'98 Ford Focus--engine cutting out in rt turns

I recently purchased a 1998 Ford Focus with 78,000mi. (No options, incidentally).

The problem I’ve noticed is that, when making a prolonged right turn with =< 1/8 tank of gas, the engine will cut out! It won’t do this on straights or when more gas is in the tank. (Incidentally, gassed up right after for 12.2 gal, so still over 2 gals in the tank, theory says.)

Considering that one time to make a “prolonged right turn” is when exiting a freeway to…GET MORE GAS, it’s hardly academic.

I’m assuming that this is a case of centripetal force pushing the fuel away from the pump, so I’m considering rigging baffling to solve this, but then I thought…plumbers deal with pressure spikes by installing spring-loaded devices to add pressure, temporarily. The same principle could work for a car if the spring was strong enough and the resevoir sized right. Since 3GPH is about max power on the 2.0L engine, and one would seldom make a sustained turn of over 90 secs duration, 3/40=0.075gal should be plenty.

Any opinions on a) diagnosis and b) plausability of the two alternative solutions?

AACK! I’m sorry–distracted somehow–meant to say '98 Ford CONTOUR!

Sounds like the lateral G is exceeding 1G and most of production vehicle cannot handle that without enough gas in the tank.

Installing an FIA approved internal collector or a saver cell might be in order. Or, some baffle foams would be able to ease the symptom. Good luck.

There is also a chance of a weak fuel pump, water or other contaminates in the tank. Of course you could just make sure you don’t let the fuel level go that low.

I would have to guess it is not JUST centripetal force, if that was all there was then every 98 Contour would have the same problem. I might try checking out the fuel pump (you should not need to access the tank for a pressure/volume test) or a few cans of dry gas. Personally I would not bother trying to do all that work when just keeping a few dollars more fuel in the tank will work.

What’s probably happening is, the filter sock at the bottom of the fuel pump has partially broken off. So as the vehicle goes around these extended right turns, the sock seperates from the fuel pump. This causes starvation of gas to the fuel pump and the engine stalls. If the gas level in the tank is kept higher, it submerges where the sock has broken off and the engine doesn’t stall.