Saturday, May 7, 2016

Carb Clearance Revisited!

Now that the engine is back where it should be and mostly re-attached, there's just one last job that needs attention: And that's to bolt in my all new, singing and dancing, adjustable top engine steady, seen here next to it's original counterpart. Don't you just love new shiny things!!

So, why splash out on a new part when the old one is still in good working order I hear you cry! Well I'll tell you! Apart from being shiny and new, there is also a practical reason as I'll explain...

Back in this post here, I highlighted the slight problem of the carb being perilously close to the bulkhead, under heavy acceleration, there was the danger of it bashing into the bulkhead and bending. The post goes into the problem in some detail and also goes on to cover how I tried to solve it with some success.

Although what I did at the time helped a little, it never really solved the issue to the point where I was entirely happy with it. For me, it was still a bit too close, hence the absolutely practical reason for purchasing a nice new, shiny-shiny adjustable top engine steady. I did shop around and they didn't sell scruffy nasty looking ones, so you see, I had to settle for a shiny one!

Joking aside though, apart from aesthetic values, the adjust-ability is just what I need to solve my problem. If I set it to be longer than the original top engine steady, it will push the top of the engine forward just enough to give the necessary clearance betwixt carb and bulkhead. Incidentally, this is the first post where I have used the word betwixt. In fact, I've actually used it twice now!!

All I had to do was to swap over the new poly bushes from the old to the new and install it. Swapping them over is really simple, the internal metal tube just pushes out and the two halves of the bush pull out from each side.

... and then push back into the new one. Below, I've already opened out the new steady to be longer than the original. At this point I'm basically a guess how far I need to set it, but it can easily be readjusted later during installation to make sure it's perfect.

As for installation, it's as straight forward as the original engine steady. I find it easier to attach it to the bulkhead first, then adjust as needed and attach the other side to the engine block. Once fully bolted up at both ends, I gave the locking nut a little extra nip to be on the safe side. The final job is to stand back and admire how practical it looks! The only slight niggle I have now is that it makes my earth strap look a bit shabby!! Maybe for practical reasons, I'll have to replace it in the near future. It would be great if I could get a chromed one!!

Now, as for that all important clearance issue... well without the choke pulled, it's looking very respectable as I can fit my whole finger in the gap. A quick measure of my finger shows that it's roughly 19mm... I always prefer to measure in fingers where I can!

But more importantly, I was worried about times when the choke was pulled out and I was driving hard. Would there be enough of a gap still to avoid the carb hitting the bulkhead. I feel this calls for a 'side by side', 'before and after' photo to get an idea of the improvement. I'll leave you to guess which is which as I frankly have the worst photo editor at my disposal at the moment and adding text would be a step too far for it!!

As you can see though, with the choke out, there's still enough clearance to squeeze my finger in the gap. From this, I'm estimating the minimum clearance is now around 15mm which I'm very happy with. To be honest, if the engine is flopping back and forth more than 15mm, I've got bigger problems to worry about!!

So now that this little issue is taken care of, it's time to press on and get the engine prepared for it's first start. - Ooooooooh Exciting!!!!!!

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