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  #1   IP: 72.39.196.2
Old 01-07-2021, 05:57 PM
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Speaking of fuel pumps

I have my A4 out of my Catalina 30 for stringer repair. I am wondering about the carburetor. Its been 6 years since the last rebuild and it has run flawlessly since.A new rebuild kit is roughly 80 dollars. A electronic pump is 120. dollars. I plan a roughly 300 mile round trip this summer.
I like to try new things but the old works well. I would like opinions as to weather the electronic way fuel pump is a good upgrade or is it a wash?
Thanks for reading
Greg
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Old 01-07-2021, 06:58 PM
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If it works I wouldn't bother. I'd have a carb repair kit around and deal with it when you need to. You can buy spares, nothing wrong with that, and nothing wrong with having spares. I'm not into replacing things that can be replaced easily once a problem is detected. Note: electric fuel pumps can fail suddenly, but in reality, it's probably not that sudden. They give subtle signs that things are not right, hesitation, longer to start, sputtering on throttle up.

I'd say your call on that one.
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:53 PM
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When was the last time you rebuilt your mechanical fuel pump? You know what happens when the internal diaphragm fails, right?
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1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:24 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Both mechanical and electronic fuel pumps have advantages and disadvantages when compared. Which type of pump you use gets down to personal preference.
Carburetors do not wear out in the usual sense. The vast majority of carburetor problems are caused by dirty fuel.
A fuel pressure gauge between the fuel pump and the carburetor would be a great diagnostic addition if you don't have one already. If fuel system trouble should arise it will make it easy to determine where the problem is or is not.

ex TRUE GRIT
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:04 PM
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Greg, consider what needs to be done when a fuel pump fails to return to operation. For the purpose of this discussion we'll assume all the necessary replacement parts, testing equipment and tools are on board. General fuel system leaks are not included because their repair is the same for either type of pump.

Electric pump, OPSS failure
Jury rig = jumper the OPSS terminals
Complete repair = replace OPSS

Electric pump, pump failure
Possible jury rig = dislodge stuck ball under bottom cap
Complete repair = replace pump

Mechanical pump, diaphragm failure
Jury rig = none
Complete repair = remove and rebuild pump or alternatively replace pump, change crankcase oil multiple times
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1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

Last edited by ndutton; 01-08-2021 at 12:08 PM.
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  #6   IP: 134.41.89.226
Old 01-08-2021, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Greg, consider what needs to be done when a fuel pump fails to return to operation. For the purpose of this discussion we'll assume all the necessary replacement parts, testing equipment and tools are on board. General fuel system leaks are not included because their repair is the same for either type of pump.

Electric pump, OPSS failure
Jury rig = jumper the OPSS terminals
Complete repair = replace OPSS

Electric pump, pump failure
Possible jury rig = dislodge stuck ball under bottom cap
Complete repair = replace pump

Mechanical pump, diaphragm failure
Jury rig = none
Complete repair = remove and rebuild pump or alternatively replace pump, change crankcase oil multiple times
Well done Neil. Great Post.
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The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
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Old 01-08-2021, 01:57 PM
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Moral of the Story re: mechanical fuel pumps

It is prudent to give your mechanical fuel pump regular maintenance considering what it does when it fails.
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1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:47 PM
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So you think electronic is the way to go. I'm on board with that. Just really wasn't sure about their dependability. Guess I'll give it a go.Thanks for the input
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  #9   IP: 104.174.83.118
Old 01-08-2021, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsails View Post
So you think electronic is the way to go
I can't say it's the way to go for you or anybody else but it is my preference. Some feel the OPSS is an added complication and failure point whereas I'm perfectly comfortable with it. The dealbreaker for me with the mechanical pump is what the Coasties require in the event of a diaphragm breach → pumping raw fuel into the crankcase. That's why I tried to make a point of regular mechanical pump maintenance.

Both electric and mechanical pumps are considered reliable around here.
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  #10   IP: 155.186.122.195
Old 01-09-2021, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Greg, consider what needs to be done when a fuel pump fails to return to operation. For the purpose of this discussion we'll assume all the necessary replacement parts, testing equipment and tools are on board. General fuel system leaks are not included because their repair is the same for either type of pump.

Electric pump, OPSS failure
Jury rig = jumper the OPSS terminals
Complete repair = replace OPSS

Electric pump, pump failure
Possible jury rig = dislodge stuck ball under bottom cap
Complete repair = replace pump

Mechanical pump, diaphragm failure
Jury rig = none
Complete repair = remove and rebuild pump or alternatively replace pump, change crankcase oil multiple times
For the mechanical jury rig I carried a spare electric as well as a kit for the mechanical pump. I rebuilt my mechanical pump a couple of years after purchasing and it is still working 25 years later.

My preference is to not have any kind of electrical spark anywhere near my fuel accept in the cylinder via a spark plug. Those pulse pumps can also leak and there is a constant "make & break" switching while running so the fuel if it leaks is exposed to spark.

Dave Neptune
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  #11   IP: 104.174.83.118
Old 01-09-2021, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Neptune View Post
My preference is to not have any kind of electrical spark anywhere near my fuel accept in the cylinder via a spark plug. Those pulse pumps can also leak and there is a constant "make & break" switching while running so the fuel if it leaks is exposed to spark.
Yep, this is the comfort zone that factors into the decision between mechanical and electric fuel pumps. However, in the interest of full disclosure, the electric fuel pump is manufactured, tested and certified to meet the same ignition proof standard as our internal spark producing alternators, starters and distributors.
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Last edited by ndutton; 01-09-2021 at 03:13 PM.
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  #12   IP: 24.15.212.17
Old 01-09-2021, 07:48 PM
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Fyi on reliability - I'm on my 3rd Facet pump in 44yrs. Not even sure I needed to change the 2nd one but did so after being advised after 20 + yrs by N Dutton a few years back. A small price to pay for increased reliability.
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Old 01-09-2021, 08:05 PM
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My boat had a Facet electric pump when I bought it. The pump worked fine but looked like shi-shi so I replaced it on principle, part of making the boat my own during the original refit. The replacement pump has since performed flawlessly for 16 years.

I did have a functional fuel system issue a few years back, OPSS failure that was quickly solved at the dock. It had been recently doused with anti-freeze during cooling system work so its failure was not due to normal use.
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1977 Catalina 30
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Had my hands in a few others
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  #14   IP: 72.39.196.2
Old 01-14-2021, 07:59 PM
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I'm taking this all in. Excellent points made
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