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1958 Mark Convertible Fuel Delivery Issues


I am just getting my '58 convertible back on the road after many years of storage waiting for transmission rebuild. Now that the transmission is okay, I am having issues with the fuel system. I believe what I am experiencing is vapor lock. After the car is driven and the engine is hot, I am finding that I can restart the car but it will soon die. Because the fuel pump is up on top of the engine near the distributor, I can remove the lid of the fuel pump by removing two screws. When I do, I usually find that the fuel pump is emptied out. I can usually prime the pump by adding more fuel and re-installing the lid. The car, after some cranking, will re-start. I know that the fuel pump could stand to be replaced or re-built but would that make this problem go away?

This fuel pump on the '58 has a single hose coming from the fuel tank. I also have a '64 convertible; its fuel pump is located in the same basic spot but it has two lines to and from the fuel tank. It also has the big heat shield attached to the fuel pump. I have not had issues with the '64 running the same 93 octane fuel. This design suggests to me that the Lincoln engineers did have vapor lock issues in the tight confines of early 60's engine compartment.

Is there anything that can be done to both keep the '58 original but restore some reliability?

Thanks for your thoughts,



Hi Dean -

If you do in fact have fuel delivery issues then correcting these issues will improve your situation. Before replacing parts you could do a fuel pressure and volume test as described in the manual. You state that the fuel pump could do with a rebuild but you should also consider the very important fuel pump push rod that drives the pump. This very popular item is well known to wear down and loose its ability to drive the pump properly. To check this push rod you need to remove it and measure the length. A new rod is 4 7/8" long. A shorter rod will lessen the capacity of the pump by the amount that is less than the 4 7/8" measurement. If you are able to perform the above pressure and volume tests and find that the results are not up to par you can then perform the tests again after the repairs to realize the improvement. I am assuming that your fuel lines and hoses etc. are in good order. We have the necessary parts available for your fuel system if you need them. If you would need further information on this push rod please call our office and ask for Al.