Corvair DiagramCorvair Photo
Corvair Center
home forum corvairs calendar links Corvair Podcast
California Corvairs
Clarks Corvair
Clarks Corvair
“CORSA"



Chevy Corvair License Plate
Chevy Corvair Chrome Wheel
Corvair Center Forum :  Corvair Center Phorum The fastest message board... ever.
Corvair Center 
The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: Joe West ()
Date: January 15, 2019 10:35AM

All,

This morning I am heading out to an appointment, and today will not be a rainy day here in southeastern North Carolina so I decide to take my Corvair. I hop in my Corvair and as I exit my property, I stop by the barn and pasture to let our goats out of their stalls. Since it is 37 degrees, I leave the Corvair running so that it warms up, and I head up the path to our barn. I let the goats (4) out of their stall and head back up the path through the trees to where the Corvair is idling when I hear it sputter and stall. No big deal, sometimes when it is cold it will stall if left idling for extended periods.

I jump in my Corvair and try to start it. Cranks... but not even a hint of starting. Hmmm... I walk back to the engine compartment and open the hood, and everything looks good. I check the distributor and coil wires and they all seem good. I remove the air filter, press the accelerator cross shaft and I do not hear any telltale sign of the accelerator pump squirting gas. At this point, I look at my watch and I am 5 minutes from being late to my appointment. Great.

I close up the Corvair and start walking back to the house. On the way, I call my appointment and let them know I will be late. Once home, I jump into another car and drive off to my appointment. On the way, I am thinking about the problem; fuel or spark? Perhaps the connections came loose to my safeguard? I did not hear a squirt from the carburetor accelerator pump, but my hearing (and eyesight and sense of smell) are not what they once were... perhaps I missed the sound. I decide on a plan. There is no one home to assist me in checking for spark and I do not know where my remote starter switch is (not to mention I am parked on the grass and it has been raining so laying on my back in the wet grass to clip on the remote starter will not be fun), so my plan solidifies: My fuel pump is approximately 6 years or so old, and I have a systemic distrust of my mechanical fuel pump (which is why I carry a spare new pump in a vacuum sealed bag), so I will remove the fuel pump outlet fuel line and see if it is pumping gas, and then troubleshoot from there.

After my appointment, I head home, open the trunk and remove the necessary tools. I remove the output of the fuel pump, wrap a wad of Kleenex from my official Corvair tissue dispenser, stuff the tissue near the output of the fuel pump (I don't want fuel spraying all over my nice clean engine compartment you know), and go crank the engine. After a quick crank, I go back and feel the Kleenex. Bone dry. Damn fuel pump! I HATE THESE FUEL PUMPS!!! THIS IS IT (AND THIS TIME I MEAN IT)... I AM GETTING AN ELECTRONIC FUEL PUMP! Just for good measure... I go crank it again, this time for 15 seconds. Checking the Kleenex, it is still bone dry. Grabbing my tools, I loosen the input to the fuel pump and I don't see gas dripping out. Odd... Wait... do I have fuel?

I go back into the car, turn on the key... the fuel gauge is on E. I rock the car... the fuel needle doesn't budge. Wait... did I really just run out of fuel? In roughly 28 years, I have never, to my recollection, run out of fuel. I drive back to the house, get my always at the ready 5 gallon fuel can, go back out to the Corvair, and add 5 gallons of fuel. I reinstall the fuel lines and the air filter, and go back into the car. I crank and it doesn't start.

I crank some more... it doesn't start.

I crank some more... a sputter and then the engine roars to life.

Really Joe? Really???

Damn Fuel Pump. It had to be its fault for not warning me that I was low on fuel.

Yes... I am an idiot.

Sheesh.

Joe out.


1964 Spyder Convertible, Laurinburg North Carolina
Restoration Website: [www.corvairspyder.com]

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: RKF ()
Date: January 15, 2019 11:20AM

So, were these vintage Kleenexes you got out of your official Corvair Kleenex holder, or were they modern reproductions? You left out that detail.

Good story!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 15, 2019 11:33AM

That's the trouble with the Factory Float setting..... Everyone knows you have 3-4 gal.left when the gauge says empty. So you drive on!

I know when my gauges say EMPTY... I'm on a ragged edge... so I refill earlier!

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: January 15, 2019 11:46AM

You can hear the accelerator pumps? I'm impressed.

Every EM I've ever driven runs out of fuel at 1/8 to 1/4 on the gauge or at least the gauge stops there.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 15, 2019 11:56AM

joelsplace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Every EM I've ever driven runs out of fuel at 1/8
> to 1/4 on the gauge or at least the gauge stops there.
============================================================

As I wrote before... you either have a small air leak in the suction side....do you get 13-14 gallon in at refill?

Or someone has bent the float arm the wrong way. common.....


I couldn't stand that!

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: January 15, 2019 12:12PM

I've checked everything and it appears to be the gauge calibration. New tank, new sender no fuel in the tank reads almost 1/4 tank. Ground the wire same thing. Checked/cleaned connection at instrument/dash harness and gauge ground. The best I've managed is 1/8 on gauge for empty. If is was just a couple of cars I would say something is wrong but at least a dozen are the same. I need to take the time to figure out calibrating the gauge. I'm pretty sure they are set to read empty at 0 ohms and you know that through all the connections and the sender you aren't going to get that.
The pinhole gave me an idea on a different issue. I need to make a gas cap with a pressure gauge and a plug for the fuel line at the pump so I can pressurize a system and let it sit overnight to check for pinholes. Some issues that appear to be vapor lock or bad fuel pumps are leaky fuel lines.
Thanks!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 15, 2019 12:49PM

Start at the sender.... when the arm is all the way down... is the reading 0 ohms.... a few ohms doesn't matter with this.

Now install in empty tank.... still read 0? if so... connect sender wire and see if gauge goes down to "E"

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: January 15, 2019 12:49PM

Start at the sender.... when the arm is all the way down... is the reading 0 ohms.... a few ohms doesn't matter with this.

Now install in empty tank.... still read 0? if so... connect sender wire and see if gauge goes down to "E"

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: Nickshu ()
Date: January 15, 2019 01:02PM

Joe, I ended up putting in an Airtex 8012 pump the regulating it down to my desired pressure. I used a Revolution Electronics fuel pump controller to run it.

I tried an 8016 pump but measuring fuel pressure at the carb it could barely push 1.5 psi, so I went up to the 8012 higher pressure pump, regulated down with a Holley FPR. There are photos in my restoration thread on the last couple pages.

Hope this helps!

Nick
_______________________________________________________________________
1964 Monza Spyder Convertible #435 - Rotisserie restored - SOLD ON BRING A TRAILER 4/30/2019 - Check out my restoration thread here: [corvaircenter.com]
Thanks to all the awesome CCF, CF, COG, and CORSA members who helped me with the restoration!
Other fun stuff - Porsche 911 GT3 - Trailered track monster for HPDE and Autocross events.
Northern Colorado, USA

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: Joe West ()
Date: January 15, 2019 02:08PM

Thanks Nick. If I transition to an electric pump, I will duplicate your system.

Nickshu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Joe, I ended up putting in an Airtex 8012 pump the
> regulating it down to my desired pressure. I used
> a Revolution Electronics fuel pump controller to
> run it.
>
> I tried an 8016 pump but measuring fuel pressure
> at the carb it could barely push 1.5 psi, so I
> went up to the 8012 higher pressure pump,
> regulated down with a Holley FPR. There are
> photos in my restoration thread on the last couple
> pages.
>
> Hope this helps!


1964 Spyder Convertible, Laurinburg North Carolina
Restoration Website: [www.corvairspyder.com]

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Much Maligned and Beleaguered Corvair Mechanical Fuel Pump
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: January 15, 2019 04:54PM

My Blazer has been running for years with never more than 1/4 tank, recently I filled it op, drove until it was about 1/8 tank decided to go fill it again, made it about a mile down the road and ran out of gas, never ran out before reading 1/8 tank, things changed. I have installed an electric pump on the Blazer with a pressure gauge by the carb, easy to tell it's out of gas.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

Options: ReplyQuote


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.