Hmm – fuel for thought
Glug suffers bubbling petrol woes
For the last couple of years, the Rover 2.25-litre engine in Glug, my beloved old Land Rover, has been spot on – smokeless, gutsy, and starting on the button no matter what. If I let the battery go flat, it’ll usually fire up manually using its starting handle.
But driving home from a pub lunch a few weeks ago, something was clearly upsetting it. Top end power dropped away until 45mph became my new terminal velocity, and the final hill to the village – which I can usually attack in fourth with a decent run up – was a second gear job.
Once home, lifting the bonnet showed a small amount of fuel seepage around the carburettor. Clearly fuel was escaping and air was therefore being sucked in at higher speeds, but because the leak was so tiny, and a thin film of fuel had crept all over the carb, finding the exact source was impossible. Even with the engine running, I couldn’t spot a discernible trickle of fuel. I guessed that the culprit was probably the thin paper gasket that sits between the carb and the metal block which separates it from the top of the inlet manifold – simple enough to replace, just by disconnecting the throttle linkage, and undoing the carb’s two retaining bolts. Surfaces cleaned, new gasket in place, carb back on, engine running… job done!
Convinced of my triumph, I took Glug for a run to the shops and didn’t feel anything amiss until I got back home again with my head under the bonnet for a final check. Small bubbles of hot fuel were somehow escaping past the thread of one of the vertical studs that pass into the inlet manifold. Had this had been the cause of the problem after all? What I should have done was take it straight back out for a hard run to reach a more decisive verdict. Instead, I put the kettle on and ordered a set of new studs.
Now I’m baffled. Even when I run the engine hot, that troublesome stud refuses to replicate its little performance, and because it’s well and truly stuck, extracting it is going to be risky. Do I bother? To complicate matters, one of the wheel cylinders has now decided to seize, so a proper test of the engine under load will have to wait until I’ve fixed the brakes.
I’m not going to lie – this is getting a bit annoying, now…
A peculiar fuelling issue means Theo’s Landie hasn’t moved much lately. The frustratingly stubborn stud refuses to repeat its fuel-bubbling shenanigans.