Posted on December 21, 2012 by jason
Since we had some reasonably flat driving ahead, I decided to give the Weber carb conversion another try. I had the manifolds tapped for vacuum at a shop back in Uruguay, so everything was ready. After firing it up, giving it a medical-grade tune up, and adding my modified Kadron spring for feel, we hit the road.
Still. not. good.
I know the left linkage isn’t quite right (wrong spacers) but I saw this setup quite a bit at the Punte del Este show, and it’s identical. I guess the problem is printed right on the manifold. I’ll tweak it some more and give it a few more days before I give a final report.
A short driving day was in order, so we checked out Morro dos Conventos. It’s not in the guidebooks, but was recommended by two people. It sounded perfect.
This place is nice enough – big sand dunes, sand boarding, and a big wide beach. Just locals, except that today the yahoos hit the beach in large numbers. We’re still not sold on driving on the beach. It’s common here, and that’s the major knock against it. The good part is that we can just park and make a home – and not think about all our worldly possessions in the bus while we hit the beach right in front. The problem today was that by late afternoon, it turned into a cruising scene with plenty of jackassery and questionable driving. As Angela said, “too much testosterone – time to go.”
So, we did. Back in the little town, there’s a big campsite with a pool. A nice way to cool off after the humid sandy praia on the other side of the dunes. Tonight, we were the only campers.
Earlier, I had met a guy on the beach seining for tiny clams and he assured me they were good to eat. So, I pulled out my tiny grelha and gave it a try – digging in the sand when the waves came in, and letting it filter the little buggers when the water rushed back out. I managed to get a good-sized pile for a snack. Later, I steamed them with a little olive oil and water until they popped open, then added some lime. Tasty frutos do mar.
Posted on October 31, 2012 by jason
If you’re not interested in hearing about attempting a carburetor swap at a campsite, please skip until tomorrow’s post…
Okay, so our 3.5 year old dual-Kadrons have been slowing disintegrating and it was time to upgrade. A trusted friend (still is) recommended the ‘baby’ ICT dual-Webers, so I bought the kit over the internet when we were back in the US. As mentioned earlier, we barely got them into Argentina, so that probably wasn’t a good omen.
Now that we’ve decided to settle in at Piriopolis for a little bit, I figured it was time to dig in.First, the good news. I checked my compression for the first time since Santiago (not wanting to know) at it was 120-140-110-120. Not sure what’s up with the 140, but I’m otherwise a happy camper.
I pulled out the old Kadrons, moved the coil to behind the fuel pump using the included mount, then attempted to bolt on the manifolds. First problem.
It turns out the manifolds are either designed poorly, or they were cast in an old mold, because it is literally impossible to get a tool on the bolts to tighten them up. I managed to get on 2, wrenching 10 degrees at at time, but that was it. Huge pain in the ass. It was clear that they had cleaned up the casting on a grinder, but the guy doing that job seemed more worried about appearance than the ability to bolt the things on. I attempted to use one of Angela’s nail files to cut it down, but there was just no way.
Day 2, I don’t know the word for ‘file’ (I do now), but I still took the long walk into town to find a ferreteria and bought a flat bastard. This did the job and I figure I had to take over 1 mm of material from each side of both manifolds in order to get a bolt tightened all the way down and still have room for a socket. There’s not much material left. Onward.
I followed the poorly photocopied directions and set the linkage and got everything bolted up, but I just couldn’t find any way to align the left linkage so that it is perfectly centered (photo – suggestions welcomed). There just isn’t any room left on the hex bar to move the arm. The photos in the instructions show a different bar. And, there is no spacer included between the carb and manifold as I might have expected. And, the nut on the throttle arm for each carb was installed stripped. They used the wrong size nut and just torqued it down. All sorts of metal filings were under it when I removed it. I’m not getting any impressions of quality. Onward.
I get to the point of tuning it up and I find that when I set the idle speed low enough on the left carb, there is no more adjustment on the mixture screw. There is room to turn it, but nothing happens. The right one continues to respond fine (I’m using a sync tool to make sure they are pulling air equally). So, I have to tune it and set it at about 1600 rpm in order to use the mixture screw on the left carb. Again, any suggestions welcomed.
Somewhere in here, I realize that my pedal is on the floor with no cable attached, so the spring behind the pedal has been doing nothing (the Kadrons have a hefty spring on them). So, I flipped the spring around behind the pedal, and it at least stands up. When I hooked up the cable, I found out that the tiny springs on the carbs aren’t doing much either. After pushing in the pedal, it barely returns. I see some sort of custom spring solution in my future.
It was finally together enough to drive, but I quickly realized that I had no brakes. It turns out the vacuum lines are only meant for the original dizzy – and even this seem questionable. There are no vacuum connections on the manifold, so I’ve got to find some fittings and a shop to drill and tap some holes for me. I guess I should have known this before I even came back to South America – but I didn’t.
I drove it a bit around town anyway to feel them out. I wasn’t really impressed. They do seem to run smooth, but there seems to be a ‘flat’ spot when you hit the pedal – not much acceleration. Maybe they’re just weaker than the Kadrons that I’m used to. Maybe I just need to play around with tuning some more. Also, I’m guessing – they just don’t make ‘em like they used to.
So, I’m back on the Kadrons until I can spend more time on it.
Overall impression of build quality: poor.
Overall impression of performance: poor.
Overall impression of ability to install at a campsite in Uruguay: poor.
I’m not giving up – I’ll give it another shot. Just not this week.