After the "no-code" conversion, I had to go back to the basics of engine operation, tuning and tuning, getting closer and closer to the combination of good idle, cruising power, and gas mileage I needed.
There were a few snags.
The most aggravating was an intermittant power loss: the engine would idle just fine, but as soon as I added a little gas it would bog down and die. The last time it did that, I was right near that damn cemetary where the car stalled juat weeks before. I had to crawl the car the rest of the way to work--foot off the gas, first gear, for maybe 3 miles. Going uphill was fun. It's a stick. Turns out the ignition timing was way off.
The other Big Snag came 28 days after I got the thing running. Hopped in to go to work...no start.
Gas? Got gas in the tank.
Gas in the carb? Nope.
Fuel pump? Poured a little gas in the carb...started up fine, ran a minute...dead. Crap.
The engineering geniuses who built my car buried the fuel pump behind the lower radiator hose and a Y-shaped exhaust pipe. Oh, and the oil filter. No room to get a wrench on the fuel lines, no room to get my hands in there. Bastards.
Fine...looks like pulling the exhaust Y-pipe out will--SNAP! Crap. Broke one of the bolts, rusted soli--SNAP!! Crap, there went the other one. SNAP! ...and a third, on the back side of the engine.
Pipe's out of the way. Getting it back in...a little more work. Got the fuel pump out and replaced in 30 minutes. But this was about 4 weeks after I got started. In all, it took about 6 weeks (MUCH longer than it really should have, but my lazy ass didn't want to work on the car after work) to get the entire project done--fuel pump swapped, exhaust fasteners all replaced. Key's in the ignition....
Nope. I primed the carb, pouring a few ounces of gas into it...starts right up, runs a minute...dies.
Sounded great while it ran, by the way. But if it's not the fuel pump...I poked at the fuel hoses, which had been replaced in January. One of them seemed loose. When I tried tightening the clamp, gas went from dripping to pouring out. The more I tightened (not being gorilla-armed with it), the worse it got.
Not only was the fuel hose I was working on too big, but both hoses run right under the power steering pump. Pump's leaky. Steering fluid all over the lines, so they're kind of soft and spongy.
Swapped in new hoses. 160 days later, she's still cruising!
Good thing she can't laugh at me. All that work...and all it was was a couple of bucks' worth of hose.
Coming in Part 5: Road Trip!!