From a Reader – Household items to fix Cars.


Here’s my story of using household items to fix cars.  Kinda like a turkey baster tool.  Ha Ha.

Finally solved the fuel boil over problem on the 82 Cougar wagon with an inline six and 1 bbl carb.

I live and drive mostly above 2,000 feet and with the fuel blending today the fuel in the carb bowl will boil over and come out the fuel vent in the carb throat, pooling in the intake manifold causing a flooded condition resulting in hard starting when the engine is hot with the huge plume of black smoke when it did start. I’ve tried all manner of fixes that included: lowering the float, retarding the timing, advancing the timing and investigating whether the manifold, catalytic converter or the exhaust was restricted in some way. I built a heat shield out of aluminum and tried that. Some people had suggested using a thicker carb base gasket or even doubling the gasket which would have required longer mounting studs for the carb. Since it hasn’t been a daily driver in the summer due to a broken a/c I’ve put off the fix. I tried to find a phenolic material to make a carb base spacer for the carb that would insulate it from the heat with no luck.

Finally my wife went to Wal-Mart and bought a plastic cutting board for me on my request. It’s made from a hard polyethylene material that’s just over 7/16″ thick. So, I did the obvious scientific test on the material. I got the car to operating temperature and held the cutting board to the exhaust manifold and it did not melt. So I cut the board, drilled the carb bore hole with a 1 and 7/8″ hole saw, drilled the stud holes, made a thin gasket for both sides of the material and sealed it with red high temp permatex gasket maker and installed my new base plate. To test I drove the car in 108 degree heat to full operating temperature for 10 miles with the now fixed a/c blowing hard and the boil over problem is gone. There is no longer any fuel smell or hard starting when hot due to fuel in the intake manifold. Finally after almost 8 years this annoying problem is fixed. I don’t know why this material insulates so well over the factory thick gasket but it does.
The material doesn’t seem to be affected by fuel either.

I’m sure others have been baffled by this problem since most fuels today contain ethanol and other materials that lower the boiling temperature of gasoline.  Altitude certainly plays a part as my car never did this at sea level even in 100 degree weather.

Steve Sears
Ridgecrest, Ca.

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One Response to From a Reader – Household items to fix Cars.

  1. Greg Wong says:

    Appreciate the information, Steve!! Happy to read your R&D worked out. Greg

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