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Old 03-26-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
JerryP.
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Default Flathead vapor lock

Can someone help with vapor lock on my flattie? I added a inline fuel pump, which stops it when starts to lock but I would like to eliminate the problem. By the way it's a stock 8ba in my 50. Thanks
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:44 PM   #2
53ash
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Easy trick on the road. Clip some wood clothes pins on the fuel line. They work to get rid of heat. Long term. You can move the fuel line to a cooler location, or insulate the fuel line.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:51 PM   #3
Hank37
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Back in the day when we had flatheads had to carry water to pour over fuel pump to cool it down, later tried the clothes pin trick that worked.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
uncle max
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

A lot of flathead "vapor lock" problems can be cured with a new NAPA Echlin IH-200 condensor.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
4dFord/SC
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

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Originally Posted by uncle max View Post
A lot of flathead "vapor lock" problems can be cured with a new NAPA Echlin IH-200 condensor.
How many clothes pins will it hold?
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:41 AM   #6
calicruiser
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

I am having the same "vapor lock" issue with the flat head V8 in my 49 ford. It was above 90 degrees yesterday and it locked up a few times after I started it and then took off.

Is the NAPA condensor a direct replacement for my flattie?? thanks!!

josh
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:30 PM   #7
xlr8
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Try gas from different sources. If you have winter blended gasoline that you bought last fall, get rid of it or put in just a little diesel fuel until you can get it burnt off. Try to buy gas with no ethanol. Some gas is way worse for this. Premium sometimes helps, too.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Ther is no way a clothes pin can dissipate heat. Wood is an insulator. The wood shields the gas line from the heat at best.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:48 PM   #9
Customline Vicky
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

I'm having a vapor lock problem with my '56 I've been chasing for 2 years. Only does it if just barely moving or idling for a long time. If I got in one of those 15 mile interstate traffic jams I'd just have to pull over until they got it cleared up. I put an electric fuel pump on it and it did delay it some but still does it. I put a water hose right on top of the fuel pump the other day and it never did it and the gas never boiled. (I have a clear plastic fuel filter). The carburetor never gets so hot you can't touch the bowls (have a 1" plastic spacer under it). Have rubber fuel lines from pump to carb. The line from the fuel tank runs outside the frame all the way up so is never close to a heat source. Next move is high test, no ethanol fuel, (if I can find any).
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:53 PM   #10
4dFord/SC
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by calicruiser View Post
Is the NAPA condensor a direct replacement for my flattie??
It's actually for International Harvester tractors, but it works well on flatheads, too.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:56 PM   #11
hotrod40coupe
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Install an electric fuel pump back by the tank, remove the stock fuel pump and shield ALL the fuel lines from ANY heat source. That should cure your problem. Electric pumps push better than pull.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:10 PM   #12
dudley32
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatjack View Post
Ther is no way a clothes pin can dissipate heat. Wood is an insulator. The wood shields the gas line from the heat at best.
the clothes pin stops the heat(insulates)from climbing up the metal gas line..d32
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:14 PM   #13
xhotrodder
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

I have a friend with a stock 41 Ford flathead. He has been plagued with the vapor lock problem for several years. He has tried the clothes pin route, and insulating the fuel line also. Neither seems to help him, when it is really hot.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:24 PM   #14
Gotgas
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Vapor lock occurs when fuel is allowed to boil. Only two things you can do to affect that; one is to insulate the fuel from excess heat, the other is to increase fuel pressure. Higher fuel pressure makes the vapor lock situation happen at a higher temperature; hopefully higher than your fuel is ever allowed to reach.

Most vapor lock issues I've dealt with have been due to a weak fuel pump (pressure too low). Usually one of those phenolic or fiber 1/2" carb spaces will keep the carb cool enough to keep vapor lock at bay even with a slightly weak pump.

In short, check your fuel pressure and make sure it's in spec.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:46 AM   #15
calicruiser
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

in my situation, I think the CARB is the issue, not the fuel line running to it. It may also be a weak fuel pump. (have to check it) I think the fuel is getting through the line and boiling when it enters the carb causing the vapor lock. The fuel line (not rubber) is not even hot to the touch and is 3-4" away from the engine.

After is locks and I pour some gas into the carb I can hear it boiling and sizzling.

If I put a fiber spacer (as mentioned above) between the carb and engine, I suspect this will help keep the carb cooler.

and again, it has been in the high 80's here the last few days when this is happening. It is cooler today and I will run it and see what happens.

I will also be moving to Columbus OH in the next month or two and I doubt the high heat and humidity will help my cause!!!!!!! DAMN.

josh
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:00 AM   #16
Ole don
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Customline Vicky View Post
I'm having a vapor lock problem with my '56 I've been chasing for 2 years. Only does it if just barely moving or idling for a long time. If I got in one of those 15 mile interstate traffic jams I'd just have to pull over until they got it cleared up. I put an electric fuel pump on it and it did delay it some but still does it. I put a water hose right on top of the fuel pump the other day and it never did it and the gas never boiled. (I have a clear plastic fuel filter). The carburetor never gets so hot you can't touch the bowls (have a 1" plastic spacer under it). Have rubber fuel lines from pump to carb. The line from the fuel tank runs outside the frame all the way up so is never close to a heat source. Next move is high test, no ethanol fuel, (if I can find any).
When in heavy traffic on a hot day, instead of following the car in front at four feet, follow at twelve feet. Your engine will be ten to twenty degrees cooler. The fuel pump on my Y block was meant for a 292 truck, it is the same one used for a 427 single four barrel engine. My car has never vapor locked.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:20 PM   #17
NOLUCK13
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

I had the same problem with my flattie. I rerouted the fuel line and put in a electric fuel pump and new fuel filter and that seemed to solve my problem. It gets pretty hot here in Austin, Texas and I haven't had a problem since!
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:31 PM   #18
haychrishay
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Don't run ethanol mixed gas, run premium.
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Old 05-30-2010, 02:12 PM   #19
bobscogin
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Wouldn't blocking off the exhaust crossover make the carb run cooler?

Bob
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Old 05-30-2010, 02:58 PM   #20
calicruiser
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Default Re: Flathead vapor lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLUCK13 View Post
I had the same problem with my flattie. I rerouted the fuel line and put in a electric fuel pump and new fuel filter and that seemed to solve my problem. It gets pretty hot here in Austin, Texas and I haven't had a problem since!
I am gonna order up the electric fuel pump and see where that gets me. thanks for all the advice fellas!!

josh
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