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BJ-8 SU Fuel Pump Clicks Much Faster Than Before

stever

Jedi Trainee
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I have had my BJ-8 in storage for a few months and upon starting the following occured: When engaging the ignition switch to "on" the fuel pump clicked rapidly until the fuel bowls filled and then stopped. Just like normal. A few seconds later it clicked again. I pulled the choke and engaged the starter and the engine fired very quickly. While idling the fuel pump clicked pretty rapidly - every few seconds. The engine idled well with no issues. I took the car for a short drive at about 35 mph max (neighborhood streets) and the fuel pump clicked about every two seconds. I don't recall it clicking that rapidly before but I hadn't driven the car recently. I became concerned so returned to garage the car to figure things out.

I did not smell fuel or observe any fuel dripping from the overflow tubes. And, the engine ran great so I don't think excess fuel is going from the carbs to the engine.

I have a couple of questions: First, this is an OLD fuel pump - I replaced the original pump in 1973 so it is 46 years old. Is there a diaphragm in this pump that could have cracked or failed in some way due to age and the new fuels?
Second: Is it likely that the original fuel line from the tank to the pump has a minor air leakage?
Third: Is it likely the issue is just the connections to the pump have loosened?
Fourth: Are there any other possibilities?

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Regards, Steve Rizzo
 

Csarneson

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I'm stunned that you have a working pump after 46 years. They have a diaphragm in there that certainly does deteriorate over time. AH-Spares sells a rebuild kit for $46 that replaces gaskets, diaphragm, and points. I believe moss sells the same parts but individually. I'd certainly recommend replacing that diaphram even if you find you have a pressure leak somewhere else. That's the low-hanging fruit regardless. I'm no expert on SU pumps but that's where I would start.

Dave DuBois (who recently passed away) has quite a few articles available online discussing servicing these pumps. Just google his name and SU Fuel Pump and you will be buried in them. He was a wizard.
 

John Turney

Yoda
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If there is no leakage, and there is no excess fuel in the carbs, it would be a leaking check valve in the pump. There may be a dirt particle in the pump check valve.
 

vette

Darth Vader
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My recommendation is to make sure you don't have any leaks then also buy a new pump. After 46 years I would not want to go any great distance or any distance on that pump. Just bolt a new one up its the easiest and quickest solution. Get an electronic one. It'll last almost as long as your old one. Oh ya put the old 46 yr one on a pedestal somewhere and offer alms to it every night.
 

RAC68

Darth Vader
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Hi Steve,

Sorry to counter Vette, but I suggest rebuilding your pump (Although mine has been in use for the past 35-years) and add a small $1.00 component that will ground out the overvoltage produced by the internal coils. Simply stated, the coil in the pump induces voltage as high as 200-v and is the major deteriorating force on the points. A Transient-Voltage-Suppression (TVS) diode, simply wires into the points to send excess voltage, above that selected, to ground and results in your tungsten points having an unlimited maintenance free life span. I have chosen the 20-volt version of TVS as it is high enough to burn off any oxidation that forms on the points during Winter storage but well below the range causing tungsten points deterioration.

Although I have linked an article describing the unit and how it is wired in, the article is within our club's news letter and split into 2 sections.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx4EjcJmfaScT3kzbV9KNjZPc0U/view?usp=sharing

Also, I believe your issue is the result of an internal pump leak which looses pressure and, sensing it, causes the pump to activate. A disassembly and rebuild or resetting of the diaphragm could resolve the issue.

Keep your original pump if at all possible,
Ray(64BJ8P1)
 

vette

Darth Vader
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Ray, don’t you think he should at least offer alms to the old pump. Ya know it didn’t even have the benefit of a TVS. :smile:
 

Patrick67BJ8

Darth Vader
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I have had my BJ-8 in storage for a few months and upon starting the following occured: When engaging the ignition switch to "on" the fuel pump clicked rapidly until the fuel bowls filled and then stopped. Just like normal. A few seconds later it clicked again. I pulled the choke and engaged the starter and the engine fired very quickly. While idling the fuel pump clicked pretty rapidly - every few seconds. The engine idled well with no issues. I took the car for a short drive at about 35 mph max (neighborhood streets) and the fuel pump clicked about every two seconds. I don't recall it clicking that rapidly before but I hadn't driven the car recently. I became concerned so returned to garage the car to figure things out.

I did not smell fuel or observe any fuel dripping from the overflow tubes. And, the engine ran great so I don't think excess fuel is going from the carbs to the engine.

I have a couple of questions: First, this is an OLD fuel pump - I replaced the original pump in 1973 so it is 46 years old. Is there a diaphragm in this pump that could have cracked or failed in some way due to age and the new fuels?
Second: Is it likely that the original fuel line from the tank to the pump has a minor air leakage?
Third: Is it likely the issue is just the connections to the pump have loosened?
Fourth: Are there any other possibilities?

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Regards, Steve Rizzo
I had a problem with the fuel pump rapidly clicking when I was driving my car. It also clicked a lot when I switched on the pump to start the car. The problem ended up being a defective connection on the fuel line fitting that attaches to the tank.

I troubleshooted this by disconnecting the fuel line at the carb and submersing it in a container of fuel and turning on the ignition key to check for air bubbles. I then worked backwards Checking fitting connections to the pump and then the tank.
 

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RAC68

Darth Vader
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Hi Vette,

Yes, the TVS did make the pump even more reliable. Although I did try to drive my Healey at least twice per month during the winter to keep the points clean. Not having a filter before the pump, every so often (I am talking years) I would drain the pump and clean any debris that would build. Fortunately, the pump was capable of passing small acorns and rocks that the carb screens would catch.

Also, with 2 friends on the west cost, we designed an SU Fuel Pump Optical Trigger to replace the points that were getting hard to find (at the time). We never pursued the optical trigger (although I have one in my boot for an emergency replacement) when becoming aware of the very inexpensive TVS diode.

it has been one of the good parts in my Healey and I really appreciate any part I don't have to keep addressing. Differing from its Electronic version, I also like the fact that a points-based pump can be made to work after a failure where the electronic version stays dead. I also tied the pump to a car impact module (out of a old Ford) to cut power to the pump during an accident.

Ray(64BJ8P1)
 
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stever

Jedi Trainee
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Thank you all very, very much for your insights, comments and advice! I am still mulling over what to do but I have to say I am seriously considering rebuilding the pump just because it sounds like a nice little project..... I think I will probably start with a good inspection and tightening of connections. If I were to decide to buy an electronic fuel pump replacement, what is a good source? I looked at Moss last night and they have for $189 a "real SU" replacement on sale for $189 for my phase II BJ8. They also have an electronic "real SU" unit for "early BJ8's for $519 which I think is a bit pricey. Thoughts on this? Also, I haven't actually looked at the car's innards in a long time and don't remember - is the pipe from the tank to the pump unit metal or rubber? If it is rubber I think I probably should replace it, too. Thanks again, Steve
 

RAC68

Darth Vader
Offline
Hi Steve,

The line from the tank to the pump was originally metal tubing but many have severed this conection to install a fuel filter. The metal line also served as the ground for the fuel gauge, often causing many who didn't understand this with a gauge problem.
,
Keep in mind that if the tank tube had an air leak, the pump would be sucking in air and have difficulty building or maintaining pressure. However, fuel would only leak from this side when the pump was stopped (if at all). However, if your leak was in lines on the delivery side of the pump, pressure would push fuel through the leak and also cause the pump to loose pressure prematurely but leave a sign. This would not be the case if your leak was within the carburetor and excess fuel was being relieved through the overflow.

Good luck,
Ray(64BJ8P1)
 
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