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Is an electric fuel pump all a '41 V12 needs


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My '41 Continental used to start and run 1/3 mile with the regular fuel pump before bucking.  Then it would run forever if I toggled on the electric pump.  Now it won't either start or run even with the electric pump on.  The engine fuel pump has a glass bowl, and I don't think that is normal for a '41 but my engine does have aluminum, not iron so looks right for a '41.  There is fuel to about 5/8" from the top of the fuel pump bowl.

 

I'd like opinions on whether it matters whether I first get a working engine fuel pump or simply get a new electric pump, and if the latter, what pressure pump would be best.  And does this have anything to do with windshield wipers not working more than spasmodically?

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Trash in the gas tank?

 

The mechanical pump probalby has a vacuum pump built in, which is specifically to help vacuum wipers work. The mechanical pumps on these cars are notorious for being finicky. Having an electric backup pump isn't a bad idea to help with priming and warm weather, but it should drive just fine on the mechanical pump alone. I'd look into rebuilding the mechanical pump and replacing the electrical pump, plus cleaning out your gas tank if you haven't already. Trash in the tank can mimic a lot of other symptoms.

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Is there a cleanup hatch cover on the top of the tank? There is a filter in-line between the tank and the electric pump and it does not look groody.  And obviously one can't just use a shop vac to clean out the tank.  Maybe best to drop the tank and take it to a shop.

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It sounds like it is time to go over your whole fuel system from what you have mentioned. Start at the tank-- remove drain ,place a large pan

be careful!. break loose fuel line , remove bolts , break loose fuel fill neck, open access plate in trunk floor and disconnect and insulate wire

going up toward dash, Inspect tank for dirt and rust. Inspect gas line going up toward engine. A rust hole in gas line will sometimes draw air and still

allow engine to run. The correct fuel pump for a'41 is a metal dome bowl ( P/N 16 H-9350), but glass bowl pump will work. The pump is operated by a push a push rod off of the cam shaft. ,these rods wear. If nothing has been done to the fuel pump for years- have it rebuilt. as far as an electric fuel  pump, these cars never left the factory with an electric pump, but it is good idea to install an electric pump as a back up ( vapor lock, poor gas, boost to help start after sitting long period of time)Wire in as a bypass. One other thing not to overlook is the gasket between the glass bowl and metal body of your fuel pump-- this has to be a PERFECT SEAL!!!! No one ever said these old cars are easy or cheap! Good Luck  P,S- the

windshield wipers are another problem!

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The glass bowl on the mechanical fuel pump wasn't standard, but later and I think on Fords.  But it's a nice addition so you can see if you're getting fuel to the carb.  Hopefully you have a filter on the fuel line before the mechanical pump, otherwise you can clog the carb with junk.  And yes, as Matt suggested remove the  tank and have it blasted and resealed, and do replace the fuel line from the tank to the engine.  The electric pump is also necessary at times.  One problem with the mechanical fuel pumps is the diaphragm will eventually leak fuel into your crankcase thinning out your oil!  Not good!   The newer fuels we're forced to use these days also damages it.  And the alcohol in the gas attracts water in the tank which can cause the rust too.  If you have a pressure gauge it should be some 3-5 PSI to the carb.  Too much pressure from the electric pump can cause the carb to overflow!   

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I managed to check the line by unhooking at the mechanical pump, and using an air gun with a rag at the filler pipe force gas through the line.  You can also do this in reverse and see if air comes out the filler pipe.  My line was still good after car sat for 30 years with fowl smelling gas residue, but I needed to take the tank to a radiator shop to clean.  The electric pump shouldn't put more than 3-5 lb pressure to the carb, as you don't want the needle valve to unseat in the float bowl.  If you take out the mechanical pump, its a good idea to leave the rod in as to not leak oil back into the crankcase.  Also should mount the electric pump low as practical as they don't suck well.

Abe

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Does the electric fuel pump run when you switch it on? If it does you may have a blockage in the line, but it must be after the electric fuel pump, because you do not see debris in the filter. Check the flex line that goes into the mechanical fuel pump. They can collapse internally and block the fuel.

 

When the sediment bowl is not full, it usually indicates that the sediment bowl gasket is leaking vacuum. Remove the sediment bowl and replace the gasket with a rubberized cork gasket. You can probably get one at a local parts house by bringing in the old one for comparison.

 

My opinion is that cutting the fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump to install an electric fuel pump causes more problems than it fixes. When you have a solid steel line from the tank to the flex line, the mechanical fuel pump should prime the carburetor withing 60 seconds.

 

Your wiper motor problem is probably a worn out wiper motor or a bind in the linkage. Try lubricating the linkage with a light oil like 3in one. Don't forget the part under the wiper arms.

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