I mentioned in my last post that the carb on my olestationbus cr*pped out on this olelongrooffan on the Wednesday before the Turkey Rod Run.
Well, at Happy Hour on Wednesday nite, after thejeepjunkie did an excellent job of nursing my olestationbus the five blocks to get it back to the Taj Mahal, he told me to take apart the carb and clean it thoroughly.
So, Thanksgiving morning after checking my email and speaking with my daughter,
I headed out to the olestationbus and pulled that carb.
I took it apart and sprayed a whole can of carb cleaner all over that ancient, one barrel carb. I reassembled it and replaced it on top of that massive 170 cubic inch FOMOCO straight six.
I head around to the driver's seat in anticipation of cranking it right up.
I am bummed out and call thejeepjunkie. We are both bummed and then he tells me to head on over to the Kid's house for a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner.
And I did.
After that delicious meal, thejeepjunkie commenced to putting up thesungoddess's Christmas lights and this olelongrooffan did a quick blog post.
I then commenced to taking all the little plastic clips off those lights as thejeepjunkie did not want to afix those lights to the new roof on the Kid's house.
After that project was completed, thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan head over to the Taj Mahal and thejeepjunkie started tearing apart my old Ford C-3 carb.
While I fetched him cold pops and generally stayed out of the way.
Well, Counters, thejeepjunkie, who in the summer of '08 took apart a carb off a 1946 CJ2A up in the Ozark Mountains for my brother, the Bus, and got that ole thing to working, much to the surprise of the Bus and his PrvtRN, but not to this olelongrooffan.
Anyway, thejeepjunkie could not figure it out and was extremely perplexed.
On Saturday, while this olelongrooffan was out at the Daytona International Speedway attending that massive swap meet that is an intregal part of the Turkey Rod Run, thejeepjunkie and a coworker of his, Uncle Tom, an old school mechanic stopped by the Taj Mahal so Uncle Tom could get a first hand look at it.
Neither of them were able to get it fixed and all of us were a bit worried about this and the possibility the internals on that 170 were shot.
The only thing we didn't replace was the power valve, although on this particular model of carb, it is really a spark advance.
Yes, it had to happen the weekend of the Rod Run!! Total Bummer!
Anyway, after meeting with Manuel Labor on Monday, I decided to take the initiative and head over to my favorite parts friends for some free advice. When I explained the symptoms to them, the consensus was the diaphram in the power valve was shot allowing way to much air into the carb.
Glenn called Daytona Auto Parts, which is actually in New Smyrna Beach, and inquired if they had one. The response was positive, want me to send one your way?
Glenn's response, "No, I am fairly certain the longroof will come down and get one.
So I drive the 45 minutes down to Daytona Auto Parts, the top down on my oleragtop on the First day of December!! Oh Yeah!!
Now, let me attempt to describe this place. It is relatively non-descript building out in the industrial park adjacent to the airport they have down that way.
Inside are boxes piled on top of boxes and, literally, piles of carburators, and bins and bins full of miniscule parts.
Well, Counters, it turns out this is a World Famous carburator rebuilding shop. The only ads they do are in Hemmings and Old Cars Monthly and they are backed up for months!! I am not taking about regular carburators, I am talking about ones off a Hupmobile, 41 Cadillac, 57 Chevys undergoing $100,000 restorations. Cool Old Stuff.
So I mentioned to the owner, Ron, that I was after a power valve and he corrected me by stating what it actually is and that is not my problem as those things are bulletproof.
Well, I am now worried about the internals of the olestationbus's 170 and I told him the symptoms and ask him his opinion?
He heads out of that diecast and old shop manual filled office back to a workstation.
And of course, this olelongrooffan follows him.
He then goes into another room and returns with his son, Tim. I then explain to Tim my problem and that we had done a complete rebuild on it.
Tim grabs a trusty flathead and starts tearing apart that old Motorcraft 1100. He gets it apart and gives it a complete cleaning and, after consulting a decades old parts schematic he pulled from one of many similarly stuffed file folders, adds some missing bits and pieces and reassembles that ole 1100.
He then picks it up and says to this olelongrooffan, "Want to test it?" You bet.
So heads into another area of that stuffed old building, walking around many vintage motorcycles and walks up to a 1950's era Diamond T motor and installs my puny carburator on that massive machine and turns it over.
Well, Counters, you can imagine my disappointment and surprise when it doesn't fire right up.
Tim was baffled as well.
He mentions there might be something blocking one of the vents and it was so small he was unable to get it out.
Well by now, we have been working on that carb for nearly an hour and still no success in its repair.
I ask Tim my options. He mentions that usually a rebuild costs around $245 and a mere "dip" in some acidic solution is about 1/2 that, and that will definitely get out whatever is in there.
Well, I mention to him that I am on a limited budget and I'll just have to wait for another time.
By this time, the challenge and intrigue Tim was up against made him want to fix it.
He removed the top half of that carb and headed back to his work station and started stripping parts off of it in order to see what he missed.
He then heads off to the room from which he had arrived and returned a few minutes later.
In the meantime, I am checking out old school parts catalogs, remember them from the auto parts stores back in the day? I also saw a soon to be rebuilt carburator promised to someone in Kentucky by November 13th and TimtheCarbdude is working on mine.
He later told me he was the first customer he had seen in person in three months!! All mail order business.
Well, he returns with what looks to be a new top half of that old C-3 and starts reassembling it.
It turns out he had dipped it after all.
By now, dollar signs are rolling past my eyes. Nearly two hours in, a dip, and still not done.
Tim gets up and heads back to the old Diamond T, stops 1/2 way, turns around and heads back to his workbench. He picks up a punch and removes a grommet and looks inside the chamber.
"Holy Cr*p" was his response at what he had seen. "In the 16 years I have been doing this, I have never seen this."
Well nothing looked abnormal to me and he explained what it was.
Apparently a sleeve had "fallen" causing a ball bearing to press against the main jet and blocking it. As this is a one barrel carburator, blocking the main jet is a real problem.
He fixes that situation and we head out to the Diamond T. Tim installs that mini carburator and that 60 year old motor fires right up!!
I don't know who had the bigger sh*teating grin. Tim or me.
Now it is inside to speak to Ron about the financial aspect of this transaction. Tim tells Ron what was wrong and Ron mentions it has been over 20 years since he had seen that, and only once. I mention that I don't like to be the first one this century to have a mystery like this.
Ron asked "How are you going to pay for this?"
Well, I have $50 cash and a debit card.
That'll be 50 bucks.
I shake his hand and turned to Tim and expressed my gratitude. He said thanks for the education, I am going to check that from now on on every carb I work on.
So I beat it back up US1 to the Taj Mahal, install that shiny new carb in the olestationbus and that 170 fired right up and I got to take it for a spin for the first time in nearly a week.
And it is having met people like these who help me solve a mystery, take pride in their work, and are generally good folk, that lets me