Archive for May, 2005



Levelling Up in Auto-Mechanics

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

I never really feel like I own a car till I’ve done some half serious work on it, so I’m noting down here, as it’s as good as anywhere, some of the work I’ve done on the Green Tuna in the last 3 weeks. While the kids have been grinding levels in EUO I’ve been grinding “Real Life” (RL) levels on the car. I think I’m about a level 3 now.

Engine stalling after starting, runs like crap, blowing smoke out pipe, smoking under bonnet!
Smoke from under the bonnet - sounds terrible! What a demoralising thing to have happen to your new car. The engine stalling, smoking & running like crap made me panic so I rang the NRMA. NRMA guy says change points and all should be sweet. Also notes that smoking from under bonnet fixable by cleaning or replacing PCV valve, which I do, which indeed stops the engine smoking. I also put in new points. By co-incidence, and not design, the car runs ok for 2 weeks (not that I ran it much), but then the same old nasty happens again: stalls after starting, runs like shit.

One thing the NRMA guy did do was test all my electrials, and apart from points, it was all good (ie coil, spark, etc). The thing the NRMA guy failed to notice (and what I failed to notice properly) was that the carb had flooded petrol all over the manifold on top of the engine. NRMA guy said ‘ you should fix that leak’ but didn’t deduce that that was the cause of all my problems! So 2 weeks after NRMA guy, when she starts playing up again, I open the hood and lo-and-behold: the carb has flooded terribly and petrol is everywhere. I take proper notice this time, and think; carb flooding probably due to sticky needle valve or faulty float.

Check manual: sure enough, correct symptoms. Quickly take top of carb off, remove float and needle valve, clean replace. Float chamber is dirty as. After re-assembling the carb hasn’t flooded but now engine misfiring - I must have stirred up some crap from the float chamber and sent it into the jets. Nothing for it but to take carb off, strip it and clean it properly (or at least remove jets and clean float chamber). Too bad all my tools got stolen with the other car.

Anzac day (april 25): after some shithouse CS:S Maxwell (Allah bless him) invites himself over and brings his 13mm open end spanner, what I need to get carb off. I remove carb and strip and clean it and re-assemble it on loungeroom floor while Adam watches Half Life Done Quick. One hour later, put carb back on and car works perfectly, and has done so all week. Have done about 70 trouble-free miles since cleaning carb. Fingers crossed. Only thing I didn’t like that the carb had a slight petrol leak after replacing - possible one off - all other carbs I’ve had had leaked a little. Definitely no sign of flooding tho! Later in week replaced fuel filter.

Summary: carb needle valve sticking probably due to 30 years of crap in float chamber. Engine misfiring after aforementioned crap gets into jets. Smoke from bonnet fixed by cleaning PCV valve.

High pitched whine in distributor
After replacing the points the dizzy starts making this annoying ass whine that would come and go. Turns out it just needed a bit of oil under the plate that the points are mounted on. I don’t believe in co-incidences but maybe the dizzy squealing from being a bit dry did have nothing to do with the new points, or the way I put them in. At first I thought it might have been faulty points, or that they needed a bit of oil on them (which I also thought was extremely unlikely) or the more likely scenario that the cam that the points ride on needed a bit of grease. Oil inside the diz under the points mounting plate fixed whine completely.

Annoying squeak in dashboard, crappy lock on glovebox
Removed glove box and found the noisy dashboard mounting peg. Applied light oil, squeak gone. Glovebox lock oiled. Glovebox lid not aligned properly, so loosened all mounting screws, aligned lid properly, retighten, lid fixed.

mileage: 67970 (also replaced air filter)

Things left to do

  • change oil & filter
  • replace noisy fan belt
  • change spark plugs
  • check points gap, drop to 0.016″ (the max spec, it’s about 18 thou now)
  • try and fix fuel gauge (which will probably be a slut)
  • fix clock
  • secure centre console
  • strategicly place some stiches in carpet just to tidy it up