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Next time you need electrical work done, avoid burned fingers and singed eyebrows by following my lead. Make your wife do it!
That means I actually have to settle down and get married first!
Carburetor Performance Tip
About 50 years ago I was in a garage and heard the old mechanic grumble, "Most of the carb problems are in the distributor." Now I'm the old guy. I've been doing emissions testing here in Denver for the past 25 years, and the same problem occurs about twice a week. A car fails the test because of high HC (hydrocarbons or raw gas). The first thing I do is look to see if the car has a vacuum advance canister on the distributor. If it does, with the engine idling, pull the hose off and see if the engine rpm drops. A decrease in rpm means you had the hose coming from a direct (manifold) source-not good.
Next, cap off where the hose was originally hooked to and find a ported vacuum source to run the vacuum advance. If you can't, just leave everything alone and retest the car. Voila! Now it passes with a significant reduction in HCs, and the damned bog that you've always had when leaving from a stop (no matter how many times you rebuilt or changed the carb) is gone!
I've done over 75,000 E-tests and know this works. You can thank me later. And leave the carb alone!
Wheat Ridge, CO
Keeping The Sanity
I just read your editorial on doing home repairs (Shop Talk, May '09). As I was reading this I was in the middle of fixing the power steering on my '00 SS Camaro. I've handled most of the mods to the car, including headers, an LS6 intake, an N.O.S. nitrous kit, and exhaust. So I decided to tackle swapping the pump out myself.
I got most of the car apart, only to learn I needed a flare wrench to get the pressure line off. The next day I picked up a set and worked through the night to get it buttoned back up. Come to find out my pressure line was leaking at the bottom, too. I'm standing there thinking to myself that this can't be happening. Not to mention my wife is thinking, "Great, this is going to cost even more money."
The great thing is my boss is a good friend of mine and was kind enough to loan me the money to get the line. So there I am, once again underneath the car, ripping it all apart. This time I can't get a wrench on it. This meant removing the alternator, which I hate to admit, because I ended up snapping the bracket! After all that, I discovered that I didn't have the right size flare wrench. Now I have to wait to order an 18mm crow's-foot flare wrench and a new bracket.
I just wanted to say that the editorial helped to calm me down and made me realize that it's only a car and that these little glitches happen to everyone. Thanks for such a great story and magazine!
Port Saint Lucie, FL