Sunday, July 17, 2011

It was pointed out a while back that most of what I've written about is in fact not machinery. Well, we're going to get closer today.

My 76 Dodge B100 Sportsman has been sitting for roughly 3.5 years, having been limped home after the steering box bracket broke a few blocks from home. That was welded earlier this year, and we reasoned that the weld on one side had failed very early on, and stresses from steering had eventually fatigued the metal of the bracket which broke in two on a tight corner.

That being fixed, it was time to set about resolving a coolant leak which had been plaguing me during the final weeks of its use.

Having pulled and flushed the radiator, which was my initial primary suspect for the leak, I set about removing the air-conditioning (which had vented to atmosphere decades ago) and HVAC plenum to gain a bit of room to work.

Naturally, this involved manipulation of the heater plumbing, which was informative. The preceding two frames being a heater feed hose and the heat control valve respectively.

Of course, my assessment of deterioration was as yet incomplete; while re-routing the heater hose to simply jump from inlet to outlet in the water jacket the water pump port snapped in two.

Erosion is evident.

This bolt is my only recourse short of replacing the water pump, which, considering the status of metal parts in the cooling system may be facing replacement anyway. It will have to be replaced if I ever want heat again.

On the up side, having reassembled the cooling system with just the radiator in circuit it would appear as if the radiator was not the source of the leak, as it's held water now for over a week.

At which point trying to get the engine running again came into play. I had started it sufficiently to drive it across the street for welding, after which driveability took a nose dive. The only way to keep the engine running was to pump the gas pedal, which makes for a less than pleasant drive. I reasoned that it was carburetor rebuild time.

Considering the conditions of the float bowl interior, rebuild necessity was a safe bet.

The metering rods and jets carried enough scale to explain why idle and fixed throttle positions were, well, useless.

Here's a better shot of the rods. All the brass cleaned up nicely.

This cleaned up nicely too, the rust was an extension of the accelerator pump inlet valve ball changing from steel to iron oxide.

I don't have any intermediate photographs, as it soon became apparent that the carburetor cleaner was very aggressive toward plastics and I didn't feel like subjecting the camera to even the slightest trace of that. So you'll have to take my word that it cleaned up nicely.

Reassembled Carter BBD prior to installation on the engine. I poured some gas in the bowl, and it fired right up. Only too happy to idle away and burn off material and seepage that has accrued over the intervening 3.5 years.

If this thing is going to remain running in the long term, I will have to sort out some fuel conversion for it, gasoline is an ailing industry.


krivx said...

This is just great. I've taken an attitude of just amassing parts and projects of late, this has me fired up enough to do some mixer mods I've put off for a long time.

crochambeau said...

Do it! Far easier to just keep stacking shit on that pile, critical mass sneaks up. I'm wholly ready to dig into the Ramsa, but automotive and other things have been playing obstacle.

valis said...

Nicely done! I feel like I could of saved you a lot of breath the other night if I'd just checked your blog recently! Very interesting projects as usual.