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Automania/Repair & Maintenance

AUTO QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR WEEK 09

by Bob Hagin

Q. I have an '87 Toyota Land Cruiser with the 2F six cylinder engine, carburated with a manual choke. After sitting overnight or for several hours, the engine stalls out after warm-up on rainy days. The problem is exaggerated with colder weather. According to the instruction manual, the truck should warm up about 30 seconds with full choke and then the choke should be reset to where the engine runs smoothly. The engine should then be left to warm up for a few minutes before driving. The choke should be shut off when the vehicle speed reaches 25 MPH. The only way I have found to defeat this problem is to let the engine warm up with the choke on for 20 to 25 minutes. This seems like an inordinate amount of time. I have replaced the distributor cap, rotor, ignition coil, spark plugs and plug wires.
A.B. Erdenheim, PA

A. It sounds like your having an intake system pre-heater problem and it doesn't go away until there's a rise in the temperature under the hood. In cold, wet weather, the rush of air coming into the venturi of the carb can act like a refrigeration system and I've seen them develop a ball of ice around the base. The engine that's in your Land Cruiser is a clone the Chevy Six of the same era. My son is a Toyota parts tech and he tells me that he has sold lots of replacement pre-heater air tubes that run between the intake and exhaust manifolds of early Land Cruisers. He adds that it's a hassle to get the manifolds stripped down for the job. In my youth, I've had to fabricate "heat stoves" to route incoming air around the rapidly heated exhaust manifold to heat the carburetor. Many emission control systems have intake-air preheaters as standard equipment to avoid long warm-up times.

Q. I have a 1952 MG TD Duchess kit car that is a real beauty. It uses a Ford Pinto engine and transmission but the running gear is all Chevrolet. Are there any MG car clubs around that I can join?
R.M. Brentwood, CA

A. There are some marque clubs that allow kit car replicas of an original to participate on a limited basis. I'm told that a couple of the Shelby and Cobra clubs operate like this. Unfortunately, all of the MG clubs that I'm acquainted with don't allow kit car replicas to participate on an equal basis with authentic MGs. But there is a plethora of clubs for "specially constructed" (the name that most kit car owners prefer) cars in existence and they seem to operate a lot like the family sports cars clubs that I belonged to in my younger days. Members participate in road tours, excursions, auto shows and parades, and they seem to enjoy a camaraderie that is rare today. I'm sending you a contact name for a kit car club in your area.

Q. We have had our 1992 Ford Crown Victoria for four years. The belt was replaced not too long ago and ever since, it has had a horrible squeal. Is there any way to silence this?
B.H. Shawboro, NC

A. If you had the ancillary unit belt replaced by a shop or a service station, the answer is simple: take it back and have the correct belt put on or have it adjusted to the correct tension. If you had an amateur do the job, try to determine if the correct belt was installed correctly. That squeal that's driving you crazy is caused by the engine spinning slightly faster than the belt. An incorrect or poorly adjusted belt can wear out prematurely or even wear out the pulleys that it pulls against. As a young service station mechanic, part of a lube job was to rub a stick of beeswax against the underside of a moving fan belt. Fortunately, I only got a finger caught in a moving belt once. To make sure that the squeal is caused by the belt, toss a half-cup of water on the moving belt. If the noise goes away and then comes right back, the belt is the problem - but don't toss the cup in too.

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