Series II, Part 4: Webers & Whiskey

Cummins Repower July18

As I continue to work on my Series II, I spend a fair amount of time on the forums of gunsandrovers.com. The fellow Rover enthusiasts are always incredibly helpful and quick to respond whenever I have a cry for help, for which I am very thankful. In response to a question I had posted about my dynamo, someone mentioned “shipfitters disease”. Not being familiar with the phrase, I looked it up and came across this wonderful example which had been shared on a Land Rover mailing list back in 1997:

Well, it’s a nice day to work outside, and that cleat is loose, so I’ll just tighten the screws. Oops, one is stripped, so, to do it right, I’ll remove the cleat and see what the problem is. Oh, dear, dryrot!! Well, it’s only in this one plank, and I can easily replace it. Gee, all the screws are loose, better replace the whole frame while I’m at it. Oh, shoot, I’ll have to take out the wiring harness and chain plate, well, the wiring harness really needed to be replaced anyway, and now’s a good time to get that chainplate regalvanized. Fooey, now it won’t match the other-ones, so I’ll just do all of them, won’t that look nice. And since I’ll have to repaint the new planks, I might as well do the rest of the hull or it won’t match. And the shiney hull will really make the cabin trunk look chalkey, and I really wanted to strip and varnish it, so what better time? And since it’ll be out of commission for at least a week, and I’ll have to take out the cabinets to redo the wiring properly (all those funky splices can finally go), I can redo them at the same time. Gee, with all that room, and nothing to get dirty I can finally pull the head and find out why the engine’s been burning oil. I’m sure the shop can have it done before the cabinets are ready to go back in. In fact, this may be an opportunity to rebuild the bottom end, after all, it’s 30 years old and bearings and rings will never be easier to put in. I could even paint the block while it’s out, and galvanize the through-hull fittings, paint the bilge, and get that new pump for an early Christmas present, maybe new sails to go with the new paint, revarnish the mast, replace the sticking sheave while I’m up there, maybe a new antenna, or at least the coax. Heck, the radio’s as old as the boat, and since I’m this far into it…

I quickly realized I had certainly fallen victim to this ailment. Unfortunately, this was after I had just rebuilt the Weber 34ICH carburetor on my truck. As part of the procedure for replacing the head gasket, I had removed the exhaust manifold, with the carb intact perched atop it. For a few weeks the manifold/carb combo sat on the floor on my garage, and seeing it every morning as I walked out to my car, I persuaded myself that since it was off the truck, I might as well rebuild it, right? I spent an evening with a friend, rebuilding the carb, even though once we were about 20 minutes into the rebuild, it was apparent that it had probably been rebuilt not too long ago, because all of the O-Rings and springs seemed completely fine. We each enjoyed a glass of whiskey and took our time, little by little replacing all of the parts from the kit ordered from roversnorth.com.

It should be noted, while we may have successfully rebuilt the carb, getting it to run smoothly once the engine is back together will be another story… hopefully one that doesn’t lead down more rabbit holes of parts that don’t really need to be replaced/rebuilt. Until then, I’ve decided to change course and put everything back together and simply see if we can get the engine running again, only replacing parts that I know for sure aren’t working, which we’ll be getting thanks to our friends at Bearmach.