CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Fueling an old school car

I’ve recently (upgraded?) from a 2001 Honda Civic to a 1978 Ford Ranchero and the one thing that is really getting on my nerves is fueling it up. The gas gauge is currently broken, so I can’t go by that. The problem, I believe, is with these newfangled vapor guards that older cars were just not made to put up with. If I try to feed it like I would my Honda one of two things happens

  1. The vapor guard immediately clicks off and stops pumping
  2. massive amounts of gasoline spill onto the side of my car, the ground, my pants and shoes, and I am too paranoid to smoke a cigarette for an hour or so
    The only consistent way of gassing that I’ve found is to hold the nozzle upside down, pressed in as deep as possible, and barely hold down the trigger. If I try to pump any faster than 1 gallon every 2-3 minutes it will either click off or make my socks all soggy with flammables.

Does anyone know of a solution or trick to get around this? Should I just pop off the vapor guard and hope that they don’t catch me?
The only thing that I can think of is to use a gas tank as an intermediate, and since the technology behind a bucket with a funnel hasn’t changed very much since 1978 they generally work pretty well, but it doesn’t really stop me from taking half an hour to fill my tank.
Any input would be much appreciated

upgraded ??? :)!

Sounds like a fun 2nd car, can you get your civic back?

Definitely an upgrade, since I only drive a couple of miles a day. If I need an economic ride, I traded that Honda (which had been beat up by a drunk driver in the middle of the night to where the trunk wouldn’t stay closed) for a 2003 Impala that only needed about $400 in work, so I’ve got road trips covered

Back in my gas pumping days in High School, we saw this often. Yes the upside down thing would work 90% of the time… The other 10% you have to manually push the tip vapor gard closeist to the tank down to brake the seal… I assume by vapor gard you mean the big black rubber thing covering the actual nosle??

You can also try doing it side ways and holding it… Its an angle thing, you just have to find what works on your car… But, i would start with pushing the collar down first.

As a last resort we had a rubber door stop we would wedge in between the tank and the collar and it would fill just fine then.

With my old 52 truck I know when the tank is about half empty by the miles driven.The fuel gauge works its half-an-axe-handle magic so I can’t rely on that. I then just add a little less than a half tank.
This may not be practical with a daily driver, though.

It sounds like there maybe a crimp, kink, or something restricting the size of the tube leading from the filler down to the tank. Get the car up on a lift and see if you can visualize the filler tubing. It likely has at least an 8" to 24" rubber section and perhaps it is bent too much causing a restriction. A truck this old has likely had a fuel tank pulled and replaced at some point so it is worth some time to take a look and check this out.

It sounds like the vent hose from the gas tank is restricted. Look under the vehicle at the fill neck for the gas tank. Next to the fill neck will be a smaller hose. That’s the vent hose. Remove the vent hose and check for a restriction in the hose

Tester