Yesterday evening Ariel picked up Victoria from school. She drove Ringo the ten miles down I-70 before shutting him off in the school parking lot to wait for her sister. Upon departure, they made it to the bottom of the parking lot road before the engine died. Crank, crank, crank – nothing. Thinking she’d run out of gas again, she called me and I grabbed the gas can out of the garage and drove to meet them. After pouring a gallon of gas into the tank, I primed one of the carbs and had Victoria crank the engine. It sputtered to life, but immediately died. That was expected since the carb bowls were empty. It took quite a few tries before the engine stayed running. I had Ariel drive him straight to the gas station where we were only able to get six gallons into the tank. Hmmm. Certainly hadn’t run out of gas. Then it hit me. VAPOR LOCK!. I asked Ariel how long she had sat with the engine off, and she told me about fifteen minutes. “How about when he didn’t want to start Friday?” “Fifteen minutes,” she replied. Confirmation!
Now that we know the problem, we need to work the solution. I'll be installing an electric fuel pump before she goes back to school. The question is whether to make it a backup operated by a momentary switch or get rid of the mechanical pump. The latter would require the acquisition and installation of an inertia switch that would shut the pump off in case of a collision. A little more complicated. A little more research is in order before a decision is made.