I remember the days of bitching about the mess that was the Chrysler Lean-Burn system, the numerous vacuum lines that were made out of something resembling rubber, but dissolved when introduced to any temperature higher than human body temp, or fuel, or oil, and an ignition system/Carburetor that required a voodoo incantation and a sacrificial lamb to operate properly on the third Wednesday of every other month, on leap years only. However now, when something such as this clean example rolls into my bay, I gaze upon it with fond memories of adjusting carbs and messing with distributors. Skills that are utterly useless to most techs now in a world dominated by fuel injection and electronics. In a way I feel lucky to have had the chance to cut my teeth on old relics such as this (the REAL old timers will chuckle at that). They were a bitch to work on, and they would go in and out of tune with the beat of a butterflies wing. But, what they did do was force me as a young technician to fall back on my knowledge, the basics, and taught me how to diagnose and troubleshoot. Not just plug my scan tool in and read off a code. While I don’t think anyone will disagree that diagnosing today’s modern automobiles requires a much different span of knowledge, I will say that many young technicians are coming into the field never having touched a carb, or set a vacuum advance, and while those skills aren’t truly needed, I feel having those tools in your skill set is a good thing, and it makes me wonder, will the techs twenty years from now even care about those skills much as less possess them, or have I become the old man bitching about the good ol’ days gone by?
This came into the shop the other day, four years old with 2,300 miles on the clock. Their other cars include a Continental GT, a Jaguar and dozens of classics. Read more