My BIR riding mates and I got up early on Sunday and rode to Boulder City for breakfast at the Hotel. Great breakfast and really inexpensive. As I was pushing the Bonneville back into the garage I decided to take advantage of the moderate temperatures and give the TR-6 a much needed run around the block. After sitting on a battery tender for a month or two it fired up immediately and sounded anxious for some exercise.
As it was warming up I gave the tires a quick pressure check – and we were off. Fifteen minutes later as I was headed back to the garage to give it a well-deserved bath the engine decided to drop down to operating on one carb. Damn! Same problem that kept it holed up in the garage for 3 months late last year. The problem back then was a clogged float vent that—when properly cleaned out—restored the engine to normal running condition. Easy fix, no? But this time—not so fast.
After an hour of trouble shooting and copious amounts of carb cleaner and low pressure air blown into this little vent hole—no luck. The fix from last fall did not work this time. And so it is back off with the carbs for yet another teardown session on the work bench. I have to get this beast back on the road soon so we can take advantage of the fall driving season.
I guess the lesson I’ve learned—far too many times—is that the worst abuse for these old cars is no use. It almost sounds counter intuitive. But no-they need to be exercised regularly—and I mean daily if not weekly. Just sitting in the garage takes its toll on tires (flat spotting), on the engine (acids in the oil doing its dirty work on bearing surfaces),on the battery (they last longer if kept fully charged), and the fuel in the tank (I’m told that today’s gasoline starts degrading in 3-4 weeks’ time). And there is no telling what effect the corn component of gasoline has on our cars—but it certainly isn’t good.
So, once again the TR-6 has told me, in no uncertain terms, “I need to be driven constantly in order to keep me happy and on the road.” This is a lesson that, unfortunately, I keep learning over and over.