I currently own 7 cars/trucks, when it comes to maintaining that many vehicles it can be a daunting task. Every month or so myself and my kids start each of my vehicles, bring them to operating temperature, move them around and do a basic systems check to make sure everything is functioning as it should (or at least nothing new has broken!). It's a fun family project that also happens to serve a purpose and my boys and I really enjoy it. During this months vehicle starting extravaganza my 1972 Ford F250 (FE, 4spd manual, 4x4, regular cab, long bed) didn't want to fire up for me, then when it finally did it didn't want to stay running. Initially I was blaming it on the cold weather. It was time to pop the hood.
Yikes, this engine compartment has seen better days.
Let's get this lid out of the way and see what's going on.
That thing DEFINITELY needs some attention in the not too distant future!
Oh boy, things aren't looking any better on the inside either.
That looks like the original 2 barrel Motorcraft carburetor and it doesn't look like it's ever been cleaned!
With a clear view of the carburetor I told my son "go ahead and crank it over", he cranked and cranked on it but nothing. I could smell gas in the air and I figured he'd probably flooded it (he was trying to pump the gas pedal too). I had the boys scoot over to give dad a try, after a couple of cranks and some fancy footwork on the gas pedal VROOM she fired right up....and that was the problem! FIRE DAD!! THERE'S A FIRE!! hollered my oldest boy. "OH SHIT" I thought to myself as I sprang from the drivers seat to the underhood compartment to see what was the matter. I'd killed the ignition on my way out the door and just as my head was getting into the engine compartment I saw the last little peter of a tiny flame coming from inside the carburetor, I watched for a second and just as I'd hoped it went out on its own.
After verifying about 100 times that the fire was in fact completely out I decided it was time for a closer inspection to see what the hell was going on with this filthy little 2 barrel. It didn't take long to realize that I had just been REALLY lucky! This bastard 1/2 of a real carburetor was pissing gas all over my intake manifold!! Have a close look.
I followed the trail left by this little wanna be pyro and look what I found, puddles of fresh gasoline just waiting to be ignited so it could burn my project to the ground. What a dick.
At this point the solution was clear, this thing was coming off for a rebuild.
Once you've got a wrench in your hand it doesn't take long to get these babies disconnected and pulled.
Anytime I'm working with a carburetor I like to use one of these heavy plastic oil change tubs, there's plenty of room for the carb and whatever tools you need and whatever gas is left inside is kept nicely in the tub. They work really well for the rebuild process as well. here's a link:
It's REALLY important that you plug the holes after you remove a carburetor, a clean rag or some shop cloths will do the trick, just shove em in the hole (pun intended).
You'll have a bunch of open holes that'll need to be stuffed; fuel lines, intake ports, and various other lines. Don't half ass it or that tiny bit of dirt that "might" get in the engine WILL get in the engine and cause you problems later down the road.
In case you were wondering if I really use Interstate and Optima batteries in my own shit (from the last blog post on batteries), yes I do and that baby is no spring chicken but it cranks over EVERY SINGLE TIME no matter what!
Finally on the table! Look at how handy these little tubs are, the oil filter "drain" post works perfectly to prop your carb on.
And so it begins....
Anytime I'm rebuilding a carburetor (especially one I haven't previously rebuilt) I like to lay white paper towels out on the table to help me see the small parts during cleaning and reassembly. It's VERY important that you keep everything in order as you disassemble the carb, I lay everything out from outside to inside that way when I'm ready to reassemble I can find everything and put it back in the correct order.
Once the lid is off you remove the gasket and get into the good stuff!
Just look at how filthy that thing is! It's not really causing any problems but it's definitely hurting my ego.
Once again the oil pan comes to the rescue! See that Chem-Dip in the background? From what I can deduce it's basically the same shit they used as "Dip" in the movie "Who Framed Rodger Rabbit". It does however work really well for cleaning crap off of your carb, assuming of coarse that you've got an oil pan like mine to dump it into because lord knows your carb WILL NOT fit into the damn can!
It's starting to come clean!
After LOTS of scrubbing and soaking we're finally ready for a coat of paint. I thought about a sparkly purple with large gold flakes and lime green pin stripes like you might see on Pimp My Ride but in the end I decided to take a different path, it's just a 2 barrel afterall.
A quick tape job and she's ready for a new dress.
Then came the rattle can express. Btw the "Carburetor Paint" that "resists fuel" you get at the parts store is total shit, this is just engine enamel and it works EXCELLENT! The "Carb Paint" comes right off when it comes in contact with gas, you can buy it if you like but I assure you that you'll be unhappy with the results.
Semi-Gloss Black for the top
"Stainless Steel" wheel paint for the base. Kinda looks like cast aluminum to me.
All buttoned up. Completely cleaned, painted, rebuilt and reinstalled! Yes I cleaned up the leaves after the photo was taken.
We'll just hide that right back under this crappy looking air cleaner, it'll be our little secret.
For those of you wondering if I've lost my mind rebuilding a 2 barrel carb instead of just throwing it away I can assure you that I have a plan! The motor is a Ford FE, I've got an aluminum 4 barrel intake manifold, a holley 600 with every bell and whistle you can stuff in it, and some modified heads that will eventually find their way onto a FRESH version of this motor with a little hotter cam. But for the time being she just needs to run and not light on fire so I can move her around the yard. You thought I was a 2 barrel guy......pssshhhh you don't know me very well.
Thank you for reading this weeks blog post.
Clint J. Grover