Yesterday afternoon Victoria shared with me that Glinda had died a couple times at stop signs. Knowing how bad the gas mileage has been, I decided last night was the time to address these issues. After donning thermal underwear under jeans and a sweatshirt, I braved the cold. No heated garage this time since I’d be running the car and didn’t wish to prematurely cause my own death. I pulled the carbs off and removed the six spark plugs. They all looked pretty good, but I cleaned and re-gapped them anyway. After bolting on and hooking up Glinda’s recently rebuilt original carburetors, I started up the engine and checked the dwell. It was supposed to be 31 to 34 degrees, but was reading 28. I adjusted the point gap and got it to read 31 at idle, but as soon as I blipped the throttle, the dwell needle swung ten degrees from 31 – an indicator of distributor slop caused by worn bushings. Irr. From the shelf I pulled my one GUP distributor and, after swapping points plates, it was installed in place of the old one. While it too had some slop, the re-set dwell’s change off idle was only a couple degrees. At this point, the engine had warmed up, so I balanced the two carburetors by turning the idle speed screws on each until a slight turn of either screw affected the engine’s rpm. With idle speed at 600 rpm (with the transmission in Drive) and vacuum advance line disconnected and plugged, I set the timing to roughly 11 degrees BTDC (before top dead center). The factory says to make it 12, but I’m concerned about pinging so I went slightly less. When I’d set the timing initially (months ago), I’d gone for 6 degrees and I’m sure that contributed to the bad gas mileage. With all the adjustments complete, I put the air cleaner assembly back on and took it for a test drive around the neighborhood. It runs and idles smoothly, and according to Victoria’s recent report didn’t die on her today.
I still have the whole windshield sealing issue, but Glinda roadification to-do list has shrunk significantly.