Monday, March 1, 2010

In a Puff of Black Smoke…

85caprice-small “You’ve got to get all the old gasket off the intake manifold,” I told George insistently. “If the carburetor doesn’t make an airtight seal, it will run too lean if at all.”

“I’m trying! I’m trying!” George exclaimed, scraping away with a paint edge.

After one more trip to the auto parts store for a fuel filter and a PCV filter and valve, I installed the carburetor – hooking up the accelerator and fuel lines.  I put the air cleaner back on and screwed it down.

“Give it a crank,” I told George who was sitting in the car with a big cigar hanging out of his mouth. 

The car cranked and cranked, and then the engine roared to life belching rich black smoke out the exhaust pipe for a short moment.  I sighed with relief as the Caprice settled into a smooth idle.  It had been years and years since I had rebuilt a carburetor and I was afraid I had forgotten something or didn’t follow the directions correctly.

“Thanks, man,” George said, our grimy and greasy hands clasping.

“You know?” I told him. “Me and you both would be pissed drunk by now if we still drank.  Beer and working on cars seemed to go together.”

“Don’t think I didn’t think about having a few beers,” George said with a grin on the day of his seventh week of sobriety.

What a good hobby!” I thought on the drive home up the street.  I hadn’t felt such a sense of satisfaction like that in years.   


This IS The Fun Part! said...

Wonderful job! It is a shock to me sometimes that I can remember how to do a task that I haven't done in a long time. But then at other times I can't remember what I ate for breakfast!

I do hope you get through your dental problems without too much anxiety. They have such good, new methods now that it's not quite as bad as we all imagine.

Love ya,

mago said...


Joy Heather said...

Well Done Andrew..its great when you can do these jobs without having to go to a George was pleased.