It has been a little quiet on the Jeep front lately. I have been busy with the rest of my life and the Jeep has been running great. But I had some time free and it was a cool evening so I decided to clean the convertible top.
One of the little annoying things on the Jeep has been the hood latches. One of them likes to fall off and seems to only do it when I am underneath. This happened again while I was re-installing the brake drums and it pissed me off. The collection of parts that came with the Jeep had new ones so I decided to throw them on. How hard could it be?
At some point someone (probably my father) installed the existing latches with stainless screws. That should at least make disassembly possible. Thanks!
While the screws were stainless the nuts, washers, and latches were not so getting the old latches off took some effort. I cleaned up the stainless screws and found new hardware for everything else.
Then I found that one of the new latches is defective. These two parts are supposed to be riveted together. No rivet.
I painted the screw silver then installed it with Lock-Tite and cut off the rest of the screw. This has to be as good as the rivet would have been.
Sometime in the last few weeks the turn signal switch failed. A very nice diagram I found online shows the circuit. I first noticed that the left rear brake light was not working when I pressed the brakes. So I did some troubleshooting.
The brakes on the Jeepster are a little scary. They work, but the car pulls to one side and shudders when I jump on the brakes hard.
I called National Carburetor and they were helpful. My choices were to either send it back to them or take the top off myself and see what was up. Since I can now remove this carb in about 9 minutes flat I figured that was the better option.
I hit my first problem almost immediately. The base gasket came apart when I pulled the carb off. Hope I have another one.
Yup, no way I am going to be able to reuse this.
I took the top off the carburetor and with my keen knowledge of automotive fuel systems I instantly spotted the problem. Where is the accelerator pump?
Oh, there it is…
This is supposed to be one unit. The plastic bit one right is screwed up somehow and now the metal part no longer snaps in like it should. How will I fix this? Then I had an idea…
This is why I never throw anything away. I still had the center bit of the old accelerator pump. I transferred the blue rubber seal, spring, and keeper from the busted-ass new pump and installed them on the core of the old pump. This looks like it will work.
Here is the pump back in the top of the carburetor.
I even had a new gasket in my bag of tricks. I scraped off the old gasket, cleaned the fuel filter, installed the carb, and it runs like a new one.
I called National Carburetor about the accelerator pump. They were very helpful and offered to send a new pump. About 10 minutes later they called back and said that on this carb they don’t have pump assemblies. They just replace the spring and cup seal on the existing pump. I am not sure if I buy that story but what I have works and a new pump at the auto parts store is about $8 so it is not worth making a huge fuss over. Call me a 90% satisfied customer at this point. I would certainly still recommend them. By the way carburetors just suck. Give me a good computer controlled fuel injection system any day.
Last week driving the Jeepster I realized I could not push the gas pedal to the floor. It would go if I really pushed it but that felt like something could break. Today I took a look and found that the accelerator pump is stuck.
It was a really nice morning and I had some time so I messed with the Jeepster a bit today. I decided to look into the first two bows on the convertible top. As you can see above they are no longer attached to the top. The staples you see poking through are part of the problem. Those are in a folded over flap in the top and are supposed to be firmly held in some sort of soft material in the top of the bow. Obviously that is not happening.
I used the welder in anger for the first time today. This is not really about the Jeepster but since rust repair is about to become my focus it is at least a little interesting. What we are looking at here is the brake band for my 1967 Simplicity lawn tractor. I bought this almost 30 years ago for $50. I then put about $150 in bearings and parts into it and have been mowing and plowing with it ever since.
I filled up the gas tank last week and the weather has gotten hot. The Jeepster has been running worse and worse. I popped the spark plugs out and found this sooty mess. I have been thinking it is running rich and I thing the hot weather and summer blend gas pushed it over the edge. I cleaned all the plugs and replaced them.
I leaned out the choke a few degrees. It still feels like there is a lot of spring pressure on the choke but I need to wait until the engine is cold to mess with it.
I can mess with the idle mixture though. I turned the screws all the way in carefully counting the turns. The left screw was out 3 1/2 turns and the right 3 3/4 turns. Considering the “starting point” is 1 1/2 turns that is a LOT. Don’t know what I was thinking. I got the engine hot and turned the screws in 1/2 turn at a time until the idle started to drop then backed off 1/2 turn. They ended up at around 2 turns out so I was really rich.
I also took a look at the heat riser. Mine turns freely (which is good) and the thermostat spring is intact(also good). But that spring is supposed to be hooked behind the metal pin on the counterweight and I don’t see how. The spring does not want to bend over far enough to hook behind the pin. I am also not totally sure if this is the open or closed position (I think closed). I will make some inquiries but I might have to take this thing off and debug it.
I was tired of wrenching so I spent a little more time and washed the Jeepster. Much crap came out of places like the insides of the fenders. Much water ended up inside the car. But it does at least look a little cleaner and the top is a little whiter. I should have taken pictures but I did not.
The next morning I took another look at the choke. It seemed like I had to turn the choke spring a long way to take pressure off the choke plate. I thought maybe the rebuilder had put the bi-metallic spring in backwards or 180 off so I took it off. It sure looks OK but I will check.
This is the lever the spring pushes on to close the choke. If everything is assembled correctly I would expect the spring to wind up tighter as it warms up.
Lets try it. Here is the bimetallic spring at room temperature.
And after 30 seconds with a hair dryer on it. So everything is assembled correctly, I just had too much tension on the spring. As you can see it does not move far.
I put the spring in the freezer for 15 minutes then put in on such that it just barely pushed the choke closed. Here is where it ended up. You can see the condensation from the chilled thermostat. We will run it this way a little and see how we do.
So it turns out we are not doing that well. Maybe freezing the choke themostat was a stupid idea. I took a look with the engine cold and found the choke was wide open.
I adjusted it to just be closed. It is a hot day so this might be excessive. You can see I turned the thermostat 10 or 15 degrees. Baby steps.