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Preventing and resolving vapor lock?

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Old 07-20-2018, 08:35 AM
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Factoid
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Default Preventing and resolving vapor lock?

My 1961 with dual carb 350 has not seen +90 degree temperatures since the restoration. Tomorrow we are driving two hours north to Austin for the COTA Corvette Invasion. Both the wife and I are excited, but it looks like the temperature will be 100+. Any tips to avoid and if necessary resolve vapor lock? Not something I have had to worry about in over 30 years. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:28 AM
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R66
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Non-Ethanol Fuel if you can find it. It won't perk out as bad a Alcohol tainted fuel.
Some insulate the fuel line between the pump and the carb. I haven't done it yet.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:41 AM
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if it was me I would just drive it and not worry about it. you can't fix a problem you don't have
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:51 AM
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If you have problems with starting after a hot soak you may want to wire the heat riser open...
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by R66 View Post
Non-Ethanol Fuel if you can find it. It won't perk out as bad a Alcohol tainted fuel.
Some insulate the fuel line between the pump and the carb. I haven't done it yet.
Yes, that will fix perc/heat soak but vapor lock is something different. The only thing that will help vapor lock is an electric fuel pump placed as close to the fuel tank as possible and or a fuel return line bask to the fuel tank.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
if it was me I would just drive it and not worry about it. you can't fix a problem you don't have
This is probably the best advice.

Thanks, gang!
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:23 AM
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I bought some thick rubber tubing, split it length wise (about 2 feet) and put it over the tubing running from the pump to the carbs. Just make sure you encase the line that's nearest the block. Seems to work for me.
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
if it was me I would just drive it and not worry about it. you can't fix a problem you don't have



"You can't fix a problem you don't have"...... isn't that the reason why they invented... " The Pill".... which started the"Sexual Revolution" and" Free Love" in the 60's??
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CorvetteMikeB View Post
"You can't fix a problem you don't have"...... isn't that the reason why they invented... " The Pill".... which started the"Sexual Revolution" and" Free Love" in the 60's??
we all have our methods, those who preach "You can't fix a problem you don't have" most probably put sunscreen after they got burned too
I personally think it's rather wise to wonder what impact change of circumstances can have on your engine.

to the OP: there is little you can do in less than 24 hr notice... I just finished my first long trip, a 1500 mile holiday trip through the UK. Mostly temps around 80-90į, not that high, but through a rather hilly landscape putting extra load (=heat) on the engine. I did not experience any heat problems (I had solved them earlier...) , although temps rose from 180 to 190 once in a while in traffic jams and airco on. Putting the airco off (if you have one) during 'risk' moments (traffic jams..) makes a very noticeable difference. I was curious to see the influence of rpm at a given speed on temp. I found that going to the highest possible (reasonable) gear for a given speed reduces temperature. Not a lot, but every bit can help when one runs into trouble. Good luck and enjoy the journey

Last edited by alexandervdr; 07-21-2018 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by alexandervdr View Post
we all have our methods, those who preach "You can't fix a problem you don't have" most probably put sunscreen after they got burned too
I personally think it's rather wise to wonder what impact change of circumstances can have on your engine.

:
And, there are those that cannot resist the urge to throw the hood up as they skid into the driveway, looking for the next figment of their imagination. I've always wondered how many problems they actually fix that needs fixing and how many problems they cause by trying to re-engineer something they know nothing about or inadvertently leave fasteners loose and something falls out on the road?


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Old 07-21-2018, 05:09 PM
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A temporary fix to vapor lock is to cool the fuel pump. If it happens after you've shut down (e.g., to get gas), you may be able to fix it by pouring ice water on the fuel pump and lines to the carburetor.
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post


And, there are those that cannot resist the urge to throw the hood up as they skid into the driveway, looking for the next figment of their imagination. I've always wondered how many problems they actually fix that needs fixing and how many problems they cause by trying to re-engineer something they know nothing about or inadvertently leave fasteners loose and something falls out on the road?

I know Mike that's your mantra, each one his own
I have done many of the things you (and Nowhere Man) would not have done, the vast majority gave me great satisfaction and some were indeed screw ups. But in all cases I learned a lot. I took the time to study in depth the issue before taking out the tools though, I agree that just trying something out without understanding what is going on is not best practice. But even then, if that's what makes one feel good, what's the problem?

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Old 07-21-2018, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by alexandervdr View Post

But even then, if that's what makes one feel good, what's the problem?
The harm could be, being a worry wart can cause major mental and physical health problems.

I think there is two or three current threads going on here right now. Many mixing the terms of vapor lock and percolation which tells me, they have no idea what they might be trying to conquer or how to intelligently go about it..
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
if it was me I would just drive it and not worry about it. you can't fix a problem you don't have

An an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

At least have a AAA card.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:34 PM
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Well, I made it!,

102 degree temperature, A/C blasting, soft top up, 180 degree engine temp the whole way!

Then we got in line and I watched the temp climb to about 210 as we sat there idling, but she ran great. I pulled into a spot and shut her down. Then ten minutes later found a better spot and she started right up! Driving COTA was a blast, but our pace car barely hit 60. Anyway a great day and the wife only bitched a little!
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Factoid View Post
Well, I made it!,

102 degree temperature, A/C blasting, soft top up, 180 degree engine temp the whole way!

Then we got in line and I watched the temp climb to about 210 as we sat there idling, but she ran great. I pulled into a spot and shut her down. Then ten minutes later found a better spot and she started right up! Driving COTA was a blast, but our pace car barely hit 60. Anyway a great day and the wife only bitched a little!

so what your saying was you had zero problems even after worrying about for days. who would have thunk a stock GM designed car from 60+ years ago can be driven worry free in any weather with today's junk gas. jeez the sky isn't falling after all
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:29 AM
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Keith - vapor lock is a current problem and was 50 years ago.....I know, my Dad traded in many a car with clothes pins clamped on the fuel line as a cure. It doesn't work. I remember one '57 Chevy distinctly because it must have had 25 clothes pins festooning the fuel line.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:38 AM
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If the clothes pins didn't work, regardless of how many clothes pins were on the gas line, maybe the problem wasn't vapor lock at all. Whatever the real problem might have been?

I've seen weak fuel pumps, stopped up socks in the fuel tank, water and custom routed fuel lines too close to engine heat cause an engine to stall. I don't recall ever seeing a car/truck to OEM design in good repair that had a real "vapor lock" problem. In 65 years of tinkering with cars, trucks, tractors and other gas powered equipment. Maybe it's something in the local water supply.

Last edited by MikeM; 07-22-2018 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:45 AM
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We can debate it until the cows come home - I can tell you in Norfolk in the late 60s cars experienced it....
Navy wives with husbands out to sea for 9 months were bad about maintenance - whether or not that was a factor or not...

The myth that GM engineers were saintly and their designs never suffered from problems is a nice bedtime story....
Nuf sed...
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
so what your saying was you had zero problems even after worrying about for days. who would have thunk a stock GM designed car from 60+ years ago can be driven worry free in any weather with today's junk gas. jeez the sky isn't falling after all
Nowhere man, sitting in your nowhere land has caused you to overthink and obsess apparently. I gave it no more thought than that of being well prepared. I asked the question of the Corvette collective as the assembled knowledge here is that of the first generation of Cray computer (Including periodic bugs). Itís been a few years and a few states that werenít as consistently hot as Texas since I had a carburetor on my car (last year I put an LS and 6L80 from a 2012 Camaro in my 1988 LR Defender). Anyway, I appreciate ALL of the input and comments. Itís what makes this place great.
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