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Converting fuel sender to fuel pump

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Econoline
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:37 pm
Location: Anacortes, WA

Converting fuel sender to fuel pump

Post #1 by Econoline » Sat May 18, 2019 10:04 pm

I'm converting my old sending unit that used to read empty at half a tank to a high pressure in tank fuel pump. The old 5/16" supply will be the return and I added a 3/8" for the supply. I fixed the problem with the float switch and moved it up tube to clear room for the pump to be able to get this thing in the hole. I still need to rework the float arm by straightening it out and adding enough length to put it back where it used to rest. I bought an AEM 50-1000 pump, 25' of 3/8" hard line and some mounting clamps and incidentals for ~$120.

This probably isn't something anyone with a more common vehicle would want or need to do. And definitely not for the meek at heart. But for me, it's going to save me at least $300, buy me some time and leave me with a spare pump for the next tank. 64-70 Mustang tanks are VERY similar to van tanks. But you have to move the fill and vent from the old tank to the new and cover the old fill hole. I've been planning a 20 gal '69 swap when I went to efi. But an EFI tank with the pump and sender runs at least ~$325 from spectra up to ~$500+ from tanks,inc. Then pay to modify it which will cost as much as this whole deal. If you've got a mustang or something common Spectra will sell you this kind of sender apparatus w/a walbro pump for around $175, Holley has one for like $330 but holley's has no return line. Without baffles or Holley's magical 'Hydramat' it's less than ideal, but if it works this will buy me some time and make the swap easier. And the aem pump is stronger and quieter than either of the pumps offered by walbro or holley for the same $ or more. At least from what I've gathered looking into it. I found a Delphi FS0103 strainer for $13 shipped that looks like it will work well for this set up. I'm waiting on that to show up.

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It ain't gonna fix itself

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Econoline
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Posts: 1297
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:37 pm
Location: Anacortes, WA

Re: Converting fuel sender to fuel pump

Post #2 by Econoline » Sat May 18, 2019 11:37 pm

I drilled and tapped a hole for the ground stud and tack welded it in from the back side, then soldered it on the face. For the 3/8" tube hole I drilled a 5/16" hole and then placed it over a 5/8" hole drilled in a chunk of hardwood and used a wide tapered drill set punch to create a flange then a long narrow tapered drift to form it tight for the tubing and silver soldered it in. Being carefull with wet towel not to screw up the seal on the oem sender terminal or the 5/16" tubing's oem solder seal. In hindsight that initial hole should have been a 1/4" hole max. I had some flange but not as much as I wanted like the factory tube. But I buried it in silver solder on both sides and it's pretty damned solid. The 12v+ wire will hook up through the grommet connected carefully via a #6 screw, washers nuts locks ect with a stud on the outside. Hopefully the grommet is at least buna-n rubber. I can get the right kind if this one is sbr or something unsuitable. The inner ground wire from the pump will be connected/screwed/soldered to the support brace for the 5/16" line.
It ain't gonna fix itself

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MechRick
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Re: Converting fuel sender to fuel pump

Post #3 by MechRick » Sun May 19, 2019 11:22 am

Nice work!

If you are running EFI you may run into problems with fuel slosh. Some sort of a baffle surrounding the pickup and fed by the return line would solve that.

I'm betting there is an o/e tank that could be made to work, perhaps the rear tank from F series or Bronco II?
1994 F150, 4.9L/ZF 5 speed, C-Vic police driveshaft
EFI head w/mild port work, 3 angle valve job
1996 long block, stock pistons, ARP rod bolts
Stock cam, aluminum cam gear
Hedman header, full mandrel bent duals, crossover, super turbos
http://fordsix.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=73244
Bronco II with a 2.3L swap http://fordsix.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=72863
1988 F250 2x4, 460 ZF 5 speed.

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Econoline
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:37 pm
Location: Anacortes, WA

Re: Converting fuel sender to fuel pump

Post #4 by Econoline » Sun May 19, 2019 11:24 am

69 Mustang tanks work and give you another 6 gal of gas but I'm trying to put that off until after the conversion so I have money to do the conversion lol.
It ain't gonna fix itself

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Econoline
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Re: Converting fuel sender to fuel pump

Post #5 by Econoline » Sun May 19, 2019 5:02 pm

I got the float extended and the wiring done.

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It ain't gonna fix itself

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Econoline
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Location: Anacortes, WA

Re: Converting fuel sender to fuel pump

Post #6 by Econoline » Thu May 23, 2019 9:14 pm

I installed a new 3/8" line in the van for the supply line and got the pickup screen for the fuel pump. I need to get some big pinch clamps and cut a 2 1/8" hole in some sheet metal and see if I can get it through.

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It ain't gonna fix itself

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jdlaugh430
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Re: Converting fuel sender to fuel pump

Post #7 by jdlaugh430 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:49 pm

Very creative way to add an in-tank fuel pump. I already have a Mustang tank in my '65 E-pup. When I decided to go with fuel injection, I bought a drop-in high-pressure pump kit from Tanks Inc. Fairly easy install and so far so good. I did have to cut a big hole in the top of my tank and then hammer & dolly out some ridges, plus drilled a couple holes in the frame rails to re-route the fuel lines. I used jb weld to plug the sender fuel outlet, since I no longer needed it.

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James, Tulsa, OK
1965 Econoline "Heavy Duty" Pickup
"A Work in Progress"

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