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Mechanical Fuel Pump Overheating

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by '66JF, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. '66JF

    '66JF Donation Time

    I recently bought a 1966 Sunbeam Alpine as my first venture into the classic car world. Somewhat unwisely, I bought this car sight unseen and it has a couple of strange modifications. It has a fuel cell inside of the trunk and an electric fuel pump, all of which I knew. But the strange part is that the electric fuel pump is not pumping anything. It is not connected to the fuel cell, nor is it connected to the original tank. Not thinking too much about why it was installed, I removed it and planned to connect the original tank soon. I also noticed that the fuel mixture was too rich so I fixed that as well. Today, I was taking it for a ride, and about 30-45 minutes into the drive, the engine died. The temperature gauge showed about 100 degrees celsius. When I opened the hood, I saw through the clear fuel filter that the fuel was boiling. The fuel line is not next to the exhaust and it only got hot at the fuel pump. I think the fuel pump is stock, but I am not certain. It does not have a return line to the cell or the tank. Is the fuel pump going bad? Should I replace the mechanical fuel pump with an electric one?
    Thanks, JF
  2. Tim R

    Tim R Silver Level Sponsor

    JF, on hot days I have had petrol boiling in the glass bowl too. Make sure that you have a heat insulator piece between the block and the pump. It is also a good idea to put heat insulation around the fuel pipe. On my other Alpine I have an electric fuel pump and the feed runs around the back of the engine bay away from anything hot, to the carb. I suspect that the previous owner was trying to do the same. Modern petrol burns hotter than the original stuff and is prone to vapourisation on old cars. If you leave the car to cool, then pump the manual lever on the fuel pump the car will usually start again.

    Tim R
  3. beamdream

    beamdream Gold Level Sponsor

    Agree with Tim, pretty normal occurrence for today's fuels to boil and vaporize with high ambient temperatures.

    The option of putting in an electric pump is an often used fix, but it can create other problems due to positioning and of course there's the added risk of fire in a smash etc.
  4. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    That is why you should fit an inertia switch... Or wire the pump so it only operates while the engine is turning.
    Tim R likes this.

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