I just had a car come in with fire damage. The problem? The 60 year old brass float had a pin hole leak and the float was full of gasoline. If the float doesn’t float (because it is too heavy), gas keeps coming in and the fuel dumps all over the intake manifold. It only took a spark from bad sparkplug wires to set it off.
Carburetors inherently have issues related to older technology, fuel blends and age related problems. Carbs use a least one float and a needle & seat to regulate how much fuel enters the carbs. The needle closes off the fuel supply when there is enough fuel is the carb. When the float goes low, the needle allows fuel to flow until float is at the proper level. (much like your toilet) LOL.
These needles and float tension are designed for pressures less than 7lbs. Electric pumps easily make that kind of pressure and a fuel pressure regulator may be needed if used with a carb. Another COMMON problem is dirt can get in the needle. IF this happens, fuel will continue to flow & cause problems much like described above. It is important to always have a good fuel filter installed to prevent ANY kind of dirt from reaching the carb.
Even if the sparkplug wires had not set off the chain re-action above, the fuel would have continued to OVERFILL the carb and leak everywhere, possibly the exhaust and creating an even larger fire. It is important to keep all of your fuel hoses, filters, and carbs service in top notch condition.
I want to create a south Florida community garage center for car buffs, mechanics and collectors. IF you have more than a few cars, the issues are the same. Not enough time, no help, not enough space and the list goes on. I know people spending large amounts of money to build a 'man cave' and then, they are missing something. Friends, Specialists, Tools, Lifts, Convienence and so on. If we pool our resources on a common goal, the possibilities are endless.
The basics are:
Fees would be based / sq. ft. usage.
Example: A month storage for 1 vehicle occupying 300 sq ft. (30 x10) , with member access and services could be about $3/ sq ft/ /month.
To be included would be a service to maintain the vehicle in running condition and prep prior to pick up.
Additional services could be provided al la carte.
Anyone interested should contact Rick Rossi firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-699-0252
Overdrive Transmissions - the gears of things.
in the 60's & 70's most of the vehicles had 3 speed automatics or 3 or 4 speed manual transmissions. As the end of that era grew near, manual transmissions were available in 5 or 6 speed configurations while automatics now have 6, 8 or 9 speeds. Why? Fuel Economy! Better torque curve! Lower RPM's at Cruising Speeds! Quieter! Most transmissions today offer some form of overdrive.
Overdrive is when the transmission output shaft is turning faster than the engine crankshaft or less than 1:1 ratio. THe allows for less RPM's at the same cruise speed than without overdrive.If you have an older car with only a 3 speed automatic, or a manual shift with 3 or 4 speeds, you might want to consider some kind of overdrive upgrade in the future.
Depending on your application, some upgrades are relatively simple. Example: a Chevrolet 200R transmission is a 4 speed transmission and is direct replacement for a Turbo 350 trans. Some other conversions require fabrication work. It is best to look at all available options before heading down path. Companies like Gear Vendors make bolt-in over-drive units you can purchase. Usually, this requires a new driveshaft to be made. The fuel economy you get from the upgrade will offset the cost to do the job.
Do you Smoke? It is better if you didn't, but the COLOR of your smoke can tell a lot.Of course I am talking about automobiles! Over the years, manufacturers have improved components we use in our automobiles including lubricants and fluids, but sometimes we still see tell-tale signs of a problem when we see smoke. It is important if you see any kind of smoke, to make a mental note of what it looks like.
Black smoke = Too Rich or Rubber Burning
If the problem is only when the engine is cold and has a carburetor, look for a choke problem. Check your tailpipe. Is it black & sooty? There are many causes of rich. Carbs have needle & seat and fuel expansion issues. Fuel injection relies on sensors that signal the ECM. Vacuum leaks cause an un-balance condition whereby cylinders misfire and ruin sparkplugs. AND then there is the NEW engine setup. Start with a baseline and work from there. A compression test and vacuum readings give you a good idea of general engine health. A BIG side-effect of too rich, too long is; the un-used fuel will end up in your oil. NOT GOOD!
Burning Rubber? Shame on You. It will cost you some new tires soon!
White smoke = Antifreeze or Transmission Fluid
Be careful with this one. Antifreeze in the exhaust is NEVER good. Usually, this is caused by excessive OVERHEATING or a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. Usually, the fumes smell 'sweet'. Don't run the engine in this condition! This is the #1 cause of engine failure.
Another cause of white smoke can be transmission fluid getting into the exhaust. If you have a transmission (Ford or GM) that uses a vaccuum modulator valve, the diaphram can crack and allow transmission fluid to be drawn into the intake system. In severe cases, the clouds of white smoke can be huge. Low transmission fluid is the #1 cause of transmission failure.
Blue / Gray Smoke = Oil burning
This is common with older engines that have many miles on them. Engines from the 60's & 70's typically needed some type of engine work before 100,000 miles. Valve guides and seals went bad, and poorly maintained lubrication systems caused the need for much of this work. Newer engine designs have pushed the mileage barrier closer to 200,000 or more miles. IF your car smokes (blue) all the time, and has that 'oil burning smell', check and make sure you have a PCV system that works properly and that you have provided venting for the oiling system. Spinning parts need to BREATHE. Otherwise, it may be time for some engine work.
This article explains the pros and cons of modern day aftermarket fuel injection systems available for just about any vehicle past or present. In just the past 2 years, the options available have gone from a simple four barrel replacement to dozens of throttle body replacements for almost any type of carburetor. You can find a system that fits your needs at https://www.holley.com/products/fuel_systems/fuel_injection/sniper_efi/. FAST also makes comparable kits.
Why it is better!
No Choke! You don't have to set or engage the choke. You don't 'kick it' off fast idle. You don't need to wait for the engine to warm up a little bit.
No float or 'needle & seat' issues - Carbs have long had known problems with float levels and needle & seat problems. If the inlet needle sticks, it can allow the fuel to overfill the carburetor and then leak fuel all over the hot engine. This is a fire hazard and you could lose your entire investment.
Consistency - The engine starts the same way every time. Hot or Cold, the electronics control the idle speed and monitor the engine parameters so that the adjustments are correct every time.
Fuel Mileage - The electronics monitors and adjusts the air/fuel ratio automatically. The ideal (theoretical) air-fuel ratio, for a complete combustion is around 14.7:1. This ideal ratio changes with elevation and weather conditions which the electronics automatically compensates for using EFI.
What are the cons?
IF you ever had & used a 4 barrel carb before, you will remember that familiar 'kick' when you engaged all 4 barrels. It was fun and it gave you a sense of massive acceleration. With EFI, that doesn't happen. Since the computer is controlling the fuel, it simply adds more fuel & air as the throttle is pressed. It is SMOOTH acceleration. No KICK!
Most likely, the fuel pump & tank will need to be upgraded at the same time. This adds an additional $500 or so to the cost of the upgrade. Fuel injection pumps require a pressure around 40 psi or higher while carbs use pumps in the 5-7 psi range. In addition to this extra pressure, un-used fuel is usually routed back to the fuel tank by means of a return line. This can cause turbulence in the tank which in turn can cause cavitation in the fuel pump supply. To prevent this, EFI tanks have baffles that prevent this from happening.
It is also recommended to use an in tank pump. Cavitation is less likely and the pump operation is much quieter when using in-tank fuel pumps. The good news is, you can find complete tank kits to fit almost any vehicle from Holley or Tank's Inc.
1rst, get the fuel system ready. Install 2 fuel lines, a supply and return line from the tank to the old carb area. This line & connecting hoses MUST be rated for fuel injection purposes. If you are installing a new tank with in-tank pump, install the tank and then install the correct in-line fuel filters.
The EFI KIT is amazing. You need a power wire, and you need to add a 'bung' to the exhaust for an O2 (OXYGEN) sensor and install the temperature sensor. The rest of the sensors (throttle position, IAC (throttle control), Baro, fuel pressure regulator ) are all part of the UNIT (TBI). Bolt the unit on, connect the fuel lines, and the EFI controller will start the AUTO-calibration. That is it!
IF you have additional questions or would like a quote for your vehicle, please text, email or give me a call anytime!
Stay tuned for my article on Ethanol, fuel mixes delivered to the pumps and how it affects your car, plus venting and fuel expansion problems.
Copyright 2019 Rick Rossi / Moparresto You may copy and/or forward this document in it's entirety only.