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emanistan

I call her Serendipity

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It's been another busy 2 weeks with the green Datsun.  As I write, it’s Sunday, which should be a wrench-turning day, but most of the next few things I need to do will need to wait till the next payday when I can get more tools.  

 

I had two main goals last week, one of which I accomplished, and the other, not quite. It's funny how in the world of automotive work, there are jobs with a reputation for being very hard which turn out to be fairly easy, and then there are jobs which are supposed to be easy, but turn out to be anything but. My two goals for last week were to remove the gas tank and the carburetor, and to get started refurbishing them both.  The gas tank, which I thought would be a huge and dangerous ordeal, turned out to be fairly straightforward:

 

And she's out!:

 

24018429218_da237f5e59.jpg20171021_134324 by emanistan37840063032_08a1d81271.jpg20171021_134302 by emanistan

 

The carburetor, which has a reputation for being a cinch, was—and continues to be—a different story.  Of course the B210 and the shop manuals written for it date from a time before the notion of user-friendly instructions with lots of good graphics became the norm, in fact the phrase "user-friendly" probably wasn't even coined yet when the last B210 rolled off the Zama assembly line, or at least if it was, it hadn't yet made it out of the jargon of the computer nerd subculture.  The first step in removing the carburetor, according to the manual, after disconnecting the battery, was to remove the air-cleaner body.  Fortunately I knew what that was, and though it took a while to remove and label all the hoses and find the points of attachment for the body itself, I did it, and here are the jets of the carburetor seeing the first daylight since 2003:

 

37840066382_6d1a9ed1c5.jpg20171021_181316 by emanistan

 

The next step though, was to "remove the accelerator linkage and hoses" from the carburetor.  Where the hell is the accelerator linkage, and how do I remove it?  and which hoses, since some of them clearly run from one part of the carb assembly to another, and others are part of adjacent structures very close to, but not part of the carburetor.  I think I figured out where the things that need removing are, but I still can’t figure out how to remove the linkage, and even once I figure that out, there’s the really big problem: the four nuts holding the carburetor body to the manifold.  These would have been hard enough to work with when the car was new, but as becomes clearer every day, the engine bay of this particular B210 is hardly virgin territory, and the last people who worked on it managed to mangle the nuts to the point where the corners are all either rounded off or spurred out.

 

Perhaps, I thought, I could just dismantle the thing from the top down, but of course it’s a nightmare of hidden fasteners and adjustment screws that look like fasteners, and my attempts in this direction have only made a bigger mess:

 

38018002501_a784dd7a81_n.jpg20171028_181204 by emanistan, 38018001491_035e971150_n.jpg20171028_181211 by emanistan, on Flickr

 

For other stubborn parts like this, I’d break out the old cut-off wheels and chop the mo-fo off, but when the mo-fo in question is essentially a box full of gasoline, that probably isn’t the greatest idea. The carburetor prompted me to put out my first real distress call on this forum this morning, and from the replies I’ve seen so far, it looks as if there’s no easy trick to it. I will need to experiment with some new tools, and even when I find the right one, it will still be a difficult job.

 

This is the first part of this project to really depress and discourage me. Profanity is a time-honored part of auto maintenance, but it takes on a more serious tone whenever I get near that damned carburetor.  With every other problem I’ve encountered so far, it just feels like a challenge, but this really worries me.  It will be a happy day when that P.O.S. finally comes off the manifold.  What will happen with it next I don’t yet know:  will I try to rebuild it or just replace it with a new one?  Either way, this one needs to come out.

 

With the carburetor project at a temporary standstill, the rest of last weekend was about getting started with refurbishing the tank.  You might say that a third goal this weekend was to look into changing the fuel pump.  If it wasn't obvious already that I was a noob, I had been thinking all this time that I would find the fuel pump inside the tank: wrong! That’s where it is on later cars with electronic pumps.  It took me a while to figure out where the pump is on my car, but eventually I found it. 

 

What I did find inside the tank was the sending unit:

 

24018431868_544909f73e_n.jpg20171022_131417 by emanistan,

 

At first it looked okay, just coated with pale yellow crust which could be cleaned off, but on closer inspection, I think a replacement is in order.  The float is crumbling away:

 

37840064432_98c86ac828_n.jpg20171022_131426 by emanistan, (which end do you think was exposed to air?)

 

and even if it’s still buoyant, having a regular source of plastic flakes in my tank is probably not good, and the copper electrical contacts are all corroded as well.

 

After cussing at the carburetor a while and hunting down the fuel pump, I decided to end the weekend with a nice afternoon out on the deck shaking chains around in my gas tank.

 

24018430578_73e3e615bc_n.jpg20171022_150656 by emanistan,

 

I’ve seen dirtier tanks on youtube videos, but still, the chains I used started out new and shiny from the hardware store, and this is how they came out after 5-10 minutes of shaking:

 

37840062152_13df82aa76_n.jpg20171022_150902 by emanistan

 

I think the next step will be to use electrolysis to thoroughly clean the inside of the tank (I use electrolysis all the time on small things, but this will be my first really big project,) stop the flash rust with POR 15 metal prep, and then coat it with POR 15 tank sealer.  POR 15 products are not cheap, so this process won’t start until I have a paycheck or two under my belt.

 

During my lunch breaks this past week, and for much of yesterday, I cussed at the carburetor some more, but it depressed me so much that I decided to move on to the fuel pump.  This came off easily:

 

37987413992_08cd095f72_n.jpg20171028_181112 by emanistan,  26242724499_cbcd89f8bd_n.jpg20171028_181301 by emanistan

 

I hope the new pump I got fits and does the job.  It looks very different, but I know there are all kinds of fuel pumps that work on this car.  It looks as if the old one I removed was also an after-market unit. 

 

37987408722_7f96e8960b_n.jpg20171028_181349 by emanistan,

 

The new pump was cheap, so if it was the wrong type, it won’t be a particularly expensive mistake; on the other hand, car restoration is one hobby that really makes you come to appreciate the old maxim that ‘it’s the little things that add up’-and boy, do they add up!

 

I’m thinking of trying to remove the fuel lines today. Folks who are patient enough to read through my earlier posts may recall my mention of some damaged hard-lines under the car that I thought “had something to do with the cooling system.”  These are the fuel and brake lines.  Regardless of how bad the forklift damage to the lines may or may not be, I want to replace these, if for no other reason than to start out with every link in the fuel system clean of 14-year-old gas.  Problem is, the fuel lines are connected to the brake lines, so before I break out the ratchets and climb underneath the car, I need to do my first research on the brake system in order to avoid damaging it or flooding my garage with brake fluid, so that’s what’s in store.

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On your fuel lines and brake lines.....They may be held in place with some bendable metal tabs (my 1200 is like that) or it may be brackets with rubber insulators holding them in place.  If you are planning on replacing the hard fuel lines you will need to buy a tube bender(if you haven't already).

As far as replacing them, why not clean them?  A good shot of brake cleaner and some compressed air (make sure nobody is at the other end when spraying), and see what comes out.  Just my redneck idea.  Automotive restoration is also about "how can I do this with out spending too much money and it still be good".

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On your fuel lines and brake lines.....They may be held in place with some bendable metal tabs (my 1200 is like that) or it may be brackets with rubber insulators holding them in place.  If you are planning on replacing the hard fuel lines you will need to buy a tube bender(if you haven't already).

As far as replacing them, why not clean them?  A good shot of brake cleaner and some compressed air (make sure nobody is at the other end when spraying), and see what comes out.  Just my redneck idea.  Automotive restoration is also about "how can I do this with out spending too much money and it still be good".

Your redneck idea has merit, and I'm thinking about it.  On the other hand, there's also something to be said for replacing everything while I have the car apart so as to avoid having to take it apart again, and then there's the visible kinks in the lines:  even if they're okay, might the inspectors hesitate to give me the okay to get the car back on the road if they see them?  So I'm weighing the possibilities.

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