Whether you’re trying to save some space under your hood or you’re just trying to maximize your car’s performance, a lot of people opt for using electric fuel pumps over the standard mechanical ones in their carbureted cars. This usually isn’t an issue in modern vehicles which pretty much all run an electric pump, but for older vehicles, with carburation, the selection can get a bit tricky.
The installation can be a bit tricky and there’s a lot to keep in mind. You’ll want to make sure that you have some kind of automatic shut-off. The most frequently used part here are oil pressure shut off switches, which will shut down the pump when the oil pressure drops below a certain level/ This can keep your pump from continuing to spray fuel in the event of something breaking loose in your engine.
We’ve gone ahead and made a list of the 4 best electric fuel pumps for carburetors, and after our reviews, we go into detail what you should look for when selecting the best pump for you needs.
Airtex E8016S Electric Fuel Pump
This high-quality pump runs at about 30gph and fits a wide variety of cars and trucks. The lower psi of the unit means it’s perfect for carbureted vehicles of all types, and there’s even a handy way to determine if it’ll fit your vehicle right on the page. It’s solid metal and a lot of people use them for tractors and other low-power, extremely tough vehicles. It’s quite cheap for what it is, and can be an absolute lifesaver if you find that it’s sufficient for the vehicle you’re planning on placing it in.
Carter P4070 In-Line Electric Fuel Pump
The Carter P4070 was originally designed for military vehicles, but works quite well for a wide range of civilian vehicles from RVs to boats and also makes a great addition to cars which are expected to have high performance.
It has a 72gph flow and puts out 4-6psi. It’s long lasting, and can be a little bit noisy but it’s one of the most trusted electric fuel pumps (see full specs) around. Some people have reported theirs working for over a decade, and with that kind of staying power, the kit’s a bargain for the price which you’ll benefit from for a long time to come.
Autobest F4027 Externally Mounted Universal Electric Fuel Pump
The Autobest F4027 is designed specifically for carbureted imports, so check and see if it can work with your car (and if you shop from Amazon, just input your car model and it’ll tell you). The pump provides a 30gph flow rate and manages a 5-9psi.
It’s perfect if you need a bit of a boost, and it might even be able to work as a total replacement depending on your vehicle. The outlet on this model of fuel pump is 5/8” and it’s pretty high-quality. If you want to replace the pump or just add a little bit more to an imported car’s system, take a closer look at the Autobest F4027. It should belong on anyone’s list of the best electric fuel pumps for carburetors.
Holley 12-801-1 Red Electric Fuel Pump – 97 GPH
If you’re looking to push some more fuel with a high-performance vehicle, this Holley electric pump (see full specs) is one of the best you’ll be able to find without getting into super costly custom parts. It pushes 97gph and is specially made for performance vehicles.
Due to its high power, you might want to consider adding some rubber washers to the mounting in order to keep the noise down, but it’s a great way to step up your fuel delivery system if your car can use the extra fuel it pushes down. It’s easily among the best electric fuel pumps for carburetors period.
Selecting a Pump and Some Installation Tips
If you’re looking to install an additional fuel pump or replace an existing one, it’s vital to take care during the installation process. Make sure you follow all of the instructions carefully, and you’re sure to be pleased with the results. If you don’t take care with your installation and fuel pump choice, you’ll probably just make things worse.
If your car isn’t a high-performance monster, you’ll be fine with most off the shelf pumps. The general rule of thumb is that if you’re under 450hp you’re probably good to go without having to spend a lot of money on a specialized fuel pump.
Make sure that the fuel pump you’ve decided to install is going to fit and performs at the level you need it to before you purchase it, the equation for rough gph required is (Max Horsepower * BFSC)/6 with a BFSC of 0.5 or 0.6 being about average for most non-performance vehicles. There’s no point in jamming an extra-large pump on a stock vehicle which doesn’t need the additional fuel; you’ll just flood your carburetor which leads to its own issues.
It’s always best to test your vehicle on a dyno so you know the exact performance specifications and can make sure that you’re purchasing the optimal pump, but not everyone has access to one and the above guidelines should serve you well in most cases.
There’re some other precautions you might want to consider as well. For instance, it’s always a good idea to place a fuel filter before the pump in order to avoid clogging, and the addition of an oil safety switch is generally a really good idea as far as safety is concerned. Rubber washers on the mounting can help to keep the noise down, although they generally won’t entirely eliminate it.
You’ll also want to consider where you place the pump and the angles. Most manufacturers recommend placing them about 5° off of vertical in order to avoid problems but each pump and situation are different. Keep them away from heat sources like exhaust for obvious reasons as an additional safety measure.
Make sure that you have a good ground since most pumps won’t run without one. You’ll either need to make sure the area the ground is in is entirely clean, or you can spend a few extra cents to get a washer and make a direct bare-metal to bare-metal connection which will virtually guarantee your ground is good.
Whatever your reasons for adding one, if you pick the best electrical fuel pumps for carburetors and install it properly you’re sure to be pleased with the results. Good luck!