Aug 112008

I have a 18′ Boat with a Volvo 4.3 GL engine in it and I wanted to rebuild or upgrade my carburetor. I prepared photos of my boat Carb and put them on line so whomever I worked with could get the exact picture and information on my needs. Just in passing, I want to make it clear that I have a solid mechanical and electrical background, and this is not my first Rodeo.

I started hunting online and this struck me as a guy or group that really cared about the quality of work that they did. It may have also been a retired guy that really liked doing this and had a passion for rebuilding carbs.

So I emailed them because it was Sat and I did not know if they worked on the weekends. The guy answered on a Saturday initially seemed knowledgeable and nice.
I told him I wanted to get a rebuilt carb and would consider getting an upgrade for the boat, if possible. We discussed options. I told him the application I used the carburetor pm and he seemed to know his stuff and exactly what I needed.

He directed me to a Holly 2 barrel that he said would be a perfect match and give me more response and all linkages and fuel lines were the same. Only thing is I would need to get a manifold adapter, which he said I could get at Kragen or any automotive store.

I was excited and when it came down to it, I started asking about the compatbility and how all the connections would be the same, ….after all. What would you do? If I am going to spend $2 or $300 bucks on something that could cost me troubles, I needed to be certain of the match and performance. I cannot imagine if I had been further down nightmare road, would he help me or bail?
The last thing we had to do was to compare his photos online to mine, which was the fuel intakes, which clearly saw it one way and he saw it another. We discussed it for a few seconds and he was getting testy and growing increasingly agitated, like I was stupid taking his time up.

Then he made a comment… something to the effect that I was looking at the wrong carburetor on the wrong page, even when I read it to him. Knowing he was agitated, I carefully and respectfully, read the page and the item number I was looking at.

Just then, he got a call and said kinda silently snaped, “I got another call and I got to go” and HUNG UP ON ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At first, I figured he was just busy and we would hook up and finish getting the details worked out.

I wrote him a respectful email thinking he was just busy or the only one taking calls. I wrote him him that there was an explaination and maybe we were both correct. I said I had to trust him and that I would buy the Holly if he was certain.

His reply to my email was something like this – Quoted from the guy
Eric; Shop else where! We will NOT sell you anything.
Have a nice weekend”

I was blown away by his lack of patience. Maybe he only deals with dealers and not the general public.

I was so glad that I did not buy from this guy because if he goes off in the beginning, imagine how difficult it could be later on…..

A few days went by and I spoke to other boat mechanics and most had the same story about Holly carbs on boats. On more than one occasion, they strongly suggested that I DID NOT use a Holly 2 barrels on the boat. Holly 2 barrels tend to clog from dirty gas, or whatever. They are very finicky and clog easy. I was told that the Rochester 2 barrel was a reliable and would almost suck anything through it before and it rarely broke down or got clogged. I only needed to hear this once. I also found that the Holly did not have a spark arrestor adapter. It had a street filter adapter and he said I could find one….I am smelling nightmare.

My recommendation is to stay as far away from these guys as possible. To be fair, maybe we spoke to an employee and the Owner was not informed this happened. If that is the case, things happen, and I am very reasonable, I will remove this post. Otherwise it stays for all you unsuspecting.

BTW – I called Kragen and they do not make and adapter for the Rodchester to Holly 2 barrel. He checked Nation wide. This was another point I was asking him about where exactly I could get it. Pretty bad to get a new carb and no adapter….