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Old 04-02-2010, 08:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fuel Pump Problem

I recently installed a 98 Tracker 1.6, 16v engine into a 87 Sammy.
Had wiring done by Tough Trails. I have talked to them until I am blue in the face about this problem, zero help. I have done everything they suggested.

Problem. I am on the 5th fuel pump. The inline pumps last from 3 minutes to 20 miles. It runs great until you go to start it again, the pump is dead. Relay is working correctly as best I can tell. It never quits running, it just is dead the next day. I have installed a larger return line, two new filters. Filters were before the pump. Plenty of fuel is being returned to the tank, I checked the flow. I even tried two pumps at once, both died.
The most current attempt. I took the pump out of the tracker gas tank, welded the mount ring into the Samurai tank. It ran great. I ran it every day for a week. Then it sat for a week. Yesterday I went to start it, dead pump, relay clicks, no pump. Same old S***. I thought I had it fixed, what a bummer.

The pumps are always dead shorted across terminals. I use two grounds. Engine, ECU are ground properly.

It appears as if the pumps don't really shut off when I kill the engine and just burn out. I did check to see if power was on the pump with engine off, it wasn't. I have never noticed pump noise after the engine is off. I did smell gas in the garage the other day. I didn't think too much about it because I've had stuff on and off so much.

I am open to any and all suggestions, thanks, EarthLoc
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not using any relay, just a simple switch under the dash.
Two reasons, one is you have to know it's there to turn it on so it saves the thing being stolen and going too far. Second, it was simple to do. I admit I first did it just to make sure things worked but then thought of the first reason so I kept it. It's just a fused hot going directly to it. Off hand I forget where it's grounded... it is mounted in the back where the filter is.
It sounds like you have the return line OK. What is the relay for anyway? It's not like it draws a lot of juice...
Remember, sometimes it's easier to keep things simple. It tends to work.
The only difference is I"m running the 8v.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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even if your pump ran all night long, it still shouldn't burn out as long as the pump isn't running dry. It would drain your battery way before the pump burnt out, They're rated for tens of thousands of hours of use. Even if it dry starts and is not primed with fuel, it still shouldn't burn up so quickly. It sounds like your pump is shorting out or possibly an issue with the relay that you're using? Maybe it is a dry start problem and that's why the in-tank pump worked better?
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I tried that. I put a second pump wired direct with a switch. It burned out within 1 day.
What about the return pressure regulator? I am getting return flow, but don't know what to expect or how much. Thoughts?

As far as a dry pump start. The engine always started immediately. If it were a pump dry start, the engine wouldn't start right away, would it?

The people who did my rewire work say it can't possibly be their wiring, naturally! However, the tack wire had no pulse on it. I had to wire it direct. That was one mistake they made that I caught. Could the pressure regular or something be wired wrong? I need a good wiring diagram other than the one you get in a repair manual. Anyone know where I can get one or send me a copy. e-mail is [email protected] Thanks, earthloc

Last edited by Earthloc; 04-03-2010 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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just a thought... are you just buying cheap fuel pumps? are they rated for 12V? is your car a dual battery set up? if so, make sure theyre parallel, not in series. (ive seen a lad do that accidentally in a patrol, but he just blew a few bulbs, fuses, etc).


im no expert by any means, but as baratacus said, theyre rated for very long lifespans, so logically it would seem that its shorting somewhere or excess power is getting to it... another thing to check is location; if its in a very confined space it may be overheating (although i would imagine they wouldnt produce much heat, i dont know, ive never used electric pumps)

just a few thoughts...

Last edited by whincup; 04-03-2010 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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what does the voltage at the pump read? Whincup brings up an excellent point. If they wired the relay in series with another 12V line then you could be sending 24V to the pump, and that WOULD burn it up pretty quick.

The return line shouldn't be regulated. Depending on how many returns sources you have, there may be one-way valves in the line but it should be unregulated pressure going back to the tank. Also make sure your vent Line isn't obstructed or you'll be drawing a vacuum on the tank and that will overload the pump too.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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unless you have 2 batteries ,I can't see how you will have more than charging systen voltage ~14.5 volts but it can't hurt to check voltage at pump. I think there isn't enough flow to keep pump spinning. there are filters with a orfice return lines built in. these filters go on the pressure side of the pump and I would remove the filter on the suction side.
when you finally find the fix be sure to let us know here so we can learn from your struggles.
thanks squid
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Only one battery. I have check the voltage.
Question. If the engine is not running and the pump is running, doesn't it build up pressure and stop running since there is no bypass to return the fuel? Just asking, I don't know and am grasping at straws. This only happens when it sits for a while. I can stop and start it all day within minutes of each other, no problem. But when it sits all night or for days the pump is dead. There appears to be no drain on the battery, it will stay up for weeks. This thing has really gotten me beaten and it's getting very expensive. I'm not going to put another pump on until something changes. Keep thinking guys, I need your help. Earthloc
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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if the return line is set up properly, then no. thats what the return line is there for; stop pressure buildups of excess fuel. so it should be able to run days on end, pumping fuel out of the tank then back down the return line... i dont know what your setup is, but from what i read it should go like this:
fuel tank -> fuel filter -> fuel pump -> return line via a t-junction, etc -> pressure regulator -> engine.

anyone please jump in and correct that, but double check that you have everything the right way around...
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No it is now like this. Fuel tank with pump inside>filter>pressure regulator on engine>engine/injectors>return line to tank. That's it, pretty simple.
Now when I had inline pumps, it was, Fuel tank>filter>pump>engine>return>tank.
Other info. Tank has two vent lines, it is well vented. Return line is large, 3/8" directly dumps into top of tank, all new line, zero obstructions. Tank is very clean inside, I have put two new filters on it.
The in-tank pump lasted two weeks. First week starting every day, drove approx 20 miles, parked it for a week, then dead pump.
The current pump is stock tracker. The in-line pumps were Napa as recommended by Welcome to the Trail Tough Products. I am not using a canister system, just vents out from tank.

This engine runs great like a striped a## ape. Just can't keep pumps. So I'm thinking that is wouldn't run so great if there was something wrong with the injection system. I'm throwing that out because I can't think of anything else to say.

Any other questions no matter what, just ask. No questions or thoughts are out of line. I need to solve this. I know it's something simple or stupid. Unfortunately I have very little experience with injected engines so don't assume anything. Oh, I have build airplanes with injected Subaru engines. I never had a problem so I didn't need to learn the hows and whys of the injection system. There were basically the same setup as my Sammy with outside vented tanks. They always worked great. Earthloc

Last edited by Earthloc; 04-04-2010 at 12:06 PM.
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