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We own a Plymouth Voyager minivan and have been extremely...

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Dear Tom and Ray:



We own a 1987 Plymouth Voyager minivan and have
been extremely happy with it, except for the
cold start system. When the engine and weather
are cold, the exhaust is a deep black color. We
were told this is a common problem with the
choke on the '87 Voyagers with the 2.6-liter
engine. Is there a way to fix this problem
without buying a new carburetor for $600-plus?
-- Veljee

TOM: Yes, there is. The carburetor can be
"modified" and then "adjusted."

RAY: The choke on this carburetor was never
intended to be adjusted. In fact, it's sealed at
the factory to discourage anyone from even
trying to adjust it. But in our infinite wisdom,
and with the help of TEF (the Theory of
Excessive Force) we've developed a method for
doing just that.

TOM: The Theory of Excessive Force, for those
non-mechanics in our readership today, states
that when something doesn't fit easily, the
first thing you should try to do is force it (by
the way, in rare cases where that doesn't work,
the second step is to check and see if you've
actually got the right part).

RAY: The purpose of the "adjustment" is to "lean
out" the choke -- that is, increase the amount
of air that flows into the carburetor on cold
starts. And due to FAA security regulations, we
are not allowed to divulge the specifics of this
procedure.

TOM: Suffice it to say that it involves cutting
rivets off a protective plate and performing
unnatural acts on the choke mechanism.

RAY: And although this procedure is
unconventional, we've done thousands of them and
have been able to solve the "black smoke"
problem this way in every single case.

TOM: So ask around, Veljee. With a little
research, you'll probably find a mechanic near
you who's willing to take a crack at this
carburetor. Look for a guy who's well versed in
TEF. It's taught in almost every Mechanical
Education Course, right after "Intro to the
Mechanic's Shrug," and "Customer Relations: They
All Do That."
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