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1963 Possible Vapor Lock Issues

Hello Bill,

I just bought a 63' Lincoln Continental. The only problem is that it runs good for about 20 minutes, then it sputters out and will not restart for some time. I took it to a mechanic and I was told the car is going into vapor lock for some unknown reason. I believe most of the car is original.

Can you please help me... I'm not sure what to do and I don't want to keep taking the car to different mechanics. The next thing I know, I'm going to have other problems when dealing with too many different mechanics; some of them will create different problems so they can fix them. I'm looking for a solution for the vapor lock - no other problems.
So with that said....

What is the correct solution to stop the car from going into a vapor lock? What do I need to replace? I've been told that I may need a new gas pump, and alternator, but will that fix my problem? The mechanics seem clueless as I am, and I don't want to change what is not broken. So please help me to remedy my problem.

Chris in Michigan


Hello Chris,

I can sure agree with you that visiting too many mechanics can cause further problems. Your description of your present problem is not uncommon and can be caused by other failures besides a fuel problem. It can also be caused by loss of ignition spark. For instance a bad condenser in the distributor can fail in 20 minutes and then operate fine again when cool. I don't know how your mechanic concluded that vapor lock was your problem but if he suspected a fuel problem, a fuel flow and pressure test should be performed at the time of the failure in order to be sure.

As you have specifically asked, I will give you some ideas on areas to check on your 63. Firstly your pictures show that the Heat Shield for the fuel pump is missing. It is an item that in theory helps to prevent vapor lock. The fuel lines on these cars includes a return vapor line to the fuel tank, therefore all of the lines to and from the gas tank need to be in order and routed as designed. The mechanical part of the fuel pump operation also includes a pushrod that is known to wear and cause a weak flow of fuel. As well, all of the other usual fuel related items such as fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel pickup strainer, lines and fuel filter need to be in order. I hope that the above helps to lead you to a fast diagnosis to your problem. We usually have the correct parts on hand here at Lincoln Land should you require any specific items.

Sincerely,

Bill