Carb Class: Holley’s Gen 3 Dominator

By Liz Miles

Carb Class: Holley’s Gen 3 Dominator

Since 1969 the Dominator has undergone improvements but nothing like those it underwent this year. The all-new Gen 3 Ultra Dominator has utilized all of the technological advancements available to the carb world. It starts with components borrowed from Holley’s revolutionary ultra-HP 4150 model. The aluminum fuel bowls house 20% more fuel with new -8 O-ring inlet ports, built-in baffling, Pyrex sight glass and a drain plug. The floor of the bowl was redesigned with better flow to the main jets. Metering blocks were improved with new internal pump passages, a bright dip anodizing and true gasket sealing area. The emulsion bleeds, power valve channel restrictors and idle feed restrictors are all adjustable with screw-in bleeds.

The main body is where the party really starts. The most significant improvement to the design is the 5/16 taller venturii area. This new height allowed for larger radius air entries which were optimized using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to deliver smoother flow into new fully machined, big-bore venturii. The air cleaner mounts have been recessed to account for the change in the main body height so hood clearance can remain the same. That new venturii design has recessed idle and high-speed air bleed pockets to smooth the incoming air, and they have been pushed outward for a cleaner air reading. Annular boosters get a new 12-hole billet insert for unmatched atomization. Further down the venturii, the new taller profile gives a smooth transition to the throttle blades, which are now completely controlled by external linkage. Both primary and secondary curb idle speed adjustment screws have a knurled knob for on-the-go adjustments. The throttle lever is also new with a stainless steel threaded secondary link to adjust from 1:1, standard progressive or any place in between.


Big news to the Dominator is the HP’s integrated idle bypass valve located in the center of the main body. This valve allows air to bypass the throttle blades into the plenum. This allows heavier-breathing cars to get the air they need at idle without opening the throttle blades. This in turn keeps the throttle blades within proper position of the transfer slot, resulting in a cleaner idle and better transition into the second (high speed) circuit. Keeping the idle in the idle circuit is hugely important to a properly idling car and to the life of spark plugs. The adjustment is located in the center air cleaner mounting hole governed by a flat-head screw.


The throttle position sensor (TPS) mounting surface and optional sensor (P/N 534-214) is the icing on the cake for this carburetor built for ultimate performance. Now one can easily mount the TPS directly to the carburetor for data acquisition. The Gen 3 Dominator comes in 950; 1,050; 1,150; 1,250; 1,350; 1,425 and even 1,475-cfm. They are all aluminum with the exception of the throttle lever and other moving parts, which amounts to a 3.8-pound weight loss. The top of an engine is a great place to save a few pounds. The cast parts are available in a natural finish with black or red anodized billet parts (metering blocks and booster inserts) or in Holley’s popular Hardcore Gray hard coat anodized finish with black billet parts.

The bottom line is this carb has all of the features and sizes you would expect in a custom-built unit, but at the price of a production carburetor. Holley carbs have powered more drag racers than all other carbs combined. Even with Holley EFI booming, it’s still true that carburetors just plain work!

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