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livin large
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so im in need of replacing the in-tank fuel pump on my 86. i called teh dealer and of course i dont want to shell out the $250, but the parts guy had an interesting option. he stated "the fuel pump out of a '73 vega would work with some modifaction." now of course im thinking, hell yeah, i rather spend the $68 and do some mods than the $137 (cheapest i found online) direct replacement.

so has anyone done this mod or have anything simular that will work?
 

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I'll do what I want!
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I cannot believe I would ever hear this story from anyone else. I had an 1983 318 and the in-tank pump went bad in 1992. I was told the very same thing about the Vega pump. Went to Pep Boys in Austin, Tx bought one for the fraction of a BMW pump. I was the same pump. If I remember I had to do some modifictions to the bracket and I think the elec. connection. But they were very minor and it work perfect.

Are you sure it's the tank pump that's bad? The pump thats making the noise is not the bad pump. It's makijng noise because it under a bigger strain trying to pull the fuel through the dead pump.
 

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I found this write up on the net:
Transfer Pump:

The in-tank pump, or transfer pump, can cause driveability problems and lack of power when it is bad. It can be difficult to troubleshoot because the car will still run even when the pump is completely dead. If you have determined the the transfer pump is dead, the classic Chevy Vega pump trick works well. Chris Guy has the Vega pump info at his E28 site. I bought a Vega pump from a local parts store for about $25 and installed it in less than an hour. I encountered two problems doing this. First, I had no idea what year Vega pump to ask for. I told the guy behind the counter I wanted to put it into my BMW. He laughed and then picked some random year for me. When I got home, I pulled the transfer pump and foud that I had the plastic body pump with integral mount instead of the metal pump with bolt on mount (problem #2). Supposedly, the metal version is a direct swap with the Vega pump. Since I did not have the separate mount, I just used a couple appropriately sized hose clamps to hold the Vega pump in place. The car ran better the first time I started it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you sure it's the tank pump that's bad? The pump thats making the noise is not the bad pump. It's makijng noise because it under a bigger strain trying to pull the fuel through the dead pump.
i just switched out the inline pump and removed the vibration dampner. and the inline at times (74+ degrees temp outside and at idle) it hums very loud and you can feel the vibration throu the steering wheel. i changed the fuel filter about 3k miles ago, and i was goin to crack open the tank and see how bad the strainer is, but i didnt have any clamps (stock style clamps are on there now). and i figured since i swapped out the inline, to do the intank. and also it makes very little difference in noise when i disconnect the power cord to the intank pump.
 

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I don't recall the one in my 318 looking anything like the one on that EBay ad. It may work or may not your guess is as good as mine???? I would try and contact them to find out if it supossed to bolt right in or do you need to modify it to work.
 

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that is a walbro knockoff made in china. id steer clear. you can google fake walbro and read more on this. jdsperformance.com has real walbros and great customer service. they dont list one for our cars but he said he believes he has one that will fit. havent got that far yet though
 

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e36 fuel pump

my transfer pump went bad as well, didnt want to buy a new one so i got a used e36 fuel pump, e36 ones have thier transfer and inline fuel pump in one unit, in the tank, but it is almost a direct fit, all i did was add a return line by cutting a hole in the top, and changed the line from the transfer pump to the inline with a high pressure line, works great =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
my transfer pump went bad as well, didnt want to buy a new one so i got a used e36 fuel pump, e36 ones have thier transfer and inline fuel pump in one unit, in the tank, but it is almost a direct fit, all i did was add a return line by cutting a hole in the top, and changed the line from the transfer pump to the inline with a high pressure line, works great =)
i dont really want to go with a used, bad previous experiences. but im looking to do that vega pump swap. i still cant find a detailed write up on it.
 

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heres what i got. talked to my parts guy and seen pic of the vega pump. it looks a little shorter. its just the metal pump part. looks possible if you add a hose between the pump and the strainer filter. heres the specs...4-6 psi...gph 20-35...outlet 3/8. whats the spec on your pump? im thinking of doing this swap also. its 38$ at autozone and for mine price is 330$. seems like it would be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i waiting to get paid wensday, so i can get the pump, strainer, and some fuel system cleaner. also i want to tank to be as empty as possible so i can see how much rust is in there, and dont get fumed out.

but on the pump, ive been getting different stories, some say a 73 or 76 vega pump will work. but thats the only difference. other than that, its clamping the pump, grinding a couple pins, and wiring are all the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i dunno, havnt quiet got that far, i just removed the seat and took the cover off. but i was testing it, but ive read on one write up on the 76 pump that it was smaller and the guy put a hose on to make up for the difference.
 

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Get a pump at Advance. We did at the track for $70. It works very well, just noisier. You'll have to do some electrical connections, but nothing complicated.

I have now gone back to OEM pump, but keeps the old with the fourth party pump handy incase we have another failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
its in and working

so i did the fuel pump swap today. i thought it would be so much harder. i used the 76 vega fuel pump and got some electrical connectors (loop and quick disconnect) and some 18 guage wire, and some chevron techtron fuel cleaner (on sale 2 for $8 couldnt pass(advanced autoparts)) so here are some pics

comparing size

heres what the size difference is between the two body styles, not much but i did have to reuse the old bmw strainer (after i cleaned it). i redid the wiring for the ground, i did a 18 gauge wire with 2 loop connectors on both sides. the wire itself is probably 4 inches long. and i clamped the ends on, i cut the plastic off and covered them by electrical tape and shrink wraped it (just in case). and the main power wire, i cut about an inch from the top of the pump (old) and put in a quick disconnect where i cut it, and a loop on the other side for the terminal on the vega pump. and again did the electrical tape and shrink wrap.

fuel pump after mods

heres what it looks like afterwards. i used the hose that came with the new pump. it took a few minutes for me to get the length right, that hose was really tight on the metal pipe (best way to describe, like shoving a hot dog throu an olive. its really tight) after i got the length the right distance, i put the strainer on and checked for movement pump wise, and its not goin anywhere. so i dropped it back in and did a test fire before i drop everything back in, and forgot about the return line. put that in the tank opening before you turn the engine over, i lost some gas. but now the car will get sideways half way throu 2nd, and it tucks the rear suspension in 4th at 75mph. so i got some power back, im really happy now.

and dont diss the lighter, its mine, directly from camel, and they need to do some research before they start sending stuff out.
 

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Yep, I couldn't believe it either and you got a couple of hundred extra bucks in your pocket :thumbup::thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
for everything i got (fuel pump, vega strainer, roll of 18 gauge wire, 2 packages of electrical connectors, some wire cutters, and the 2 bottles of chevon techtron) i spent about $74. but that was also with my dealer discount, id be screwed without that.
 

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thats awesome! im gonna do it. if you did it again would you change or do anything to make it even easier? any mpg diff?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
i would rerun the main power wire instead of cutting it. i found out today that i forgot to shrink wrap the connector there:(, and well, lets just say i lost 3 fuses, and had to dig into it on the side of a highway (not really, i was in a parking lot next to one of my jobs). so i have to do it one more time and ill just do the shrink wrap and not the electrical tape shink wrap mix.

mpgs, i dont know quite yet, im waiting for my next pay check to top it off and get some numbers. but performance wise, i do have some more get up and go (i just now have to fix mix vaccuum leak) and when im at about 2500 in 2nd, and punch it in a corner, itll break loose. but i do have some more work on the car before i actually draw some times 1/4 wise. and from 65 to 105, it dropped about 2 seconds.

also find a better way to mount the strainer, after i find mine in the tank (yes it fell off:mad:) im just gunna zip tie it on there. since the vega pump doesnt have a screw hole on the bottom, and i might even just throw on the vega strainer. completely different design but its open on both sides. it might help out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
so i got some numbers, my 30 to 60 3rd gear pull averaged 8 seconds. my 0-60 starting in 2nd averaged in the mid 9s. and my 45 to 80 was about 16 seconds (lost count at 9 because i had to shift). so i did notice some improvement power wise, but ill get the mpgs to you hopefully sunday. just need to get into the tank one more time, then ill fill up.
 
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