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Classic Mustangs Tech Forum

Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 01-19-2009   #1 (permalink)
Beastmaster is offline Apprentice

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Default 1971 Mach 1 Fuel Pump Screaming

Ladies & Gents... Thinking Caps please...

My Holley electric fuel pump has risen from a mildly annoying whine to a nerve shattering scream. It is intermittant and seems to be partially effected by turning the headlights on and off, as well as a pulsation when my turn signal is on (obviously electrical in part).

I researched the forums on this and most posts seem to be from 2002 suggesting, low alternator output causing failure, bad fuel filter.

Interesting to note:

1. I replaced my alternator a few weeks ago as it was only putting out 70% according to the part store's test equipment though my idiot gauge still registered dead on.

2. I noticed yesterday that my fuel filter was 100% empty (clear see through) when I turned my engine off but filled completely when my engine was running. In the past, the fuel filter always remained 70-80% full.

3. While we are at it... what are the quietest fuel pumps on the market?

Thanks for the assist.

Pax...Rob
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Unread 01-19-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Holley electric fuel pumps are rebuildable. Plus the fuel pump doesn't pull enough power to dim the lights. Checks your ground and the electrical connection where you tapped into. Make sure that is not a constant hot. Mine gets a little loud when I am almost out of gas.
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Unread 01-19-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Can you tell me what is "normal" for a failing fuel pump?

This morning I let it idle in the garage for 20 minutes with no scream. Took it for a 10 minute drive to the store...no scream. Got back into the car and as soon as I pulled out of the parking lot...SCREAM! Drove 9/10 back home and the scream stops 2 minutes before I get it back into my garage. Now I can't get it to scream...so I am;-)

BTW: Has it's own hot lead from the fuse box to the pump and the ground is good. When it is screaming (and I am not) I can put my turn signal on and hear a rythmic tone difference in the fuel pump in conjunction with the turn signal.
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Unread 01-19-2009   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like a loose or weak grounding lug to me. Carter pumps - 97 f-150 are quietest Ive found, good luck
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Unread 02-28-2009   #5 (permalink)
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From the "if it could happen to anyone it will happen to me files:"

Completing the thread for those who are searching for answers...

It appears that my fuel line running under the car is occasionally oscillating at a vibration that uses the car chassis as a drum head. It is as if an engraving tool is held against the metalwork. Time for a little insulation and clamps. Oh yeah... turning the headlights on & off, etc. effects the electric fuel pump just enough to change the pitch of the whine.
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Unread 03-01-2009   #6 (permalink)
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I've got the Holley "Blue" pump and I had to add extra rubber insulation to the mounting bracket to quiet it down to a degree. These are rotary vane pumps and it's their nature to be noisey.

A quieter pump is the georotor type. Its design is similar to the Ford oil pump. They are usually a bit more expensive than the vane pumps, but it may be worth it to keep your sanity. I, personally am about sick of hearing mine. I'm seriously considering going to a high volume mechanical pump rather than the added expense of a georotor design, but that's just me.

The sound of my pump will change with the amount of fuel in the tank and when the fuel sloshes around in the tank. If you are using a fuel pressure regulator that doesn't have its own return line, this will contribute to the excessive noise.

In your situation with the symptoms that you describe, could be a bad motor bearing or a binding in the pump itself. This will make the motor's armature harder to turn and cause a higher than normal amperage drain which may be causing the fluxuations in the electrical system.

You can check the amperage draw of the pump with a multimeter to see if it is drawing more than the spec draw. I'm using 12 gauge wire for my electrical leads. Wire that is too small will contribute to an excessive amperage draw, especially if the wire is running the length of the car. My battery is trunk mounted and my pump is wired directly to the battery through a relay that is controlled by an oil pressure switch mounted to the engine.

I also have an inertia switch installed in the pump's power lead from the battery. This switch cuts off power if subjected to impact. The switch can be found on any fuel injected Ford, usually located in the trunk area, if you source one from a salvage yard.

You didn't mention how old your pump is, but I found that mine quieted down only slightly after a period of time. The vanes in the pump seated. It still makes enough noise to drive me nuts, though.

The first thing that I would do before pulling off the pump is to check the amperage draw. If it's higher than it's supposed to be, something is binding up or there is a restriction in the inlet side of the pump. You say that the electrical connections are good, right?
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Unread 03-01-2009   #7 (permalink)
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My brothers and I just got through converting his 69 ragtop to EFI and we worked our butts off bending all new lines and had everything nailed down nice and pretty- till we hit the key to hear WHIRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
Found out why ford put rubber lines between pump and lines and one more piece in the middle and then from firewall to engine(for motor flex)
The pump sends shockwaves through the fuel and it resonates into the metal lines UNLESS it hits some hose first. Yep we learned something new and continue to learn everyday. I am not saying this is your problem but you might want to consider it as it applies to your setup. I cant stress enough how important is is to have your lead wires properly connected, grounded and sized. Good luck
Joe
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