Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh... DUH.

So like, I found the flooding problem.

And all I can say is "DUH".

Earlier on Wednesday I stopped off and picked up a half dozen "shims" from the MG supplier to try and fix this persistent flooding issue on my EvilBay sourced S.U. carbs. He didn't actually have any shims in stock, but he found some float needle gaskets we thought might work that he gave me for gratis, free.

When I got home I took the front float chamber lid off to do some tweaking and noticed the fuel level in the float chamber was a little low. Heck, with all that geyser action on Tuesday I expected it to be completely full of gas! This also struck me as odd... which usually means I am overlooking something.

I started to remove the fuel and breather lines to make monkeying with things easier, and it dawned on me that I had not yet installed the "Y" fitting that connects the breather to the charcoal canister. Which meant the breathers for both carbs were tied to each other instead of atmosphere.

"AHA!" I yelled to myself. Shortly followed by "You big dumbass."

In effect I had created a big fuel system "loop" that gave the air trapped inside the carbs no place to vent and ensured the floats would never close. I cut the line to insert a "Y" fitting and tried it again.

The fuel pump clicked and filled the carbs, then settled down and waited. Beautiful. Everything is finally back to normal. Perhaps my fuel flooding issues are behind me now.

On a positive note, I think I inadvertently pressure tested the entire fuel system. The only holes in the entire fuel system seem to be the gas cap and the main jets.

So for big moment #2, I jimmied the choke on with a pair of vice grips and prepared to start the car again. I held my breath, turned the key, and ZROOM! the car started right up!!!

YEE-HAA! WHAA-HOO!! It kept running, and kept running some more!

"What's wrong?" I heard my ready-to-dial-911-spouse call out the window.

Nothing! It works! It actually works!

"Okay, just be careful out there, promise?" she replied.

Yeah yeah yeah... "Sorry, can't hear you" I mimed as I pointed at my ears then went right back to playing with the engine.

I tried not to get TOO excited though. This is when all the little things you did wrong tend to crop up and make themselves known. I watched that little 1800cc motor like a father watches his kid, looking for signs of distress or impending doom. But there were no leaks, no fire, no mysterious puddles of black dino-juice oozing down the driveway.

Holy cow... We have officially crossed the point from where "it ran", to "it runs".

Because my neighbors had not gotten home yet, I took advantage of the opportunity and let the car warm up and idle for about a half hour to observe the temp and make sure the oil pressure stays above 0. Low and behold, not only did we have good oil pressure, the car eventually quit smoking!

I eventually shut it down and let it cool, then took a few moments to install what I have come to call my "Facesaver".

This little contraption is what makes working on a late model MGB just mildly frustrating, instead of outright deadly.

These late versions of the MGB have a stupid electric fan switch in the radiator that likes to pop out and scald your face with 180 deg coolant every time you go under the hood, especially if you are on your way to a show like the Palo Alto British Car Meet, and it's several days before your Anniversary cruise to Alaska.

It's no fun to be sitting at a formal dinner on some ship in pain with the skin of your nose falling off. People don't say anything, but you know they are wondering...

(Sidenote: I went home and took some advil, got a washcloth and a handful of ice cubes to cool the burn and drove the car back to Palo Alto out of spite and determination. We caught the last 45 min of the show as I ran around taking photos and holding a cold rag to my head. Terribly-worried-spouse kept insisting I go to the emergency room, but it really did not seem that bad. That is until she made me look at my face in a Triumph mirror, and I saw the skin was falling off my nose. Ah well, skins gone, too late now. But no WONDER people won't talk to me.)

As a result of all this I created this "facesaver" safety fix involving some crap I had laying around the shop like some safety wire and a flatwasher, and it works beautifully. Tonight I installed said contraption on our race car so that our pretty mugs will all stay safe come raceday.

The large washer goes over the temp switch, and the safety wire runs a loop behind the washer, through the radiator and again looping around the switch before twisting the ends together to tension and secure the mess. Simple. And since then I have seen others who had the same idea.

There is a clip available that was supposed to rectify the design flaw, but it does not always fit every car, and was designed by the same people that put that switch there, and also tried to kill us yanks with that Zenith Stromberg "Firepot" sitting right above the catalytic converter...

I'll go with the safety wire thank you.

(Kitty still here)

Next: So, I picked up my RV from the speed shop...

Previous: The Great Flood...

From the beginning of this mess: The Hook... (Part 1)


  1. another great post! If you need anything at Reno, come find us at Free Range Racing :)

  2. Shall do! I'll stop by and say hi between electrical fires!