[Healeys] Fuel pumps (AGAIN!)

Bob Spidell bspidell at comcast.net
Thu Nov 29 11:14:12 MST 2018

Now THAT'S a new data point.  I was confused as to why SU pumps came in 
'low pressure' and 'high pressure' but it appears 'high pressure' is 


So, the HP pumps are meant to be mounted near the tank.  Usually, these 
are quoted to be 3psi, so your estimate is pretty close. Still doesn't 
explain why some of us 'claim' to have had issues with them.


On 11/28/2018 2:05 PM, Larry Varley wrote:
> Hi Group. Something worth considering when dealing with SU carburetors 
> and fuel pumps. I have been doing some investigation and testing the 
> effects of fuel pressure on SU carburetors. The image attached is the 
> correct specification for SU fuel pumps for the brass float version 
> carbs. The SU HP pump is quoted as 48 inch( petrol ) lift which is 
> about 1.5 PSI. This document is from a 1950’s workshop manual. I have 
> tested one of my cars and the SU pump sold by all of the usual 
> suppliers has a petrol lift of over 10 feet. I estimate at least 2.5 
> PSI. I had my brother test his Healey 100 also and the same result. 
> The test was conducted attaching a clear plastic line from the fuel 
> supply line up in the air to show the lift. We have both fitted 
> pressure regulators and using the clear tube method set the pressure 
> to 48 inches ( 1.5 PSI ). The result in both cars that have wide band 
> oxygen sensors fitted is an immediate improvement in air fuel ratio at 
> idle, moving away from overly rich mixture. Both cars maintain a far 
> better and regular idle as they are no longer running rich at idle. I 
> believe that the carbs are barely able to maintain a constant fuel 
> level in the float bowls when the pressure is 2.5 PSI and that 
> pressure pushes the fuel level up in the bowls when the engine is not 
> consuming much fuel. At all other speeds both engines fine with good 
> air fuel ratio at 1.5 PSI fuel pressure.
> Regards
> Larry Varley
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