May, 2006
After my adventures with the electric fuel pump during the
2005 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 again.

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.




Copyright 2001-2006 by Johnny M. Patterson
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