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Rambler/Carter WCD tuning - running rich/ignition issues?


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Yes it has a tube running to the manifold, it's there and looks intact, it looks like it might be made of brass so no rust. The choke seems to be working ok, I've pulled the lid off the air cleaner after driving and it's opened up. I like how simple the car is too, all they put in was what it needs to go down the road! And it's a unique design for sure.

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AL1630, 

 

I checked and your '63  doesn't have a heat riser valve.  The only thing related to running rich that I would check is the thermal choke line, which carries heat from the exhaust manifold to the choke coil on the  carburetor. With age, the choke line breaks and lets exhaust go straight into the choke coil, which screws everything up.   

 

I see above you've checked the choke position after running the car. How about while the car is running, to see if you're getting exhaust?

 

Ramblers are very simple engines. You should be getting at least 18mpg with yours. This is very puzzling. Could you be developing a head gasket leak? How's your water consumption? Oil in the water?

 

Please keep us informed.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, RansomEli said:

AL1630, 

 

I checked and your '63  doesn't have a heat riser valve.  The only thing related to running rich that I would check is the thermal choke line, which carries heat from the exhaust manifold to the choke coil on the  carburetor. With age, the choke line breaks and lets exhaust go straight into the choke coil, which screws everything up.   

 

I see above you've checked the choke position after running the car. How about while the car is running, to see if you're getting exhaust?

 

Ramblers are very simple engines. You should be getting at least 18mpg with yours. This is very puzzling. Could you be developing a head gasket leak? How's your water consumption? Oil in the water?

 

Please keep us informed.

I've had the manifold off before and the choke line inside it looks alright, no holes that I could see. I know this engine is known for head gasket issues and it did used to leak, water in the oil and all that. Because of that it has a new (1 1/2-2 years old) head gasket and I've made sure to check the head bolt torque regularly. No signs of water in oil, exhaust steam, etc. since. It has been using a little water but I think that was due to a leaking thermostat housing which I just fixed. I'll check on the choke next time I start it up. Based on what I found yesterday I'm starting to think it's an electrical issue combined with short trips.

Edited by AL1630 (see edit history)
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I would suggest that possibly before doing anything else to correct "running rich" and "poor gas mileage" that you try:

 

(1) Start the car, and get the engine to fully operating temperature (maybe 20 minutes?)

(2) Take the car to your favorite station, and top off the fuel tank

(3) Take a road trip of at least 100 miles!!!

(4) Return to the SAME STATION, and the SAME SIDE of the SAME PUMP, and again top off the tank

(5) Figure your gas mileage.

 

I really do not consider 9.8 MPG to be low when the car is driven ONLY on 5 mile trips in town.

 

I personally own 3 carbureted and 2 efi vehicles that will do no better under these conditions, but ALL will beat 20 MPG at 70 MPH.

 

One of these, a 2014 efi, which is normally driven only on 1~4 miles trips in town, will carbon so badly it will almost quit running, and then a 60 mile trip (normally use other vehicles for trips because I don't care for the *&^%$#@ electronic controls on the 2014), will clean everything out, and it will run well again.

 

It is just possible that expectations and reality are different.

 

Jon.

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10 hours ago, carbking said:

I would suggest that possibly before doing anything else to correct "running rich" and "poor gas mileage" that you try:

 

(1) Start the car, and get the engine to fully operating temperature (maybe 20 minutes?)

(2) Take the car to your favorite station, and top off the fuel tank

(3) Take a road trip of at least 100 miles!!!

(4) Return to the SAME STATION, and the SAME SIDE of the SAME PUMP, and again top off the tank

(5) Figure your gas mileage.

 

I really do not consider 9.8 MPG to be low when the car is driven ONLY on 5 mile trips in town.

 

I personally own 3 carbureted and 2 efi vehicles that will do no better under these conditions, but ALL will beat 20 MPG at 70 MPH.

 

One of these, a 2014 efi, which is normally driven only on 1~4 miles trips in town, will carbon so badly it will almost quit running, and then a 60 mile trip (normally use other vehicles for trips because I don't care for the *&^%$#@ electronic controls on the 2014), will clean everything out, and it will run well again.

 

It is just possible that expectations and reality are different.

 

Jon.

Thanks, I'll have to wait a bit for the weather to get nicer to try that out. Like I said earlier I'm pretty new to carbureted and older vehicles in general so I wasn't really sure what to expect out of it. Just thought it seemed a bit low and maybe there were some issues that were contributing. Now to figure out where to road trip it....

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Do like I used to do. Get the car out early, get a Delorme road atlas or other map that has back roads, fill the tank and drive around aimlessly till you have about 1/2 tank, then head home. Find yourself a country store or antique shop to visit while out. 

 

Last time I did that, went thru places in my own county I hadn't seen in 25 or more years and ran into people who had known my forebears.

 

Need to do that again. Took the 1976 Ninety Eight on one of those tours and discovered there were still dirt roads in the county. Kicking up dust with a bigass car on a dirt road will make you realize you aren't as far away from your redneck past as you thought you were.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, rocketraider said:

Do like I used to do. Get the car out early, get a Delorme road atlas or other map that has back roads, fill the tank and drive around aimlessly till you have about 1/2 tank, then head home. Find yourself a country store or antique shop to visit while out. 

 

Last time I did that, went thru places in my own county I hadn't seen in 25 or more years and ran into people who had known my forebears.

 

Need to do that again. Took the 1976 Ninety Eight on one of those tours and discovered there were still dirt roads in the county. Kicking up dust with a bigass car on a dirt road will make you realize you aren't as far away from your redneck past as you thought you were.

I like to go on google maps and check the box that says "avoid highways". It's helped me find plenty of cool places to go around here that can be accessed without touching the interstate. Maybe I'll go down to the sand dunes or something. At some point, I want to drive coast to coast on US 20, which can still be done without any interstate travel if you take some small detours.

3,365 miles to go: Signs in Boston, Newport mark US 20 as nation's longest  road - oregonlive.com

Edited by AL1630 (see edit history)
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I was reading some service bulletin notes from the late 1960s issued by Standard Blue Streak ignition parts, it’s one of those things I do on rainy days. One of the problems they discussed was poor gas mileage on a car that was running reasonably well after getting a new tune up.  
 

Their suggestions was to check the vacuum advance chamber on the distributor to make sure it’s working properly. Apparently a vacuum chamber that is not working as it should will make the car run rich and the gas mileage drops.  Sounded familiar so I’m passing this info on I case you want to investigate it.

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