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talldude

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About talldude

  • Rank
    USMB Regular
  • Birthday 01/01/1980

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Placerville
  • Occupation
    pilot/mechanic
  • Vehicles
    78 BRAT 99 Forester
  1. that must be a bad pic. any better ones? are they cleaned up?
  2. Thanks for that- awesome! Never noticed the bed rail cupholders before. Those would come in handy.
  3. Paul just move all your stuff to sunny California. The Placerville area would be a good choice. I'm sure you'd like it here. If you want horrendous weather, you have merely to drive an hour or less to get to it.
  4. My poor little 78 BRAT. Anyone else besides me ever get a new distributor cap with the center button jammed into the top of the cap? The cap normally has a spring loaded button in the middle that rides on the rotor as it turns. I try to never assume anything, but screwing up the manufacture of a disty cap? Guess what, it won't start when it's like that- EVER. It has been lots of fun troubleshooting this one. I can't make this stuff up...I now have no hair left to pull out. So let my torture be a lesson to all: inspect all your new parts before you install them!!
  5. smallcar performance http://www.smallcar.com has an interface board that eliminates several faults for the OBDII Subaru engines (they specialize in Vanagon swaps). You might contact them about your specific issues, and please let us know how this is resolved.
  6. On a related note, I wanted to mention I just installed an MSD Streetfire igniter control unit and coil in my '78 BRAT, which mostly ran well but I felt could have better driveability. It also got a new distributor pickup coil at the same time. Now it runs like a different truck: smooth starting every time, idle is rock solid whether it is cold or hot, smoother running, and I can now hold 65 mph up every grade from Sacramento through 4000 feet where I live, and no detonation. I left the timing set stock, and the timing light does not wander on the mark like it did before. I can already see improvements in mileage, too. So far very happy with this mod.
  7. Someone should grab the windshield and tailgate, if they're any good. I know a guy who would be interested in the tailgate if someone can check it out.
  8. talldude

    Diagnosing a hiccup

    If you have an air compressor take your gas cap off remove your filter and back blow air through to the tank. There may just be a bunch of gunk at the sump in the tank. I have also seen steel fuel lines clogged with buildup. You should be able to send air back through without too much restriction. Do a little at a time so as not to blow lines off and such. If you do clear a restriction, it may come back unless you flush the fuel tank clean. Have fun!
  9. talldude

    Diagnosing a hiccup

    Your coil resistor sounds right; test your coil by testing resistance with all wires disconnected. Your manual should give you acceptable values for primary and secondary circuits. The silver cylinder is likely a condenser used to help minimize arcing at the points. A hesitation off idle might be an accelerator pump or some other fuel delivery issue. Look down the primary throat of the carb while you move the throttle briskly. You should see a healthy shot of fuel spray into the venturi. Make sure your float level is correct and that the fuel pump is keeping up (fuel level in sight glass should be mostly consistent as you run throttle up and down). Even a new fuel pump can struggle if there is a restriction in the lines somewhere. Also make sure your choke isn't stuck or needing adjustment. While you're hip deep, check timing and valve adjustment if they haven't been done for awhile. Enjoy this wonderful car, but don't forget she is also middle-aged!
  10. I just went through an experience tuning an EA71 and thought it might be helpful to discuss. Resurrecting a long sitting engine in a 79 BRAT that really didn't run well. Turns out all the engine wires were melted together near the carb, so I spent a day rewiring the harness and cleaning grounds, etc. Next was all new vacuum hoses, routed per the underhood diagram (this is sunny CA and I don't want to go to prison). Then a basic hitachi carb clean and rebuild, new accelerator pump, float level set, choke adjusted. Next, adjusted the valves, new plugs, wires, cap and rotor, air gap set on disty pickup coil (transistor system, not points), even new battery cables. Fired right up and the choke opened up as she warmed up. Set ignition timing, idle speed and mixture. Now the fun: Any RPM above idle was erratic, engine would not take throttle and backfiring out the exhaust. It acted as though the accelerator pump wasn't working and the carb wasn't delivering fuel except in the idle circuit. Except the accelerator pump WAS working and you could see a little fuel entering the venturi, and the fuel level never dropped in the float bowl sight glass when it was running. Maybe it somehow wasn't enough fuel, so new fuel filter, fuel pump ops check good, lines cleared back to tank with a little air pressure and the gas cap off. No change. Next, cleaned EGR ports and valve. EGR valve tested good. No change. Anything above idle still is erratic with lots of popping out the exhaust, will not take throttle. Sometimes I could get rpm to come up slowly, as if vacuum advance wasn't working. Checked vacuum advance and retard on the distributor with a vacuum pump and vacuum signals from the base of the carb with a vacuum guage. Everything checked out good. Cleaned the carb again to make sure I didn't miss something there. Then I noticed the timing light was intermittent when the engine stumbled. Ignition coil resistance was normal both primary and secondary, so naturally I replaced it anyway for good measure. A small improvement but not enough. Took the cover off the ignition control unit and checked for broken wires, corrosion, broken solder joints, anything. It looked perfect so that went back together. No change, so at least I didn't make it worse... Last stop distributor pickup coil, the one inside the distributor that has the air gap adjustment. Per my Chilton's manual this coil should show 130-190 ohms resistance. It measured 180 ohms but I could get a small fluctuation when I gently wiggled the wires, but still in limits. Put it back in and reset air gap. No change. I was running out of ideas fast. Finally dug in my scrounge and found a new pickup coil. Measured 160 ohms, so I installed it and voila, problem solved! Sorry for the long wind and but hopefully this will help others. My first impression was it was definitely a fuel/carb problem. I would have bet on it, mainly because of the bad rap Hitachis have gotten. I'm willing to bet more than a few problems get blamed on these carbs when it is something else. Also, a multimeter doesn't always tell you what you need to know, because it doesn't simulate the actual voltage/current/temperature through a circuit. Also, if it's 35 years old, it's probably tired or worn out! For what it's worth...
  11. talldude

    78 U-Joint Replacement

    PDQ 1-0027 center joint. Got them on ebay for about $20 apiece shipped.
  12. Stock header pipes from anything through an ea82, splice together with a y or union of some sort, use stock transmission hanger mount bracket, stick a new muffler in the muffler well and run a short exit to just in front of the rear wheel. Don't think I would do this using jump seats. A local muffler shop fabbed from the y pipe back for about $150. Maybe a dual exhaust exiting in front of the wheels would work well too, then no y pipe to deal with.
  13. talldude

    1978 Lucky BRAT

    67 horsepower, 4 speeds, merging onto a highway at 6000 feet altitude, nuff said. It just takes a certain mindset to drive these in modern traffic, is all.
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