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Electric Fuel Pumps 101...What You Need To Know


Electric Fuel Pumps and Modern Gasoline...

Based on the phone calls I receive on a daily basis a lot of you reading this are having trouble with the modern gasoline damaging your electric fuel pumps. The old Stewart Warner electric fuel pump that we have used for close to 30 years no longer work with the modern gasoline. The alcohol in the gasoline causes the diagram to swell and tear, which in turn causes the electric fuel pump to fail. 

I experienced this first hand with Great Race cars nearly 25 years ago. The Great Race teams were experiencing constant electric fuel pump failures. So I went looking for a solution. I needed to find a dependable replacement electric fuel pump that would pump alcohol and all fuel additives. (Remember this was back in the gasohol days...) 

If you have read my gas book I tell you to stay away from the alcohol gasoline but depending on where you live that may not always be an option. If you are a Great Race entrant you do not have time to shop for gasoline,  you buy it at the closest gas station next to the hotel or somewhere along the race route. You have to buy what is available and hope for the best.

I learned that most all of the electric pumps that "chatter" and make noise, are diagram pumps, and the alcohol in modern gasoline will attack the rubber diagram inside the electric pump causing it to swell and tear.

 I also learned that the rotary vein pumps are not reliable either as the alcohol fuel is a drier fuel and with a lack of lubrication once carried in the gasoline (lead) the alcohol gasoline causes the wafers inside of the rotary vein pump to literally grind themselves to pieces...much like when you sawed your gram crackers in kindergarten. 

End result is a pump failure with the wafer filings ending up in the fuel filter (you do have one...right?) or worst case,  under the needle and seat in the carburetor or... plugging up you main jet in the carburetor.

The technology that I found to work the best is an electric fuel pump with two stainless gears inside that work much like the fuel pumps in modern vehicles that have the fuel pump located inside of the fuel tank. 

     This is my electric fuel pump taken apart so you can see the two stainless steel gears inside.

I found a source and started buying these pumps and modifying them for use with antique vehicles in 1992. We have used them on the Great Race vehicles every year since and they have worked like a dream. No more fuel pump issues.

These electric fuel pumps are the same working pressure as your mechanical fuel pump so no fuel pressure regulator is needed for most applications. They will work with both positive and negative ground applications and they come with a 30-micron fuel filter installed.  Also included is the mounting bracket and hardware.  The best place to mount these pumps is back by the gas tank, inside the frame rail. 

Always use a 30-micron fuel filter with your electric fuel pump

Best of all you can change the fuel filter without any tools. That was a feature the Great Race teams wanted so when they got into some bad gasoline they could change the filter in a hurry and be back on the road. 30-Micron replacement fuel filter part numbers are included in the instructions so you can buy them locally.

I have the pumps available for both 6-volt and 12-volt applications. If you are into the technical numbers, the 6-volt pump has an output of 2.0 pounds of  fuel pump pressure and delivers 15 gallons an hour which will take care of most any single or multi-carb applications.

 This is the electric fuel pump complete minus the fuel filter

The 12-volt version has an output 4.0 pounds of fuel pump pressure and delivers 30 gallons an hour of fuel. Both pumps have a pressure check valve inside so they will shut off when your fuel line is full. These pumps work just like the oil pump inside of your engine so they are quiet, which was another request of the Great Race entrants. "What ever pump you sell us had better be quiet we are not going to listen to a fuel pump chatter for 8 hours a day...! "

Most important  to that because this electric fuel pumps is the same working pressure as the stock mechanical fuel pump no fuel pressure regulator is needed in most cases. 

Today's modern gasoline has a lower boiling point than the gasoline of the old days. That does not affect the modern fuel injected cars because they typically have between 40 and an 100 pounds of fuel pump pressure. IT DOES affect our antique vehicles that typically have between 2 and 4 pounds of fuel pump pressure.  As a result these electric fuel pumps have become more popular today than they were when I introduced them in 1992.

So here is the deal. To keep everybody on the road with the modern gasoline...if you call and order one of these electric fuel pumps for $95.00 each (the same price they have been for the past ten years...) Fifth Avenue will pay the priority mail postage on your electric fuel pump order. In order to get the free freight you need to tell me how much money the Fifth Avenue Antique Auto Sponsored 1916 Hudson Great Race team won in the 2015 Great Race. The answer is fifty thousand dollars. When you call and order your electric fuel pump(s) (you can order more than one so get with your friends) say "Howard Sharp fifty thousand dollars..." and the priority mail postage will be free on your electric fuel pump order.

To Order Use the part numbers below....

  6-volt - 92415EFP6      6-volt electric fuel pump
12-volt - 92415EFP12  12-volt electric fuel pump

Don't forget to add a pint of diesel fuel to ten gallons of gasoline. It will raise the boiling point of modern gasoline and lubricate the gaskets in the carburetor to keep them from shrinking resulting in a leaky carburetor.

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About Me

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Since 1987, Fifth Avenue owner, Randy Rundle, has been making antique, classic and special interest vehicles more reliable and fun to drive.