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1979 Fuel Delivery Issues

Hi Bill,

I am the proud owner of a 79' Continental. I am having issues with the fuel delivery system, as in non fuel is being delivered to the carb. The first step I took was to remove the fuel line from the filter and have someone pump the gas to ensure that there was in fact no fuel being delivered. Next I assumed that the fuel pump was bad, so I headed down to auto zone and bought a replacement, I changed it but before I hooked up the fuel lines I had someone pump the line again while I held my finger over the intake. No suction, damn. So either I put the arm that does the pumping in wrong or the mechanism that activates the pump is not working. Please advise oh great ruler of all things Lincoln.

My sincerest regards,



Hi Zachary -

I don't understand what you mean by "had someone pump the line again" or how you are really testing those pumps. In any case and if you think that it is the pumps that are not working, you or a knowledgeable technician could first bench test both pumps for pumping action and at the same time you can check to find out if the new pump has the same pump lever configuration as the original pump. It is rare but not unheard of for the pump eccentric that drives the pump lever to fail. Other very popular fuel delivery problems to consider are plugged filters, rusted/ flaking fuel tank interiors, rusted/perforated fuel lines and rusted and broken fuel sending unit inlet tubes in the tanks. Of course any fuel line perforations can cause the pump to draw air instead of fuel and may not immediately show up as an external fuel leak. Correct diagnosis by someone familiar with the system is important to avoid unnecessary parts replacement and labor.