So I started up the backhoe to do some finishing touches on the foundation hole.  Apparently my concrete guy wants this hole ready to just pull up to with a concrete truck and fill it with crete.  So I squeaked out of work early and climbed aboard the smelly beast and proceded to drive back down into this huge hole.


Previous to this day I told myself I wasn’t going to attempt it, because it’s way to rocky and uneven and I could roll the backhoe or get stuck, or break something…

…fast forward to a cartoon scene of a guy working in a garage with just the roof of the backhoe sticking up out of the concrete using it as a table…

Either way it was time to clean up the site and I’d be damned if I was going to use a shovel just because I was “scared” to roll it.  *SCOFF* forget that.

…so there I was…

I drove down the rocky slope, with the backhoe listing from side to side, honestly where were the cameras then?  But I made it to the bottom and did some digging for drainage and cleaning up of footings.  All was well for about 15 minutes, then it started running so lean that I couldn’t control it with waiting, or choking it.   So I stopped and pulled off this one fuel filter that looked pathetically imploded.  I bought another one that was clear on top of the (not clear) one that was already on there such that I could easily tell when fuel was flowing and when it was not.

This is due to a medical condition that I must have which inadvertently makes me run every vehicle I own out of gas, in such a way that upon the mind boggling stall, it’s absolutely preposterous and utterly unbelievable that this device could be out of fuel, and so consequently I’m lead on a multi-hour sometimes day long chase trying to find the “problem”…

The logic which guided me to remove the fuel filter was as follows.  How could it be that the fuel filter, clear plastic, was imploded?  Could it be that there is so much restriction that it sucked the sidewalls in? So perhaps it’s restricting fuel flow and causing the lean condition and it’s not related to the floats.  Also, what’s the time involved with testing this theory? Very little.  So let’s do it.  I also put fuel it it as I was stopped, keep note of this for later…

Well it ran better.  Ok, fine.  But not for long.  So I removed the other fuel filter.  At this point I’m so frustrated that the hour of work I have to do in 1 hour and 15 mins is taking me 2 hours.  So it runs better!  Yay.  For a while.

Soon as I’m nearing the very last bit, it start running super bad.  Like this.  Move bucket for 1 second, wait 5 seconds for engine to rev back up.  Move bucket, Wait, Move bucket wait.


I’m completely out of time for this project.  I’m completely out of time in that moment because I need to go pick up my kids.  I’m completely out of quick fixes to make it run better…what remove the fuel line? shut off? Just mount a gas can to the top of the carb? …now there’s an idea…  On top of all this I haven’t had the alternator working in a year or so.  The little red light on the dash…heh, dash.  This is barely a dash let me tell you, I think the red light is the only thing that works.  So as this alternator hasn’t been working the battery is way low on charge.  SO I’m struggling to finish work, and it keeps dying.  Sometimes I’m not fast enough with the choke to save it and I have to crank it over.  With each crank, the battery becomes closely to the point of not being able to even crank the engine anymore.  Finally I give up, and attempt to move it out of the hole, but I only get one second of run time to 4 of waiting, so when I’m trying to climb ledge with huge tractor tires I move 6 inches, then press the clutch and stand up on the brakes as it catches it’s breath and ever so slightly rolling back 5 inches.

So the last 10 minutes went something like this.

  • 1 sec – dig
  • 4sec – wait
  • 1 sec – dig
  • 4sec – wait
  • 1 sec – dig
  • 4 sec – wait
  • 1 sec- move 6 inches
  • 4 sec- wait and slide back 5 inches
  • 1 sec- move 6 inches
  • 4 sec- wait and slide back 5 inches

Only 10 more feet to go!!

Needless to say, it was tiring but I limped it out of the hole at idle and parked it.  Phew.  This last time of not running right I would be 9 to 1 that the lack of fuel filters allowed dirt to get into the carb and lodge itself somewhere I’d rather it not be and starve the fuel even more and at a faster rate.  And so, I’ll have to take the carb off again, and clean it out.  Sigh.


One of my curiosities is how variable it is.  I think this is due to a few things.  one.  it’s orientation to gravity.  It seems to run one way when facing up hill and another facing downhill.  I’ve also come to believe that it runs better when it has a full tank of fuel as opposed to an empty tank.  I seem to remember every time I filled it, it ran better afterwards.  My theory is that when there is more fuel in the tank there is more gravity pushing the fuel out, it also is above the level of the carb when it’s semi-full and below the level of the carb when it’s close to empty.

List of Factors Involved:

  • Fuel level in the bowl
  • Amount of fuel entering the intake manifold
  • Amount of air entering the intake manifold
  • Orientation in relation to the ground
  • Fuel restriction? – probably not
  • Amount of Fuel in the Tank – Gravity

At this point, I am still sticking with my thought of buying a new Zenith 33 and just install it.  I feel it will eliminate a lot of factors involved.  I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading.

Barely Running!
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