This is really frustrating. I was driving from Salem, Or. back to
Corvallis this evening with the most wonderful feeling of contentment. I
got almost into town and Bitsy started lugging and stalling, acting like
she was out of gas. This is not the first time it's happened. The first
time the gauge read 1/4 tank. I figured that maybe the gauge wasn't
working right. After all she is 21 years old. After walking to the gas
station and back, I added some fuel and got her to start, after cranking
for a bit to pull the fuel through the system. The second time I was
idling (with a half tank), waiting to turn back on to the highway after
going through a drive-thru. After about 30 minutes I got her to start,
again after some cranking like you have to do after adding fuel after
you run out. This time the gauge again read 1/4. I decided, after
pushing her about 3 miles (God am I glad she's light) to get a soda and
some fries and let her rest. After almost an hour, I tried to start her
and this time, no joy. I pushed her to the closest gas station
(fortunately only a couple blocks), got some gas and she started on the
The first attempt at a solution:
I read on the message board at triumphspitfire.com that this could be an
overheating problem with the carb causing it to vapor lock. The symptoms
were exactly what I was experiencing so I added a fan that blows between
the carb and the exhaust manifold. The jury is still out whether this is
helping or not as I don't know if I ran out of gas or not the last time.
First, how can you tell how much gas is in the tank without a gauge? I'm
not sure mine is reliable.
Second, if the gauge is ok, does anyone have any ideas what this might
be. She acts exactly like she's out of gas.
Third, could it be the Lucas ignition system? I've been told by a fellow
spitfire owner that it might be the ignition.
Fourth, could it be the carb itself, even though she runs and idles just
fine at all other times?
Help, please. This is driving me crazy.
Thanks in advance,
'79 Spit - "Bitsy"
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