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Old 05-18-2006, 22:58   #1 (permalink)
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confused Vapor Lock?

I've got a '64 Galaxie that I swapped a 460 and c6 into and I love it. When I was driving it last night, it started sputtering on me and died. Fifteen minutes later it started right up and I was able to make it home. Someone told me it was vapor lock due to exhaust heat vaporizing the gas in the lines. He told me to try wrapping the fuel line with a thermal wrap and I did, it happened again today, but even faster. Again, I let it sit for a while and was able to drive it home. I've had the car on the streets for a few months and this has never happened before. The weather is heating up, but I drove it for much longer before when it was cooler out. What's the deal? I was told that if it kept happening I might have to run a fuel return line back to the tank. Before I drop the tank and start cutting and drilling things, I want a second or third opinion. What gives?



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Old 05-18-2006, 23:27   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Vapor Lock?

Are you using a mechanical or electric holley fuel pump? Reason I ask is I had a car a few years back that did the same thing, would for no reason die, then leave it for a while and it would start again. This car had an old electric holley pump that was overheating and then cut out. Once it cooled it ran okay again for a while.
From your description it does sounds possibly like a fuel blockage of sorts. Maybe some crud in the tank is blocking the pick up. Might be worth checking the tank and installing a filter if you don't already have one.
Your car sounds pretty nice, especially with the 460 in it. What body type is it? Any pics??
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Old 05-18-2006, 23:31   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Vapor Lock?

check your fuel pump pressure first before doing anything, most cases of vapour lock are due to low fuel pressure. Should be 5psi min 7psi max
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:11   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Vapor Lock?

What ignition , you running. You checked for spark when it dies, you might be using 9volt coil and not running a ballast resistor. Coil over heating,, heard of this with a mate of mine.
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Old 05-19-2006, 15:27   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Vapor Lock?

when it does it just take the cap off your gas tank, if theres pressure than thats it. mine did that, i drilled a small hole in the cap and cured the problem.
are you running points or electronic ignition, if newer it could be the ignition module on the distributor.
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Old 05-20-2006, 00:20   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Vapor Lock?

check your ignition side as above 2 posts have said if it has got a module on the side of the dissy try pouring some water over it when it happens and see if it starts quiker. i tend to think it is definately a electrical fault as well
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:48   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Vapor Lock?

I had a similar problem when I 1st put the 460 in my ZC, the car would start to splutter then cut out and would take 10-15 minutes before it would start and when started it appeared to be flooded.


What was happening was the heat from the radiator was actually boiling the fuel in the front fuel bowl and it would boil over and into the carby throats and flood the motor, as a temporary fix at the time, i placed a rag in front of the fuel bowl so it would absorb the heat rather than get into the bowl.
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Old 06-23-2006, 21:59   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Vapor Lock?

Could try using a phenolic (plastic) spacer under the carb. This acts to insulate the carby from the hot manifold/engine, preventing heat transfer and the fuel boiling.

I had the same thing on my 351, especially in the hot summer months. That was with an old cast iron manifold and the shaker filter cover would hang over the carby and smother all the heat in too.

I changed manifolds and put my new spacer on.....never happened again.

My avatar <--------- shows my 2" spacer, but all you'd need is a 1/2" or a little bigger if you can fit it under the bonnet/hood. $15 on ebay
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:46   #9 (permalink)
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frown Re: Vapor Lock?

I have a 2004 Escape 4WD.

I ran out of gas totally, put gas into the tank and tried to start it...it won't turn over (battery is fine). I cycled the key a few times (in cycles of 5, then tried to start it, did this about 20 times, over a period of 2 hours) to get the gas pump to fill the lines, but still it won't turn over.

It's stuck 2 towns over in a parking lot.

Anyway, I was told it could be vapor locked. Can anyone give me a suggestion on what to do before I dump $150 to get it towed to the Ford dealer and pay them something that possible I can also do.

Any help would be really appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2008, 16:48   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Vapor Lock?

I have had a simular problem with a E-350 460 motor with EFI. Everyone told me it was impossible for a fuel injected system to "vapor lock" because of the pressurized system but i have two manifold leaks and that creates a lot of heat under the hood. The 88 & 89 models had faults with the two back manifold bolts. I have fabricated some heat shields and used a lot of wooden clothes pins and been running good for a while now.
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