Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Baby, It Was Cold Outside

With Scarlett still occupying the garage, work on getting Ringo back on the road had to take place in the twenty-something degree discomfort of the driveway. I had quick to point the finger at a carburetor, but a Facebook posting by my Corvair-buddy Geoff reminded me of the saying, “95% of fuel problems are electrical.” So, the first thing I did after donning layers of grungies was hook up the dwell meter and crank the engine. Dwell was still reading 32, but I went ahead and put back on the previous point’s plate with a GUP set of points with the contacts slightly sanded. Since the cold battery didn’t have enough oomph left to set the dwell by cranking with the starter, I went old-school and set the point gap. As I was turning the engine with a wrench to get the point’s rubbing block on top of a cam, I noticed gas dripping from the fuel pump. Irr. I pulled off the offending part and replaced it with the newish-looking one off Scarlett. After a little gas went into each carb, the engine fired right up and settled into a nice idle … for about a twenty seconds before dying. Irr. Figuring the supposedly functional fuel pump wasn’t so functional, I cracked open one of the fuel line fittings and cranked the engine – sure enough, no gas. Off came that pump and I immediately marked it BAD. On went the next newish-looking pump from the
stash. After attaching the inlet tube, I poured a little gas down each carb, started the engine, and crossed my fingers that I’d see pulses of fuel come out of the outlets. Nothing. Another pump gets BAD written on it. The final pump from my stash was seized, so I had no choice but to put the original back on. With all the fitting tightened, I started the engine and tightened the pump’s screws to stem the drops to just a slow ooze. The dwellmeter indicated my gap-setting, while good enough to get the engine running, wasn’t quite where it needed to be. A tweak or two with a screwdriver and dwell was back to about 32 degrees. That was followed by a re-setting of the timing to 12 degrees BTDC.

At that point my fingers were too cold to continue. Replacing the muffler had to wait until another evening – hopefully one with temps at least in the thirties.

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