Car was now running ok, except it took alot of cranking over to start her when warm, and there'd be a puff of black smoke out the tailpipe.
Did a quick check with the folks over at TheSamba, they mentioned that excessive fuel pressure could cause flooding because the fuel could seep past the float valve. Now was the time to get / build a proper fuel gauge.
Went down to the hardware store nearby, got myself a T fitting with suitable barbs on each end to fit the hoses we were using, got a gauge that read up to 15PSI fitted also. Tested the fuel pressure and found it to be at 7PSI, ok, now it's beginning to be clear why it'd flood. The recommened fuel pressure is no more than 3PSI.
The fuel inlet was also now loose from all this yanking and pulling on it, was spinning freely and leaking when there was fuel pressure. Apparrently this happens rather frequently as the inlet is just a pressed in fitting. There are 2 things we could do. 1. Pull out and knurl the fitting, then epoxy it back in. 2. Tap the top cover and install a threaded fitting (got the picture from on of the threads over at TheSamba).
We did the knurling and installed the fitting back in, you can also do the wire thing like in the above picture (got this from TheSamba), this will reduce the loading on the fitting and hopefully help it stay in place.
The mechanical pump was now back in stock, so we got that instead of messing around with a fuel pressure regulator. The base was packed with grease, and the pivot peened into place (they now have a nasty reputation for popping out and causing the pump not to work, staking them in helps alleviate the problem). Shimmed the base down with gaskets to keep the fuel pressure below 3PSI (says 2.8 on the gague), and all our hard start problems were gone.
But now there was a new problem, the dying problem was back... what the hell... took the fuel tank out and totally flushed it out. cleaned out the metal fuel line that runs in the tunnel, nothing. There was a lot of crud in the tank though, lotsa rust. We'd eventually have to POR-15 the tank I think. Fitted a fine paper element type filter and all was good, at least in the stumbling and dying out department.