A successful Test Drive.
Patti and I took the van for a test drive to see if the solenoid solved the gas smell and hard hot starting problem.
We drove up the freeway to Geyserville where we got on Litton Springs Road and drove to Dry Creek Road where we turned west on Dry Creek and followed it to Lambert Bridge Rd where we turned left and followed that to West Dry Creek where we turned right and followed that road to Yocum Bridge Road and followed that back to Dry Creek Road where we headed back to Healdsburg. We stopped for lunch at the Bear Republic Pub.
By the time we got there the engine in the van was nice and hot.
I shut it off and we went in to the Pub for lunch. After about 45 minutes we came back out to the van. When we got there the first thing I noticed was there was no gas smell.
The van started ok but stumbled a couple times as we left the parking lot.
We got on 101 without any problem but as we drove along I found that the van had a hard time accelerating; it would stumble and run real rough. It would even back fire.
We took the first Santa Rosa exit off 101 and made it all the way to Mendocino Ave when the van started really acting up. I took the first right off of Mendocino Ave. and as I made the turn the engine died all together.
I opened the engine compartment and could see that the solenoid had come loose from the mount. I touched the solenoid and it was so hot I had to rapidly pull my finger away.
I wasn’t very well prepared for this test as I had forgotten to bring any tools (dumb).
I decided that the best thing to do was to just by pass the solenoid so we could get home.
But how to do this without tools or parts? I looked around in the van and came up with a ball point pen. I took the pen apart so I could use the body of the pen for a tube to connect the gas lines together. Now I needed some tools. I looked in the kitchen box and found a butter knife and a steak knife. Everything was too hot to touch so I used the steak knife to cut the tubing. I inserted the pen body into the tubing and used the butter knife to tighten the clamps.
That got us home.
You may think it a bit od that I call this a successful test drive since the van crapped out and we had to fix it to get home but a test drive is supposed to bring to light any deficiencies in the design of the modification. It worked out that the mounting system that I originally used was in insufficient to hold the solenoid and since I used the screw that was holding down the solenoid as the grounding screw for coil on the solenoid. When it came loose, it intermittently lost the coil circuit and the solenoid would open and close as it bounced around on the loose screw. That’s why the engine was cutting out.
A smog test.
This was a typical Monday, it seemed that everything I tried to do went sideways. I decided that I wasn’t going to work on anything important today.
I took the jeep to get a smog test and remarkably it passed!
A New Mount.
I tackled the solenoid mount today.
The original mount was just one screw that held a plate the solenoid was mounted on to the intake manifold.
In the above photo you can see the screw that held down the solenoid and you can see the ground connection also.
Another of the problems with this approach is that the solenoid gets extremely hot sitting directly on the manifold.
Also, where the solenoid is sitting necessitates using a fairly long piece of tubing to run between the solenoid and the carburetor. This could possibly cause excess fuel to be forced into the carb due to heat and pressure in the tubing.
You can see the tubing in the above photo also.
A new design.
The answer is a completely new design . This time I built a mount that clamps to the Manifold and holds the solenoid away from the manifold’s heat.
Here it is.
This design also allows the output of the solenoid to be right next to the input to the carburetor and can be connected with just a short piece of tubing more or less a flex connection.
Here is the solenoid installed. I will need to pick up a few hose clamps to finish the job. I’ll do that today.
Okay that’s it for now.
We are still waiting for our RV to get out of the shop so we can start getting ready to leave for Arizona.