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1955 Ford Part 83: Running with the Lord

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

"Running with the Lord"


The 1955 Fairlane parked at the First Baptist Church of Milford, Ohio

It has been more than a month since my last post, and for you faithful followers of this blog I do apologize. Thank you for your patience. We have a good number of new subscribers during the past two months - welcome! For those of you that ask questions via e-mail, I usually have enough time to answer within two days. Lately, there has been quite a bit of activity because the summer months find many of us tinkering on our vehicles and enjoying the cruises.

What a curious title, "Running with the Lord" - if you have not done so, I highly suggest you read entry #81 "Running with the Devil" so that you can understand the situation more fully. Of course, most of the reason I have been absent from the blog has been because I have been "running with the Lord" or more accurately, "running for the Lord" this summer. I don't have the moniker hot rod reverend for nothing. The last four weeks has put me in Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington State preaching and teaching in various churches. Along the way I often find that God does give me the opportunity to cross paths with some great people who have an interest in cars.

For instance, during my trip to Texas the pastor of Christchurch Baptist Fellowship encouraged my wife and I to use his car while we were in town. This is the car:

I will have to admit, I was skeptical at first. Up until this time in my life, I had never driven a Mini Cooper. This happened to be a 2016 turbo-charged model! Although I felt a little cramped in the vehicle, the driving experience was a good one.

And then there was the hotel stay in a rural part of Pennsylvania. Would you believe that a group of Model T's (and a couple others like a Model A) drove into the parking lot just as we were checking in?! I wondered what all of this was about, and naturally I went outside to speak to the owners and their families. A small club was having an annual cruise to the west from the Hagerstown, Maryland, area. It was a treat to meet many of them and discuss the Model T and a few other vehicles they had in their entourage.

Here lately I was able to get back into the garage and back into the driver's seat of the 1955 Ford Fairlane to continue to my testing on the fuel situation. If post 81, and Running with the Devil was about ethanol, then Running with the Lord must be about pure gasoline (no ethanol). Over time the blends of fuel have really, really changed. Some of you may remember when fuel became unleaded and all of our engines that needed lead had to either have hardened valve seats installed or find a substitute to put into every tank at fill up. Things continue to change, and so does our fuel.

I did purchase pure gasoline at a small engine supply shop some time ago, and as I recall the octane rating was 91 and the cost was a little over $4 a gallon! The distance was also over 20 miles away.

First up was to drain the 55's tank of all ethanol fuel by using the small electric fuel pump (this made it so much easier to do - I am glad I have a back up pump for it fit this purpose quite well). I did set out two cups of both fuels just to see if there was any cosmetic difference. There was certainly a difference in smell!

Pure gasoline is on the left, while the treated ethanol fuel is on the right

I had acquired a few 5 gallon gerry cans for the purpose of purchasing pure gas along the way when needed.

I stuck a large funnel in the tank and started filling the 55 back up with gasoline that had no ethanol in the blend. After that, it was time to hop in the car to find out what we would experience. The video below includes a few clips so that you can see good evidence, but do remember that the first clip is of the 55 in hot weather with ethanol fuel in the tank... you get the idea.

One anomaly to show that occurred a few days after the first check on the glass filter... I arrived home after a relatively short run, popped the hood after about 10 minutes, and saw this:

Yes, friends and neighbors, that is an otherwise empty fuel filter. Oddly enough, I had no trouble with idle, wide-open-throttle, cruise, or what have you right before I parked the car. I would imagine that this is due to heat soak, but I had not had any trouble with heat soak during my runs with pure gas. The real fun started when, after about an hour I popped the hood again only to find:

I do plan to go back to the Wix filter and get rid of the glass filter soon. These things are great as a sight window but they have a bad reputation to fail and start fires.

Look closely, that is a FULL fuel filter. My theory is that there was hot, vaporized gasoline in the filter and line leading up to the carburetor; once the car cooled enough the vapor either went up through the float bowls or the vapor turned back to fuel? Not sure on this one - it makes me scratch my head. I am not fully sure what would have caused the filter to fill up. The electric pump was not engaged, nor was the starter motor turned over. Everything just sat still.

I have not had one issue with restarting the car using pure gasoline after it has been run in very hot weather. In ethanol gasoline, the main issue is the lower boiling point but we also know that all gasoline in a stock fuel pump setup will "dead head" the fuel line against the needle/seat and so especially at idle when the gasoline is flowing as slowly as ever, the fuel will have quite a bit of time to heat up and "cook" under the hood. The situation worsens once the engine shuts off and the car just sits. In this scenario, all temperatures rise for a little bit under the hood, creating a condition called "heat soak" whereby even the carburetor's fuel bowls can empty out prematurely. All of this combined makes a carbureted vehicle difficult to restart when hot.

Let me encourage you to "Run with the Lord" in your Ford as well. Use pure gasoline. There is great peace of mind in knowing that your fuel lines, fuel pump, and carburetor will not face deterioration and corrosion at the hands of ethanol. The running characteristics have certainly proved better thus far.

Speaking of running with the Lord, I have been running with the Lord Jesus since for almost 20 years now. I left the devil when I was born again according to John chapter 3 in the Scriptures. Since that time, I have never once desired to go back to the old way of living. You can read more about what Christ did for me by visiting this link:

the Hot Rod Reverend

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