Sunday, November 5, 2017

Steps forward, steps backward

Today is a 'no pictures' post...mainly because I don't have anything interesting to photograph.

Drove the car today for a very short trip - 3 miles in total - because today the car drove like shit.   Everyone piled into the car for a ride to a local park - car ran okay on the way there.  I was able to lock the hatch okay and lock the passenger's side okay but the driver's side was a bit harder.  I did get it to lock but it wasn't easy.  When it came time to leave the park and go home, I had to open the car via the passenger's side and the key turning wasn't easy but it did open.  The driver's side wouldn't open without risking snapping the key off in the lock.  So it seems I've found my next project once I sort out the results of what happened on the drive home.

The car never starts on the first key turn - which I find quite odd given that everything is new, save for the starter that's a few years old but low use.  Anyhow, we got back on the road and about a block from the park, the car seemed to lose quite a bit of power - like it had a clogged jet or we'd lost a spark plug.  Barely crawled up the hill to the stop sign and limped along for 1/2 block until the car just suddenly started running the way it has been - great at WOT, not great at low throttle.

Once we were back home, I started asking around about manual fuel pumps (the later type) so I can test the fuel delivery system.  I'm all but convinced that the pump is pushing too much fuel to the carburetors.  I also texted a local VW friend and through the conversation, he'd confirmed what I suspected - the fuel pump is force feeding the carbs too much fuel.  The garage reeks after each drive, the car is running rich, it's hard to start and the acceleration is nowhere near where it should be for the engine and transmission it's got.

On this very hunch yesterday, I ordered a fuel pressure regulator and gauge - they both arrive on Tuesday.  So, on Wednesday, I'll be installing the regulator and gauge as well as changing the oil.  Maybe by then I'll have that second LED headlight installed so I can aim them.  The first one I installed is almost centered but not quite.  I'd like it to be closer to 'perfect' but I'm willing to let it go for now.

If I do work out the electric fuel pump issues, I'll still carry around a mechanical fuel pump/parts as a spare.  If I don't, well then I guess I'll be using the old school technology again although I kind of like the cleaner look without all of the fuel lines in the engine bay.

It's been so long since I've done any of this work that I find I'm having to learn it all over again...fortunately, I have some great local resources.  I'll get this thing dialed in soon...

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