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Spacebug fuel intake issue? Babe_b10
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Post  7Mile on Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:22 pm

I recently found an old spacebug that belonged to my father, after setting out to restore it I ran into the issue of fuel intake and i’d like some feedback from some more experienced people.

Essentially, the engine burns off a prime and nothing else, my own research into this issue reveals that the tank isn’t leaking, and that the metal pipe and needle aren’t blocked at all.

The issue may lie in the fact that (because I had it mounted in place and not flying) the needle was facing the ground, but also possibly with the reeds? I’d appreciate any feedback, thanks!
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Post  Mudhen on Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:11 pm

Having the needle facing down for a static run won’t impact engine start/run characteristics.
In fact, you’ll be able to burn more fuel than having it in its traditional setting.
My experience with a rebellious Space Bug, (insert also, Thermal Hopper, Space Bug Jr., and Strato-Bug,) centers on the dual reeds inserted in the engine.
The concept for two reeds was a thin reed to seal against the aperture, and the thick reed to act as spring return. It’s problematic.
If you want to run the engine, only the thick reed is required and you’ll see no diminished performance.
My recommendation is to completely disassemble the engine. Remove the aluminum reed housing, reed back plate, and both reeds, (which are probably stuck together.)
Thoroughly flush the needle valve opening, also use a .010 wire to make sure it passes all the way through to the venturi tube.
Flush the fuel pick up tube. Make sure the venturi tube is clean and smooth. (I use XXX steel wool.) Clean the reed seat and carburetor opening.
Clean and polish the reed. (I use Novus #3 for this.)
Buy replacement gaskets form Bernie, and you should be good to go.
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Post  7Mile on Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:40 pm

I’ll be sure to fix up the reed assembly!

And also, Bernie?
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Post  getback on Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:15 am

Bernie at Cox International , parts engines supply for these Cox engines .. https://coxengines.ca/cox-.049-thermal-hopper-space-bug-jr.-crankcase-gasket-2.html Welcome to the Forum!!! 7Mile !!! Small Cox Logo Babe Bee .049 Small Cox Logo
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Post  ticomareado on Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:48 am

I've been piddling with one and I'm not sure how much restrictive "bend" the tab on the aluminum reed housing is supposed to have against the reed set.
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Post  Mudhen on Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:28 am

The reed back plate only has a few degrees of bend. It's almost flat. The reed housing is the aluminum "cup" into which the parts fit.
Just remember that when you reinstall the assembly:

Spacebug fuel intake issue? Reeds10

Place the reed back plate, (1,) into the housing first, with the keys aligned, and the bend facing toward the crankshaft. (Toward the inside of the engine, away from the reeds.)
Insert the thick reed, (2.)
Insert the thin reed, (3.)
To hold the assembly together while you install on the tank front, use a dollop of Vaseline on the reeds and back plate.
This will prevent them from moving and will flush out with the first engine run.
Press the assembly onto the tank front.
If you intend to run the engine, you won't need the thin reed.
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Post  ticomareado on Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:47 pm

Very thorough answer. Many thanks.
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Post  7Mile on Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:18 pm

Oh man, part of my issue was that I didn’t have the reeds in properly, silly me forgot to check how they originally went in. I had just assumed that the reed backplate went In after the reeds.
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