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Old 11-30-2008
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CalebD CalebD is offline
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A4 Carburator gas leak

OK, so a bit of background is in order.
We have owned our Tartan 27' #328 (built 1967) for 6 seasons so far. In this time I have become pretty good at changing the oil twice a year, changing the plugs, ignition wires, distributor cap and rotor, monitoring and changing the water pump impeller among others.
Over the years we have owned the boat I have to say that I have become grateful that this old engine (late model or hybrid) keeps on ticking but there is always something to worry about. One thing I have noticed is that our plugs do tend to get a bit sooty and a quick change of new plugs seems to restore the normal rumble and power to the engine. This season was no different with one exception.
About mid-season I began to notice an intermittent loss of power in forward and decided it was time to look at the Moyer engine manual I have. I also decided change the racor fuel filter and to use some carb cleaner which I sprayed into the flame arrestor/intake valve. I also gave a slight turn to what I thought was the rich/lean mixture adjusting screw on the carb. It seemed to run a little better. Then we changed the plugs and it seemed to run like a champ.
I should add that we usually only use the engine to motor out to the races and back which I know is considered a bad practice.
Around the same time during the season we began to notice a gassy smell in the cabin so I took some nice clean, white oil rags and put some under the carburator. Lo and behold, there was a light brown stain on the cloth and a healthy gasoline smell down below. During this seasons winter layup I closed the fuel intake valve, upstream of the Racor filter so the whole tank does not end up in the bilge.
I did some research over on the Moyer A4 forums and found a reference to a leaky float valve that could cause this unsafe condition. There is also a reference as to how to clean the carb float valve by removing the main passage plug and drawing some gas through it until it comes through clean.
So my questions to the experts on this forum are as follows:
1) Since I have done no maintenance to the carburator since owning this boat should I just bite the bullet and take the whole mess off and give it a good cleaning (servicing where needed) even if I've never done this before?
2) Should I try the method of removing the main passage plug and running some fuel through first? This method does not require the removal of the carb unit.
3) Is it likely that by using the carb cleaner through the flame arrestor/intake that I inadvertently got junk into the float valve OR is it just as likely that this would happen eventually?
4) Is using carb cleaner a good idea in the first when the engine is running?
5) Am I missing something?
Any and all knowledgeable comments are welcome as are snide remarks, ridicule and humor.
Thanks.
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