It seems like I was just here. I returned from Barrow on Friday evening and after spending the weekend in Fairbanks, I again find myself in the deserted terminal at the Fairbanks International Airport (FAI). I am on my way to the Polar Technology Conference being held in Annapolis, MD, at the Naval Academy. Should be interesting. It turned out to be another warm day (well above freezing) but not as nice as it was yesterday.
Yesterday morning, I got a call from the local Airheads Air Marshal letting me know that it may be a good day to balance my carbs. That afternoon, the same fellow Airhead who helped me overhaul the Bing carburators had me bring the rig by his home and he balanced the carburators. He had a nice quad Hg manometer set up of which we only needed two. They weren't too far off at idle but pretty far off at higher RPM. By adjusting the idle stop screw and the throttle cables he got them balanced pretty quickly. He also had a ColorTune set up which allowed you a peek into the combustion chamber to see the color of the flame while the engine is running. He adjusted the idle mixture (it was only off 1/8th of a turn on one of the carbs) to get the orange color that he was looking for and ran the engine at higher RPM. He said the it was as perfect as you can get with a nice blue.
On the test ride back home, I was pleasantly surprised by the huge difference in performance. There was none of the roughness that was there before and a whole lot more power. With the sidecar, I had resigned myself to never use fifth but now it not only pulled fifth just fine but I was easily able to accelerate in fifth. I had always been concerned about having to restart the bike as it seemed like the battery had just enough charge to turn over the engine but during the balancing process, we probably started the bike a dozen times with never an opportunity for the battery to get charged. No problems at all.