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Marc, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1888
Experience:  33 years exp. automotive repair NYS emisisions repair cert.
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1989 Mazda B2200: engine stalls..gets hot..its vapor-locking

Customer Question

I have a 1989 Mazda B2200 light truck. The engine stalls and will not start for hours in the afternoons when it gets hot, or whenever the engine is hot after running for a while.
    My friend says it's vapor-locking. Here's what's happening:
    The truck will run fine for quite sometime, but then in the afternoon, almost like clockwork, it quits running. The engine cranks just fine but little or no firing. If I go and look at the translucent fuel filter at that time, I find the filter nearly empty. I have replaced the fuel filter and the fuel pump (mechanical) with new ones; to no avail. Whatever the problem is, it's related to the engine not getting fuel because the fuel filter is invariably empty when it's not running, and the engine is always quite hot, there is never a problem when it's cool. What can I do?
Submitted: 12 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Marc replied 12 years ago.

I would check to see if you are getting spark when this condition happens

I have seen many fuel filters and most if not all appear to be empty even with the engine running .

If you still think it is fuel next time this happens try giving the engine a squirt of starting fluid the engine should run for a few seconds if it is a fuel problem.

Heat soak problems usually turn out to be ignition related, so check for spark next time.

Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Reply to Marc's Post: Well, I'm still certain it's fuel related. Again, the fuel filter is empty each time this happens. I know I'm getting spark because the engine will try to run whenever a little fuel gets through, but it won't keep running because it's clearly not getting fuel.
   I am hoping that someone can help me to track down problems with fuel delivery to the engine that are related to heat. Thanks.
Expert:  Marc replied 12 years ago.

Engine may try and run when it gets a little flurrie of spark too

Vapor lock went out in the ealy 60's

Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Reply to Marc's Post: OK, I'll check for that next time. Thanks.
Expert:  Marc replied 12 years ago.

I am checking a pay site that I subscribe to for your truck and symptoms, and will post back anything of any use to you.
Expert:  Marc replied 12 years ago.

Ignition Switch An ignition switch with worn contacts can cause a loss of voltage to the ignition system and cause the engine to stall while driving.

Igniter An igniter that fails intermittently will cause a loss of spark and can cause the engine to stall while driving.

Engine Wire Harness An engine wire harness that has a poor connection or has a broken wire that is affected by road vibration can cause the engine to stall while driving.

Hot Air Induction System A hot air induction system malfunction in cold damp weather will cause the carburetor to ice up and can cause the engine to stall while driving.

Expert:  Marc replied 12 years ago.

Search didn't turn up much, my money is on the igniter

But you're going to have to do some testing to get to bottom of your problem.

The starting fluid will confirm your fuel theory.

Once you get it narrowed down to spark or fuel post back and I will try to help with diagnosis.

Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Well, I'm beginning to think the problem IS electrical, since the engine will run fine now with the fuel filter half full. Just today while I was driving, the engine just abruptly stopped with no warning, like someone pulling the plug on it.
   Another thing I noticed today was a hissing sound coming from the left side (driver's side) of the engine. I thought that maybe a vacuum line was off but can't find anything out of place.
   When you say "igniter", you mean the ignition coil?

Expert:  Marc replied 12 years ago.

When truck stalls you MUST check to see if you have spark at the plugs fuel pressure using a pressure gauge and injector pulse using a noid light. this will give us a atarting point to work from.