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So...Friday morning I packed the wife and 3 boys and headed south to Tennessee for 4-days on Dale's Hollow Lake. It took quite a bit of work to get everything we needed in the trunk of the '65 including a picnic lunch and some cold drinks in a cooler for the 5 hour trip down. The car ran flawlessly through the 94 degree heat UNTIL I hit stop and go construction traffic 10 miles North of the Bonnieville exit.

The temperature gauge never got past half and the radiator made no complaints, but after 8 miles of stop and go traffic (say 30 minutes worth) headed uphill the whole time...the car sputtered and died. I got out and with the help of a Good Samaratin I got it pushed onto the shoulder to cool off. I opened the hood and noted that I couldn't see any fuel in the Holley 4160 through the clear sight plug on the fuel bowl. So, I left the hood open and the air cleaner off and got the boys out of the back (10,8, and 3) and we headed off into the trees to have a picnic.

45 minutes later the car still wouldn't start, so I called 911 and asked them to send a tow truck. 20 minutes later a tilt bed showed up (better than a tow truck anyday!) and I tried to start the car one more time. Even though the temperature gauge had dropped to 1/3, it wouldn't start after quite a bit of cranking...so we winched the car up and 6 of us (including "David the truck driver") piled into the front seat and headed South in the construction traffic to Bonnieville.

It turns out that Bonnieville consists of about 12 houses, an old gas station/C-store, and a used car lot. We rolled the car off the flatbed and I sent the wife and kids into the A/C at the C-store to get ice cream and a can of starter fluid. I tried to get the carb to prime one more time with the starter and it just couldn't do it...so I sprayed the ether to it.

It started on the first crank and a little fluttering of the gas pedal kept it going until the bowl filled. I wheeled it over to the gas station and went ahead and filled up. It took about 8 gallons of premium so the tank was about half full.

After that we had no problems on the rest of the trip. However, we never got stuck in traffic for 30 minutes again.

It seems to me I have 2 issues here:

1. The original vapor lock. I've ordered a 1/2" phenolic spacer from Summit which may help this...or may not.

2. The Holley mechanical fuel pump I installed when I rebuilt my engine does not seem to be able to prime off the starter PARTICULARLY when the car is sitting uphill. In fact...when I've had the front of the car up on jackstands...the pump has not been able to get going until I've taken it down...even if I've filled the fuel bowl up with fuel by hand and then started the car. The car would only run until the fuel bowl was empty and then it would shut down. I can only get the pump to prime by sitting the car flat (or downhill) and priming with gasoline (or starter fluid in a dire emergency). I have a feeling the holley pump is junk even though it only has about 5000 miles on it. I've got a fuel pressure gauge ordered so I can get some better data on that.

I have also noticed the car wanting to lean out (to the point it wants to dog) when accelerating hard for extended periods uphill. I'll double check my float settings...but even if they are low I think that any change will only mean the problem will show up further up the hill, no?

Anyway...SWMBO was quite the sport even after getting stuck by the side of the road. I told the kids to look on it as an adventure...but they weren't convinced. :p

I'm even wondering if I should consider an electric fuel pump...particularly if it would recirculate to the tank to keep the fuel moving and thereby cooling the fuel line and filter assembly.

Any thoughts?

Phil
 

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If you dont mind the noise of an electric pump you may have a good idea there. Id venture to guess youre vapor locking at the pump and not the carburator. Youd obviously need a return line and a 3 port bypass regulator but It would eliminate fuel getting hot from being pumped against a deadhead on a hot engine in low useage situations. Plus if you ever wanted to go the EFI route youd be halfway there in the fuel delivery dept.
 

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Holley lectric is the solution. Come on over to the dark side.:p
 

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I'm with Autoxsteve. With a Holley electric pump and a phenolic spacer, vapor lock is damn near impossible.

You don't need a return hose for a carburated engine. You only need the return hose for EFI. The Holley red barrel, only puts out a constant 7 psi, so doesn't even need a regulator. If you go with the blue barrel, you'll need a regulator to keep it from blowing the float needle off of it's seat and flooding the car.

I'd start with the phenolic spacer, as it makes a world of difference in keeping the fuel from boiling. I would agree, though, that your current fuel pump is garbage.
 

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While i agree that a electric pump would help. I would choose something othere then a Holley, a tad loud IMHO. I like the melling gerator style pumps, alot easier on the ears.
 

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I had a Carter electric pump in my son's '65. After listening to that pump, NOTHING's loud *LOL*. I've heard quieter 747's than that thing ::

The exhaust sound usually drowns out most if not all of the noise of my Holley pump. You can still hear it, though, especially in an enclosed area like a parking garage.
 

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That Phenloci spacer will help a ton. When I had just the carburetor, I couldnt pull the carb off with my bare hands... until I got that spacer. It does an EXCELLENT job of isolating the heat.

Eletric fuel pump... probably NOT necessary once you get that spacer in there. Carry a can of starter fluid, that should get you going. Your mech pump might be worn out too, so check that.
 

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I added the phenolic spacer on my very tired '66/289 and it works great at stopping the vapor lock. I am using the proverbial autozone cheapo fuel pump and it works fine. I can't see the need for the electric fuel pump. Try the spacer first because it makes a world of difference with my 600 cfm edelbrock, anyway... good luck... :: Looks like you need to take swmbo and kiddies to see Spiderman to make amends... ::
 
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