Saturday, January 12, 2019

Fuel Pump (Near) Failure

I was on a joyride a few days ago.  I hadn't been able to drive Gidget for a few days due to weather, and I was getting antsy.  So, I warmed her up and went up to Lake Pleasant and back.

Well, I got back eventually.

On the way back, I was cruising at a nice 60 when all of a sudden she hiccuped.  Then, she coughed.  Next I knew, I was sputtering and slowing down.  I turned the key and she fired up--then died immediately.

I managed to pull over at a side street and roll back into the street (I was going uphill).  This was at about 8pm and a few miles from home, and I was flipping out a bit.  I feared the worst--some major ignition problem, and an embarrassing call and flatbed home.  Had I gotten over the hill, I probably could have coasted to within a mile of my house.  I wasn't going to push Gidget up hill--she's petite, but not that light!

After a couple of deep breaths, I started troubleshooting.  I didn't need much time.  I turned the key on, and instead of the reassuring 'ku-tunk ku-tunk ku-tunk' of the fuel pump, I heard...silence.

Hmmm.  Maybe I had a bad lead.  So I crawled under the car (no flashlight, though I have one in my kit) and felt around a bit.  The lead was intact.

Out of sheer frustration, I decided to employ the old "if it doesn't work, hit it with something" fix.  The something was my fist.  I gave the pump a few blows and I heard 'ku-tunk' followed by a lot of 'ku-tunks' as the pump filled the float bowls.

Amazed, I got back in the car, fired her up and drove home without incident (but with ample trepidation).

I figure the points got stuck or the mechanism is just worn out.  I had replaced the points--so maybe I messed it up.  I don't really care at this point.  We made it home.

I have a new electronic solid state pump on the way from Merry Olde England.  This pump uses a Hall sensor to detect if the "points" are "closed" and to fire the electromagnet that moves the pump diaphragm.  It's much more reliable and cost me only a few more shekels than an original points pump.  It comes from SU, so it is proper.  (For reference, it is AUF214EP).

So Gidget sits waiting in the garage under her CoverCraft security blanket (car cover) until I get the pump.  When I do, I will also drop the fuel tank and replace the sender gasket that leaks if I fill her up to the top.  I will also bleed the brakes--I changed the brake light switch to improve how quickly the brake lights activate, and there's a little air to get rid of.

As the Man in Black would say, "Sleep well, and dream of large women."

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated and published upon review.