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  • Fuel System: I think I need a new fuel pump

    1950 Land Cruiser. Just had the carb overhauled a couple of weeks ago (new gaskets, cleaned and checked out, etc.). Car ran fine on the way home from the mechanic. Started car last weekend, and I pulled it in the driveway to wash it. When I put it back in the garage I noticed a petroleum "rainbow" on the wet concrete. At the time, I thought it was probably oil. In retrospect, it seemed to be on the passenger side about where the fuel pump is. Started car yesterday. Ran okay. Shut it off. Half hour later I tried to start it again to go and fill the gas tank. Cranked but would not fire. Looked at fuel pump. Body was damp with gas, mostly on top. Fuel bowl is full. Guessing the fuel pump is bad. And guessing the "rainbow" on the concrete was gasoline. Haven't put gas in carb yet to see if it will fire. Will try to do that later today if I can find the time. Did an archive search and found a few helpful closely related posts but nothing directly related to the 50 Commander other than Milt's post on how difficult this pump is to change out

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...tric+fuel+pump

    Also found this post on a '50 Champion dealing with electric pump replacements.

    "We have a 6-volt positive system on our 1950 Champion. The electric pump is mounted close and low to the fuel tank, which pushes the fuel to the engine bay. One issue we had: if you do not have the correct current going to the pump it will push too little fuel and the car will die on you. I replaced apump thinking it went bad when the issue was one to do with electrical current. We also installed a mechanical pump, and now use the electric pump on start-up and to avoid vapor lock."

    from: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...+1950+Champion.

    I drive this car only occasionally on relatively short trips (less than 100 miles one way) in temperate weather. Should I still consider going electric? Is is worth the expense and trouble given the car's limited use? I have read that an electric booster pump helps start cars which are driven infrequently. But is it worth the cost? A rebuilt mechanical pump will cost about $150 (almost makes me wish I'd bought a '50 Champion instead of a Commander due parts pricing and availability). Electrics are less expensive but with the work of installing by the tank and the additional wiring, cutoff switches, etc. needed (which I cannot do myself due to physical limitations and lack of mechanical aptitude), I'm guessing I'd have at least that much in an electric unit when all was said and done, especially since I will have to hire someone to do the work. Moreover, I have very limited hobby funds due to a recent change in personal circumstances.

    1. Do you think I'm on the right track with my diagnosis?
    2. What is your opinion on the electric vs. mechanical fuel pump for this particular car and its use?

    I believe that there are two types of electric pumps out there. One is more of a booster pump to aid it in starting and used as a backup in the event of mechanical pump failure, vapor lock, etc. The other type functions as the primary pump allowing one to bypass the mechanical pump.

    Thanks for helping out a Studebaker enthusiast with virtually no mechanical aptitude. I hope I've provided you with enough information about my situation.

  • #2
    Mark -

    Your thoughts sound...sound. Sounds like it time for a new pump. In any case, you don't want a fuel leak in any case.

    On the electric pump.
    There's no such thing as a "booster" pump. It's just another electric fuel pump. There's various manufacturers that make various different pumps. There are pumps that put out low pressures and low volumes, there's pumps that put out more pressure but still low volumes, there's pumps that put out more pressure and more volume....and so on.

    There's one that Stude Inter. sells. It's a small square box, it's a mid pressure but low volume (1/8" NPT fittings). Any time the inlet/outlet are small in i.d., you know it's of the low volume design. This would probably be fine for your engine. You don't want high pressure, and don't need a lot of volume.

    My Lark is in need of a pump also..! I'm trying a newer style, "inline" pump that is mostly used in newer fuel injected engines, only this is a very low pressure compaired to most (4psi), but its volume is a bit more than the little 1/8"NPT models. It's more money thAn I was going to spend, and it's of lower pressure than I'm used to running, but it should be fine being the newer design inline style. I just have to get out there and put it in...

    Remember, an electric pump will cut any vapor lock problems down to almost nothing. Also remember to wire it to sshut off with the lack of oil pressure (use the pressure switch to turn it on and off). But if your car sits for extanded periods of time, you might want to double wire in a second switch to full the float bowls before turning the key, so the engine doesn't have to spin for ever to do the bowl filling before it actually starts.

    Mike

    Comment


    • #3
      Take a close look at the flexible fuel line from the car body to the fuel pump. They can break/crack/leak and not look like it.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the input, Mike and Roy. Didn't consider the flex fuel line. Will change that out first and see what happens. Will also change out the oil pressure flex line while I'm at it and go with the braided stainless replacement. Cheap insurance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the input, Mike and Roy. Didn't consider the flex fuel line. Will change that out first and see what happens. Will also change out the oil pressure flex line while I'm at it and go with the braided stainless replacement. Cheap insurance.

          Comment


          • #6
            For numerous reasons, I've decided to stick with the original vacuum pump for now rather than switch over to electric. I found a source (mine is the double action pump) that has NOS and old rebuilt pumps (unused since rebuild) available. Here are my new questions:

            1. Instinct tells me that a NOS pump or a pump with an old rebuild should probably be rebuilt now for a couple of reasons. A., gaskets and diaphragms, etc. dry out with age, especially sitting dry on a shelf somewhere. Even if a bench test reveals good pressure right now, I'm not sure how long it might last. Are my suspicions warranted? This pump is a bear to get at. I don't want to have to do the job twice, but I don't want to spend the money on a rebuild kit if it really isn't necessary. B., NOS and (likely) the older rebuilds don't have the alcohol resistant innards. I do try to run 100% gasoline in the car but on road trips it's not always available. When you need gas, you need gas.

            2. How difficult is it for someone with very little mechanical aptitude to rebuild one of these pumps? Any special tools needed? I'm willing to try it. If I can't do it, I suppose I can always try to find someone to rebuild it for me.

            I have also found a rebuilt unit which was recently done with alcohol resistant parts, but it's about $150 more than the NOS/older rebuilt pumps I found. I also know that a rebuild kit is about $65. But if I fail at my attempt to rebuild and have to hire it done, I'm guessing I'd be about equal dollar-wise if I sprung for the more expensive pump that's already done with the alcohol-resistant parts. I'm not trying to be a CASO here. I'm on a limited fixed income now and don't have lots of disposable income anymore for hobby cars. Otherwise, I'd spring for the new rebuilt unit without batting an eye.

            Your thoughts are, as always, appreciated.

            Comment


            • #7
              How Were you able to confirm the problem is indeed the pump?

              respectfully,

              Dan T

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dan Timberlake View Post
                How Were you able to confirm the problem is indeed the pump?

                respectfully,

                Dan T
                Dan, I haven't actually confirmed that it's the pump. I only strongly suspect. I've owned the car about2-1/2 years and got some records from the PO on various work that's been done since the mid-80s. Nowhere do I find anything about a fuel pump being replaced. After 60+ years and nearly 80K miles, I'm making an uneducated guess here, I suspect it might be a tired fuel pump. Of course, the pump might have been replaced at some point, but I have no evidence that it has ever been replaced. As I mentioned in my OP, I noted some fuel on the body of the pump and the "rainbow" on the wet concrete in the general vicinity of where the fuel pump was when the car was parked on the driveway for a hose-off. Also, as I mentioned in my OP, the car idles roughly and dies out until it starts to warm up. Then it idles and runs just fine. My thoroughly uneducated hunch is that the pump is weak and has difficulty pump gas to the carb, especially when cold. Since it's a vacuum system, once the fuel gets flowing, all is well. The carb was "overhauled" about two months ago with new gaskets, but I guess it could still be carb issues.I could very well be wrong, because as I mentioned, I'm not even close to being even a shade tree mechanic. I did order a replacement line, per Roy's suggestion. It just came today. The line and the brass fitting on the car is dry but could be bad as Roy mentioned. It is a double action pump and the dampness on the pump appears to be originating from a place lower than where the flex line attaches to the pump assembly. Since I am no longer physically able to do most mechanical work, I have to hire it done. I don't want to pay for having the hose replaced only to find it was the pump after all. I also would have to pay someone to take the current pump off and test it. As I mentioned, my hobby funds are very restricted. (In fact, I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to even afford to keep my cars). Why not just cut my losses and replace the whole set up? I mentioned that I'm trying to save $$$, but I'm not "penny wise and pound foolish."
                If you have other ideas, please share them with me. I need help. That's why I hang out here. You guys are great! Dan, thanks for the question. If you (or anyone else) has any thoughts or suggestions, please opine!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know that you don't want to invest in an additional electric pump, Mark, but they REALLY DO HELP hot restarts and after the car has been sitting a while. I think they are well worth saving the wear on your starter and patience.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Son O Lark View Post
                    I know that you don't want to invest in an additional electric pump, Mark, but they REALLY DO HELP hot restarts and after the car has been sitting a while. I think they are well worth saving the wear on your starter and patience.
                    Thanks for the input. I know going the electric route is much better performance-wise. As with most 60 year-old technology, improvements have been made over the years. But I'm just afraid that labor-wise, with the wiring of the car, installation of the switches, etc., it would be cost prohibitive for me. I think the electric pumps themselves are around 40 or 50 dollars but it's all the other stuff, especially the additional unknown labor costs, that scares me a little. As I mentioned, I'll have to pay to have this done since I can't physically do any of the work myself anymore. That's why I've all but ruled out going the electric route. Besides, I'm one of those gosh-awful "purists" who prefer to keep a car the way it came the from the factory if at all possible, mechanical warts and all. Of course, I do run radial tires on the car and have an additional non-factory fuel filter on it, so I'm not a complete fanatic. And I only drive the car once or twice a month at most. It stays in the garage if it's too hot (no A/C--I can't handle the heat too well these days) or too cold or if it even threatens rain. Not a "daily driver" by any stretch of the imagination. Strictly a hobby car. Thanks again for the input.
                    Last edited by southbend; 02-18-2014, 09:37 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have to agree with you Mark about not using an Electric Pump on a Car with a Dual Diaphragm Vacuum boosted Wiper system you can't remove the Mechanical Fuel Pump. Then if you add the new auxiliary pump, the added pressure could make the leak worse in the old pump possibly putting fuel in the crankcase, and you definitely do not want that.

                      There IS help available, these folks do excellent work rebuilding Classic Car Fuel Pumps, and are reliable:

                      http://maritimedragracing.com/antiqu...rts_cellar.htm

                      OR; Daytona Parts only does Carburetors though I think:

                      http://www.daytonaparts.com/
                      Last edited by StudeRich; 02-18-2014, 11:07 AM.
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                        I have to agree with you Mark about not using an Electric Pump on a Car with a Dual Diaphragm Vacuum boosted Wiper system you can't remove the Mechanical Fuel Pump. Then if you add the new auxiliary pump, the added pressure could make the leak worse in the old pump possibly putting fuel in the crankcase, and you definitely do not want that.

                        There IS help available, these folks do excellent work rebuilding Classic Car Fuel Pumps, and are reliable:

                        http://maritimedragracing.com/antiqu...rts_cellar.htm

                        OR; Daytona Parts only does Carburetors though I think:

                        http://www.daytonaparts.com/
                        Thanks, Studerich. Appreciate your thoughts and the suggestions. I think you're right about Daytona Parts. I recently visited their website because the Stromberg EX-23 on my '35 Dictator needs attention and they came highly recommended on another recent thread. I don't recall seeing anything on fuel pumps there-just carbs. Will check out the other site.

                        Other opinions/suggestions very welcome!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Your symptoms sure sound like a choke problem. Are you sure it is working correctly?
                          78 Avanti RQB 2792
                          64 Avanti R1 R5408
                          63 Avanti R1 R4551
                          63 Avanti R1 R2281
                          62 GT Hawk V15949
                          56 GH 6032504
                          56 GH 6032588
                          55 Speedster 7160047
                          55 Speedster 7165279

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 64studeavanti View Post
                            Your symptoms sure sound like a choke problem. Are you sure it is working correctly?
                            Thanks for the input. Not sure of anything, really, at this point. Since the carb was overhauled by the mechanic, I just assumed all was well with it and related parts like the choke. It's possible that a there is a problem there. How do I check to make sure it's working correctly other than consulting my shop manual for instructions? Or should that be sufficient information?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When the engine is cold, one push on the accelerator pedal should trigger the choke butterfly to the closed position. You should be able to see this easily when the air filter is off. As the engine warms up, the choke eases off and is near vertical. You need the richer fuel mixture to ensure running at the colder engine temp. If the choke is not working, you will get a poor idle/stall when the engine is cold. As it warms up, it will run better. I am only suggesting this as you indicated that the carb was rebuilt recently and you indicated that this is just about the time the problem started. Additionally, your statement " the car idles roughly and dies out until it starts to warm up. Then it idles and runs just fine." is the penultimate description of the choke not working.
                              78 Avanti RQB 2792
                              64 Avanti R1 R5408
                              63 Avanti R1 R4551
                              63 Avanti R1 R2281
                              62 GT Hawk V15949
                              56 GH 6032504
                              56 GH 6032588
                              55 Speedster 7160047
                              55 Speedster 7165279

                              Comment

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