I "think" it turned out to be three things. Two of which are corrected:
1. Loose 12V
lead to the igntion magnetic switch
2. Bag plug wire on number 8
3. Something in the carb (power valve???)
Here are the gory details:
I tinkered and checked and tuned a tweaked and we decided to leave CT for Louisville a day early just in case. Good thing too. We headed down 95 toward NY on Friday night and everything seemed fine. But on the Tapanzee Bridge we lost everything. Engine died, nothing, wouldn't turn, holy moly!
Luckily this happened in the far right lane and we had just crested the center of the bridge, so I put the flashers on, dropped into N and "coasted" down the other side. I had Suzanne pull the doghouse and in the dark I could see some arching at the magentic switch on the alternator bracket. I basically shoved the wire back in, restarted and made it to a turn off at the end of the bridge. Cut the wire, crimped on a new connector and we were on our way again. BTW - Suzanne earned 300 Airstream points for this act of in motion troubleshooting - if there are such points.
I suspect that we were getting partial or even intermittant connections earlieri n our trip from this loose wire. I'm more than a little anoyed at myself on this one as it had been on my list for some time. It gave me trouble on a trip to Atlanta and I've had "solder wires" on the to do list since then.
We made it well into NJ before the hesitation started again. Needless to say we were pretty bummed out that we still had our power troubles. Ended up at a Wal-Mart in Stroudsberg PA (where we bought a soldering iron and soldered those swich connections - just to be sure)
The next day we made it as far as the Flying J in Midland PA on I-80. Just because, I decided to throw on the timing light to see if we were out of time (I was thinking thinking jumped timing chain at this point). For some reason I decided to connect the light to each wire and check the plug firing. Turns out plug wire number eight was bad. Missing as many as five fires in a row. A trip to the local NAPA and an explination that I just bought these wires at NAPA in Louisville a week ago and was headed back with my family in our Airstream MH and before I could fninish the manager handed me a single wire with a smile.
We decided to press on and made it to western PA (Flying J again - I must like these) and camped for the night. I noticed during this leg that the hestiation on hills had changed. If it's possible to "feel" such changes it no longer felt like it was missing it felt now like it was running out of gas on hills. I thought that with a consistant 12V
feed power and number eight actually firing more than 50% of the time the backfiring was gone.
This morning I fired her up and sprayed nearly a half a can of CRC Carb Cleaner down the primaries and secondaries. We ended up driving through to Louisville with no more hesitation at 65 - 70. Instead it seemed like the hesitates slightly now at 35 - 45. So I'm pretty sure I'm down to a Carb issue. Just for fun we stopped at Jegs in Columbus and priced Edlebrocks. (What a cool store)
Despite the little stumbles at lower speeds she ran like a champ all the way down 71 at 65 with the cruise on; up hills, down hills, just like she used to.
So - what was everyone saying about the power valve?