Friday, September 19, 2008


I know I'm the eternal optimist, but sometimes I take it way too far.

Like the last post here about Olivia's wonderful fuel consumption. I've been down that road before, and should have known better. The chick is a serious heavy drinker and no amount of rehab is going to cure that it seems!

The wonderful fuel consumption led to a sudden dying - yup, tank empty, fuel gauge sticking. And then it happened again, when we thought we had a quarter tank. Fortunately it was just outside the gate and my very strong Favourite Man pushed all 2 tons of Landy (and extra one ton of chick in driver's seat) through the gate and into the parking lot.

Thus it was that we started to travel with R50 of petrol in a jerrycan behind the seat.

Last weekend it was time to attack the carb again, so I hauled it out, sorted out any gasket renewals, checked float levels and o-rings, put it back in - and then the beast refused to start. All day. Meantime Favourite Man had been fiddling in the dash with wiring, fixing stuff there and rewiring the heater to the back battery, then tackling the distributor to check points gaps. When Olivia got snarky about starting, both of us dived in to check our work!

Unfortunately it ended up to be my fault - I'd over-filled the dash pot and there was too much pressure for the moving parts of the carb to lift and let fuel in. Once fixed, she started right away.

But the thing with carbs is that once they're out, then in - they need tuning. And after a week of fiddling with mix and idle speed I suspect I still don't have it right. First she was running so rich that I used up R140 worth of fuel to go 50km. And ran out as she went up the last steep hill (see "always carry jerrycan with R50 worth behind driver's seat"). Then the mix was so weak she had no power. But the fuel consumption was better. So I set it richer again. And then decided it was too rich - set it down, and she wouldn't start.

Eish. Eish indeed.

Fortunately it appears Favourite Man may have found an Expert who knows about such things. We're trying to organize a meet-up so that, once and for all, I learn how to work with the Zenith Stromberg carb. And get Olivia running spot-on.

Before I have to threaten her with a heart transplant again...

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