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Fuel pump


David Taylor
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Hi there. I'm completely new to this forum so apologies if this subject has been covered hundreds of times...

I ran my MKIV Spitfire happily all last summer - it's never run better in fact. I tried starting her in December to move her out of the garage but she wouldn't start.

I've cleaned the plugs and checked there is a spark - there is a healthy one in each. I've changed the in-line fuel filter. Engine turns over fine but won't start. Checked the line into the carbs - no fuel.

There is fuel in the tank so can the only remaining issue be the fuel pump? Any way of checking whether it's functioning or not. And is it worth overhauling it or getting a replacement - they're only around £25 aren't they?

Thanks in advance.

David

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it could be crud blocking the fuel lines from the tank. You could test the pump by putting a length of fuel pipe from the inlet to a small jar of fuel and then turn the engine over (or use the lever can't remember if mk4 has one though) it should give squirts periodically from the outlet side.

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some can be refurbed quite cheap  as you say not overly expensive 

you need to know there are 2 pumps , long arm has a plastic  heat  spacer between the pump and block  and a short arm has no spacer

you are unlikley to find a  replacement long arm pump (if you have a spacer) so its a short arm pump, remove the spacer and add washers to space the nuts or fit shorter studs

mainly long arms were on 1500 but late mkIV   ????   its a look see 

gets silly as you cant intermix these two designs   and a short arm pump fitted to a spacer'd gives little output 

do check all the hoses and unions between tank and pump any may allow suck air but may not leak fuel

Pete

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Yup, I did. Most effective. Pink sludge came out. However, I did it from inside the tank, easy on a GT6, but not a Spitfire I think.  I tried to undo the pipe to tank connection, but thought better of it, it appeared to me the joint was going to shear off the tank and wreak it so, be careful. If there is a rubber joint near the tank it may be sufficient to do it from there. 

Doug

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1 hour ago, Pete Lewis said:

Pink    was that some Must Have addative doing its best to make gremlins 

Well, no , I never used Redex. The car sat in the garage for 15 years and was occasionally started until it wouldn't and then my daughter wanted it for her wedding car :o. Took me 7 months to get it up to MOT standard, I estimate the fuel in the tank at the MOT was as much as 20 years old? The first attack of the pink sludge was on the way back from the MOT, took 2 weeks to find the problem.  Bought  a new pump, which made no difference (and got sent back) So the fuel, although old, was the good stuff from the olden times, ignition at 13 degrees! What was the pink? I have no idea.

I did try fuel additive some time after this incident when I realised petrol ain't what it was.  However it DID colour the plugs pink and I had no idea if I was running weak or rich so ditched that and reset the ignition.

Doug

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57 minutes ago, Peter Truman said:

Wasn’t Redex supposed to clean the engine, remember putting to many shots in late 60’s and smoke everywhere!

It was supposed to be an 'upper cylinder lubricant' when added to fuel, but the instructions also used to tell you to pour neat Redex into the carbs and 'watch all your troubles blow away in a huge cloud of white smoke'... I used to love doing that.

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38 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

It was supposed to be an 'upper cylinder lubricant' when added to fuel, but the instructions also used to tell you to pour neat Redex into the carbs and 'watch all your troubles blow away in a huge cloud of white smoke'... I used to love doing that.

The good old days. The nearest I got to that recently was 2 years ago when we did our annual 'Cure Thermale' in February and only drive a couple of kms from the apartment to the centre and back. After 2 weeks a warning light came on, which I had to look up in the handbook. some sort of filter in the car exhaust ( a diesel) needed cleaning.

Method? Italian tune up! Loved it warm engine plenty of revs, clouds of smoke for a few kms. GREAT!

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So I've dismantled the fuel pump and reassembled it. It was clean as a whistle and it creates a vacuum when the lever is depressed. So the problem has to be the fuel line from the tank to the front of the car. May try the strimmer lead trick next weekend - not as if I'd be using the car now anyway!

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. Nice to be part of such a friendly community. Funny to think when I first got the car in 1988, apart from shows and area meet-ups, there was no way of sharing information. Some things do get better with time. Plus I think there are far more parts available today than there were back then.

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7 minutes ago, David Taylor said:

Funny to think when I first got the car in 1988, apart from shows and area meet-ups, there was no way of sharing information. Some things do get better with time. Plus I think there are far more parts available today than there were back then.

I used to have a huge shopping list for the International, or shows like the NEC. There was nowhere else to get the parts. Nowadays the autojumbles have suffered as everybody sells online, so parts for sale are well down, and some of the traders don't even bother to turn up at shows. I just miss the excitement of stalls, and parts bins, and huge piles of rusty bits to sort through.

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That's why God made sandblasters... I'm actually running out of rusty bits, nearly everything that was rusty or decrepit has got a new lease of life during lockdown. Except me, of course.

In line with David's original post I've just found yet another Herald fuel pump so must refurbish that one too. Sad thing is that no-one wants them, they'd rather buy a repro item at £18.

9DB21576-5E23-4BFE-A28B-D1A1A1E37009_1_105_c.jpg.b28eeff13b4ef03e4e0ca7bc7c3e036f.jpg 373A0492-2BA5-4F76-9571-EC2BFC789084_1_105_c.jpg.d2ee18c9f7474d02306d95eaf551af51.jpg

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1 hour ago, Colin Lindsay said:

Sad thing is that no-one wants them, they'd rather buy a repro item at £18.

Not me, I'd go for a refurb original every time! But I don't need any Herald ones. If you had a glass bowl GT6/Vitesse/2000 one I'd go for that to replace the tin-top one in the GT6.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys, me again. So I ordered a new fuel pump from Rimmers (part no 208493). I checked that it was the correct one for my car (1972 MKIV Spitfire) and chassis no (FH 30323).

They look totally different. I know there are two types of fuel pumps for the Spitfire but thought the second type was only for late MKIVs and 1500s.

I'm not keen to fit this in case it knackers the cam lobes inside the engine....

Should I order a different pump?

Thanks

David

 

IMG_4611 copy.jpg

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The pump cases look different but thats not unusual as they vary depending on manufacturer however its the lever thats important cos, as you say, its got to make the correct contact with the cam. Although in your picture the levers look to be at different angles nobody seems to offer a pump that is closer to the original and that may not matter. The lever is moved through a small range by the cam and as long as its always in contact with it and obviously not forced too far the pump will work as intended.

I would turn you engine by hand until you can see or feel the cam lobe is in its maximum operating position relative to the lever (about 45º from vertical?) and then try putting the pump in place by hand. You will feel resistance as the lever gets pushed by the cam and the pump internal spring compresses but the pump mounting face should meet the engine without the lever coming to the end of its travel.

If the lever locks before the pump is fully in place you have a problem and the only solution might be to overhaul the old pump. Also this could be a good option because another possible issue with replacement pumps is that the output pressure is higher which may then cause a carb to overflow.....  

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On 07/02/2021 at 11:40, Colin Lindsay said:

instructions also used to tell you to pour neat Redex into the carbs and 'watch all your troubles blow away in a huge cloud of white smoke'... I used to love doing that.

Just catching up on this thread. I remember in the very early 70s my friends brother had an Escort mk1 1300GT (we were all jealous). He knew nothing about cars so used to get us to service it. He never used to pay us so we thought we would get our own back and put neat Redex in the bores. We told him to fire up and floor it up the road. Surprisingly it started and he sped off completely obliterating Prittlewell Chase dual carriage way in white smoke while we pi**ed ourselves laughing! 

Happy days

If you want an electric pump option the Huco low pressure pump works well and doesn't tick like some others. 

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