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SU fuel pump servicing


Jedi Trainee
Can anyone provide guidance on proactive service that should be undertaken on an SU fuel pump? I understand that there are contacts inside the electrical side that should be cleaned periodically. If that is correct, how is this done? Are there any other regular service tasks recommended?


Healey Nut

Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Replace it with the electronic version of the pump and never worry about it again .


Country flag
The points can be filed, just like ignition points (be sure to clean them well by drawing some paper through them afterwards). After filing, they'll need to be re-adjusted, which involves rotating the diaphragm (the procedure is explained in the shop manual). Inspect the diaphragm for tears or cracks and, since you'll need to separate the valve section to get to the diaphragm, check for any crud in the valves (they can be removed easily, but be sure to note their orientation; they're directional).

ps. The SS pumps aren't bulletproof, and may require readjustment as the diaphragm can stiffen over time.

Jack T

Jedi Trainee
Country flag
Some, at least the square bodied pumps, have a cylindrical mesh filter inside. When I opened my 60+ y-o pump that filter was caked with crud.


Country flag
The 4-cyl pumps have one of those as well. I've wondered why they switched from the earlier style, which worked OK--at least as well as other SU pumps--to the square-body which, at least now, are ridiculously priced (some owners sub later, less expensive pumps).

Fuel pumps have bedeviled car owners forever. My dad's '55 T-Bird had a mechanical fuel pump which we could never get to be reliable (how simple can it be, it's driven by the cam???). It would intermittently stall the engine, and I could never figure out why (I finally guessed the inlet valve was sticking, but I'll never know for sure). I had a collection of 4 or 5 pumps, which looked good, but they all had problems. The car was 6V, and it was always a gamble to get it to start, after sitting for a few days, before the battery died. I even sprung for a 'Carter' brand which I figured, since it was a famous carburettor brand would be quality, but it was the same Chinese crap sold cheaper by other vendors. I sold the car to my BFF, and he finally bypassed it with an electrical pump. Modern pumps have issues too, and they're a real PITA because they're in the gas tank, which usually has to be pulled/dropped to replace the pump.
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