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View Full Version : Spectra or Airtex Fuel Pump for 1950 Champion?



TWChamp
07-23-2015, 02:26 PM
I'm thinking of giving the mechanical fuel pump another try. I've heard good and bad about the Airtex brand, but haven't heard anything about Spectra. I don't like to be throwing away $50 for one that doesn't last more than a few months. Autozone can order either brand for about $48.
I'm wondering what brand is the best for a single diaphragm 1950 Champion? Thanks, Tom

14x7
07-23-2015, 03:21 PM
How about the speedway speed shop catalog , they have 6 volt pumps , positive ground ,and negative ground, But you may have to use some angle iron fashion to attach to the floor of the car. Just a thought . good luck . Speedway motors , ask for the 2015 " street catalog 800 979 0122

StudeRich
07-23-2015, 03:24 PM
Never heard of a "Spectra", it most likely is a re-labeled Airtex, like others: "Master" and "Carter" (NOT a real Carter :().

There have not been very many problems with Airtex for Champions, just the '55-'64 V8's had Oil Leakage and seems to now be fixed by sealing the Actuator Lever PIN on current issue units.

No thanks, on Rat-A Tat, Tat, Tat Electric Pumps. :mad:

jclary
07-23-2015, 03:29 PM
I'm probably the least qualified to address this if you are looking for a mechanic with formal training on these pumps. However, after years of experience using, rebuilding, and replacing them, I have some thoughts on the matter. The mechanical diaphragm fuel pump is an efficient, proven, yet relatively simple low pressure high volume fuel pump. They work great for our conventional carburetors that are vented to air, and meter fuel flow from a reservoir using a needle valve actuated by a float. The main job of the fuel pump is to supply enough fuel to the reservoir.

No self respecting manufacturer, re-manufacturer, or kit supplier, would intentionally supply inferior parts and expect to stay in business. It has been my experience, that the weakest link in mechanical "replacement" pumps is the pivot pin for the actuator arm. I can't speak for other brands of engines, but Studebaker designed theirs so that oil returns (and lubricates) right over the point at which the arm is operated by a cam lobe. In this process, huge amounts of hot (thus thin) oil is being splattered about in this area. Fuel pumps that are re-manufactured with the pivot pin "un sealed" and protruding out both sides of the housing, will leak oil that gets blown all over the engine compartment. Those are the ones that drive me nuts.

It took me years to figure this out, and learn a few tricks to stop that leak. I've been told that some have problems with the flexible components and gaskets failing with modern fuel. If this is so, then I'd look for pumps/kits that have assurance that they are compatible with ethanol.

Now that I've posted on this topic...probably all my mechanical fuel pumps will fail...this afternoon!:rolleyes::(:QQ:

StudeRich
07-23-2015, 03:38 PM
John, I agree with almost all of what you are saying, but my Post #3 is kind of an update on the Current situation with these Mechanical pumps, being that I buy and sell quantities of them.

The part about "Rebuilt" Fuel pumps I don't agree with, because I have not seen or known of an available REBUILT one for 30 Years! :ohmy:

TWChamp
07-23-2015, 03:46 PM
How about the speedway speed shop catalog , they have 6 volt pumps , positive ground ,and negative ground, But you may have to use some angle iron fashion to attach to the floor of the car. Just a thought . good luck . Speedway motors , ask for the 2015 " street catalog 800 979 0122

I already have a very neatly mounted Holley 12 volt with a 3 ohm 50 watt resistor to drop the voltage to 3 volts on my 6 volt Champion. This way it puts out the perfect flow and pressure. I just like to stay as original as possible, so if I find a good reliable pump that stands up to ethanol crap gas, and doesn't leak oil, I'd like to give it a try. I tried a couple mechanical pumps last summer, but the crap gas I got stuck with in Michigan took out the diaphragm in two days, and both pumps also leaked oil. So now I don't want to throw away any more money until I hear of a good pump.

jclary
07-23-2015, 04:14 PM
The part about "Rebuilt" Fuel pumps I don't agree with, because I have not seen or known of an available REBUILT one for 30 Years! :ohmy:

You are probably right. As we get older, it is easy to lose perspective of time as it relates to industries you were familiar with during "working" days. It was probably over a decade ago that a major component re-builder (former air tool customer of mine) shut down and moved operations out of the country. At that time, they rebuilt water pumps, alternators, and fuel pumps. My '55 Truck has its original water pump housing that they rebuilt for me in the early 1980's.

Given today's cars and the market, it makes me wonder how long we'll even be able to buy any mechanical fuel pump.

Corvanti
07-23-2015, 06:43 PM
I'm certainly not an "expert" as Rich and John are. but here's my 2 cents: it appears that S.I. has the fuel pump for $59. part# 681107. i have no idea if Airtex makes them or has been fitted with a diaphragm that can handle "crap gas".

my main thought though was, if you go back to a mechanical pump, leave the electric pump in the line and place a on/off switch under the dash. that would help when she hasn't been run in awhile plus if you ever get a vapor lock problem...