Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Home Improvement

This is as good as I can do.

Home: I'm thinking about investing in a good mattress.

The van is running good but now that I really need the moped to run it is having problems. The 1974 Vespa Ciao is 40 years old now but I think the problems are routine...total loss of power, fuel leaks...fouled plug...These are related to timing. I bought the van and the moped back in 2008 and spent a few months getting the moped running as I could only work on it in parks and on the sidewalk between sleeping winos. I last touched the antiquated points ignition system in 2008. Isn't that remarkably reliable? 6 years without even checking the points gap and it's been in three countries. Well, the time has come and I'll be happy if that's the problem. First the carburetor on the van develops a vacuum leak and requires a rebuild, which was the first maintenance I did on the carb in 6 years and now the moped is running rough. My right shoulder also feels like Hulk Hogan has been kicking it. Age, sagging fat, flabby ass, wrinkles on my hand, strange growths of flesh on my leg; life quietly becoming a cycle of maintenance. Sure, you could point out that I own vehicles that belong in a museum...and I won't argue.

Note: 10 hours of messing with the moped and I got some results. The timing was an issue since the points were opening about .1mm instead of .5mm.
Also, why didn't anyone tell me that some modern carb cleaner can not be used in the same fashion as starting fluid? It takes a while for news to get to Old Oggy and I only learned today that store brand carb cleaner, even in Mexico, is not flammable since idiots were probably spraying their carb while the engine was running and starting fires. So here is Oggy spraying inside the air filter with non flammable carb cleaner, thinking it's flammable...and then scratching his bum because the thing won't start or immediately dies. I spent hours hunting for the reason non-flammable carb cleaner wasn't getting my engine to start. I don't recommend spraying carb cleaner directly into a carb on a running engine but technically it won't backfire into a ball of flame as long as it is the non-flammable type. Now I definitely warn against using non-flammable carb cleaner as a substitute for starting fluid unless you are applying for a PhD in futility. The real kick in the ass is that I have a can of starting fluid in the van but assumed they were interchangeable. Damn! But after the timing was fixed and the carb was cleaned and I rubbed magic dust on my balls the moped ran like a wild horse. In fact, I took it out for a test drive and it didn't stop until I was way up on a hill next to a tacos al pastor vendor. I was lost, but I was found. 3 fouled spark plugs and frustration levels were high. Please let it be fixed!

Further note: yes, the moped is basically fixed. The fuel leak is because the gaskets are old and the inlet float needle tip is worn and general deterioration. But the important thing was the performance and I can say it has never been better. I was afraid the cylinder had worn out but it was the damn timing/points gap that was to blame. This moped is the best! On further investigation my carb cleaner is indeed flammable, so I think it kills the engine because it enriches the mixture too much for a two stroke. It's running good. That's all that matters.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.