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Offline rob289c

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Losing Fuel Pressure
« on: May 12, 2018, 11:35:37 AM »
This question is going to be about my Pinto's cousin, a 1982 Ford EXP, 1.6 carburated engine.  For those that forgot about or never knew about EXP's, it is a 2-seat, sportier, hatchback version of an Escort.  My problem:  There are times while driving it begins to stumble and feel like it's running out of gas.  It would be running perfectly and then the stumbling begins.  I have been able to nurse it home, but it has also died on the side of the road.  Other times it will run perfectly, then I make a stop for gas or to go in a store and when I start it back up it will start and run, but only for a very short distance, then it exhibits the out of gas symptom.  It did it to me last Fall after driveing 120 miles perfectly.  I stopped for gas and 1/4 mile down the road it die.  It happened last weekend on it's first outing of the season.  Drove about 15 miles to Lowes, bought a few items, got in, started, but never made it out of the parking lot.  Left it there, came back 4 hours later, it started and drove home fine.  This has been the MO for this car.  I've had it for three years reestoring it so I have no history from the past.  It has NEW fuel tank, existing rigid supply, return, and vent lines, but new rubber fuel hoses to connect the rigid lines as it was from the factory.  New fuel pump and pushrod (I have put two different new furel pumps in it and still have the same issue).  Carb was professionally rebuilt by a former employee of Pony Carburators.  New factory-style fuel filter.  I did re-use the sending unit/fuel pickup.  I cleaned the filter that pushes on the pickup tube that goes into the tank.  I had a Wix see through in line fuel filter before the factory filter but removed it thinking it was causing too much resistance for the pump.  No change.  When I had it in it showed good fuel flow when running well but barely a trickle when it was having the stumbling or no start condition.  It will kick off with starting fluid but won't stay running so I believe it to be a fuel isse, not an ignition issue.  When it runs it runs very well.  It's usually out of the blue or after a quick stop for gas or store when it has a problem.  If it sits long enough it will start and run.  Once I had it towed to the shop I take cars to and when it got there it started and over the week they had it it started every time.  They suggested changing the pump, even though it was new but it continued to have the same problem. 

I suspect it could be one or several of the following:

- two defective fuel pumps (not likely)
- fuel lines (hoses) collapsing due to pump suction causing low flow
- Fuel hose crushed between the tank and floor of the car causing low flow
- vapor lock (has always been relatively cool out when it happens but maybe underhood temps are the culprit?
- is there a fuel shutoff solenoid on the carb that kills flow? 

I know this is a long post and not about a Pinto but I'm hoping one of you has had a similar experience and can share what you did to fix.  I'm afraid to take this thing out on the road thinking it's going to leave me stranded. 

Thank you in advance for any advice or wisdom you can impart.

Rob
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Losing Fuel Pressure
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 12:20:44 PM »
Sounds to me like fuelcould be boiling in the carb and causing vapor lock.  It would be a lot of work, but when it dies if you could open the carb to view the float bowl it might tell the story you are looking for.

Yes, some carb's have a fuel shut-off solenoid  and if so maybe that is the problem. You seem to be in the ball park with the issue. However ...,

  Have you asked around on an Escort site? Most here will be making "stabs in the dark" guesses where a dedicated Escort sitem ay have the problem narrowed down by experience.

Offline rob289c

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Re: Losing Fuel Pressure
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 12:32:17 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  I discussed this on the EXP Facebook page but there weren't any good ideas sent my way.  I never gave a thought to an Escort site.  Good idea.  I will look for one and ask again.  I'll be into a Pinto project later this year or next so you'll be seeing more of me once I start.  Last year it was finish the EXP, this year it is body and paint on a '94 S-15 Jimmy, then the Pinto is next in line.
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Re: Losing Fuel Pressure
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 12:41:59 PM »
Rob,
 Many issues might be the contributing factors. New Tank ? Was it plumbed exactly as the original? Venting to allow an evap system to introduce fresh air into the tank while running or being filled? Did you check the Evap system for plugged lines or saturated charcoal in the canister? Any one of these can cause fuel starvation and it's like the car is sucking on a straw with one end crimped. Open the cap, Does a large amount of vapor get sucked in or vented out? Modern ethanol fuels are notorious for causing evap venting issues in 80's pre OBD emissions cars.
 Just a few ideas from a California driver with an 84 GTI that hates RFG fuels and has made me redo the evap to account for the fuel content, still working on a solution that allows the car to be filled full in hot weather.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Losing Fuel Pressure
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 07:59:17 PM »
Yes, the new tank was plumbed just like the old factory tank. I didn't check the evap system.  I will look at it tomorrow.  Thanks for the tips.  I want to get this thing to be reliable.  It's an oddball car but kinda cool.  I spent the day getting all my tie rods and ball joints loose on my Ranger.  New parts will go in next weekend.  I have too many vehicles and not enough time!
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