Thursday, January 28, 2021

Mariko is back and running....finally!

A recap of the last two weeks or so.

Last week:

I got Mariko back with a new fuel filter, the mechanic thought the old one had caused the issues which had prompted me to return the Sami to them for another look.  Basically, symptoms reflecting haphazard fuel flow.

Some maintenance related items were done, such are replacing the spark plugs it came with.

These same plugs had been black with soot!

You'll note the above old plugs look pretty good in terms of color.  Before, when the engine had been running with the thermal choke stuck in the open position, they'd been black, covered in soot!

I also installed a generic battery hold-down bracker.
The Same had come with the rubber bungie strap holding
it down!  I put it back on as a "belt and suspenders" mechanism.

Here's the carburetor bits that were replaced by the mechanic.  That is one sad looking main gasket eh?  The rubber bits in the upper right functioned as dust jacket for the accelerator pump in the lower left next to the float needle.

The O-rings and tiny bits that were replaced, the ruler is used to ensure the float is mounted correctly within the carburetor's fuel bowl.

Let's see, also replaced both of the two headlights as they'd been both cracked when I bought her.

On Jan 21, I drove her to the DMV to get her permanent license plates.  She ran beautifully all the way there.  I ran into a snag at the DMV however, now it seems its not enough to have a current passing emission test but the test has to be done while in one's ownership!


So, after arranging to return to the DMV clerk after getting an emissions test, I left the DMV and started heading out to the nearby testing station.

Mariko was hard to start and was once again experiencing fuel delivery issues!  I had to push heavily at the accelerator pedal, get the engine wound up and then let out the clutch to get her going!  Quite embarrassing and the situation didn't improve as the engine warmed up.

More embarrassment at the emission testing location, barely got her in position and the tech voiced doubts as to Mariko being able to pass the emissions testing.

Still, perhaps 15 nail-biting minutes later, he'd put her through the most thorough inspection I'd ever seen done on one of my cars and she passed!  I was amazed.

Clutching the emissions certificate, I drove her back to the DMV, having fuel issues the whole way and got her plates without further drama from the DMV.  Then I drove her, still not getting fuel well, back to the mechanic's shop in Parker and demonstrated the behavior to the head mechanic.

He finally agreed that yes, there was an issue and most likely fuel delivery so I left the Samurai with him and got a ride home in the owner's truck.  It's a small shop so the owner is also the head mechanic.

I thought a fuel pump installation being relatively simple, I figured I'd get her back the next day but no word and then I had to wait for the weekend as they're not open then.

Monday, was told the mechanic was at the doctors but that he was expected to begin working on the fuel pump.  Monday passed, nothing from the shop on I called them at 5PM and only then was told the mechanic had managed to get a concussion and no one had been available to work on Mariko!

Wednesday the 27th, was told the mechanic was expected back late morning but that they'd also try and get one of the other mechanics to put the pump in.  They called me near 5PM to advise the pump was in and things seem good but the head mechanic wanted to do another test drive in the morning after she sat all night.

Thursday, the 28th.  The morning test drive involved them coming out to the house in the Sami and picking me up.  I then drove the service manager, Adam, back to the shop to pay the bill.  The electric fuel pump makes a constant tapping noise but it's not too bad, I'll take that over fuel delivery issues when using the failing mechanical fuel pump Mariko was equipped with at the factory, over 33 years ago!

Note: after consulting RichardM, will try installing a rubber mount between the fuel pump and the floor board near the gas tank where it's currently mounted.

She now drives just fine, no problems getting her going from a standing stop and no need to force the revs up before letting out the clutch!  Hopefully, that's it for mechanical issues for a while.  Fingers crossed.

I then went to retrieve the URRV, hooked Mariko up to her and drove both vehicles home.  I learned its easier to unhook the towed vehicle from the Blue Ox tow bar if both vehicles are lined up directly behind each other!  No curves allowed!

I installed the brake assist mechanism in the afternoon and got it adjusted so it pulls on the brake pedal inside Mariko when I push the brakes on the URRV.  We'll see how it works out, I don't really need it when towing the Sami but once in a while I do feel a slight "klunk" in the URRV's suspension when stopping so I figured I'd try the brake assist setup.

We had us a pretty good post-sunset display of color along the Front Range:


CCjon said...

Hopefully the mechanical issues are behind you and we can follow along as you explore the backcountry. Will you be swapping out for more aggressive tires? Making any other changes?

Nice colorful sunset shots, always enjoy them.

SonjaM said...

Hopefully that's it for repairs. When do we get to see some Mariko action, Dom?

The last pic is on fire!

redlegsrides said...

From your lips to God's ears CCjon. ;)

The tires are just fine for the terrain I've tried so far, I doubt I'll go more to more aggressive thread any time soon. Thanks for your feedback on the sunsets.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM!