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An electron powered fuel pump

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  • Fuel System: An electron powered fuel pump

    I normally recommend the Carter P4389 type rotory pump. I've installed a few on my own cars over the years, put them on friends cars and recommended them to people that have also used them. While not any of these were "race" type engines, many are/were more thAn stock hp. street engines (350hp range), all street drivers.
    One thing I've found, is that despite the "listed" pressures being in the 7 to 9psi range, I've always found them to put out more thAn that and always require a regulator to keep the carburetor fuel level properly regulated.

    My 259 powered Lark's fuel pump finally decided it wanted to go to where ever it is that all mechanical parts go when they are dead..

    I was originally going to use one of those little square pumps like Studebaker Int. sells, but the 1/8" NPT fittings only have about a 3/16" dia. hole in them. Bout the same size as your brake lines...Na...too small. While you may have a good "pressure", you surely won't have good volume for spirited...driving.

    So I decided to try one of Carters (yea, Carter/Fedral Mogal again) "inline" pumps. It's a model P60504, simillar to the FI type pumps. While it only puts out about 4psi, that should be plenty to sustain 250hp on any US freeway. And what normal Stude engine will produce all of that much power for any length of time...!?
    The inlet and outlet is 5/16" so it's an easy swap to the OEM fuel line and should provide plenty of volume. It also comes with a steel canister filter attached. The only questionable thing I noticed is that both line connections are plastic..!? So the Stude lines should be bent to match the pumps "in and outlets" pretty close to keep any load off the plastic.

    I attached it to the frame, just ahead of the front spring/body mount with the "P" clamp that comes with it, and fastened it to the frame...with no special sound deadening goodies.
    I cut the line and stuck it in. I drilled a hole in the frame flange and rather than use just the "thread-in" fastener, I used a nut and bolt arrangement, along with two pieces of fuel injector capible 5/16" rubber fuel line. I used a squirt bottle to fill the filter with fuel so as to not have the pump run dry as soon as the switch is hit.

    I also made a new fuel line from the stock fuel line outlet at the frame, up to the carburetor (three bends and a 3" piece of rubber hose). It's "NEVER" a good idea to run pressure thru a stock pump. The diaphram splits......and you have fuel in the crank case...!

    While you can hear the pump run with the engine off, it's sound is deadened quickly by the sound of the engine (stock engine, dual exhaust). Even standing next to the pump, with the engine running, it can't be heard.

    I ran it around our freeway circle (bout 19 miles), with a couple of fairly steep climbs. Ran it to an honest 80mph going up one of the steeper problem.

    Just thought I'd throw this out there to people that want an easy to install, "sorta" cheap fuel pump assembly, that they don't have to screw with "other" parts. A very easy to assemble, fairly quiet fuel pump.
    No clue as to how long it will last...!


  • #2
    Great info Mike, thanks!
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:


    • #3

      I think a good choice, I've run a couple of P4594's over the years with excellent success. With a regulator.

      I see your's is the marine grade, so probably even better.

      As long as the electron's keep moving so will the gas.



      • #4
        Thanks for the tip! I see them on Ebay for less than $50. I will keep that in mind when it is time to plumb my Conestoga.
        Pat Dilling
        Olivehurst, CA
        Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL

        LS1 Engine Swap Journal:


        • #5
          I purchased this style from SI but in 12 volt. I don't have many miles on the car but it is VERY quiet and replaced one which was so loud you couldn't hear the engine. I was concerned about not being able to place the pump near the tank so I spoke with the tech people from the mfgr. who told me the pump was capable of lifting gas 15'.


          • #6
            This is more of a question than a direct reply to Mike's original post, where he indicates it is NEVER a good idea to run an electric pump along with the original type mechanical fuel pump. Result could be a broken diaphragm, leading to fuel in the crankcase.

            I have 6 or 7 Stude V-8 cars that are used as daily drivers, and all are equipped with both mechanical and electric pumps. I have run these cars for many years and many miles, probably over 200,000 miles in fact, and I have not (that I know of) had fuel in the crankcase. Some of my cars are equipped with the oil leaking 4227 pumps, and some with the far superior Carter M6270 pumps that have the actuating arm bent a bit to resemble the 4227's arm. All cars are equipped with a fuel pressure regulator and pressure gauge between the mechanical pump and the carb, and are adjusted for 4 psi when the electric pump is activated. The electric pumps are all capable of putting out up to 9 psi, hence the need for the regulator.

            I have had electric pumps fail, so I have been using both pumps for "insurance" reasons. I do not want either one of the pumps to fail on either me or my wife whilst we may be on some remote Nevada highway 200 miles from civilization.

            I wonder, then, am I just lucky?

            I also wonder if others out there use both a mechanical pump and an electric and had no catastrophes ....



            • #7
              I have used a Carter 6V electric fuel pump close to the fuel tank on my 1936 Cord in addition to the mechanical fuel pump on the engine. A pressure regulator on the mechanical pump outlet is needed for the Stromberg 2BBL to work right. My experience is that electric fuel pumps are mostly beneficial to fill up the carb bowl without having to crank the engine, especially after the car sits for a while. For me the electric fuel pumps only last about a year, so I get tired of the work of replacing them under the car and paying for another one.

              For me the most important thing is using ethanol free gasoline, which is problematic in Maryland unless you live East of the Chesapeake Bay. My 1980 Avanti II can get by on gas with Ethanol, but the Cord can't.


              • #8
                SuperHawk wrote-
                "I have 6 or 7 Stude V-8 cars that are used as daily drivers, and all are equipped with both mechanical and electric pumps. I have run these cars for many years and many miles, probably over 200,000 miles in fact, and I have not (that I know of) had fuel in the crankcase."

                My first would one do this ?
                There's no need what-so-ever to run two pumps. Pick one...and run it...! The only reason to run two if you are running alcohol or other special fuel in a second tank and need a second pump...!
                And yes, despite your 200,000 miles, with an electric pump...pumping fuel into a bad mechanical pump, fuel will end up in the crankcase.

                Redundantancy in aircraft, spacecraft sure. But two things even about that... The "redundant" system is always a copy of the main system, and should only be used when the first fails.

                Your electric pump is also hampered by the mechanical pump, not getting its full pressure to the carburetor.


                P.s. - the "ONLY" reason I can remotly think of to run two pumps on any car other than a car that runs over that if it sits for weeks on end before being used and the system needs priming. In that case...keep a squirt bottle handy. It's probably a good idea to open the hood once in a while anyway..!


                • #9
                  I have had problems with a "squirt bottle" to prime an engine. "Fires ain't fun" for one. Most of my collector cars have an electric pump that I use merely to prime the carb. after the car has been sitting for days or weeks, as is usually the case. You have to make sure you have a "flow through" type pump, or your mechanical pump will not be able to suck through it. I have a momentary toggle switch under the dash that I have to hold in the on position for the pump to work, which I believe to be the safest way to control the pump.


                  • #10
                    Just installed an AIRTEX #8082S (NOT the much disliked and troublesome mechanical pump) _ It was just under $32 (w/ shipping) @ Rockauto.
                    Installed near the fuel tank, at the level of the tank outlet (it is much easier for a pump to push the fuel up to the engine than to pull it from the tank). It also is attached to the frame.
                    It is a bit noisy when operating, tho' it is only used to prime after several days of inactivity so is not a problem. Airtex also warns that the mechanical pump must be in good condition (esp. not leaking fuel into the engine).
                    Originally had a Holley "blue" pump - Holley tech. recommended NOT to use it as a "draw thru'" accessory pump, as the inlet port is covered at times by the pump vanes and will not allow fuel to pass.
                    Paul TK