In the process of that disassembly, we found GUNK completely blocking one of the two barrels (it’s a two-barrel carb). That’s basically the same thing as saying that half a person’s airways were blocked. No wonder I was having issues – my truck couldn’t breathe! Nasty, thick, heavy, black, gunk that is probably a combo of oil and fuel which couldn’t move through the carb the way they were supposed to. We haven’t diagnosed the “why” part yet, but that will come once I post some photos to a Ford Ranger enthusiast forum and have those folks help me diagnose it. But just sitting here mulling this severe a blockage, DH and I figured we would have been into at least $750 if we had taken this to the shop. But by doing this ourselves, so far we’ve spent $95 and two afternoons, parked at a work table in front of the TV on a nasty rainy weekend. Time VERY well spent.
For anyone and everyone thinking to take on a project like this, I think the main thing holding them back is the idea that they won’t know what they’re looking at, and/or won’t know how to put things back together. What I’ve found is that there’s a phenomenal amount of documentation out there to help folks do work like this, and there are forums and discussion groups (like the DR list talks about finances) where folks can post questions and get answers, often with very little turnaround time. The shop pro’s are as close as the computer and the library. I can’t even begin to describe how much this has benefited my confidence in my ability to troubleshoot problems, and “take control” of my truck’s well-being. This was a massive blockage, and now we’re taking care of it, for a fraction of the cost of taking it in for servicing. For folks looking at servicing their own vehicles, go slow, do your homework, document what you do, take lots of pictures, and read read read read read. But by all means, GO FOR IT.