Monday, November 11, 2013

Glinda’s A Guzzler

I didn’t expect that fixing the gas starvation issue would just create a gluttony issue. Once I replaced Glinda’s fuel filter, she’s been going through 93 octane like a camel after a couple months in the Sahara. Friday, with the needle just above E, I filled the tank. Since I use to track gas mileage, my reply to the text to them told me her gulp-rate was 14 mpg. Ouch! My first thought was a leak somewhere, so as soon as I got home I put my nose to the ground and then in the engine compartment. Nothing smelled like gas.

That night, I needed to first deal with the leaky exhaust before going further with her thirty ways. The crux of the exhaust problem was a bad gasket (donut, packing) between the left exhaust manifold and the exhaust pipe. As is nearly always the case, the fasteners at this joint were a rusty mess barely resembling a nut and stud. Knowing there was no way I’d be able to cleanly undo that joint, I was prepared with replacement GUP manifolds complete with stainless studs and brass nuts as well as a set of GNP gaskets. As expected it didn’t take much effort to wring off the nuts and the associated portion of each manifold stud. With the pipe disconnected, the six nuts holding the manifolds were far more cooperative and the old manifolds were free in no time at all. With new gaskets the replacement manifolds were bolted into place followed by reattachment of the exhaust pipe with its new gaskets. With the car still up on ramps to listen for leaks, I turned the engine on and my efforts were rewarded with a much quieter condition and no leaks detected. A silent CO monitor will be the final proof, so I'll only know after I put some miles on the car with the heater on full-blast.

Back to the mileage issue. I decided to try swapping out the current carburetors for the set Mikhaila and I recently rebuilt for TwoTone. Once everything was hooked up it took a few cranks to get some gas into the bowls, but the engine eventually fired up. Sadly, one of the carbs was not working. Something must be clogging the jet or an inner passage. With that disappointing discovery, I got to remove those carbs and bolt back on the old carbs.

The next morning I drove down the interstate and was able to seemingly watch the needle descend - an indicated quarter tank burned in about 40 miles of driving. That’s about 13 mpg. Arghhh! The next fix I tried was replacing the fuel pump while not hooking up the vapor return line. If the leak is in that line, I wanted it out of the equation. Sadly, more driving yesterday showed apparently no improvement.

While I was still in grungies, I spent some time later that day clearing out more parts I’ll never use. They went into the bed of the truck freeing up some shelf space in the garage. With that done, I turned my attention to TwoTone. I first cleaned all the bearings and stuff we’d removed from the front hubs. Then I finished disassembling the right front brake system. It’s now ready for Mikhaila to wire brush clean and then coat with Rustoleum rusty metal primer and black paint. Then we’ll be able to put the brakes and hubs back together and drop the car back to the floor.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I worked on Luna too. Whilst putting Ringo back on the road I needed to borrow a couple items off Victoria's car - the alternator and the choke tripper. Clark's came through with a new tripper and I tore down Ringo's loose alternator, inspected everything, and put it back together without any of the slop there was there before. Not sure what I did, but I hope I did it right. With those parts put back on the engine, it’s back where it was a year ago. Victoria and I have had some conversations about Luna. She is soooo busy I can’t imagine her ever having time to take a weekend off to help me install the convertible top on her car. She promises she’ll turn down some nanny jobs and will be able to get the top on early next spring. With that in mind, I told her I would squeeze some Luna-time into my schedule. That car, while able to stop and go, has a number of issues that should get corrected before it can be considered reliable transportation. It too, seems to have a gas issue. The few times we’ve tried to take it out, we’ve ended up having to put about three gallons of gas into the tank in order to get it to start. Since the gauge doesn’t work, all we know is that it won’t start, we pour in three gallons, and it starts. Anyway, that needs to be resolved (I’ve got a couple gauges of suspect condition I’ll swap in before pointing my finger at the fuel sender in the tank - although I even have a GNP for that).

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