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The title pretty much says it all. I have a 302 with a crappy old Holley carb that has been giving me issues from the day I got the car. What is the best replacement right out of the box? Thanks
 

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Nobody can really give you their opinion on this question without more detailed info on the setup. Do you not like Holley as a company or do you just not like the Holley carb you have? Have you rebuilt and tuned the carb you have? It probably just needs to be serviced and reset. Lots of people just futz around with a carb thinking they know what they are doing but in reality know just enough to mess them up and get them way out of whack. I would fall into this category.

Is this a cruiser or street/strip car or a race car? Is it the car in your avatar? Stick or auto? Weight? Tire size? Gear ratio? Ever heard of GIGO? Garbage in, garbage out. Without good information going in, you will get bad information coming out.

But.....good news! There are books and tutorials that show you how to fix them.
 

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Almost all aftermarket carburetors will need tuning.

Bolt on and go with zero tuning might work if you have a bone stock 302, then just pick up a replacement 2 barrel carb for the application; it will be as close as you can get without tuning.

I liked my Edelbrock carb (1406) on my old carb 302. Little rich when bolted on, played with the rods, springs and jets a little bit and got it where I wanted it (after some ignition tuning as well). Never had to touch it afterwards for the 7 or 8 years I drove it daily. Had to be well over 100,000 miles. Well over. I have never (ever) had a Holley that would run that long between leaks or other problems. Pump diaphragms, bowl gaskets, float valves, screw gaskets, etc. I like the Holleys for their almost infinite adjustability and support among other gearheads, however because of the amount of adjustability, there are more "things" to go wrong and more ways to mess up during the tuning. Oh, and everyone who has ever turned a screw on a Holley is an "expert". I learned more about them by doing things myself than I did by listening to others.
 

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If its bone stock and its a daily go for the 540 Holley Street Avenger. Automatic choke, vacuum secondary... made to bolt on and go. Any carb should be jetted for it’s particular application... but a carb like that is made for the masses to drop on and pretty close to what you need in stock style applications. And its not that expensive...
 

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The title pretty much says it all. I have a 302 with a crappy old Holley carb that has been giving me issues from the day I got the car. What is the best replacement right out of the box? Thanks
If it's the factory Motorcraft 4180 carb which is a Holley that was used in 84-85, rebuild it, one of best carb's out there if rebuilt right. It's a 600 vac sec, but a very good carb for a stock or slightly modified engine.
 
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