Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gas Tanks and Pickups

So I know that I didn't write about it on here yet, but most people already know I finally got a truck again. My first truck was a '91 Toyota pickup and it was great. I miss that truck a whole lot. Ever since I got rid of it I've been kicking myself and wondering why I did and also looking for another one. I always liked Toyota and so I knew that is what I wanted to get again. The cool thing is that Lauren's dad had a 1982 Toyota Pickup sitting in his driveway and he decided to give it to me!
Me and my '91 Toyota
My "new" '82 Toyota
22R Motor with new Weber Carb.
Right away I noticed that I would need to do several things to the truck. First thing was the carburetor. The truck wouldn't start the first time I went to Albuquerque to pick it up. After looking over all the fuel system it seemed it was the carburetor. I bought a Weber carburetor online and my brother and I installed it. Once it was on the truck started on the first try! I immediately drove to the gas station and filled up.

The truck was running, but it still had issues. Any time I tried to go up hills the tuck would nearly die and shutter. Living the mountains is a little tough when your vehicle wont go up hills. I figured it had something to do with the tuning of the carburetor, so I tried numerous times to tune it but had no luck. I let the truck sit for a few days and the problem seemed to stop yet when I got low on gas the problem returned. I checked the fuel filter, which I had replaced just before filling up the last tank, and it was already full of a bunch of little particles. That's when I figured I needed to drop my gas tank.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I decided to flush the tank. I had already pushed the limits of my mechanical abilities when I replaced the carburetor. I have always wanted to be a mechanically inclined, especially with cars, but I was always a little too scared that I was going to seriously screw something up too. The cool thing about having this truck is that its not my primary vehicle so I am free to tinker. Even still though, I don't want to mess this truck up so I try not to get in over my head.

I also wasn't sure that the problem was really in the gas tank. I have heard several times that because of the altitude my truck is at the carburetor might need to be re-jetted. This is a real possibility because the stock carb had an altitude adjuster which added more air to the mixture via a vacuum hose and I plugged all those up as per the Weber installation instructions.
The cool thing is that as soon as I dropped the tank it was clear that it needed to be done. The noise inside the tank was not just the sound of gas sloshing around. It sounded more like someone had poured sand in my gas tank.

Another cool thing is that I was able to pull the float from the tank which is connected to the gas gauge. Even when the tank was full the gauge would only go up to just above empty and stop. I was talking to RJ, Lauren's brother, and he said the gauge had been broken on the truck for well over a decade. When I pulled the float I found the reason why.
I know the truck has spent a significant amount of time sitting around and I am sure it sat with a little bit more than an empty tank and that is when the float got rusted and the tank became dirty.
I was amazed at how much stuff came out of the gas tank. I am sure at some point the truck got some bad gas in it which contained some water and made the tank even worse.

I now know that it was a very good idea to flush the tank. The truck is running better and I now have a gas gauge which will also help me keep enough gas in it to keep from sucking up any extra particles left in the tank. Also on the plus side I am feeling more confident in my mechanic skills. I know that I don't have all the right understandings and definitely not all the tools, but I know I can take something apart and put it back together again which is pretty cool.

It remains to be seen if the gas tank was the only problem on my truck, but for now I can drive it up hills which is a major improvement.

to life