A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Desert Sands Garage


It was midnight Monday after all the hoopla from the two idiots fighting when I heard some ruckus around behind us.  This guy had pulled in.  A late model pickup was parked behind him.  All lights were on, doors open and hood was up.  They were working on the RV engine in the darn near freezing cold.  He’d crank away at the starter with the engine struggling to catch hold and run.  I wasn’t upset in fact I was cheering him on.  “Come on...come on...start.”  Finally it did running extremely rough.  
The pickup left.

He left Tuesday for most of the day returning in the late afternoon.
I later learned he had went into town to Autozone, a car parts store. 

It was then I discovered he was Canadian from Quebec.  I wondered how he made it this far.
On a wing and a prayer?
I later learned it ran fine on the way down here.

I went for my walk Wednesday morning after things warmed up.
He was outside, hood up, still working on the motor.  After I made my circuit returning home I saw he was still at it running the extremely rough sounding engine.  I decided to walk on over mainly to satisfy my curiosity as to if he knew what the problem was.

I told him I was his neighbor and he told me he speaks French so his English isn’t all that good.  
“That’s fine, take it slow.”  He did well communicating just fine. 

First thing I noticed was that it was an old setup not something with a lot of computerized electronics and fuel injection. This was old school with a carburetor and distributor.  Now that I might be able to be of some assistance.  To me it sounded as if the air fuel mixture was off causing the rough running and not idling.  I got to looking around.  I am finding rubber lines not connected, split, or leaking.  Vacuum leaks.  Not good.

These two lines going into the base of the carburetor were not connected.  The rubber was so old they had broke off from their slip on connection.  One runs back to the distributor for the vacuum advance.  Not connected the engine was sucking air right in there.  I found another on the backside on the base of the carburetor that was split (sucking air) at the connection.  That line actuated the butterflies on the four barrel carburetor opening them up when you stomp on the gas to pass someone.  He cut off the ragged ends of each hose and we slipped them back into place.  The engine started right up and ran much smoother.

Here he is adjusting the idle.  
 I pointed out a couple other loose lines but we couldn’t figure out where they were to go.  One had been plugged off for some reason.   At any rate he was pleased that it ran much smoother now.  The poor guy had already spent money on replacing the air filter, spark plugs and put in a new fuel pump in a futile attempt to fix the problem when all it was were these unconnected vacuum lines.

I left him to it to go eat lunch and here it is an hour and a half later and he’s still fiddling with the idle while I compose this.  It isn’t dying on him anymore as it was but he’s still trying to get it perfect.  I’d leave it with the idle up a bit rather than trying to get it so low.  There still must be something not hooked up but at least it is a hell of a lot better, running smoothly and idling without sputtering out.
  He’s got a bad exhaust leak at the header on the right side also.   

It’s kind of funny now. He keeps revving it up and waits for it to die on him, but it won’t.
It’s like he cannot believe it.

What is the world going to do when us old farts with all this knowledge die off?

- comment replies -

I didn’t want to keep the Yeti cup.  It’d just remind me of these losers.  
“I wonder what has gone on in their lives to make them live this way?”  
At one point I heard him yell at her “You’re like your mother!”
So you can imagine the girl’s mother being some crack whore.  
The girl had little chance in life, and her mother couldn’t care any less for her than she does.


Anonymous said...


Billy Blue Eyes said...

Look for the simple things first if it gets complicated then you really do have a problem. Trouble is people always think the worst

Barbara Rogers said...

Good to know you know what older engines needed. I'm going to my trusty mechanic this morning to have him look over everything on my car...have owned it 6 months and haven't had a problem, just want to be sure everything is doing well. While he checks it over I asked for an oil change...I've learned in older cars (this is 2008) that clean oil is really important.

Kathe said...

What a GIFT you were to him! I think there is something in the male DNA that simply cannot resist when they see an engine in need. It's almost a ritualistic dance, the leaning over looking in, the side by side conversation. Women have their life dances with each other too. I think it is wonderful.

Debby said...

My husband buys old squarebody trucks. He loves them, and for the self same reasons you describe on your new friend's truck. "There is not one thing that can go wrong on this truck that I can't fix myself!" he tells me.

I think that is why he loves his old squarebody wife to be honest.

John W. Wall said...

That's great that you were able to help that guy with your ancient wisdom!

Most of my life I drove beaters that always needed prodding to run, but back in 2014 I bought the only new car of my life, and I almost never even raise the hood anymore. For one thing, all that computer stuff scares me off. And for another, even nine years later I have never needed any work done other than oil changes and the like.

Sandi said...

Imagine not being able to start your house.

shadowcat410 said...

"What is the world going to do when us old farts with all this knowledge die off?"
Amen to that! I wonder this often as well. This younger generation is screwed, and I thought I was lost! ha.

I think about all the times you helped me and how I would've been a total mess without your expertise. Miss you!!