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Electric Fuel Pump for priming only??


Fred Zwicker
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Electric Fuel Pump to be used for priming purposes only?

About a year ago, my '55 Pontiac Safari fuel pump failed , probably due to gunk from ethanol. 1955 Pontiacs have a 12-volt system. As the car was going to Glenmoor the next day, I purchased a Carter P60430 electric fuel pump and then drove the 60 miles to and from the Glenmoor show. *Note that I disconnected the fuel line to the original mechanical pump, and am using the electric pump alone. The original mechanical pump is not being used, but still in place. I think the Carter P60430 is rated at 4 - 6 PSI. This pump is wired through the ignition and an then through a fused on-off switch under the dashboard and no pressure regulator. Everything is working perfectly with this setup.

I also have a 1958 Lincoln Continental and it previously had a Bendix 12-volt electric fuel pump that was installed by the prior owner in the engine compartment, and the mechanical fuel pump was not hooked up. This electric fuel pump was clogged , so I installed new fuel lines and had the gas tank"renewed". I then removed the faulty Bendix electric fuel pump from the engine compartment and installed a new Carter P60430 electric pump near the gas tank. Since the fuel line to the original mechanical pump had already been disconnected, I am using the electric pump alone.

I had the mechanical pump rebuilt on both of these cars and plan to connect each mechanical pump to carburetor as was done originally. The fuel line that is running from the electric pump in the rear will connect to the inlet side of the mechanical pump. Once hooked up, hope to use the electric fuel pump for priming only.

I am wondering if my mechanical pump on each car will pull fuel through the P60430, which is about 2" diameter and about 4 or 5" long? See attached picture. Both of my above cars are wired through the ignition switch and also through a secondary on-off switch below the dash. Neither use a pressure regulator and both perform flawlessly at present. I do not use a relay, nor do I use an oil pressure switch, as some recommend. I later plan to add a similar setup to a 1947 Ford (6-volt), but will use a relay for that hookup, since 6-volts draw more amperage.

Has anyone on this forum used a Carter P60430 or Carter P60504 12-volt electric fuel pump in conjunction with a mechanical pump without any type of bypass or check valve setup? (Both the P60430 and P60504 look about the same, although the P60504 is rated at 4 PSI) I have such a setup on my 1939 LaSalle, using the electric fuel pump for priming purposes only, and running off the original mechanical fuel pump (no check valve or bypass). The electric fuel pump is near the gas tank. This is a 6-volt system. I do not recall the name or part number of this electric fuel pump, although purchased it from Coopers in California a few years back. I did not use a relay on the LaSalle, although plan to add one in the near future, due to it being a 6-volt system.

In any case, since my cars sit for extended periods of time, feel that an electric fuel pump is perfect for priming the car and then can be shut off and let the mechanical fuel pump supply the fuel. (No more removing the air cleaner and pouring in gas or starting fluid into the carburetor). However I am not sure if the mechanical pumps will pull fuel through certain electric fuel pumps when they are in the off position. Some say yes and have no trouble of any kind without any bypasses, check valves, or pressure regulators. Since I want this setup for priming purposes only, I am trying to keep it simple if possible. I guess what I need are the names and part numbers of electric fuel pumps that have been used in this manner.

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Yes, the electric pump can be used for priming only. In fact, that's one of the big advantages of an electric pump - you fill the fuel bowl in the carb BEFORE you start cranking the engine. I'd be a little concerned that the non-running electric pump would pose a restriction to the mechanical pump, however. You might want to consider running a bypass line in parallel with the electric pump and put a check valve on the bypass line so the electric doesn't simply dump fuel back to the tank when you run it. Other than that, this is a great idea.

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Fred, I have much experience with this set up. A. the Carter is a not free flow, meaning that fuel can NOT be pulled through if they are in line with a mechanical pump. Proof- try to suck air through a new one. They are gear driven and work well alone OR with a bypass line & check valve. B. On a 6 volt system Federal-Mogul will not warranty it. Now the fun part; Since it is a 12 volt pump it will draw @ 5-6 amps on a run through the ignition switch. Since my Hornet has a 45 amp regulator I was able to get away with it. But, there is a voltage drop to the gas tank of about 1 volt and 14 wire when the switch is on and the engine is off ( as would be in priming ). That means only about 5.4 volts is actually getting to the pump. These pumps are lubricated by fuel passing through them. When the car sits for a long time( in my case a week) and the weather is hot, the fuel evaporates and the 5.4 volts is too weak to turn over the gears and draw gas from the tank. In other words, it sticks. Tapping on the pump will free it, but who wants to do that? I ran a direct #12 wire, from the battery to the pump. That gave me 6+ volts and that helped. That would simulate a relay. But, a relay is $25 or more and can fail. And, of course, there is still the flow issue. Advise: put a E-8011 or EP-11 solenoid in the 6 volt cars. Carter P4259 rotary is an excellent pump, but can block flow when the rotors are at the port position, so a by pass is suggested also. E-8012 is for 12 volt. Ron

Edited by rons49
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I can't speak regarding your Pontiac (which is probably still much the same), but I can tell you from experience that my '60 Lincoln will sit for six months at a time -- get in, hit the key, and in a few revolutions it fires off. You weren't looking for this recommendation, but I'm going to do it anyway -- why don't you just try your Lincoln without it and see where it goes? Your car is identical to mine in that regard. If your carb and pump are within spec, every extra connection and part is just another leak waiting to happen.

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Walter -

Thanks for your ideas on the subject. I have a 1966 Cadillac and it starts fairly quickly after sitting for weeks or even months, so assume my '58 Lincoln will do the same. I may try this option, as had the original Lincoln fuel pump rebuilt, but not connected as yet. My Pontiac Safari is anoher story - evidently the carburetor is allowing the fuel to drain back, which happens with many cars.

Ron - For my 6-volt 1947 Ford, which struggles to start after sitting for a month or so: I did a little research and it seems that the EP-11 is about 8 PSI, so would require a pressure regulator in line (more fittings and more possibilities of leakage, much the same as adding a bypass and check valve, as shown in attached picture). I am not sure of the output of the E-8011, but think it is less than the EP-11. Some mentioned an Airtex E-8902, which is supposed to be only 2.5 to 4 psi. Summit Racing sells this pump in a 6-volt version for $48.95 and claims 4 psi rating. Will any of these 6-volt pumps allow fuel to flow through when in the off position?

Joe - Both you and I have concern that the fuel might not pump well through the electric fuel pump when turned off, but it seems that there are different fuel pumps available and hopefully there might be one that will be "free flow" if such a pump exists. See my criteria below.

For my 12-volt cars (some require some help, as they sit in a museum for months and we are not crazy about removing air cleaners and priming manually, nor do we want to run down the battery or work the starter too hard to get the cars started. For these certain vehicles (including my Pontiac), would sure like to find some type of 12-volt "free-flow" electric fuel pump that could be installed in the rear of the car for priming and starting purposes only, wired through the ignition and also through an on-off switch under the dash. Turn on ignition, turn on switch to electric fuel pump for about a minute, start car, turn off electric fuel pump switch and go.

I first thought the Carter P60430 was the answer, but it puts out what might be excessive pressure at 6 psi, per Summit. I later found a Carter P60504 which is similar in appearance to the P60430 and I bought four of them (not yet installed). The P60504 is rated at only 4 psi (better than 6 psi) and is sold by Summit for $70.99, although I was able to locate elsewhere for less. I did not realize that the P60430 or the P60504 would not allow fuel to pass when in the off position. I opened the box and was able to suck some through the pump, but probably not enough for proper operation, particularly if under a load.

So back to my original criteria:

Is there any 12-volt electric fuel pump that will do the following?

Pressure: 4 psi or less, so as not to require a pressure regulator.

Operation: When in the off positiobn, alow fuel to pass through when using a mechanical pump.

Wiring: 12-volts, with or without a relay and to be wired through the ignition switch and then through a secondary fused on-off switch under the dash for vehicle operation using the mechanical pump.

Last Option: Install a bypass with check valve, as shown in attached picture, but it sure looks like a lot of connections and accordingly a high possibility of leakage. I am trying to keep it simple, as have several cars that need some help.

Yesterday I talked to Andrew at Midwest Early Ford who said they stocked electric fuel pumps in both 6-volt (EFP-9350-A6) and in 12-volt (EFP-9650-A12) that would allow fuel to pass when car is running. These are both $75. I have one on order in 6-volt to try a test. Since I doubt if Midwest Early Ford makes their own fuel pumps, expect that this pump will be a Carter or Airtex or other brand.

Ideas will be appreciated - Thanks.

Fred

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Fred, first, E-8012 or EP-12 are 12 volt versions of the 6 volt type. My experience with the 8011 is that although it says it puts out 5-8 PSI, and 30 GPH, it only does it at the " out end " of the pump. By the time it travels to the carbs, I was getting less than 4.5 Psi and since it is for priming, it will be slowed by the mechanical pump, in addition. I recommend that you put a pressure gauge on the whole setup to reaffirm that the mech. pump is up to task as well. I get more pressure from my mech pump( just over 5 psi) than the electric. At the least, try the combination without a regulator first.

Edited by rons49 (see edit history)
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I forgot to talk price. If you are a prime member of Amazon they are very cheap. If not, For the AC Delco EP-11 Rock Auto gets @43. The Carter P- 4259 (6 v) rotary vane is $90 at Speedway Auto parts in Nebraska. Various places sell The Airtex E-8011. Same ideas for the 12v. Incidently, the picture that you posted is a Carter Rotary Vane.

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On the Lincoln, the choke is as important to reliable cold starting as is a proper fuel pump. Make sure that hot air tube going to the exhaust manifold is hooked-up correctly and that the passages under that plate bolted on the manifold are clean. There's a lab mouse maze under that cover and they plug up. When your choke can't breath through the intake hole on that plate, you have to set it so it's full-open at too low of a temperature, and when the car cools off it won't close. Trying to cold-start a 430 with the choke anything but fully closed will fight you like it's bad fuel delivery.... which in a sense it is, just at a different point.

I'd think a simple check valve alone would fix your Pontiac problem, but in an ideal world if everything is tight it wouldn't do that. It's probably because when the bowl goes dry from sitting and the needle opens it's like the finger on a straw thing.

If you're still going to do the pump, though, I think you need a bypass like you've shown in the photo. With regard to pump pressure, I've never seen an electric that goes that low because typically they are replacing electric or mechanical pumps that make that sort of higher output. I have a Franklin in here right now that someone had fitted an electric pump to (was originally a vacuum/gravity tank) and it was making about eight times the pressure it needed where it should be a little less than 1 lb. I had trouble finding a regulator to go that low, but did buy one from Summit that gets close and the car can deal with it better until I scrounge up the pieces to fix the original vacuum can. If you need the part number for the regulator, I can dig it out for you.

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Fred, first, E-8012 or EP-12 are 12 volt versions of the 6 volt type. My experience with the 8011 is that although it says it puts out 5-8 PSI, and 30 GPH, it only does it at the " out end " of the pump. By the time it travels to the carbs, I was getting less than 4.5 Psi and since it is for priming, it will be slowed by the mechanical pump, in addition. I recommend that you put a pressure gauge on the whole setup to reaffirm that the mech. pump is up to task as well. I get more pressure from my mech pump( just over 5 psi) than the electric. At the least, try the combination without a regulator first.

E-8012 and EP-12 ?? Are these "free flow through" type 12-volt fuel pumps that will allow fuel to flow through when turned off and the mechanical fuel pump is operating? As I said, I am trying to keep it very simple, withouit having to add bypass, check valves or pressure regulators. If either of the above will work as "free flow" it doesn't matter if the fuel runs back towards the tank or if fuel evaporates in the carburetor.

Thanks to all for the feedback - greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Fred

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Fred, the E-8012 or similar AC Delco EP-12, are the same as the the 6v models except the voltage requirements. You should use a fuel filter between the tank and electric pump. Also according to my shop manuel the Stromberg carb on the 47 Ford takes 3PSI. If you need a regulator that can be determined later.

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Testing Information - Carter vs. Airtex:

I bought a P-60504 Carter Fuel Pump which is about the same pump as the P-60430 except that it operates on slightly lower pressure. Cost is slightly higher than the P-60430, but in appearance they are identical. I also bought an Airtex 8012 Fuel Pump. Both pumps were 12-volt versions. I did not yet install either pump as yet, but here is what I found. This is called the "Fred Zwicker" test (Not scientific, but significant when comparing the two pumps below).

Here are the tests on the Carter P-60504: (Carter P-60430 should be the same).

I stuck the outlet side of the pump in a small can of water and blew air through the pump from my mouth with as much force as possible. A few tiny amount of bubbles were noticed, but not a free flow of air as I was hoping for. There was plenty of resistance - almost no air was getting through the pump.

I then removed the pump from the water, dried it out and then with all of my lung power, sucked on the outlet side of the pump to see if I could pull any air through the pump. I am not sure how much suction I was able to furnish, but there was only a very small amount of air pulling through the pump. I did not feel that there was enough air being pulled to properly operate a car, especially when under a load such as rapidly accelerating or driving up a hill. My conclusion was that I did not want to install this pump and I did not do so.

Here are the tests on the Airtex 8012:

I stuck the outlet side of the pump in a small can of water and blew air through the pump from my mouth with as much force as possible. There was NO RESISTANCE - plenty of air was blowing through the pump.

I then removed the pump from the water, dried it out and then with all of my lung power, sucked on the outlet side of the pump to see if I could pull any air through the pump. I felt NO RESISTANCE and plenty of air was pulling through the pump. I was amazed at the difference. My conclusion is that I plan to install the Airtex Pump and if it works as expected on the first car, I will install it on others that require help.

I like to use the original mechanical pumps for normal operation, but like an electric pump for priming purposes and for use in the rare instance that I should get vapor lock. I run the power off the ignition switch through an in-line fuse to a secondary on-off switch and from that switch to the electric fuel pump near the gas tank. Some suggest a spring-loaded on-off switch for this purpose, which is a good idea, although in the case of vapor lock or should the mechanical fuel pump fail, a simple on-off switch might be better. I have this setup on one car and have no trouble in remembering to shut off the electrical fuel pump as soon as the car is running.

For those who want to use an electric pump instead of the original mechanical pump, suggest that the electrical pump be near the gas tank and a fused on-off switch installed as described above, but run the fuel line directly from the electrical pump to the carburetor. The mechanical pump should either be left on the engine as an ornament, or removed and a flat plate installed to block the opening. Some will "gut" the inside of the mechanical pump so that the original appearance is maintained, but if doing so, be sure that there is no possibility of fuel leaking into the engine.

Some users suggest installing a relay to provide power to the electric pump, but I have not had need for a relay on a 12-volt system, as the amperage is fairly low. Due to higher amperage with a 6-volt system, I would probably add a relay, or if not, would run a 12-gauge wire to the fuel pump. Others have suggested running the power through a switch on the oil pressure line, which isn't a bad idea, but is one more thing to fail. In my case, since I am running the electric fuel pump for starting purposes only, do not feel the need for this.

Fred

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  • 3 years later...

Continuing with this old post...... Since this thread back in 2011, I have tried many electric fuel pumps and all have issues. (Too much pressure, not enough pressure, premature failure, too much amperage draw, non-Ethanol resistant components, wrong polarity, leakage, blockage, other). If testing a new electric fuel pump (before installing) I try to suck and blow through any of them to see if (in theory) fuel would suck through from the mechanical pump with the electric pump in the off position. If this doesn't work, forget about using that electric pump for starting purposes only without a bypass. However the big problem is (and will continue to be) the Ethanol in our fuel, as it seems to swell up components of most (if not all) electric and mechanical fuel pumps, fuel hoses, carburetors, etc. In Ohio our fuel contains about 10% Ethanol and I have had some luck diluting the Ethanol fuel with Aviation Fuel (25% Aviation fuel). I also add about 4 oz of Marvel Mystery Oil per every 10 gallons of fuel. The problem with many components today (whether it be a rebuilt mechanical fuel pump or a new electrical fuel pump) is that not every manufacturer or rebuilder is as particular as they should be in using Ethanol resistant components. We are dealing with new old stock pumps and rebuilding kits (who knows how old), cheap imports, etc. In addition, the old style rubber fuel line hose swells up when exposed to Ethanol. You will want to use fuel injection hose only (SAE 30R9) with any electric fuel pump, and while most new electric fuel pumps include two short sections of black rubber fuel line hose and two quick clamps, I do not use either. If the hose that they supply with the electric fuel pump is not 30R9 hose, it will swell and soon fail. You can buy this hose at most any auto supply store and it is expensive, but does the job. I prefer small aviation type clamps as well.

Unfortunately what works today may not be working a few months down the road, should the inner components of any electric or mechanical fuel pump fail due to Ethanol or any other reason. For starting purposes, high pressure or even high volume is not required. Accordingly in my opinion, an ideal setup would be an electric fuel pump (wired through the ignition and also through an oil pressure switch if you prefer), with a switch for starting only, using a rebuilt (with Ethanol resistant components) mechanical fuel pump for normal operation. Considering the possibility of electric pump failure later, a bypass with check valve setup would be my recommendation if you are installing an electric fuel pump for starting purposes only. If or when the electric fuel pump fails, hopefully the mechanical fuel pump will get you home (provided it was rebuilt with Ethanol resistant components).

Some states now sell non-Ethanol fuel, which can simplify things for our old vehicles. If this fuel is available, spend the extra money, as it will save a lot of headaches in the long run.

Fred

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If those are NOS pumps, the guts might not stand fuel with ethanol. All of my old pumps failed with the new fuels. The newer ones have lasted for a long time.

Remember, the key word in NOS is the "OLD" part. Old elastomers are virtually worthless in any NOS part

None were NOS pumps. They were all new stock pumps.

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I've had the Airtex E-8011 on my Packard for about 10 years. It is only used for long-term storage type starts, and when vaporlocking in traffic.

No problems, except I blew a fuse last year while messing around with the battery terminal connected. It is one of the most recommended electric pumps out there right now for 6-volt cars.

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I've had the Airtex E-8011 on my Packard for about 10 years. It is only used for long-term storage type starts, and when vaporlocking in traffic.

No problems, except I blew a fuse last year while messing around with the battery terminal connected. It is one of the most recommended electric pumps out there right now for 6-volt cars.

So West, do you use this Airtex with a bypass/checkvalve or are you sucking fuel through the Airtex with your mechanical pump?

thanx, Bill in Phoenix

53 Customline coupe

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Yes. It's a 6-volt pump. Cost from Napa and the like is roughly $50. No need to spend $85 and up at "specialty" stores.

I use no bypass. It is strictly there to push gas into the existing mechanical fuel pump during dry start-ups, and when vaporlock occurs. It only pushes about 4psi or less, so I do not even run a regulator. Highly recommended that you rebuild mechanical fuel pump with current standard diaphragm material before you do this. I also have it mounted up front on the frame. Most recommend that it be placed near the gas tank because it pushes better than it sucks, but I've had no problems with it mounted in the front. Works fine every time I need it.

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Larry,

West,

I recently bought the AIRTEX E8902 which is a 6-Volt electric fuel pump. It was $31.02 with free shipping on Amazon.com. I haven't installed it yet.

At the same time, I also ordered a spare 6V OPTIMA 8010-044-FFP Battery at $112.59, (also with free shipping, and by then way, there was also no sales tax).

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Larry,

West,

I recently bought the AIRTEX E8902 which is a 6-Volt electric fuel pump. It was $31.02 with free shipping on Amazon.com. I haven't installed it yet.

Marty

I'm not sure you've got the right pump for your application. The 8902 is meant more for the purpose of bypassing the mechanical pump. If you are not bypassing the mechanical pump, and if you mount the 8902 near the gas tank, as most people seem to do, you probably are not getting much pressure by the time it gets to the front of the car.

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Marty

I'm not sure you've got the right pump for your application. The 8902 is meant more for the purpose of bypassing the mechanical pump. If you are not bypassing the mechanical pump, and if you mount the 8902 near the gas tank, as most people seem to do, you probably are not getting much pressure by the time it gets to the front of the car.

West,

Do you think the 8902 would be a reasonable alternative as a bypass for the vacuum tank on my 733 Packard? I thought about this as a parallel bypass option.

...... and, in other applications, would the mechanical pump pull fuel through the 8902 as it would through the 8011?

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West or others,

Do you have any thoughts as to whether the 8011 or 8902 would be most appropriate for something like a 1929 Franklin with an updraft carburetor?

I could mount near the fuel tank or in the front near the carburetor.

I have only recently purchased this vehicle (and this is my first experience with a vehicle of this vintage) and understand the fuel pump pressure is quite low.

I would plan to run on the mechanical fuel pump and use the electric pump for priming and vapor lock. But, if the mechanical pump malfunctioned, it would be nice to have this as a fully functional backup.

Thanks,

Jim

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Thank everyone for the info . Just bought 2 E8011 ,pumps ,going to put one on my 1930 Oakland that I am finishing up now. Going to put the other on my 1932 Chevy for when the mech pump fails again on tour . Thanks again for the info Howard [ Amzon ]

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