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The restoration of my Boattail began with restoring the Rochester Q-jet carburetor on that big Buick 455 cui V8 engine.

 

 

 

February 2000 - The Carburetor

 

While driving the car from Stockholm to my home town Gothenburg, some 500km or 310 miles, I struggled with poor acceleration and the engine ran generally rough.

 

 

This was late a Saturday night, in the middle of the Swedish winter, January 29th.

The temperature was around freezing point and it was raining or snowing most of the way.

 

The engine wasn't running any good and to make thins worse, I could only get the fan to blow on my feet. Fortunately the air was hot, so me and my friend Jan, didn't have to freeze.

The problem with the air direction though, was that the windshield got constantly foggy.

Jan had to wipe the glass for me from the inside, all the way home.

 

So the first thing to do was naturally a complete service of the engine and a close check up of the carburetor. I purchased a Rochester carburetor restoring kit and removed the carb from the engine.

It wasn't pretty as you can se from the picture above. The first thing to do was to take it apart and give it a good clean. Unfortunately it wasn't possible to save the original gold plate surface. It was long gone and a thick layer of dirt and oxide covered the whole thing.

The result of the cleaning was a carburetor in silver aluminum finish, but I can live with that.

 

 

I had no carburetor experience what so ever, so I also purchased a Rochester manual and began to read and learn how this complicated and 

amazing peace of machinery was supposed to work.

 

This gave me an understanding of what the different parts and systems did and it was really nice to have that basic knowledge when I started to disassemble the unit.

 

Someone had been trying to improve the poor acceleration earlier and the result was some funny wires locking the choke valve in open position.

 

The only thing this resulted in was to make cold starts and cold idling, almost impossible.

The acceleration problem was still there.

 

 

I didn't know at this point what the problem was. I just hoped that the overhauling of the carburetor, including the replacement of the accelerating pump, would solve the problem.

Unfortunately it didn't. The engine ran a lot better but the acceleration problem was still there.

The choke however worked just fine when the funny wire was removed and starting the engine cold was suddenly really easy.

 

Eventually I discovered what the real problem was. The main vacuum break diaphragm (front unit), was not working at all. This made the secondary air valves to flap open with no delay. The engine got to much air and to little fuel and therefore choked immediately if I didn't press the accelerator really slow.

I replaced the faulty diaphragm assembly and the problem was gone. Guess if I was happy!

 

This was the first step of the restoration. My confidence was now boosted and I thought anything is possible.

 

 

 

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The restoration began in February of 2000

 

 

Most parts of the car were restored by July 2006, but as many of you know, there is always something to improve on a project like this.

 

In this section of the site you will be able to follow some of the various restoration steps of my Boattail.

 

2000-02  The carburetor

 

2000-05  The floor

 

2000-07  Vinyl roof & interior

 

2001-01  Heads and intake

 

2001-11  Lifting the engine

 

2002-01  Engine detailing

 

2005-01  Body restoration