All posts for the month November, 2014

It’s all about the flour.

Some time ago, I grabbed a bag of Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend, simply because it came in a big bag. I was rewarded with a flour that bakes pretty well, including things like pie crust. I modified the old American Heart Association oil crust recipe to handle the Pamela’s flour, and it bakes up fantastically.

2 cups Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/2 to 3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil

Blend the dry ingredients. Add water to oil in a measuring cup and add to dry ingredient mix. Add water as needed to get texture right. The texture and general behaviour of the crust are uniquely GF as it is not as short as one would like, but overall, it is a serviceable crust that will not let you down. The baking powder is the secret and makes the crust flaky and fun.

Let me know how you do with it.

It wasn’t the carb. It was the piston. I had an overheat a while back, and the rings decided to stick themselves into the lands. I lifted the head, which was fine, and then pulled the cylinder. Once I got the cylinder off, I looked at the piston and thought, doggone it, it’s ringbound. I really did overheat the stupid thing.




The old Narda unit came back out and went to work for a while. Both rings sproinged loose, the lower after about 10 minutes, and the upper after about 30 minutes. The oil scraper was just nasty crunky. As the cylinder is clean and the piston is not damaged to the fingernail test, I’m simply going to wait for my gaskets and rings to arrive and will assemble it and check compression.


I am quite impressed that the oil scraper held 5bar. That is just awesome.

I remember when I was first confronted with Bosch K-Jetronic, the first functional and emissions-compliant mechanical fuel injection system. I was working on my Golf I Cabriolet, tearing it down for a cleanup, and realized that Bosch had simply taken a carb apart and scattered the parts around the engine bay. That was the primary reason K-Jet has always been super-confusing to people who only know EFI: they don’t know carbs.

I used to think I knew carbs.

This Mikuni is killing me. It has more jets than a four-barrel Holley. It has more vacuum hoses and little passageways than a 1970s Jag. Who came up with this thing? And why is it killing my poor Sherpa?

Which is still not running. Poor thing is trying to fire. It is trying so hard to fire. It almost ran last night. Today, I will tear out the pilot screw (the what?), which is the buried part that controls the idle air mixture. Why not just call it that? You know, the idle air mixture screw. Ugh.

Oh, well. Here goes nothing. At least now, I know how to get the carb in and out without killing myself.

Time to bust out the old sonicator – a 1960s Narda SonBlaster 600 that my dad trashpicked about 35 years ago. It’s still going 60W strong. One of the cooler features is a limited tuning function that allows you to max the coupling constant for a given group of parts. It has two tanks and will drive one at a time.


The carb parts cleaned up very nicely in a 40/60 mix of Simple Green and water.


Although I ordered up some new jets for it, I likely won’t use them. The OE ones are in good shape, and I’d rather re-jet for a slightly richer mix.

The culprit was the air filter – it had a bad day. As far as I can tell, the mess is limited to the intake horn and the carb. I’ll get out the boroscope to check the intake valves tonight. And try to find a new air filter. A paper one would be better, I hate foam filters for exactly this reason.


My Sherpa decided to no longer fire. I was getting air and spark, but possibly no fuel. Petcock (what magic is this vacuum thing?) is ok.

This little Mikuni is not an SU. Or a Holley. Or a Weber, or a Stromberg, or any other carb I am familiar with.


Slide diaphragm is ok…


Hmmm, was that my air filter?


More to come.