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  • Fuel Pump Blues

    Last night my fuel pump took a permanent vacation. The first one didn't work from the get go, and this one lasted about a year, and only about ten hours of operation.

    I'm going electric. Heck with this.

  • #2
    I've had the same issue with fuel pumps recently. I've chalked it up to the Ethanol in the gas. They must be using the same materials they used twenty years ago. I bought a replacement accelerator pump diaphragm for my carburetor a few weeks ago. It stopped pumping one day and I took it out and it had shriveled up like a raisin.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Here's my preliminary plan. Last night I ordered a cartridge fuel filter (Summit Racing G1508), electric pump (Spectra 1130) and an inertia switch (late model Ford). And of course a cover plate for the mechanical pump mount.

      I'm going to try and mount the filter, then the pump, next to the tank, on top of the rear axle. There looks like a lot of room up there. I have a #10 wire from my main power panel, always live and on a 40 amp fuse, that goes to the trunk to feed my subwoofer. I'm mounting a subpanel in the trunk off of that to feed an inverter, back-up alarm, and future toys. I'll use a fuse from there to feed a relay to power the new pump. I don't know the amperage yet, I'm guessing it will be 10.

      To trigger the relay I'll branch off the OE panel Black-green wire, which is 20 amps, on with ignition. That will run through the inertia switch, then a small fuse, to the relay trigger.

      One peeve I've had with this car is that the fuel evaporates out of the carb fairly quickly. So if you leave it for a week you have to crank, crank, crank the starter to fill the bowl before it will start. This electric pump will allow me to run an auxiliary control from a momentary switch on the dash, to trigger the relay. That way I'll be able to fill the carb by pressing a button for a few seconds, then start the engine normally.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jopizz View Post
        I've had the same issue with fuel pumps recently. I've chalked it up to the Ethanol in the gas. They must be using the same materials they used twenty years ago. I bought a replacement accelerator pump diaphragm for my carburetor a few weeks ago. It stopped pumping one day and I took it out and it had shriveled up like a raisin.

        John
        I don't know if it's that or poor quality manufacturing. This is an Airtech pump, purchased locally at O'Reilly's. The first one just didn't work when I installed it. I then bench tested it and confirmed that it was a bad pump.

        This second Airtech that crapped out on me last night, I bench tested it. It leaked several ounces of light brown fluid from the internals all over my bench. I guess the diaphragm leaked and combined gas with engine oil. So you may be right- E10 gas killed it.

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        • #5
          Why do you need the auxiliary switch. If you turn the ignition to the ON position shouldn't that start the pump and fill the carb.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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          • #6
            Yeah I guess you're right. I'll just turn the key to run and wait a few seconds. Thanks!

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            • #7
              Agreed - the "new" fuel pumps just don't seem to last.

              I've replaced mine so many times in the past year I've lost count. Think this was number two (heh - appropriately named)
              Brown "stuff" oozing from the vents on mine too (Airtex)




              We had this trouble with fuel bowl seals on our MG's - finally the manufacturers started using Viton rubber. No troubles since.

              Airtex claims their seals are ethanol proof.......

              Not holding out much hope for the latest one but it's been on there a few months and about 1000 miles.

              Most of the kits say they are neoprene and for lead free gas containing alcohol. Might try rebuilding one of the 4 I have laying around the shop - not ready to go electric yet (guess I'm a glutton for punishment).

              Good luck on your conversion.

              Eric

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              • #8
                Summit list a an Airtech electric pump which is, according to them, interchangeable with the Spectra. It's also $3 less, and not in stock. The website pictures show the Airtech as plain aluminum and a poor quality casting, just like my mechanical one. The Spectra pump has a cadmium color and looks like a better casting.

                By the way the canister gasket on my old pump swelled up and no longer fits.

                All this is telling me that Airtech has QC issues.

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                • #9
                  Here's the install above the rear axle. The filter is on the passenger side, between the drive shaft and the muffler. Here it is above the relocated brake hose to the rear brakes. The pump is on the opposite side. Electrical is next.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    I found out that I wired my relay control onto an accessory circuit, so the pump would remain on with the ignition set to ACC. So I tagged onto the coil wire (#16) at the ignition switch and used that as my control instead.

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                    • #11
                      Here's the electrical subpanel in my trunk. I have a #10 red wire to power my subwoofer amplifier (40 amps), and that branches to a 10 amp to power a relay, that in turn powers the fuel pump. To control the relay I have an 12V ignition source through a 2 amp fuse, then through a inertia switch bolted to the chassis.

                      The spare fuse in the panel will be for a 150W 120AC inverter.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Update.

                        The Summit Racing fuel filter started leaking, but a re-torque of the canister fixed that. The pump is working fine. I like the feature that I am able to turn the pump on before cranking the engine.

                        My only complaint is that the electrical connectors are not exactly secure. They are #10 posts and push-on female connectors, like Ford used on several under hood connectors, except the posts are not threaded, but smooth.

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