Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Little About Ringo and A Lot About Glinda

The Ringo update is quick and easy. The new cylinder, piston, and wrist pin arrived yesterday from Clarks, and wow are they pretty. I took the piston and pin along with Ringo’s old piston/rod assembly to a machine shop this morning to have them install the new piston on the old rod. It was finished by lunch, so I ran over and picked it up. Thirty dollars well spent.

Now on to the recently troublesome Glinda. As I described in Monday’s posting, Ariel was stranded once and inconvenienced a few more times by Glinda’s “chugging” followed by the engine dying while Ariel was driving her on the beltway. My thought all the time had been this had been caused by too much pinging due to the low-octane gas she’d put in the tank. Well, Ariel did come by that evening and took Glinda for her next day commute on the beltway. I didn’t hear anything from her that morning, so I assumed all was well, but as I was putting my first fork-full of a delicious dinner into my mouth, the phone rang. It was Ariel, and Glinda had done the exact same thing, and now they were sitting on the side of the beltway. I asked her if she thought she could make it to a gas station to fill the tank with premium, and she told me she’d try. I replied that if she got Glinda here, she could take my truck until I got Ringo back on the road. About twenty minutes later, Ariel walked in the door, we traded keys, and she continued on her way home.

I made the next morning’s commute with caution and trepidation, not exceeding 60 mph, and Glinda showed no signs of bad behavior. The same was true of the drive at lunch and the drive home. Thinking everything was okay again due to the 93-octane in her tank, I slept the sleep of a car-woe-less man that night.

My automotive contentedness was short-lived, however, as I traveled down the interstate the next morning. During a 70 mph cruise up a slight incline, all of a sudden, and without any warning, Glinda began to quickly lose power. I pressed down farther on the gas pedal, but Glinda’s deceleration continued until the engine died. It was as if she’d just run out of gas even though I knew she still had over three-quarters of a tank. I sat on the side of the road for a couple minutes typing and sending a text to the lovely Loriann telling her of my current situation. With a turn of the key, her engine went into a higher-than-normal idle, but it would respond to blips on the throttle. I put the shifter in Drive and eased away from stop staying on the shoulder and out of traffic until we were going at least 50. She seemed a little down on power, but we made it the last mile to my parking spot. That afternoon, I had to go to Walter’s house to pick up the Ringo bits I’d left there last Thursday. Halfway there, while doing about 60 on an uphill, she began to die again. This time, I let up on the gas, put the flashers on, and cruised along in the slow lane at about 45 until I exited the highway. On surface streets she seemed to run fine, but when I put her in Park in Walter’s driveway, she was idling high again. Irrrr. The rest of the drive home was on surface streets and we made it without incident.

After dinner, I disconnected the fuel line from the gas tank and blew air through it. It seemed to be clog-free since bubbling was heard almost immediately at the tank. I also, pulled the carburetor fuel filters and inspected them – both were found to be clean. This morning we made the morning trip to the machine shop again without any untoward behavior. I’m going to R&R the fuel pump tonight with a brand new one to see if that solves the problem. My drive in tomorrow morning will include another 70 mph blast, so we’ll see then if the problem is solved.

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