Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Frustration Mounting

Yesterday afternoon Victoria reported to me that Glinda was running like junk. After dinner, I took her for a short test drive and couldn’t find anything amiss. Not wanting to leave any stone unturned, I backed her down the driveway and up to the open garage door. After pulling off the spare tire and air cleaner, I peeked down each carb while blipping throttle (with the engine off, of course). I was looking for the healthy little squirt of fuel, and it was there in the passenger-side carb, but not in the driver-side. Hmm, a bad accelerator pump or empty fuel bowl? Victoria’s description more likely pointed to the latter. I pulled the top off that carb and found there to be plenty of gas inside. Still could be a clog somewhere, but I’ll deal with the accelerator pump first. I swapped a pump off a GUP carb from the shelf, and put the carb back together. Before connecting the linkage to the pump actuator, I tested the pump and it seemed to work fine. After completing the assembly, I blipped the throttle and now no squirt. Crap! I did some investigating and found that this pump would not work unless the actuator had full travel while a normal carb setup only actuates the pump over its last fifty percent or more of travel. Off the came the carb, and one of the racing carbs went on it its place. This one worked fine when it was on Glinda’s engine before. Sure enough, after it filled with fuel, a twist of the throttle rod elicited a nice squirt of gas. Yah, problem solved. After balancing the carbs, reinstalling the air cleaner and spare tire, it was test drive time. As I pulled out of the driveway, I knew right away the problem was NOT solved. Since it was now nearing 10 PM, I went inside and gave Victoria the bad news that she’d be driving the Suburban the next day.

So what IS the problem? Since she seemed to run fine when she was cold, I’m thinking it’s a bad coil – not a strong enough spark when it gets hot. Since she’s sat all day, I can double-check how well she runs cold before I do anything else this evening. I’ve got at least one GUP coil on the shelf, so a quick swap could fix the issue. It still could be fuel related – no gas in one of the carbs, but I doubt it. I’ll re-check each carb anyway. Another frustration that I’ve discovered is that the dwell is not steady. This really ticks me off since a newly rebuilt distributor should exhibit no dwell drift with rpm change. This could, then, be a sign the points are not working properly. I’ve got a new set coming from Clark’s and they’ll go in when they show up. In the meantime, I can try installing one of the Pertronix electronic units I’ve got. The nice thing about a Pertonix is they are unaffected by a loose distributor, so the dwell should be steady. Bear in mind, both of the ones I’ve got on the shelf failed when they were installed in Lucy. I’ve kept them around just for a time like this. Maybe there’s something about Lucy that is incompatible with the Pertronix.

I really wanted to be done messing around with Glinda, but she is being stubborn. Thank the Lord we’ve got a spare vehicle.

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