fuel/ vacuum pump


Gear Grinder
Jun 18, 2010
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Hello all, I have recently purchased a 1960 Willy's pickup in pieces and am starting to dive in to the long process of restoring it. After changing out the coil and tinkering with the engine, I got it to fire up briefly. The engine sounds like it's running well for the couple seconds that it runs. I noticed that my fuel/vacuum pump doesn't work. I took it apart and cleaned every internal piece. After re-installing it, it still doesn't work.

I have two options: One is to purchase a rebuild kit for it. The other is to just buy an electric universal fuel pump and completely bypass the stock setup. I have an electric wiper motor so I don't think I will need the vacuum pump. I guess my question is, can I run an electric fuel pump and not have any issues? I don't think I will need the vacuum pump but I'm not sure. I'm very new to mechanics. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Brian, I haven't heard of anyone who has used an electric pump and actually been happy with it; including myself. The two most comon reasons are Noise and having to use a fuel regulator. Do yourself a favor and just replace the existing mechanical fuel pump. You can find one at NAPA Auto...ANNNND, they usually have the vacuum side plugged off, so you'll be all set.
The '60 wagon I just bought has both an electric pump and the factory mechanical pump. I'm not sure if the mechanical pump works or not, but the electric pump sounds like a cessna airplane ready for takeoff. I think I'm going to leave it there, but wire it to a switch for a back up pump if the mechanical pump ever fails.

My vote would be to just rebuild or replace the mechanical pump and pass on the electric pump.

Thanks guys for the responses. My only reason for wanting an electric pump is that they are very cheap and readily available at most stores in my area. I was, however, unaware that I would need a regulator. I figured that once the bowl in the carb was full, the pump would continue pumping but the fuel would have nowhere to go because the bowl is full. Is this a correct assumption? I'm basically thinking that the bowl would act as a very simple regulator. Thanks again,
Standard mechanical pumps put out around 7 psi.
Standard auto store elecric pumps used to be 25 to 30 psi. Too much for most carbs. This is why a regulator is required.

If this thought is based on saving money, do yourself a favor and spend the extra 10 to 20 bucks on the correct mechanical pump. Which ever way you go with it, make sure you're getting clean flow from the tank all the way thru the end of the line first.

You didn't say what engine you have, but my Willys Shop Manual says fuel pump pressure is between 2 and 41/2 psi. for all years/all engines. Give your engine size to nail it down. You can go to NAPA and they sell electric pumps with different psi ratings. Buy one in the range of your mechanical pump and you are good to go.

A pressure regulator lets you dial in the pressure to exactly what you need, but I've found if I buy a pump that meets minimum pressure and doesn't exceed maximum pressure a regulator isn't needed. A pump with too much pressure will push the needle in the carb open and flood the engine.

As for noise--the rotary pumps like you get from Summit are noisy. Napa also sells a pulse type pump (looks like a box instead of a cylinder) that just clicks as it pumps. You can make a rubber mount out of an old tire sidewall to act as a cushion between the pump and frame to quiet the sound.

Make sure you mount the pump as close to the tank as possible (electric pumps are made to push--not suck the fuel) and put an in line filter between the tank and pump.

As for using 100% electric---I had an old Volvo and the mechanical pump went bad. Replacements were nonexistant or cost about $250.00 if I found one. I made a blockoff plate for the engine and ran a NAPA pulse type pump. It worked great!! Never a problem and it actually cured a vapor lock problem I would have on super hot days. Drove the car about 4,000 miles like that, sold it recently and it's still working fine.

The choice is yours----If you can get a mechanical pump for decent money, then do it, but if you want to run an electric for a booster or full time pump, there are no worrys.

Old Willy
Wow it sounds like you guys know your stuff. That's why I love websites like this. Extremely knowledgable people helping the newbies out. I really appreciate the input everyone. By the way I have the 226 super-hurricane. Maybe someone knows the psi rating on that engine? Thanks again,

My service manual says a 6-226 should have a Carter fuel pump model M957S and runs a fuel pressure of 3-41/2 psi.

Old willy
Went out to the garage after work today and found the box from the NAPA electric fuel pump I put on my Volvo. Part number is BK.610-1052.

I went to Napa on line and typed in that number. Pump shows a list price of $48.00 and says it flows 28 gallons per hour at a pressure of 2-3.5 psi. They make them in various pressures so you can get one closer to your needs.

Word of warning---you'll have to find a parts guy who will leave his computer and get out the books to find the pumps. I worked at a NAPA store for 11 years and they have catalogs that show a lot more stuff than is in their computers. It takes a little digging on the counter person's end.

Hope this helps,
Old Willy
Electric fuel pumps are excellent but require some work. Remembering to run a good ground strap to the pump, mount it in rubber for sound control and vibration. Another piece of household gear I use a lot is the plastic breadboards that my wife uses. I am sure the correct material is polypropolene or something but this is great stuff. I use if for body mounts and anything that requires sound deadening or vibration control. It lasts ever so much longer than the rubber parts. It is available in different thickness so one can use if for a combined body lift and mount. Some electric fuel pumps require a regulator and some don't. Put one on my 58 Wagon and almost hydraulic-ed the engine. Pump over came the needle seat and poured raw gas down the carb. Had to pull the plugs, spin the engine and blow the gas out. Needless to say the oil was completely contaminated. Make sure you get an electric fuel pump in the 5 to 7 psi range. Good luck with your Willys. I am glad to find a forum with guys that actually work on these beasts.
Where do you get power for the electric fuel pump? How do you include a fuse?
Gary, The last time I used one I ran it from the accy terminal on the ignition switch and ran an inline fuse for it. Some folks tap directly off of the battery with an on/off switch for the pump. I'm not real keen on that one.