Lotus Elan

Fuel Pumps Manual or Electronic ?

PostPost by: Oziswan » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:50 am

Rebuilding a Series 3 Elan from scratch....( Road Use)...
Which way to go with the Fuel Pump?....
Have to purchase a pump ..
Do I go down the original route and purchuse the Manual Pump or install a Electronic Type?....
Feed back much appreciated
Thanks..
Oziswan
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 28 May 2015
Location: Australia

PostPost by: jimj » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:37 am

The mechanical, original, pump requires much churning of the starter motor to pull fuel through if the car has been stood for a while. That`s it. They are very reliable.
The electrical pumps take up space, require wiring, and, potentially can carry on pumping fuel after an accident. I can think of several occasions when I`ve been in the company of people with classic cars who`ve had problems, sometimes breakdowns, with electric pumps.
No doubt those with electric pumps think they`re marvellous.
Jim
jimj
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 985
Joined: 25 Feb 2008

PostPost by: Chancer » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:18 am

Been a victim of electric fuel pump failures as long as I have been driving, first the SU type fitted to BL vehicles then the Facet ones, the solid state ones were not too bad but made loads of noise and would still get the sulks until given a whack like all the others, the more infrequent a vehicle is used the more frequently the failure.

Just to add these were never total failures, just a stuck mechanism needing a whack, it was so common that I would often relocate them to within arms (and hammer!) reach. I've even had them fail while racing.

The only one that was 100% reliable was the cylindrical webcon one of circa 2000, the one on my Catreham has not run for over 12 years and I would put money on it working as soon as I connect a battery.

In the late 60's some variants of the mechanical pump had a priming lever and often a glass bowl, the bolt holes are usually standard, it may take some modification of the insulator block but that would be the ideal solution if there is room to squeeze a hand down to actuate it, otherwise a priming bulb in an accessible position with a mechanical pump.
Chancer
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1022
Joined: 20 Mar 2012
Location: Northern France/ Sussex UK

PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:47 am

Personally I believe electric fuel pumps are perfectly reliable and fit for purpose and make starting a car that is not used every day much easier. I would fit an inertia cut out on the pump and an automatic isolating valve in the event of an accident as was original equipment in my 78 S1 Esprit.

The much criticized SU fuel pump in my Esprit has never had a moments problem in almost 40 years. The Facet cylindrical pump I have used in my Elan for about as long have also not ever caused a problem. I fitted a new one recently just as a precaution as I don't want a problem when racing but I keep the perfectly good one I took out as a spare.

cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 5931
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: DavidLB » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:19 pm

I agree had su on my cars since the early sixty's no problems at all
DavidLB
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 151
Joined: 23 Apr 2010

PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:41 pm

I put electric pumps in my cars. Mainly because I don't drive them often enough which requires lots of cranking with a manual pump (not so with electric, just hit the switch and wait a few seconds). In all the years I have never had a failure. I also used stainless reinforced hose and aeroquip fittings on all fuel lines. No clamps! As noted, I switch my pumps so I can shut off from the drivers seat. Might be a bit more wiring, but it's safer.

Of course if you want originality then stick with the OEM manual pump.
Last edited by Certified Lotus on Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Glen
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941 - Sold
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379 Restored
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart - Sold
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car - Sold
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car - Wrecked at track
06 Elise - Track pack - Sold
User avatar
Certified Lotus
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 772
Joined: 04 Aug 2014
Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:33 pm

My vote is with the stock Mechanical pump.

As long as it's serviced or replaced during rebuild and both valves are working as they should it works fine, i every day ran my +2 for 10 years and never had an issue with the Fuel pump.

The only issue i had with a Mech pump was recently after my 2 seater had been in boxes for 30 years and one of the valves had failed meaning the fuel would drain back to the tank when sat. But it was an easy fix (fitted an overhaul kit which tbh i should have done during the engine work anyway)
Chris
User avatar
Grizzly
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1339
Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Location: Cheshire/UK

PostPost by: webbslinger » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:54 pm

My issue with the mechanical pump is the location and how dificult it is to get at if you have to.
webbslinger
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 61
Joined: 23 Jun 2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA USA

PostPost by: William2 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:57 pm

Stick with the mechanical pump and add a primer bulb in the boot.
William2
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 686
Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Location: West Sussex

PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:11 pm

I have been let down by both. The electric pump that came in the Elan died coming back from a vintage race. The only way I got home was to cycle the ignition key every time the pump quit. That got a few more breaths out of the pump as I limped home. That method did get the attention of the police though, as they wondered about the slowing and going as I limped along. They were nice about it.

I have a mechanical pump on the Sabra, which was rebuilt only to have it die in heavy traffic coming back from another vintage race. Dead sticking it from the fast lane to the side of the road pulled high C on the lower extremities. However, I also have a manually switch operated electric pump for priming purposes. After thinking about what might have happened, I tried using the priming pump and was able to get home safely.

For the Elan, I replaced the pump with a like number, but also bought a small Facet cube pump to carry as a spare. It is fitted with all the needed fittings, so a quick unplug and re-plug will make things good again. Rigged the Sabra so the spare can be carried and switched on that car as well. Double backup.

The Plus2, with a Zetec has to have an electric pump. With much discussion about inertia switches, I made a trip to the local Pick-A-Part, and took several switches out of some small Fords to install in all the cars. One of the switches I found had three wires from the switch. The third wire is switched to battery when the switch is operated. This wire is now routed to the dash on the Plus2, and a signal light will be installed. If the switch operates while driving, the light will come on to immediately let me know the car quit running because the switch operated. It should be quicker notification than if the fuel bowls in the carbs have run dry. If the switch goes into a failure mode, I used the male/female wire connectors so as to be able to bypass the switch. The cube Facet can also be substituted if the pump fails.

Won't have to worry about the cars crapping out coming home from that vintage race again, as they have cancelled that event.
Rob Walker
26-4889
50-0315N
1964 Sabra GT
1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

Tread softly in the grease mud, for there lurks the skid demon
prezoom
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 669
Joined: 16 Mar 2009
Location: Escondido, California

PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:39 pm

One modification I am considering is having an electric pump, powered by ignition but also separately switched.

Not only to preprime for easier starting, but also to allow the pump to be switched off before putting away, so as to drain the carbs and hopefully reduce the fuel smell.
vincereynard
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 454
Joined: 12 Jan 2015
Location: amersham

PostPost by: Craven » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:30 pm

My vote is for the original mechanical pump, the reason of safety + any failure in the long feed line results in just an air leak.
I find the comment of extra cranking required after a long period of non-use somewhat ironic as many advocate the pumping of oil around the engine before a start up after a rebuild is beneficial.
Ron.
Craven
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 365
Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Location: south coast uk

PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:40 pm

Craven wrote:My vote is for the original mechanical pump, the reason of safety + any failure in the long feed line results in just an air leak.
I find the comment of extra cranking required after a long period of non-use somewhat ironic as many advocate the pumping of oil around the engine before a start up after a rebuild is beneficial.
Ron.


Exactly this. While the cranking is going on to bring the fuel up, the oil is getting pumped around to the
point where I usually have oil pressure just before I get enough fuel to start.
Greg Z
45/0243K
User avatar
gjz30075
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2278
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Roswell, Georgia, USA

PostPost by: Europatc » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:17 pm

I have electric on both my cars and would never go back to mechanical. If you use the car infrequently then the electric pump is much easier on the battery. Just my experience. I've been let down by mechanical pumps in the past
ImageImage
User avatar
Europatc
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 303
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Location: Hessle East Yorkshire

PostPost by: UAB807F » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:34 am

vincereynard wrote:One modification I am considering is having an electric pump, powered by ignition but also separately switched.

Not only to preprime for easier starting, but also to allow the pump to be switched off before putting away, so as to drain the carbs and hopefully reduce the fuel smell.


I also wired in an additional switch to an electric pump.

Two reasons, the first is to drain the carbs as you say. Not so much about smell but if I'm putting the car away for a month or more over winter it stops the fuel evaporating and leaving any residue in the carbs/pump jets.

Secondly it's another small anti-theft mechanism for any opportunist thief to find before driving away. The electric pump does make starting up after a layoff much easier than the previous mechanical pump. The Elan on a facet pump is pretty much on the button, the Europa on the OEM mechanical pump always takes a few churns to splutter into life.
User avatar
UAB807F
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 564
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Location: Lincolnshire
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests