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1953-1960 Classic Car Engines Troubleshooting Guide: Engine Is Hard Starting Due to Vapor Lock

The text for this Guide originally appeared in the 23rd edition of Motor's Repair Manual, published in 1960 and copyrighted by Motor Information Systems, and is used with their permission.

Things to Look For:

The term vapor lock means the flow of fuel to the mixing chamber in the carburetor has been stopped (locked) by the formation of vaporized fuel pockets or bubbles caused by overheating the fuel by hot fuel pump, hot fuel lines or hot carburetor.

The more volatile the fuel the greater the tendency for it to vapor lock. Vapor lock is encouraged by high atmospheric temperature, hard driving, defective engine cooling and high altitude.

A mild case of vapor lock will cause missing and hard starting when engine is warm. Somewhat more severe vapor lock will stop the engine which cannot be started again until it has cooled off enough so that any vaporized fuel has condensed to a liquid.

The Complete Guide to Troubleshooting 1953-1960 Era American Classic Car Engines