When I got home last night I saw 2 things. Jon w/ a bag of burgers waiting for me and lots of dark rain clouds in the sky.
It was time to take Grandma out and try to find out why it ran so terribly last time we used it.
Yesterday at lunchtime I ran home and took off the spark plugs because in some testing at my house I discovered cleaning them made the motor start easier. Stephen and I took the plugs to O’Reily and Advance but neither place carried plugs in stock like what I needed.
So Jon and I tore up the bag of Wendy’s Jr Bacon Cheeseburgers and then hooked up Grandma and drove her down town to the river convergence. She started on the first pull and we launched her. I parked the truck and Jon had killed it but it started up again real easy. We ran the boat a bit and it sounded bad. We were not sure what was going on with it. It sounded like bad gas, the boat was missing and would run hard then slow down and was not consistent at all.
We noticed that as the boat leaned from side to side the motor would run differently. After some testing Jon decided to tie it up and take off the carburetor.
Mine is actually a lot nicer then this motorcycle one but looks to be about the same size and shape. I am guessing that Jon was wondering about the float that is inside of that little bowl at the bottom. The float in that bowl sits on a little pool of gas and controls how much gas gets to the engine. I think that probably if the bowl is full of gas and the float is at the top it slows down how much gas comes in and when the bowl starts to empty of gas the float opens things up and lets more gas in.
(my float is dough nut shaped like this one)
We were surprised to find things inside the carb to be very clean and nice looking. The float could move freely but a small needle that the float pushes against was stuck. The float pushes on the needle when it floats to the top of the bowl and the needle should move down when the float lowers but mine was stuck at the top.
We got the needle loose and cleaned and did some testing and the needle seemed to move freely again most of the time.
Now of course it had started to rain fairly hard right when the boat started having trouble and so we tied up under an overpass in the middle of the river. The rain was blowing hard from the side and there was only a small spot behind the pillar that stayed partially dry. For part of the rainstorm the engine was sitting in the river with its case and carb off letting rain right into the engine.
It stopped raining as Jon put the carb back on and Grandma started right up. It ran a little rough in idle while we were tied to the pillar but sounded like it was getting the water out. It started sounding better and we untied and and cruised on up stream. We puttered for a bit trying out the slower speeds then decided to drop the hammer and give it all she had. (when the boat ran poorly it sounded worse the faster we tried to go). It had started to rain again and Jon flored it.
All 55 of Grandma’s horses woke up and ran balls to the wall. Jon and I squinted into the eyeball piercing rain and the 30 year old motor ran up the river as smooth as it ever has… at least for the last 2 years. We caught sight of a larger bridge and sped up under it for cover.
It was decided that the worn stuck needle was the cause of our initial problems and then the motor just had to work some water out. Then we moved on to the second more confusing problem. The second problem deals with adjustments that alter when the boat goes into Drive, Neutral, and Reverse and how fast the idle is and various transmission stuff. I don’t think anyone understands how it works but two nuts are worked up and down to change things. We had little success and Jon slowly moved the nuts up and down while I changed gears and tried out speeds and idle and neutral until we found an acceptable place. We never got it to go into Reverse and finding neutral is still a little troublesome but the motor was running so good we didn’t care much.
<-Beautiful Kaw River
So now the boat is all ready for the trip. Jon, Derrick and I have been gathering supplies and have a food and shelter plan. Last night Heath and I made a Wall-mart trip and got some string for trot and limb lines and new scary machete.
We found the campsite to have lot of tall grass a few weeks ago on our test trip out and the machete will turn that tall annoying grass into a nice under tent cushion.