Thursday, February 3, 2011

Glinda’s Got Curves

Measured with my dial-back timing light with the vacuum advance disconnected and plugged

500 RPM14 deg BTDC
1100 RPM20 deg BTDC
1500 RPM24 deg BTDC
1750 RPM26 deg BTDC
2000 RPM28 deg BTDC
2500 RPM30 deg BTDC

Measured at the vacuum advance port at the base of the right-side carburetor

1100 RPM0 in Hg
1700 RPM5 in Hg
2500 RPM15 in Hg
3000 RPM17 in Hg

2000 RPM Vacuum advance full in. (~11 in Hg)

In trying to improve Glinda’s gas mileage, I posted a request for help to both Virtual Vairs and the CorvairCenter Forum. I got the following list of things to check:

Is the vacuum advance hooked up and function? Yes.
Are we using Premium gas? Yes.
Are there any fuel leaks? I noticed some wetness on the top of the left side carb and that led me to discover the screws on the carb were not snug.
What’s the distributor’s part number? Don’t know, but I do know the advance curve now (see above)
Are the chokes opening all the way when the engine’s warm? Yes.
Do the choke pull-offs work properly? Yes.
Are the carbs balanced at idle and mid throttle? They were fairly close, but I re-balanced them last night
Are there any vacuum leaks? Can’t find any.
Is it a California car with a smog cam? No, it’s an East Coast car – don’t know about the cam’s part number.
What do the plugs look like? I haven’t pulled them lately, but previously they looked a little dark (running rich), but not too bad.
Are the air cleaner elements clean? Yes.
What jets are in the carburetor? Don’t know.
Does it bog down off the line? No.
Is Victoria a lead foot? Probably.

With the intent of answering as many of the questions as possible, I braved the chilling winds last night and spent some quality time with Victoria’s car. In addition to making the measurements, I balanced the carburetors, lowered the idle speed to 550 rpm, torqued the screws that hold the carb top to the base, and tightened the fanbelt.

The last task was required because last Friday evening, Glinda’s fanbelt came off its pulleys. Fortunately, it happened only a mile or so from where the lovely Loriann and I were enjoying some awesome live blues (Hard Swimmin’ Fish). I was able to install a new Clark’s belt (the failed one was not a Clark’s) in the parking lot and only missed a couple songs.

Back to last night. In balancing the carbs, I disconnected the left one from the linkage. With all the adjustments made, I neglected to install the keeper clip that retains the rod to the linkage. With everything put away, I shed my thermal coveralls, donned my coat and gloves, and took Glinda for a spin around the neighborhood. Immediately, I knew there was a problem. It felt like the engine was only running on three cylinders. I hung a U and pulled back into the driveway. By flashlight illumination, I saw the now disconnected carb, and fortunately found the keeper. As I reached down to grab the end of the dangling rod, I was shocked to be shocked. My hand had brushed against the #6 plug wire and some of the 10,000 volts grounded their way through my body.

I’d been racking my brain for quite a while trying to determine what has been the one constant through Glinda’s post-roadificaton life. How I missed the spark plug wires is beyond me. Now, thanks to my ineptitude on many levels, I now had something else to try to rid Glinda of her guzzling reputation.

1 comment:

  1. Ouch! I've had that happen on a friend's Land Rover.

    This is a great blog; I'll be following it as I use my Corvair here in Maine year round, too.

    My blog is here also under LandRoverWriter.