My family and I recently started visiting at Church of the Highlands and I joined a small group oriented around cars. We talk about restoring old cars, tuning new ones, and drooling over the ones we wish we could afford. It’s pretty much the awesomest. The leader’s name is James. I recently asked him to come take a look at the R54 and give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. He crawled in and around the car and came to the assessment that it was not my rear main seal leaking oil everywhere, it was my oil pan gasket. Good News! As we were getting under the car to look at the persistent oil leak, we noticed a rather large puddle of red transmission fluid… Bad News. James seems to think that it’s simply the transmission pan gasket. Good News! I went to O’Reiley Auto Parts and got both of the gasket kits along with more oil and transmission fluid.
I explained to James that I had rebuilt the carburetor twice and I was still having to prime the hell out of the carburetor to get the engine to finally turn over. I practically have to break out the jumper cables to make sure I don’t kill the battery every time I try to get it started. He recommended I simply replace the carburetor… bad news. But, apparently, a carburetor is a plug-n-play type of part. So, as soon as you fasten it on and plug in the gas lines, you’re cooking with gas… literally. Good News! Unfortunately, new carburetors for ’54 Chevrolet Bel Airs aren’t cheap… bad news.
It looks like we’re going to be putting on gaskets and continuing the quest for a new/old carburetor. Once that’s done, it’s time for seat belts and windshield wipers.