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Performance Fuel Pumps

What technicians need to know about Fuel: Volume, Pressure, Mass and other factors when determining the pump replacement to suit a vehicle Fuel System and engine’s requirement.

Before determining the replacement fuel pump type/output requirement for a modified engine, it is important to have some understanding of the fuel type and system requirements to be utilised for the expected application and driving conditions. The lack of fuel supply for the engine and driving condition demands will result in leaner mixtures possibly creating a loss of power, and possible engine damage.

Fuel requirement information for pump selection.

To simplify fuel pump selection, the Raceworks fuel pump calculator can quickly aid the technician in pump selection from required Fuel pressure and Engine power requirements. This satisfies most selection requirements.

Why is this calculator necessary?

To better understand the fuel pump application for a required engine fuel system, let us look at a few factors that determine the pump suitability.

Typical examples of expected fuel volume at a set pressure at a set voltage.

The fuel volume will alter when either the PRESSURE or VOLTAGE and even the fuel type changes.

Typical alternate fuel pump rating methods

Some manufacturers may rate their fuel pumps at free flow (at zero pressure) which may be difficult to calculate for a required vehicle system application.

Note: The fuel pump will flow its maximum volume of fuel at free flow (no pressure). As the fuel pressure increases, the fuel volume decreases.

It is important to be aware of the pressure requirements for the fuel system to ensure this is factored into the pump selection equation. Some fuel pumps are rated at the fuel pressure it can produce which is only part of the information that is required.

The use of an EFI application fuel pump for carburetted vehicles can be achieved with the use of suitable fuel pressure regulators to reduce the pressure to a suitable level. The fuel pump of course can supply more pressure, but the fuel pressure regulator is the controlling factor for setting the operating pressure. These EFI pumps are also commonly used for their fuel type compatibility as well as being able to be located in the tank if required which also reduces the audible sound. (Generally quieter in operation in or out of the fuel tank).

NOTE: Fuel pump suitability also relies on other factors.

  • The Voltage and Current supply to the fuel pump must be maintained to ensure correct operation. Suitable upgrading of the fuel pump wiring circuit generally reduces the effect of voltage drop in the circuit.

    Fitting high flow pumps will generally increase the current flow in the pump circuit with extra loads placed on the electrical connections. It is important to ensure the connectors and terminals will be suitable for the expected current flow.

  • Later fuel systems may incorporate a Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) fuel pump operation where the speed of the fuel pump is controlled by a control unit and in turn fuel flow is limited when high flow is not required. (idle and low speeds). This reduces the electrical system load during the low output condition thus reducing the engine power drain.

    The constant power system continually operates the fuel pump at full capacity with the excess unrequired fuel returned to the fuel tank. A return flow system where the excess fuel is returned from the fuel rail has the disadvantage of transferring heated fuel continuously back to the tank.

    A non-return system will release the fuel in the tank prior to its path to the fuel rail. Heat created by the fuel pump raises the fuel temperature through heat transfer so over engineering the pump output capability will add to extra transfer of heat due to the increased current required by the larger volume pump.

Note: Fuel pumps may be manufactured to suit a specific fuel type to prevent premature failure. Typically, Fuel pumps suitable for Ethanol fuels are manufactured to operate with the characteristics of Ethanol. The use of fuel pumps fitted that are not suitable for Ethanol will reduce the expected pump service life.

PAT offer over 40 Performance Fuel Pumps from the world's leading brands including TI Automotive, Bosch Motorsport, Pierburg, Raceworks, Carter and Denso. Suitable for applications requiring flow ranging from 100LPH to 550LPH, supporting up to 1500HP per pump!

Premier Auto Trade distributes products throughout Australia via a network of specialised resellers and leading automotive groups.

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