Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Blues

In another attempt to decry my credo, “Don’t Do It,” the lovely Loriann took pity on my car-less state and shooed me out into the cold Saturday air to finally get some car-stuff done. Sadly, it didn't work as I was thwarted at each turn.

First, with great anticipation, I swapped back in the recently re-rebuilt carburetors onto my ’68. These were the ones that bogged when I floored the throttle too quickly. I had high hopes given the reputable rebuilder went over them extensively. All I did was pull them out of the box and bolt them on the engine. After a few cranks of the engine to pump some gas in the bowls, the engine fired up. Even though the engine wasn’t warmed up, I couldn’t resist and gave the gas pedal a quick, three-quarters stab. Well, the problem is still there. Just to verify, I let the engine run until both chokes plates were fully open. Then I adjusted the idle to roughly 550 in Drive, synched the two sides using my length of clear tubing, popped the trans back into Neutral and did a blip or two. The bog was still there. Upon closer inspection, I discovered the right carb does not respond with a squirt of gas from the accelerator pump. That would explain the symptom. I put this in an e-mail to the rebuilder and he quickly responded that he was quite surprised since he “checked the pump shots before finishing them and both were working.” He offered to send me a replacement pump, or even swap these carbs for two stock ones. I’ve got at least one spare pump that I know works that I’ll try next.

At that point, Mikhaila joined me in the garage where we proceeded to finish prepping TwoTone’s engine for starting, and, hopefully, running. First, though, I had her take some photos of the painted floor so that when we try to sell the car and it's interior is full of parts, we'll have a record of how solid the floor is. We mounted the recently pulled carbs so we knew there would be gas in the bowls. We pulled the battery and spark plug leads from Glinda and installed them in TwoTone. Next, we marked the distributor’s exact location with the timing mark at 8 degrees BTDC. After pulling out the distributor, we primed the oiling system using the drill-mounted special shaft. With the distributor back in place, we excitedly put 12 volts to the coil and then she touched the purple wire to 12 volts to energize the solenoid, but nothing happened other than some sparks from the lead touching the battery terminal. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since the engine has sat for over thirty years, but I was still disappointed. I had Mikhaila help jack the car, rest it on a jackstand, and remove the left rear wheel before I sent her back in the house to warm up while I removed the starter. A test on the ground confirmed it was dead. I went to my milkcrate of starters and pulled out all four, but none of them worked either. After another half-hour of unsuccessfully swapping solenoids onto different starters, I gave up and called it a day. Yesterday, I drove to Vince’s house and borrowed a known, good starter/solenoid and will, hopefully, soon get the opportunity to put it on.

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