used performance carburetor out there. Also pictured is the Holley 20-113 transmission cable bracket for 700R4 transmissions.
Photo 6/29   |   This Holley kickdown bracket for 700R4 (PN20-121) corrects geometry for throttle valve cables and provides proper transmission fluid pressure. Skipping this small part can be disastrous for transmissions. Someday we'll tell you how we know.
Photo 7/29   |   With the engine area cleaned up a little, we began the swap by removing our custom throttle linkage. It rusted pretty bad, so we'll have to make the next one out of stainless.
Photo 8/29   |   In a hurry to get the truck running the first time, we bought one of those universal transmission cable brackets. We removed it next since we'll be installing the Holley version.
Photo 9/29   |   The TV cable was squeezed from each side with pliers and removed from the bracket.
Photo 10/29   |   Next, the fuel line was removed from the fuel rail.
Photo 11/29   |   Now we were ready to remove the remainder of the four carb bolts.
Photo 12/29   |   Then we lifted the carb up off the manifold, while attempting to keep the base gasket in one piece.
Photo 13/29   |   Oops, we forgot to take the vacuum booster hose off of the rear of the carb base.
Photo 14/29   |   Most of the base gasket came off in one piece; we'll just need to do a little scraping around the bolts.
Photo 15/29   |   At this point we stuffed a rag in the intake manifold and began to clean the top of the engine off and make it borderline respectable again.
Photo 16/29   |   But first we used a razor blade to scrape off the aforementioned base gasket.
Photo 17/29   |   We also replaced the fuel filter that we installed down by our mechanical fuel pump.
Photo 18/29   |   And then we remembered we had another fuel filter right by the fuel cell. We're not taking any chances with this new Holley carb.
Photo 19/29   |   Here's a side-by-side comparison of the Holley 3310C and the and the 3310SA. They're identical except one is made from zinc, and the other is polished aluminum. Well, that and one is clogged up (again, our fault), and one is ready to rock!
Photo 20/29   |   We removed the fuel rail from the old(er) carb and were careful not to damage the threads. We will most definitely be rebuilding this carb for another project in the future.
Photo 21/29   |   The fuel rail was reinstalled on the 3310SA carb. We swear we used two wrenches to snug it down.
Photo 22/29   |   Like we said, we got the engine looking pretty good before we installed the new carb. Then we set the new base gasket in place.
Photo 23/29   |   Then we set the new carb in place and hand tightened a couple of the mounting nuts.
Photo 24/29   |   The Holley 20-113 transmission cable bracket for 700R4 transmissions mounts off of the driver's side rear carb mounting bolt. There is also a tab that locks it into place to keep it from rotating.
Photo 25/29   |   Now we could put the final torque on the four carb mounting bolts.
Photo 26/29   |   This Holley kickdown bracket for the 700R4 (PN20-121) corrects geometry for throttle valve cables for proper transmission fluid pressure. It puts the mount one inch below and -inch behind the pivot point.
Photo 27/29   |   Here's the bracket with the upper mounting bolt installed, which doubles as the throttle linkage mounting bolt.
Photo 28/29   |   We installed the lower mounting bolt. Then we adjusted the end of our TV cable to where it was fully extended when the carb was at full throttle. It will be a good starting point for minor adjustments. For that, you can move up or back one click of the plastic adjuster in the bracket.
Photo 29/29   |   It's still not the prettiest engine compartment in the world. But much more important than that is the fact that the truck fired right up, idled on its own, and for the first time in years we cruised the neighborhood in our '69 C10 project. Look for a whole lot more to come with this truck!

Sources

Holley
Bowling Green, KY
270-781-9741
http://www.holley.com

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