Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fix It: Rebuilding a carburetor

It's been a rough couple of months and after over a year of picking up the slack for the Formula, the El Camino is starting to show the strain.  It started with the brakes getting a little noisy, then 3 of 4 tires developed sidewall bulges.  From there we had battery, alternator and wiring issues.  Most recently I went on the hunt for the cause of some poor performance issues that led me to a bad vacuum advance unit that was doing little more than providing a huge vacuum leak through a ruptured internal diaphragm.

On the bright side it's provided excellent material for my videos over the past few months...

It was successful completion of that last project that provided the catalyst for the latest round of underhood gymnastics.  While we may have succeeded in restoring additional timing to the engine when it needed it via the new advance unit we uncovered other problems with the ignition system.  Problems that led to ripping it apart down to the spark plugs to chase down a mysterious misfire that was cropping up under part throttle loads.  

Add in a tired carburetor assembled in desperation from the best bits of 2 used examples and things get even more interesting.  When that carburetor stops responding to the input of the go pedal we have to address it.  Issues with the fuel system were also making it harder to diagnosis our mysterious misfire.  If the carb is starving the engine for fuel, it could be causing a lean misfire but now we're straying dangerously close to grasping at straws.  We need a baseline.

Time for a rebuild.

That's the thing about classic cars.  No matter how much money you put into them, the more you drive the more work you have to do.

We want to continue driving and to do that we need to fix what's broke.  We can't if we're trying to herd too many cats.

Once we straighten out the fuel system we'll have a better idea of where our misfire problem is coming from.  It's a process of elimination and honestly something that should have been done a long time ago.

Below is the first of 2 videos documenting the process of rebuilding the Carter AFB carburetor currently living on top of my El Camino's engine. 

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