After my adventures with the electric fuel
pump during the
Tour Nebraska I thought I had all of my fuel problems
solved. During the tour we by-passed the electric fuel pump and
Maych has been running on the manual pump for the past year.
Everything seemed okey-dokey until this summer when I took Maych out for some
"warm weather" cruising. I noticed that the engine was missing
during idle and would bog-down down when I accelerated.
I thought maybe the manual fuel pump
was finally giving up the ghost and I resolved to put on a new one
before I went of the 2006 Tour Nebraska.
Because my mechanic was the original culprit behind
my fuel pump problems I decided to stop by
his shop and see if he would share in the cost of a new fuel pump.
When I stopped by his shop and gave him my sad story
he said he didn't think the fuel pump would cause my problems and
suggested I try a new coil first. Well, he's probably forgotten
more about engines than I'll ever know, so I took his advice.
A few days later I went by the local auto parts store
and picked up a new coil and an in-line fuel filter.
I had decided to put a fuel filter in
the section of the fuel line that was split to accept the electric pump.
That part of the job went pretty smooth. First, I unbolted the
non-functioning electric pump and tossed it in the trash. Then I
removed the wire that ran from the pump to the fuse box - no since
having extra wiring hanging around. Then, using two pairs of
vice-grips to plug off the rubber fuel line that was spliced into the
steel fuel line when we by-passed the electric pump, I cut the rubber
fuel line and inserted the fuel filter. I made a simple L-bracket
to bolt the fuel filter to the frame so it didn't flop around.
After testing to make sure there were
no leaks, I began the job of replacing the coil. Working on
anything that's in the back of a 350cc engine is a real torture for an
old, fat man. I have to use a stool to be able to reach that part
of the engine and even then I have to hover over the fender on my belly.
I finally got the coil bracket off after much grunting. I found it
was easier to take the bracket and coil off together because the screw
that tightens the bracket around the coil is a real pain to get at and
is easily dropped, never to be found again in my lifetime.
After removing the old coil from the
bracket I laid it down on my workbench while I got the new coil ready to
go. When I went to get the old coil to toss it in the trash I
noticed an oily spot on the bench were I had laid it down. When I
examined the old coil closely I noticed there was a crack in the top and
oil (or whatever that is inside a coil) was oozing out. It looks
like my mechanic might be right.
Drats! When I tried to insert the new
coil in the bracket it wouldn't fit. It was just a hair fatter
than the original. I could have just tried to find a longer screw
to use on the coil bracket but I decided to see if the local Chevy
dealer had a coil that would fit.
So, I run down to the Chevy dealer and they didn't
have one in stock but could get one by the next day -- for $58.00!
The coil I bought at the parts store was less than $10.00.
That's a heck of a difference. But I figured, what the hell, might
as well get the "real deal" as I'll probably never have to replace it
I picked up the new coil
from the Chevy dealer the next day and it fit like a glove. Funny
thing though, it looks just like the one I bought at the parts
store -- identical markings and country of manufacture. Oh well,
it fits so I convinced myself it was a better product -- $48.00 better!
After installing the new coil I took Maych
out for a spin to see if I had fixed my missing and bogging-down
problems. I drove around town and out on the highway for a couple
of hours and Maych ran like a charm -- no missing and no
bogging. Now I'm ready to give it the ultimate test when I drive
the 2006 Tour Nebraska next month.