Agreed. Frank, looking forward to meeting you next weekend.
Not how I had planned the weekend to go, but I was able to hopefully resolve a few issues, revealed a few problems - without making a pass.
Friday night after work, Tim Curtis came over. We were working through this dead spot issue in the carb when I went to throw the ignition switch, and it didn’t make that firm, reassuring “click” it had always made before. Indeed, it felt like a swizzle stick stuck in an olive submerged in a shot glass of mayonnaise.
I’ve played in bands for years, and have a small mountain of inoperable amps and PA equipment scattered around. Seeing as Tim’s chops are in rebuilding and repairing vintage audio gear, I sent him to work on removing a switch from an old tube type Fender PA head I had stashed under a pile of defunct Macintosh computers.
10 amps – no waiting. So now I’ve got XLR microphone cable ends on my crank trigger and a standby switch from an amplifier installed in a race car. I just wish the car was as easy to tune as a Telecaster.
We tried a few idle mixture adjustments and it was still acting like it had some sort of a vac leak going on – idle, race, idle, die. Propane didn’t reveal anything at the time, it was 10:00 PM, and we were making no headway. I still needed to pack some tools and prep a few things for Saturday. We took all of our adjustments back to the initial settings and called it quits.
Loaded up the trailer Saturday, and Kate and I took off to Great Lakes Dragaway. Stopped at a truck stop and threw the trailer on the scales. It had been nagging me a bit – Wisconsin law says trailers less than 3000 lb’s GVW don’t need plates. It’s a single axle trailer, and I knew the Midget didn’t weigh a lot, but I was pleased when I got the printout showing the whole rig coming in at 2360. The trailer I took to Bonneville last year weighed more than that empty. For interstate travel, it’s at best quasi-legal, but at least I’ve got documentable proof of the weight. Pulls pretty nice, and I still got 18+ mpg round trip, which is about 50% better than what the U-Haul gave me last year.
Got to the track, set up a pit, asked all the newbie questions and got the usual responses - “down under the Sunoco sign”
– “that’s the tree that’s on the map”
–“you don’t race it on the trailer, why would we inspect it on the trailer?”
Passed a tech inspection - “Your seat belts are less than 2 years old" (nodding approval)
– “You can use my pen when that guy’s done with it”.
Cranked it up, took it to the staging lane . . .
. . . and the fire went out.
This is why I came here before dragging it to North Carolina – to work out the bugs. The indicator lights on the ICM are indicating no sensor.
I rolled it back to the pits - and at this point, I’ve just got to add that Kate looks absolutely splendid in the driver’s seat of this thing, being lovingly pushed around the paddock by her doting husband.
I hooked up the laptop, and it’s indicating no ignition issues. I crank it, it starts right up. Okay, I just rebooted a 40 year old car.
But while it’s running, I checked the laptop and noticed that the rev limiter had gone back to a previous default mode. Checked the connections, plug and unplug, reprogram the curve and limiter. Seems that a virtual digital Lucas virus had wormed its way into the RAM chip. A reprogram took care of it, but I hope this doesn’t become a recurring issue.
By this time, it was late into the dial ins, and they announced that the racing was going to start early, because in the words of the PA announcer, and this is over the public address system, “The sooner we can get done, the sooner we can get out of here”.
And I’m thinking this was originally on their schedule as a tune and test day – thanks for taking my money.
I made one more attempt to get it in line, but before I got to staging I could tell I had no throttle response. Most of the folks were making their second passes for a dial in, so I turned out and headed over to the back of the paddock where they conduct their snowmobile drag racing events. I’m on grass, I try a holeshot, and it bogs. This is part of the testing, I paid for the privilege, and while I don’t want to come off as a dick, they can stick to their schedule or re-sod their lawn.
Before I left, I pulled and inspected the plugs – 1 and 4 were blackened up a bit, but 2 and 3 were correct, and possibly a little grey. The intake ports are shared between 1-2, and 3-4. That’s one I need to ponder a bit – why the far ends would read rich on separate runners, while their shared counterparts are okay. Better scavenging on the 2-3 exhaust? I also stuck the Colortune in and saw orange on the #1 cylinder at a fast idle. It was tough to read, so I decided to retry that check in the shade of my garage.
Got home, and saw Graham’s post regarding the bleed back from the accelerator pump. After confirming the part, I removed the “carby” and soldered up the jet.
While the carb was out, I noticed that one of the locking screws that hold the aux venturi in place was loose, and that I could blow air right into the venturi with the screw in place. Propane didn’t catch it, but I did – clearly a vacuum leak.
I’ll be out monkeying with this repaired setup this afternoon. I’m at the point that if I can just get some throttle response, I think I’ll be alright, and I’ll take it to North Carolina. I’ve already paid, we’re going anyway, and with the lighter trailer, it’s not going to kill me on gas.
Keeping the expectations low and looking forward to a fun weekend.