Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Carburetor Issues Again
Friday evening Mikhaila drove back home from visiting friends and I got the following text,” I'm almost home. Scarlet is driving weird also so I don't want to be broken down. “ Since we had a 10 AM appointment at Gary’s, I was up early the next morning to see what’s what. I climbed behind the wheel, started Scarlett’s engine, and took her for a quick spin around the neighborhood. While she seemed to idle okay, she was definitely sluggish under acceleration. I felt, however, we could still get her to and from Gary’s, so Mikhaila climbed in and we headed out. We did not even get to the corner before we noticed further power reduction and significant pinging. We limped her back to a parking spot in front of the house and took Glinda to Gary’s instead.
Gary came through on all fronts – door lock retainers AND gaskets, the blower bearing greasing tool, and a bare convertible door to take sideview mirror measurements off of. Once we got back home, we immediately went to work on the car. First, we started Scarlett’s engine and, by pulling spark plug leads, determined the right side of the engine was not functioning. So, I grabbed the proven ’68 carb, swapped it for the bad one, and restarted the engine. It fired right up and idled and revved nicely once the new carb had filled with fuel. I didn’t take the time to balance it since we had other tasks I wanted to get to before running out of time.
We then disconnected the linkage so we could mount the blower bearing greasing tool. I pumped grease into the tool's Zerk fitting, but wasn't sure any was making it into the bearing. After removing the tool, I noticed a gob of grease on top of the shaft, but none around the seal. I tried the process again, but the result was the same. Irr. Giving up, we put everything back together and started the engine. The howl wasn't gone, but it did seem somewhat quieter as we backed the car down the driveway for a successful test-drive.
Since the lovely Loriann returned and parked the awesome Challenger in the driveway, we parked Scarlett at the curb and moved onto the next items on the to-do list. While Mikhaila swapped courtesy light bulbs, I installed the two door locks. The trick was getting the finger of the mechanism into the slot in the latch. Pushing the retainers in place took some tapping on the end of a flathead screwdriver, but they eventually were seated.
Finally, we carefully measured and marked and re-measured the location of the two screws for the side-view mirror retaining plate before drilling the two holes. The plate was installed followed by the barely GUP gasket and attaching the mirror with its Phillips screw finished the job. At that point, it was time to quit for the day.
Monday, Mikhaila took her car out for a drive and came back informing me it wasn’t idling nicely. I believe she used the terms “rumbling” and “rough.” She and I then headed to the curb with a flathead screwdriver, dwellmeter (with tachometer), and the length of clear plastic tubing. The engine was already warmed-up, so I unhooked the throttle linkage to the left carburetor thus isolating the two carbs from each other. Then I hooked both ends of the tubing to the vacuum ports of the carbs and had Mikhaila fire up the engine. Watching the small amount of fluid in the tube, I adjusted the idle speed screws until it the fluid didn’t move. Then I spun the left side linkage until it just lined up with its hole in the carb and secured it into place. Blipping the throttle didn’t cause the fluid to move, so I considered the carbs synchronized. With the engine off, I put the proper vacuum hoses back into place and hooked up the dwellmeter. Mikhaila restarted the engine and put it into Drive, so I could fine-tune the idle speed and mixture. I slowly turned the idle mixture screws in and out until I’d maximized the rpms. Then, I turned each idle speed screw out in equal increments until the engine was turning at a smooth 550 rpm. A spin around the block showed all was operating satisfactorily.
Then, yesterday, she shared with me that things were still not right with the sluggish acceleration. I confirmed the symptoms this morning before I left for work. The car seems to have decent power everywhere other than acceleration from stop. I checked the ATF level and it’s right on. I also pulled plug leads and both sides seem to respond, so I’m thinking there’s still something amiss with the right carb. My plan is to pull the non-modified carb off Glinda and swap it onto Scarlett. Then I’ll deal with carbs on Glinda instead of Scarlett.