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Since May, I have had to replace the fuel pump 3 times on my 73 164 with automatic transmission. The latest being just yesterday. Just so you know, my fuel tank is full of rust. I recently cleaned out the main body, but there is a reservoir inside where the filter and sending unit resides that has lots of rust still. So far, I have been unable to dislodge the drain plug. I have metric sized Square Head Drain Plug Sockets to try to remove it to be cleaned. That issue aside, it is possible that one reason my fuel pumps have suffered greatly premature deaths is because of the excessive rust inside the fuel tank. I actually hope this is the case. However, the last pump lasted only a few minutes and this is after I used a stopgap measure of inserting a filter that is before the pump t help keep the fuel pump clear of debris until the sockets arrive in a day or so.

My concern is there may be another issue involve that really shortens the life expectancy of the fuel pump. I have been using the Airtex E2315 Electric Pump, however, the last fuel used was the DELPHI FD0011.

I would appreciate any ideas on this. I get the sense there may be an electrical issue, but I don't know where to look or check. Thanks.

Steve
 

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I have a 1971 142 E so I am not familiar with the specifics of the 164E; but, I suspect a lot of my experience applies.

The filter on the suction side of the pump is generally not a good idea. If the 164 is like the 140, the pump is located externally and at a level parallel with the bottom of the tank. The fuel pumps don't deal well with a low suction head and a filter on the inlet may cause the suction head to go negative. This may cause engine operation problems and also damage the pump.

The fuel pumps run with the commutator and brushes submerged in gasoline. If your fuel is contaminated with chunks of stuff, it wi<script id="gpt-impl-0.7134178123251358" src="http://partner.googleadservices.com/gpt/pubads_impl_74.js"></script>ll abrade the commutator causing premature wear. If the contaminating chunks are conducting, they will bridge and short out the commutator leading to non operation of the pump. Pure rust (iron oxide) is generally a better insulator than conductor and would not cause the commutator to short out directly. However, if there is other stuff mixed with rust, it can form a conducting emulsion. Short answer, yes the rust is likely contributing to killing your pumps!

That said, after my 40+ year old Bosch pump sprung a leak around the electrical terminals, I replaced it with the Airtex pump. The Airtex worked for a couple of months until it became very noisy and was not able to supply enough fuel to make the required fuel rail pressure. I replaced the Airtex pump with the pump from a 1979 - 1980 Nissan 280 ZX. The Nissan pump is, with the exception of the electrical connections, a dead ringer for the Bosch 2 port pump and is an easy drop in replacement with minimal fiddling. Its more expensive than the Airtex (about $250 on Ebay); but, it is quiet and so far reliable. I have seen comments on other forums that the Airtex retrofit for the Volvo has not been very satisfactory. If memory serves, I think the Delphi pump look just like the Airtex (or maybe it was the Delco?)?

The suction line in the fuel tank should have a filter sock on it which will undoubtedly need replacing. Unfortunately, until you get that large drain plug out, you cannot get access to that sock. I would not install a new pump until you have your tank cleaned out. Unfortunately, I think this pretty much means that you are going to have to drop the tank, drain it and have it chemically cleaned and it should be lined at the same time.

If you can't find anybody to clean your tank, check the 1800 forum on swedespeed. About 18 months ago, there was a thread started by Captain Ron (as I recall) on the restoration of his P1800. In that thread, he has a couple of posts describing his home electrolytic cleaning process for his fuel tank. You may find it of use.

Good luck and I hope it works out for you.
 
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