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1985 Prelude
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased the car listed in this post:
Decided to call it "Lucy". It does have rust, but the rust isn't as bad as I expected. Of course I can always find more rust after taking things apart, which is often the case. We'll see, but I'm optimistic.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Looking under the car the first thing I noticed is the exhaust was hacksawed off before the catalytic converter. Not sure why that was done. The engine bay has an extra addon. After doing some research I determined it's a Travel Cruise OEM Replica Series Datsun cruise control device. Very interesting, but stupid. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the culprit for the performance issues. The installation job looks sketchy.
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Put in a new battery and started Lucy up. It started then immediately turned off. When I use starting fluid it does run off the starting fluid and then shut off. The fuel pump for this car should make a regular clicking noise while it's pumping, which I don't hear, so either the fuel pump or the wiring to it is bad. The tank is 1/4 full and hopefully that gas is still good.

Edit: If something is blocking fuel from flowing down the line, the pump won't click. That turned out to be the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tested the wiring to the pump and it does have voltage. I tested the pump itself by jumping 12V power to it and it does click a couple times, indicating that it works. Next I did a flow test, to verify that the pump isn't weak. I removed the fuel hose after the filter in the engine bay, then jumped the pump again and I do get fuel flowing out. (I also noted that the fuel filter is way way past its expiration date.) So the fuel pump is running but the engine doesn't run unless I give it starting fluid. That implies to me that the problem is with the carburetor. There isn't a mixture screw on this carb (thanks California) so I can't play with that. Maybe the valve in the carbs is stuck closed so no fuel is getting in the float bowl? I removed the air cleaner to inspect the carburetors and noticed there is this black gunk that looks like oil sludge. At this point I think the carbs are messed up, so the next step is to replace the carbs. I have a pair of webers ready to go so now is the perfect opportunity to use them.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Removed the carburetor and the intake manifold. It's not that hard until it comes to the bottom middle bolt on the intake manifold. The problem is the intake manifold is in the way of the intake manifold nut so it's hard to get a tool in that you can then move enough to loosen the bolt. I wanted to use a crowfoot wrench, which is an attachment for a ratchet. I have a crowfoot wrench set, but it doesn't have the 12mm adapter. 🔫:mad: I doubt if the crowfoot would have worked anyway since there's a nipple for the PCV hose that is also in front of the nut, but it would have been nice to try. I tried using a wrench with a flexable head but turning it while keeping the head on the nut was too difficult. What worked for me is this: remove the air cleaner, remove the blowby chamber, remove the carb, remove the air cleaner support beam next to the black PCV box, unbolt the PCV box, remove the top hose on the box, then pop it out of the engine and pull it back. Take an offset 12mm wrench and remove the nut.

Lord have mercy may nobody have an intake manifold gasket leak on this car.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I finished bolting in the new carbs. Turned out to be a bit more difficult because the bolt holes were just a few millimeters off so I had to make them a bit bigger with a drill. The port for the brake booster is too long and it bumps into the engine, so I had to find an L-shaped adapter. The lever on the linkage for the throttle cable bumps into the engine so I'll have to move things around to a placement that works.

I plugged some of the nipples for coolant and rigged something for the temperature sensor attachment. I'm not happy with the setup yet. It's going to take some trial and error, plus me measuring things and buying hose adapters online, until I'm satisfied. One thing I hate is having to go to a hardware/autoparts store and trying to rig together some series of adapters in the hopes of making things fit. Some things you can only find online.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tried starting it. It takes a few tries but it can start and run. The problem is it runs badly and it's backfiring out of the intake. The passenger side carb regularly puffs out fuel/smoke/fire. Also it's very loud because the exhaust pipe was cut before the cat. I made a modest attempt to tune the carbs but I'm new to that process and haven't gotten any results. The gas is at least a year old, so to rule that out as a problem I drained it all out and put in a few gallons of fresh high-octane gas, plus a bit of seafoam. No change. Apparently backfiring out of the carbs is caused by either bad timing or very lean air/fuel mixture. At least there's progress. It does run, but poorly.

The next step is to send it off to get a new exhaust pipe. If I tune the carbs, then add an exhaust, I'd have to tune it again, so I'll go ahead and get a new exhaust bolted/welded on. After that it'll be a process of diagnosing why it isn't performing right and fixing it.
 
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