Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Aug. 28
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I get in these moods… I have to go outside and mess with stuff. Yardwork, cars, art whatever catches my attention.
I popped the hood on the Chevy and stood staring at the stock 216 Stovebolt engine. On the oil bath aircleaner was a small tag… poorly painted over with satin black rattlecan.
That will look better after it gets hit with some steel wool… so I pulled the air cleaner off (the cleaner had probably been empty of oil for years) and grabbed a handful of steel wool from a bag in the garage. Sure enough, there was gold under that black paint.
In bright orange paint was the label:
AIR CLEANER AND SILENCER Wash filter element in kerosene every 2000 miles – oftener under sever conditions re-oil and drain thoroughly before assembling. DO NOT WASH OR OIL FELT For protection and gas economy A REPLACEMENT ELEMENT is now available at a low cost AC Spark Plug Flint, Mich.
Oftener. Oftener under sever conditions… I love it.
Not only had I found a surprising twist of English, but I uncovered another cool little facet of my Chevrolet. Once I swap the engine out, the old oilbath will take its place with the rest of the oddities hanging on the garage walls.
While re-installing the aircleaner I managed to drop the aircleaner nut down the carburetor. ARG. Into the garage, grab a flashlight and up on the fender to peer into the blackness. There it is, sitting there taunting me on the throttle valve. Luck! It was closed. I was off to the parts store to buy one of those magnet on a stick tools. $6.95 later and I was back up on the fender trying to jam the magnet past the main nozzle to snap up that nut. No way was it going to fit. The next attempt was made with a screwdiver that had a magnetic tip. Too short.
I had to do it the hard way. Into the house I went, trying not to mess up freshly drycleaned clothes with my greasy hands – I needed a wire hanger.
I ended up laying on that fender for about a half an hour, my left elbow resting on the hard fuel line, my left hand holding a flashlight against my forehead, my right elbow on the top of the firewall and my right hand guiding the improvised tool. I hooked it about 5 times before I was able to draw it out of the carb. Oh, man – what a relief, I really didn’t want to have to remove the carburetor. I knew that that would mean a trip to at least 3 parts stores trying to find the carb gasket.
The entire time I was bruising up my ribs on that fender, my son Joey was in the drivers seat, dressed like a Storm Trooper, pretending to take on the entire Rebellion in my ’52.