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Old 03-15-2010, 08:11 AM
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Going through electric fuel pumps after engine upgrade

In my 59 Suburban, 16 months ago we replaced the old tired 6 cylinder with a 2004 5.3. I kept the computer and engine pretty much stock. I plumbed a return line from the regulator/fuel filter assembly to the original fuel tank. The fuel pump was installed on the frame rail under the passenger seat. Since then I have put approx 5,000 miles on the truck and my 3rd fuel pump is failing. I'm wondering if the stock pickup tube in the tank is too narrow and causing the pump to always run in a bind. All the rest of the fuel line is the same size of the 2004 lines.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Garrett

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Old 03-15-2010, 08:16 AM
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what fuel pump are you using?
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:18 AM
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Where`s the fuel tank? If the tank is in the rear the pump has to be installed by the tank and cannot be more than a foot above or below it. Electric fuel pumps are pushers, when they are too far away from the tank it makes the pump act as a puller and it gets too hot which burns it up.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:27 AM
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The tank is in the rear under the floor on the pass side . The pump is level with the tank.
Here is a blurry shot of the pickup tube and return
http://www.hotrodders.com/journal_ph...2043894282.jpg

Here is a shot of the tank under the truck. You can see the pump in front of the crossmember. Is it too far away from the tank?
http://www.hotrodders.com/journal_ph...2043900572.jpg
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:44 AM
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with the fuel pressures involved your better off trying to put the pump into the tank ,as your more than likely cavitating the fuel trying to pull it the didstance , the pump uses the fuel to help cool it , and if it cavitiates it turns to vapor and causes the pump to overheat it needs it to be liquid . the easiest way to install one is to try to find a cover that will fit into the access plate that is in the top of the tank like one from a late model pick up .
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:19 AM
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Wow, I was thinking that was going to be the solution. Aren't the newer tanks all plastic? How in the world will I be able to retrofit on on my old tank?
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:29 PM
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If you place the pump by the tank it`ll survive. This is commonly done. When the pump is close to the tank it pushes fuel as it`s supposed to and runs a normal temp. When it`s away from the pump and has to act as a puller this makes the pump run hot because it`s not meant to be a puller. Also if possible mount the pump in a spot where it has plenty of air flow to help cool it.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:08 PM
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I would build a hanger off your stock sender and use an 80s-90s in-tank EFI pump. Problem solved.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:44 PM
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Rickracer that's an interesting idea. Look at this pic and tell me if I have enough room to get one of those 80-90's pumps in the tank.
http://www.hotrodders.com/journal_ph...2043894282.jpg
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:14 AM
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Yes, those pumps are pretty slim, maybe 1 3/4" in diameter. If you could find a sender from a similar shaped tank, you might be able to save some fab time and just transfer the hanger to your sender. Got any pics of it out of the tank, so we can see what the float/sender apparatus looks like? It's definitely doable, the question is just how slick and factory it will look when you're done. Could be as simple as a strut made from 1"x1/8", welded to the sender, with the pump wrapped in a rubber insulator, and hose clamped to the strut.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:38 AM
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the tank in my 96 chevy is metal ( they used this sender till 2000) and the sender unit is available from rockauto.com ,its a dorman peice , I have been having luck with the bosch replacement pumps as they are quieter ( 1st time I had to listen hard to hear it running ) another vehicle to look at is the old pontiac sunbirds/monza ( 76-80 ) they used a intank pump with the six cylinder motors .
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:07 AM
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A good pump supplier should be able to get you an inline pump to work with your current setup if you want to go that route. What has been said about having too much head loss prior to the pump causing cavitation is correct but they have pumps designed to mitigate this problem sometimes it can beyond fixable but a good pump supplier would be my first recourse of action.

Besides your typical auto suppliers you can also look at industrial suppliers, there's probably at least twenty thousand pump designs out there.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:24 PM
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Before I start removing parts and altering the fuel line I wanted to show you guys some more detail pics and dimensions.
First of all, the pump is approximately 20 inches from the front of the tank. It sits about level with the top of the tank. The sending tube is in the middle of the tank and approximately 42 inches from the fuel pump.

AP72, that sounds good but I NEVER want to have this problem again. Do you have a recommendation of which company to start with? I'm planning on moving the pump closer to the tank anyway so it won't be so noisy.

After looking at the pics does anyone have recommendations as to where to mount the pump? Should it be level with the tank. Should it be centered with the tank?

I need to take car of this tomorrow (Sat) if possible.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:57 PM
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I found out what brand and model number I have been using.
Airtech e8446
One of the 3 that I have been through was an e8445
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:02 PM
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I've had a bunch of Airtex fuel pumps go bad, sometimes there's a time crunch and I let the customer make the call, but I won't use that brand by choice ever again, I may have said it before, but I stick to AC Delco, Delphi, or Carter. For a performance pump, Walbros are hard to beat as well.
And if it were me, I'd put it in the tank, no question about it. They build millions of cars every year set up just like that,

Last edited by Rickracer; 03-19-2010 at 07:08 PM.
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