Fuel Pump Technology - How It Works

Feeding today’s horsepower demands with yesterday’s fuel pump technology is a losing proposition. Here’s a look at the latest the industry has to offer.

Stephen Kim Dec 21, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Liz Miles: For engines exceeding the power level of a HP 125 and HP 150 pumps fuel pump, Holley has developed a brand-new series of billet inline HP and Dominator pumps. These pumps will work in both carbureted and EFI applications, so using a return-style pressure regulator is required. There are two versions of the inline HP pump. The standard version will support 700 hp in naturally aspirated EFI motors and 900 hp in carbureted motors. The high-flow version of the HP pump is good for 900 hp in EFI applications, and 1,050 hp in carb motors. For truly extreme engine combos, Holley offers the inline Dominator pumps. The standard version supports 1,400 hp in EFI fuel systems, and 1,800 hp with a carb fuel system. The high-flow Dominator pump is good for 1,800 fuel-injected horsepower, and 2,100 carbureted horsepower. Additionally, Holley has a full line of matching regulators and filters for a wide variety of applications.

1202chp 05 O  Fuel Pump Technology Connector 2/6

Beltdriven Pumps

Jesse Powell: Two important factors to consider when deciding what fuel pump to go with is horsepower and fuel pressure. If you need enough fuel for 2,000-plus horsepower and it’s at EFI pressures, you are going to need a lot of pump. As pressure goes up, flow goes down. That’s why you can support more horsepower with a given pump at 7 psi carbureted than you can at 60 psi with EFI. This is why you see more mechanical pumps in high-horsepower EFI applications. Volume is really the key here. When you need a lot of volume, mechanical pumps are the only way to go. The physical size of an electric pump that could supply the same amount of volume as a mechanical pump would be ridiculous. Plus, the voltage requirements for an electric pump of this size would be very taxing on a car’s electrical system, especially when you consider that a mechanical belt drive pump, like the Aeromotive 1105, draws less than 1 hp to drive.

Heavy-Duty Mechanical Pumps

Liz Miles: Mechanical pumps still have their place. They are the simplest way to set up a fuel system. They don’t require an additional electrical circuit or any special fuel line routing. The HP pump doesn’t even require a regulator. Because of its relatively low operating pressure, the regulator for the Ultra HP fuel pump doesn’t need to be a return style, so even less plumbing is required. Our HP and Ultra HP mechanical pumps push up to 225 gph of fuel, more than even our HP 150 electric pump. In general, the Ultra HP mechanical pump is good for 1,000-plus horsepower depending on what fuel pressure and plumbing they run at. The HP mechanical pump can support 750-900 hp.

Small Pump, Big Flow

Jesse Powell: Some hot rodders accustomed to big external pumps will probably be skeptical upon hearing the advertised flow rates of the Aeromotive 340 in-tank pump. The 340 actually flows as much as the A1000 did about seven or eight years ago. This is all in a package that’s similar in size to a stock replacement in-tank EFI pump that fits right inside the factory hanger. Advancements in electrical motor technology have allowed us to steadily increase the output of all pumps. Motors are more efficient and powerful with less current draw than ever before. It is just the natural progression of things. Moving 340 lph of fuel at 43 psi, the 340 is very stout. That is enough for upward of 700 hp in a supercharged EFI motor. At carbureted pressure in a naturally aspirated combination, the 340 is rated at about 1,000 hp. That is something to write home about. We’ve been able to accomplish this through careful development of the proper electrical motor and mating it with a turbine-style pumping mechanism. These pumps are a take on the most common EFI fuel pumps ever created to date by the OEs. The OE pumps use a gerotor pump design. But with a turbine, we can spin it faster and more efficiently to produce a greater output. The key point in all this is that you can have OE durability and quiet operation, and still support the power you need in your factory tank. The 340 pump bridges the gap between the stock replacement in-tank pumps of old, and the A1000. It’s also extremely flexible since it can be used in both EFI and carbureted applications. All you have to do is match it up with the correct pressure regulator.


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