Choosing the Right Fuel Pump: Are Other Modifications Required If You Upgrade?
Selecting the proper fuel pump for your vehicle is simple – if you need to replace the pump, purchase the highest quality unit you can buy for your application. While you may save a little money upfront by purchasing a lower cost pump, you are likely to find that decision to be a costly one in the long run. This is true for both stock, unmodified vehicles and those seeking a high-performance fuel pump upgrade.
High-quality fuel pumps are engineered to go the distance and are manufactured to original equipment standards, yielding both better performance and a longer service life.
In-tank fuel pumps have been the industry standard for decades – and for good reason. They offer protection from outside elements, more consistent operating temperatures and the most efficient means of delivering fuel pressure to the engine. Today’s in-tank fuel pumps can deliver all the fuel pressure needed for even highly modified performance vehicles. TI Automotive offers in-tank replacement pumps that will flow over 100 gallons of fuel (up to 450 liters) per hour.
When selecting a replacement pump, there may be temptation to switch to an in-line fuel pump, however, before deciding which pump is truly right for the vehicle, there are some important factors to consider. Pumps mounted in the fuel line, from the tank to the engine, work well for custom cars, street rods, and all-out race cars, but if the vehicle already has an in-tank mounted fuel pump, stick with it. It is much easier and more efficient for a pump to push fuel from the tank to the engine than to pull it from the tank and then make it flow to the power plant if it is not already equipped to do so.
An in-line fuel pump requires a less restrictive pickup inside the fuel tank, so, if one is installed on a vehicle that has an existing in-tank pump, the in-line pump will be required to draw fuel through the in-tank system and the existing pump, making the system work even harder. To do this conversion properly, remove the in-tank assembly and replace with a fuel pickup, plus a sending unit to provide fuel level information for the fuel gauge in the car or truck.
During a pump replacement, insist on inspecting the condition of the inside of the fuel tank. If there is dirt or corrosion inside the tank, it should be flushed clean, or, in extreme cases, replaced altogether. This is more of a consideration with older cars, but off-road trucks and four-wheel drives should not be neglected. Running grit or sediment through a fuel pump will lead to lower performance, if not premature failure of the entire system.
While the vehicle is up on the lift, it is a good time to replace the fuel filter too, since they are generally mounted along the frame rails or well protected underneath the car. A new fuel filter is a very inexpensive insurance measure for the longevity of the powertrain. On older vehicles, also check the condition of the fuel lines since they can become hard and brittle with age. Again, this is the best time to replace them.
If you make performance upgrades that increase intake pressure and air to the engine; like turbocharging or supercharging, a high-performance fuel pump that can keep up with fuel demand is a necessary addition.
Regardless of the application, from a stock vehicle to a highly modified performance car or truck, replacing the fuel pump is a job you don’t want to skimp on. Have it done right with the highest quality parts available.
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