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why my truck stalled ?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by RATRODKING, May 27, 2012.


    RATRODKING Rockstar 100 Posts

    i have a 1990 k-1500 4x4 with factory stock 5.7 v8 with 150k miles.
    been running really good.

    yesterday i was heading down to the beach, and was stuck in stop and go, really slow traffic. it was hot outside, high 80's. with the a/c on, setting in traffic, all of a sudden the truck stalled. i noticed the red check gauges light was lit on the dash. i put the windows down and turned it over, it didnt fire up. we thought we were going to have to push it off the road, turned the key again, and it fired up and ran perfect the rest of the day/night.

    any thoughts on what might have happened ? can these fuel injected cars/trucks get vapor lock like the older carburetor cars did from time to time ?

    thanks guys.
  2. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    HAHAHAHAHAHAH... 80 is hot??!! it was 103 on my location yesterday :rofl:...just sayin! :p

    back to the actual question though, while i can't particularly think of what it might be, seeing as how this seems very random and it ran perfectly the rest of the day. If I'm not mistaken.. one car that had a very bad problem with vapor lock was the lincoln town car. My aunt and uncle used to have a mid 90s model (?) which was F.I. and it was a major issue that they had model-wide if i remember correctly. But that would pertain to your question to FI cars/trucks getting vapor locked, yes, could be possible.

    RATRODKING Rockstar 100 Posts

    wow... 103.... now thats hot...
    thanks for the input on the vapor lock..... so far it is still running good.... hope it stays that way.
    about 12 months ago i was getting erratic starting issues, but someone on here suggested i clean the grounds for the computer that run to the intake manifold bolt, and another ground that went somewhere else.... so far that problem has been fixed. it was always on starting, this time it stalled, which it never had done before..

    i will keep my fingers crossed.
    thanks again
  4. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    No problem bud, I don't know too much about your model pickup, but there's lots here that do. So I'm sure as the day goes on someone else will chime in on it. Hope it doesn't happen anymore though!
  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Normally an injected engine wont develop vapor lock, the reason being is liquid fuel is being pushed from the fuel tank to the injector system, a pusher type fuel pump.
    Carburated systems almost always use puller fuel pumps (mounted on the engine) vacuum from the fuel pump, coupled with heat, and a lot of times altitude variations would turn liquid to vapor in the fuel lines, since the jets are designed to disperse liquid you would get almost flood like conditions in the intake for a few seconds then the fuel line would basically be full of gasseous vapors that the fuel pump couldnt pull to clear. No liquid fuel coming through the lines. Cooling the lines would normally turn the vapors back to a liquid form that could be pulled by the pump. Which is why a vapor locked engine can sometimes be restarted by dumping raw fuel in the carburator. And if your lucky enough restarting the engine it'll create enough suction with the fuel pump to pull more liquid through the fuel lines making the engine run rich for a few seconds but getting liquid fuel to the carburator for continued operation.
    As I said normally am injected engine wont vapor lock due to design and operation theory, but sometimes mechanical equipment hasnt read the same information engineers have and doesnt want to cooperate as designed. Check you fuel line for any place it may run close to something hot, this is where the vapor problem is gonna start.
    Because of the fuel system your truck uses I'm not confident it was a vapor lock problem, but in the abcense of any other proof to show cause and like I said mechanicals dont always follow script, the symptoms sound liek vapor lock.
  6. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    That's a really good write-up Tim. You wouldn't happen to have any information as to why they had such a problem with the Town Cars back then would you? I'm fairly curious to know what was going on, as everything you said makes lots of sense as to why they shouldn't vaporlock. I would google it myself, but I barely have enough bandwidth on this ATT cell connection to run the site. :great:mad:tbplus10

    RATRODKING Rockstar 100 Posts

    WOW tim, great response..... good info....
    i will let you all know if it happens again, hopefully not.
  8. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    FoMoCo had a big problem in the early 90's with Town Cars and a few other models (mostly high end FoMoCo vehicles) due to vapor lock.
    The engines/vehicles involved were highend vehicles equipped with enhanced HP engines that used Fords, new at that time, H.O. injection system. Even though they were fuel injected with a pusher style pump the fuel pumps suffered from a leaky belows inside the pump that would inject air into the fuel lines instead of liquid fuel, while not technically considered vapor lock it's still the same thing because the fuel and air in the lines would atomize and create gasseous vapor when it got to the injectors, older style injectors werent able to meter the correct fuel since the leak caused a decrease in fuel line pressure. Many Ford vehicles of this time period suffered from blown engines due to lean conditions.
    I dont think FoMoCo ever did a recall for this problem as it didnt fit the parameters for recall at the time, but I do know at one time they were replacing pumps on affected vehicles and in very rare cases of engine damage they would replace the engine at no charge. It was listed in a TSB in the mid 90's. I doubt it's still active since any vehicle affected is now near 20 years old.
  9. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker Member 2 Years 500 Posts


    Nice, WTG FoMoCo. :rofl: yet another epic fail on their part and reason why I'm a proud GM owner and always will be. Thanks for enlightening me on that Tim. Also, just realized that you are in TX as well. We need a TX meet at some point.
  10. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I get out to Odessa once in a while, my company has an office in Midland and we end up running parts out of DFW about once or twice a year.
    I've been to Odessa Regional Medical and MCH Medical Center to install equipment a couple times. Normally I fly in and out of Odessa-Schlemeyer Field at the FBO, even if I'm going to Midland, it's a quieter airport to take a puddle jumper into and I dont have to fight the turbulance from the bigger jets.

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