Thursday, June 26, 2014


The lovely Loriann’s daily-driver had a breakdown the other day, so while I wait for parts, she’s driving the truck, and I’m behind the wheel of Glinda. Swapping the right-side carb from Ringo onto Glinda (replacing the one with a noticeably higher fuel level) has pretty much erased the quick-throttle bogging issue. With that problem solved, it’s been difficult not to use the loud pedal more exuberantly. With that, I’m not sure I’m doing my fuel mileage test any good.

It appears that I’ve messed up the grounding of the dashboard when I was installing the new clutch and brake pedals. I first noticed that the wiper switch wasn’t working, and then the fuel gauge is now stuck on E. Monday evening I tried finding the disconnected, wayward wire, but struck out. After some web research, I found the ground strap in an assembly diagram, so that’ll be my next inspection point.

Of course it could also be a coincidental failure of both items, but I deeply doubt it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ringo’s In Rough Shape

Sadly, the tire un-treading incident has left Ringo in a bad way. I’ll take and post some photos in the near future, but the list of bent and busted sheet-metal include: wheel well (some actually torn out and missing, lower back edge of rear fender, wheel opening trim, spare tire shelf, and muffler hanger. These, by themselves, don’t render Ringo un-roadworthy, but added to the other items of issue (driver’s door won’t open, starter won’t energize reliably), and he needs some serious attention before I can let Ariel drive him again. So, for now, he’s taking up driveway space.

Saturday, on the suggestion of a Facebook friend, I drug a bag of tools out to the curb to inspect Glinda’s carburetors. I pulled the lids off both carbs and compared the float fuel levels. The one on the right was noticeably higher (by at least a quarter of an inch), so I removed the pin that holds the float so I could see if the float had some fuel in it. It was dry. While reassembling the float to the lid, I clumsily dropped the small spring onto the pavement. As it fell, I carefully watched its trajectory, but, hitting my foot, it bounced under the car and promptly disappeared from the face of the planet. I crawled around and searched for five minutes, but to no avail – the tiny, gray piece of metal was nowhere to be found. It’s not the end of the world, I thought, since I’m sure I can pull another one from my can of carb parts. Another five minutes was wasted pawing through linkages, clips, floats, springs, and screws without spying a single helper spring. Argh.

At this point I now had an unusable carburetor. Knowing that Ringo’s carbs worked fine, I decided to pull his right-side one and use it in place of the one I’d just screwed up. I started her up to let her get warm and have the carb chokes open. In the meantime, I installed one of the carbs Mikhaila and I had rebuilt for TwoTone onto Ringo’s open intake flange. Back to Glinda, I shut off the engine, connected my clear plastic tubing (with a couple tablespoons of oil in it) to the vacuum ports, and restarted the engine. Three turns of the left carb’s adjustable linkage and the two side were back in balance.

Now I just need to fill the tank with gas and drive her for a bit to see if I’ve affected fuel mileage.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Could’ve Happened to Any Car

Yesterday evening I got a call from Ariel – yes, that kind of call. She was sitting on the side of the beltway since her car was “making terrible noises above 40 mph.” When the noises first started, she immediately pulled over, got out, and checked to make sure all the tires were okay (they appeared fine), and then checked the oil and transmission fluid (both above the ADD mark). At that point she then decided she wouldn’t drive Ringo any farther. Victoria just happened to be close by and getting off work at the time, so she was able to come pick her up. After dinner Ariel and I went back to the car with the truck and tow gear, and I looked everything over and nothing appeared amiss. Since the Baltimore beltway is no place to diagnose a car issue, we hitched Ringo up to the truck and began the trip home. About four miles after setting off, we started here some really nasty banging noises coming from behind us. I immediately pulled over and Ariel jumped out to see what was going on. She discovered the right rear tire was now missing most of its tread. We did a quick tire change (fortunately the spare was in good shape and had air) and were home twenty minutes later. I like the easy ones.

However, I wasn't to get off that easily. As she drove away, I noticed that Ringo's right taillight is not working (nor is his right brake light). I'm thinking the grounding wire has failed. I texted Ariel later in the evening that she needed to come by the house the next evening so I could fix that problem and keep her from getting a ticket.

Needless to say, that sucked up my evening, so I didn't get to do any fuel issue sleuthing on Glinda. Maybe tonight.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Am So Frustrated

All is not rosey with the fleet right now. No work has commenced on Scarlett, Victoria is uninspired to work on Luna, Glinda’s fuel mileage woes continue, and Ariel just reported that Ringo’s driver’s door won’t open. Argh!

As mentioned, Glinda’s mileage keeps dropping (we’re down to less than 11 mpg), but I still can’t find why. While it does look (slightly sooty tail pipe) and smell like her engine is running rich, I find it hard to believe that the #52 jets are responsible. These are the same jets that, on the stock carburetors, gave nearly 20 mpg, but on these rebuilt ’66 vintage carbs the mileage keeps dropping. It’s that last bit of information that makes me believe something is leaking and the leak is getting worse. I need to find the source of that leak and fix it. Regardless, I still need to swap in the smaller #51 jets I got from the Corvair Ranch to treat the bogging under quick throttle issue.

It appears I’ll be buying a used door latch from the Ranch and installing it in Ringo’s inoperable door. That won’t be fun. At least it failed in the closed position. Ariel says she’ll finally be a serious car shopper come early July.