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1956 Lincoln Premiere gas tank

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Have been experiencing what feels like vapor lock on a '56 Premere but temperatures only in the low 80s. This in the past has occurred after ~ 8 miles or so fairly consistently. I installed an electric fuel pump on the car a few years ago and this has always worked to keep the car running until yesterday. Did manage to get the car home about 10 miles after the stumbling began. I removed the gas cap a couple of times and the car "seemed" to run better but just for awhile. When I removed the cap I felt no pressure release. I cannot tell if the gas cap is vented or not but a check of the service manual indicates the gas cap is a non-vented but there are two vent "tubes" emerging from the tank up high and I do not know the status of these (this is not my car). But I was pondering a problem perhaps with the pickup tube. The manual shows a "self-cleaning" filter (whatever that means) on the end of the pickup tube. How do you get this pickup tube filter out of the tank? And any suggestions as to what the problem might be are welcome.

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Have been experiencing what feels like vapor lock on a '56 Premere but temperatures only in the low 80s. This in the past has occurred after ~ 8 miles or so fairly consistently. I installed an electric fuel pump on the car a few years ago and this has always worked to keep the car running until yesterday. Did manage to get the car home about 10 miles after the stumbling began. I removed the gas cap a couple of times and the car "seemed" to run better but just for awhile. When I removed the cap I felt no pressure release. I cannot tell if the gas cap is vented or not but a check of the service manual indicates the gas cap is a non-vented but there are two vent "tubes" emerging from the tank up high and I do not know the status of these (this is not my car). But I was pondering a problem perhaps with the pickup tube. The manual shows a "self-cleaning" filter (whatever that means) on the end of the pickup tube. How do you get this pickup tube filter out of the tank? And any suggestions as to what the problem might be are welcome.

I doubt if you experienced a vapor lock issue. A fuel delivery or fuel quality issue, yes?

The first point to check is the fuel filter, for accumulated sediment, which may indicate a problem with the tank. But since the car has an electric fuel pump of perhaps several years of age, it could just be time to replace it or at least check it for proper pressure. As cheap as they are probably just easier and faster to replace it, which will give you the opportunity to inspect all the fuel lines for weeping and the potential of sucking air into the fuel delivery system.

If crap is found in the fuel filter, chances are the carburetor float bowl also has crap in it which indicates it's time for a rebuild. As for the tank itself, there should never be a vacuum pressure build up. Meaning if one hears a "Swoosh" when removing the gas cap its probably time to replace the cap and to check the vent line to make sure some insect or road crud hasn't plugged it. It probably needs replacing if it has been on there since 1956.

There is no way to get to the fuel pickup without dropping the tank, which you don't want to do unless it gets down to no choice. If I recall correctly there is a drain plug in the tank and you might want to just drain the tank into a bucket to see what comes out. At least you will vacate the tank of any water that may have accumulated and could well be the issue if the car is not driven frequently.

Now to crappy fuel. In terms of what is good for a '56 model anything all Ethanol blended fuels are crap because nothing in the fuel system was designed for it. The problem really begins with the tank not being "air tight" giving the Ethanol content in the fuel adequate opportunity to just evaporate out if the car is not regularly driven. Beyond that little of the remainder of the fuel system can handle the corrosive nature of Ethanol or the affect it may have on diaphragms in fuel pumps along with gaskets and seals in the carburetor.

You're just going to need to eliminate the potential issues one by one, starting with the most simple of potential causes and not assuming the worst would be the best place to start.

Jim

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)

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Thanks for the inputs. I really do not think it is vapor lock either. Mechanical pump replaced last year; Carburetor by Daytona Carburtor a few years ago. electric pump also replaced and external filters clean. Fuel lines replaced a few years ago. Tank either cleaned or replaced with a cleaned tank from a reputable vendor also a few years ago. Not until recently did we add Marine Stabil to this car.

Vent line(s) have NOT been checked yet; since this isn't my car, I didn't know the vent lines were part of the build until looking at the manual last night.

The "plan" is to put a 5-gallon can of gas in the trunk, run a temporary rubber fuel line into the gas can and see if we can establish the problem is before the electric pump mounted far back on the frame. Also to drain a little from the car tank and try to see if any water or crud there. Do you know, if it gets to that, can the pickup tube be removed through the sending unit hole? I cannot discern the size accurately from the manual.

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Thanks for the inputs. I really do not think it is vapor lock either. Mechanical pump replaced last year; Carburetor by Daytona Carburtor a few years ago. electric pump also replaced and external filters clean. Fuel lines replaced a few years ago. Tank either cleaned or replaced with a cleaned tank from a reputable vendor also a few years ago. Not until recently did we add Marine Stabil to this car.

Vent line(s) have NOT been checked yet; since this isn't my car, I didn't know the vent lines were part of the build until looking at the manual last night.

The "plan" is to put a 5-gallon can of gas in the trunk, run a temporary rubber fuel line into the gas can and see if we can establish the problem is before the electric pump mounted far back on the frame. Also to drain a little from the car tank and try to see if any water or crud there. Do you know, if it gets to that, can the pickup tube be removed through the sending unit hole? I cannot discern the size accurately from the manual.

Please don't run fuel from a basically open gas can in the trunk. Just too damn dangerous, not to mention fuel spilling into trunk material will leave an odor that is really hard to get rid of and the fumes could ignite hours and hours after the can is removed.

The pickup should be a part of the fuel level sending unit assembly. Just remember you will need to have a new gasket or fuel resistant material from which to make a new gasket if you remove the assembly from the tank.

Jim

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Well, according to the service manual picture the sending unit/float arm and the pickup tube with miracle self-cleaning filter are definitely two separate parts and the filter screen looks at least a third too large to get through the sending unit access hole. I'm looking at Figure 53 on Page 204 of the original service manual. I would find it a little difficult to believe one would have to clean and then cut the tank to get the filter out. But the problem may just be loose stuff floating into the pickup tube and and seemingly more noticeable up small hills, the fuel flow is just being blcoked.

And relative to gas container, I must say this sort of reminds me of the time when on a Packard tour, a friend had problems with fuel delivery on his '50 Packard. I had 25' of fuel hose with me and we ran a line from the fuel pump across the outside of the car through the door handles and into the fuel neck at the back to get him home aboit 80-90 miles.

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Seems you're down to either those vent line(s) being restricted or perhaps even the main fuel line has restriction(s) Maybe a "dented" fuel line or a collapsed fuel flex hose?

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Just my thought, but i would put a electric pump in line with the old pump and see if it would run. i did that for awhile and when engine lost power i flipped the electric on

and it would take off. A new pump in place of the old, and i never had to use the electric

anymore. but i know it is there if the new pump fails.

gene

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Well, according to the service manual picture the sending unit/float arm and the pickup tube with miracle self-cleaning filter are definitely two separate parts and the filter screen looks at least a third too large to get through the sending unit access hole. I'm looking at Figure 53 on Page 204 of the original service manual. I would find it a little difficult to believe one would have to clean and then cut the tank to get the filter out. But the problem may just be loose stuff floating into the pickup tube and and seemingly more noticeable up small hills, the fuel flow is just being blcoked.

And relative to gas container, I must say this sort of reminds me of the time when on a Packard tour, a friend had problems with fuel delivery on his '50 Packard. I had 25' of fuel hose with me and we ran a line from the fuel pump across the outside of the car through the door handles and into the fuel neck at the back to get him home aboit 80-90 miles.

You can bet your boots they didn't build the darn tank around the fuel pickup regardless of its nature. Given the business of attitude of the vehicle on a hill affecting delivery, it sounds more like a water accumulation in the tank. Drain the sucker and start over with fresh fuel.

Jim

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Just my thought, but i would put a electric pump in line with the old pump and see if it would run. i did that for awhile and when engine lost power i flipped the electric on

and it would take off. A new pump in place of the old, and i never had to use the electric

anymore. but i know it is there if the new pump fails.

gene

We had the electric pump running as was usually done when this phenomenon happened but THIS time the electric pump did not overcome the problem.

Plan to check those vent lines when I get over to the car (it's my brother's 45 miles away) and given the nature of this thing and today's gas, we'll drain the tank (ouch $) and try to see what we have.

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Confirmed today on another '56 Lincoln Premiere gas tank that the metal enclosed curcular "self-cleaning" filter attached to the end of the pickup tube indeed is in the tank forever unless it decays into pieces or the tank is cut open. It's at least twice the size of the sending unit opening but that doesn't matter since there is no access inside the tank to do anything with it. Unbelievable!

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Maybe this info will be useful to other folks. The problem with the car trying to stall out after about the same distance each time we have attributed to the fuel line from the mechanical pump running too close for too long a distance around and across the engine and manifold. Plan to reroute the line and insulate it. Lower boiling point of the newer gasses is believed to be the problem.

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Lincolns seemed to be continually plagued with fuel line routing issues from 1953 through 1967, though engine types changed in 1958. About all one can say is there must have been one stupid, hard headed ding-bat in charge of that aspect of engineering of the vehicles. The problem also crept into the Mercury product line for a brief period of time. It just boggles my mind that no one actually figured out over a 14/15 year period the fuel delivery issues resulting in vapor lock were principally from stupidity in fuel line routing.

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Thanks for the posting. Gives us confidence we're on the right track. Will update this link of results once we find the time to pursue the fix.

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