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Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

Numbers don't lie

Scott Tsuneishi
Mar 6, 2014 SHARE

Part 1: Dyno Testing Fuel Pumps

A fuel pump is the heart and soul of any car so when the time has finally arrived to build a high-horsepower car, why do so many automotive enthusiasts overlook upgrading such an important part? It's good to point out when building a high-horsepower vehicle, the fuel injectors can only flow as much as your fuel pump can deliver. Not only do fuel pumps provide the fuel to the engine, they must provide it in sufficient quantities to enable the injectors to atomize and inject a steady stream into the intake, enabling a proper air/fuel mixture to combust in the cylinders. The factory fuel pump often becomes grossly inadequate to provide fuel to a heavily modified engine. Case in point the many Hondas/Acuras with aftermarket turbo kits still using the original factory pump. The factory Honda pump is a reliable and economical unit for the average 140hp daily driven vehicle, but when the car is turbocharged a multitude of factors must be addressed. The most important would be the larger demand of fuel consumption.

Fuel pump shootout drag civic 02 Photo 2/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

RC Engineering Dynamometer

Fuel pump shootout RC engineering dynamometer 03 Photo 3/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

We randomly selected and dyno tested over a dozen of the most popular fuel pumps available within the tuner market and took a trip to RC Engineering located in Torrance, CA, to strap onto their custom dynamometer. We pushed each pump to their maximum potential using settings ranging from 35 to 100 psi, respectively. With their fuel pump dynamometer, testing your old or new fuel pump eliminates the need to speculate if your unit is capable of delivering adequate fuel flow at specified pressures and variable voltages. RC's custom-built fuel pump dynamometer can test all aspects of a fuel pump, ranging from the maximum flow capacity, psi, fuel temperature, pounds per hour, liters per hour, cc's per minute, amperage, and brake horsepower (bhp) the pump can efficiently support. For testing purposes we took note that the average density of gasoline which is 690 to 760 gph (or 5.76 to 6.34 pounds per gallon). Using calibration fluid rather than standard gasoline allowed us to safely test each fuel pump with accuracy as the calibration fluid was rated at 0.76 S/G and has the same consistency as your typical gasoline found at the local pump. Testing was performed at an atmospheric temperature of 76 degrees F. Before we present the final results of each of the pumps tested, we thought a basic rundown of fuel pump factoids would be beneficial to all our readers.

Fuel pump shootout RC engineering dynamometer 04 Photo 4/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

Calculating Proper Fuel Requirements

Using the proper formula to determine how much fuel your fuel pump needs to support is crucial when building a high-horsepower vehicle. Putting into account variables such as engine displacement, compression ratio, and boost pressures, the final engine horsepower will either increase or decrease depending on the fuel pump's capabilities and whether the proper air/fuel ratio is maintained throughout the entire powerband. Although bhp and flow is increased with most of the testing done, it is not recommended to keep fuel pumps at high voltage if the car is used on a daily basis. The voltage increase will add more wear and tear to the pump's internals and shorten its life significantly.

To make horsepower, your engine will consume a certain amount of fuel. That amount is referred to as the Brake Specific Fuel Consumption, or BSFC. First we need to determine the BSFC. BSFC is how much fuel an engine needs to make "x" amount of power. The lower the number the more efficient the injectors. The BSFC varies, depending if the car is naturally aspirated or turbocharged. For n/a cars the BSFC will be anywhere from .45 to .50. This means the engine will use .50 pound of fuel per hour for each horsepower it produces. For turbocharged engines the scale will be at .55 to .60 lb/hr or higher depending on whether the engine is running on pump gas or race fuel. If the car is running race fuel the BSFC is slightly lower.

Fuel pump shootout RC engineering dynamometer 05 Photo 5/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

As an example, say we use an n/a vehicle rated at 200 hp to the crankshaft implementing the BSFC formula of 0.50 in our formula. Take the 200 hp and multiply by 0.50, the engine requires approximately 100 pounds of fuel per hour (200 x .50 = 100 lph). For a turbocharged engine that makes 400 hp, we use a BSFC of 0.60 to conclude a pump that must flow a minimum of 240 pounds of fuel per hour (400 x .60 = 240 lph). In converting pounds per hour to liters per hour, multiply lb/hr by .6. (For testing purposes and graphing of our dyno sheets at RC Engineering we multiplied the formula using .6309 to average out the means.)

Bypass (Relief) Valve

Fuel pump shootout bypass relief valve 06 Photo 6/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

When pressure at the discharge point exceeds the pump's pressure point, a built-in bypass (relief) valve gradually opens to reduce pressure inside the pump, eliminating damage to the pump. During the testing, we took into observation when the bypass valve fully opened to give readers an understanding of the flow characteristics and limits of each pump. Keep in mind that opening of the bypass is used as a safety feature on each pump and no means the limit of any particular unit. Graph Note: XX indicates pressure valve did not open during testing at 100 psi.

Walbro 255-lph Fuel Pump vs. Knockoff

Fuel pump shootout walbro 255 LPH fuel pump vs knockoff 07 Photo 7/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

If imitation is the best form of flattery, we should chalk one up for our Internet friends selling this Walbro 255 knockoff fuel pump. Why consider this a knockoff pump, you ask? Maybe it's the blatant part number etched onto the housing, minus the Walbro sign that's a dead giveaway. The Walbro 255-lph high pressure in-tank fuel pump for forced induction proved to outflow the knockoff fuel pump we purchased online as dyno charts revealed a 18 lb/hr and 11.35 liters per hour flow difference at 45 psi. Up until 80 psi, the Walbro pump outperformed the knockoff unit in every category, but things changed once we reached the 80-psi market. At 80 psi the knockoff pump outflowed the Walbro pump by the slightest of margins. We attributed the performance gains due to the modified bypass valve on the knockoff unit, which offered a higher fuel pressure buildup from 85 to 100 psi. "Don't be too impressed with the higher output numbers as this fuel pumps voltage output was very inconsistent on the dynamometer. It was very difficult to keep the flow numbers consistent at specific psi levels. This is typical with interior pumps sold on the market today. Take into account what types of internal gearing and material is being used on the cheaper knockoff pumps and you'll come to appreciate paying a bit more for quality products," says John Park, RC Engineering fuel injection specialist.

Make: Walbro 255 lph
Pump: GSS341-255
Volts: 13.5
Test Fluid S/G: 0.76
Fluid Temp: 69

Fuel pump shootout walbro 255 LPH fuel pump 08 Photo 8/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

PSIG Amps Lbs/Hr Gal/Hr Ltr/Hr Ltr/Min CC/Min Gr/Min Gr/Sec Gr/Sec
35 5.7 448 74.67 282.65 4.71 4710.84 3386.91 56.45 814.5
40 5.9 431 71.83 271.93 4.53 4532.08 3258.39 54.31 783.6
45 6.2 418 69.67 263.72 4.40 4395.39 3160.11 52.67 760.0
50 6.4 404 67.33 254.89 4.25 4248.17 3054.27 50.90 734.5
55 6.7 394 65.67 248.58 4.14 4143.02 2978.67 49.64 716.4
60 7.1 383 63.83 241.64 4.03 4027.35 2895.50 48.26 696.4
65 7.4 371 61.83 234.07 3.90 3901.17 2804.78 46.75 674.5
70 7.7 358 59.67 225.87 3.76 3764.47 2706.50 45.11 650.9
75 8 346 57.67 218.30 3.64 3638.29 2615.78 43.60 629.1
80 8.4 331 55.17 208.83 3.48 3480.56 2502.38 41.71 601.8
85 8.8 319 53.17 201.26 3.35 3354.37 2411.66 40.19 580.0
90 9.3 283 47.17 178.55 2.98 2975.82 2139.50 35.66 514.5
95 9.7 258 43.00 162.78 2.71 2712.94 1950.50 32.51 469.1
100 10.2 232 38.67 146.37 2.44 2439.54 1753.93 29.23 421.8

Note:
Bypass valve opens @ 95 psi
Horsepower value @ BSFC of 0.55

Make: Fake Walbro 255 lph
Pump: GSS341-255
Volts: 13.5
Test Fluid S/G: 0.76
Fluid Temp: 69

Fuel pump shootout walbro 255 LPH knockoff 09 Photo 9/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

PSIG Amps Lbs/Hr Gal/Hr Ltr/Hr Ltr/Min CC/Min Gr/Min Gr/Sec Gr/Sec
35 12.3 419 69.83 264.35 4.41 4405.90 3167.67 52.79 761.8
40 12.6 410 68.33 258.68 4.31 4311.26 3099.63 51.66 745.5
45 12.9 400 66.67 252.37 4.21 4206.11 3024.03 50.40 727.3
50 13.2 389 64.83 245.43 4.09 4090.44 2940.86 49.01 707.3
55 13.5 378 63.00 238.49 3.97 3974.78 2857.70 47.63 687.3
60 13.7 367 61.17 231.55 3.86 3859.11 2774.54 46.24 667.3
65 14 360 60.00 227.13 3.79 3785.50 2721.62 45.36 654.5
70 142 350 58.33 220.82 3.68 3680.35 2646.02 44.10 636.4
75 14.6 341 56.83 215.14 3.59 3585.71 2577.98 42.97 620.0
80 14.9 334 55.67 210.73 3.51 3512.10 2525.06 42.08 607.3
85 15.2 321 53.50 202.52 3.38 3375.40 2426.78 40.45 583.6
90 15.5 311 51.83 196.22 3.27 3270.25 2351.18 39.19 565.5
95 15.8 300 50.00 189.28 3.15 3154.58 2268.02 37.80 545.5
100 16.1 291 48.50 183.60 3.06 3059.95 2199.98 36.67 529.1

Note:
Bypass valve opens @ XX psi
Horsepower value @ BSFC of 0.55

CNT Racing High Flow Pump

Fuel pump shootout CNT racing high flow pump 10 Photo 10/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout CNT Racing High Flow Pump 10

While searching the Internet for both name brand and generic pumps, we came across a company called CNT that specializes in a variety of performance pumps. Without knowing who they were or how these pumps would perform, we decided to purchase their Subaru STI/WRX 300-lph unit though eBay. Upon opening the package, we noticed this pump offered more of a quality appearance rather than knockoff craftsmanship. We mounted the unit to the dynamometer and were surprised with the results. Calculations showed the CNT pump was able to flow 500 lb/hr or 315.46 liters per hour at 45 psi and able to support 909.1 hp. At 100 psi, well beyond the range necessary for most cars, the pump was still flowing 294 lb/hr with a rated 534.5 bhp. It was amazing to see such a small pump take a beating on the dynamometer and continued to flow without a major drop in performance while testing.

Make: CNT Racing 300 lph
Pump: 500-842
Volts: 13.5
Test Fluid S/G: 0.76
Fluid Temp: 69

Fuel pump shootout CNT racing high flow pump 11 Photo 11/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

PSIG Amps Lbs/Hr Gal/Hr Ltr/Hr Ltr/Min CC/Min Gr/Min Gr/Sec Gr/Sec
35 11.9 542 90.33 341.96 5.70 5699.28 4097.55 68.29 985.5
40 12.2 520 86.67 328.08 5.47 5467.94 3931.23 65.52 945.5
45 12.6 500 83.33 315.46 5.26 5257.64 3780.03 63.00 909.1
50 12.9 485 80.83 305.99 5.10 5099.91 3666.63 61.11 881.8
55 13.3 470 78.33 296.53 4.94 4942.18 3553.23 59.22 854.5
60 13.6 455 75.83 287.07 4.78 4784.45 3439.83 57.33 827.3
65 14 438 73.00 276.34 4.61 4605.69 3311.31 55.19 796.4
70 14.3 415 69.17 261.83 4.36 4363.84 3137.43 52.29 754.5
75 14.8 398 66.33 251.10 4.19 4185.08 3008.91 50.15 723.6
80 15.1 382 63.67 241.01 4.02 4016.84 2887.94 48.13 694.5
85 15.5 361 60.17 227.76 3.80 3796.02 2729.18 45.49 656.4
90 15.8 343 57.17 216.40 3.61 3606.74 2593.10 43.22 623.6
95 16.2 320 53.33 201.89 3.36 3364.89 2419.22 40.32 581.8
100 16.5 294 49.00 185.49 3.09 3091.49 2222.66 37.04 534.5

Note:
Bypass valve opens @ XX psi
Horsepower value @ BSFC of 0.55

Bosch 044 vs. Knockoff

Fuel pump shootout bosch 044 vs knockoff 12 Photo 12/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

The Bosch 044 fuel pump is considered as older fuel pump technology, yet still remains popular among performance enthusiasts. Few companies have been able to replicate the outstanding performance and reliability of this unit including knockoff manufacturers. In comparing both the genuine Bosch 044 fuel pump and the knockoff unit, we noticed a significant difference in performance stats. A comparison of 13.1 V (044) versus 8.6 V (knockoff) at 55 psi showed a difference of 101 lb/hr and 63.72 liters per hour. The 044 pump outperformed the knockoff unit throughout the entire testing phase, and more importantly showed that buying cheap parts doesn't always translate to performance.

Make: Bosch 044 Inline 300 lph
Pump: 580254044
Volts: 13.5
Test Fluid S/G: 0.76
Fluid Temp: 69

Fuel pump shootout bosch 044 13 Photo 13/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

PSIG Amps Lbs/Hr Gal/Hr Ltr/Hr Ltr/Min CC/Min Gr/Min Gr/Sec Gr/Sec
35 11.8 466 77.67 294.01 4.90 4900.12 3522.99 58.72 847.3
40 12 458 76.33 288.96 4.82 4816.00 3462.51 57.71 832.7
45 12.4 451 75.17 284.54 4.74 4742.39 3409.59 56.83 820.0
50 12.8 446 74.33 281.39 4.69 4689.81 3371.79 56.20 810.9
55 13.1 439 73.17 276.97 4.62 4616.21 3318.87 55.31 798.2
60 13.4 432 72.00 272.56 4.54 4542.60 3265.95 54.43 785.5
65 13.7 426 71.00 268.77 4.48 4479.51 3220.59 53.68 774.5
70 14.1 421 70.17 265.62 4.43 4426.93 3182.79 53.05 765.5
75 14.4 416 69.33 262.46 4.37 4374.36 3144.99 52.42 756.4
80 14.5 406 67.67 256.15 4.27 4269.20 3069.39 51.16 738.2
85 14.9 401 66.83 253.00 4.22 4216.63 3031.59 50.53 729.1
90 15.2 395 65.83 249.21 4.15 4153.53 2986.23 49.77 718.2
95 15.6 387 64.50 244.16 4.07 4069.41 2925.74 48.76 703.6
100 16 380 63.33 239.75 4.00 3995.81 2872.82 47.88 690.9

Note:
Bypass valve opens @ XX psi
Horsepower value @ BSFC of 0.55 is shown in last column at right.

Make: Fake Bosch 044 Inline 300 lph
Pump: None
Volts: 13.5
Test Fluid S/G: 0.76
Fluid Temp: 69

Fuel pump shootout bosch 044 knockoff 14 Photo 14/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

PSIG Amps Lbs/Hr Gal/Hr Ltr/Hr Ltr/Min CC/Min Gr/Min Gr/Sec Gr/Sec
35 6.4 390 65.00 246.06 4.10 4100.96 2948.43 49.14 709.1
40 7 380 63.33 239.75 4.00 3995.81 2872.82 47.88 690.9
45 7.5 366 61.00 230.92 3.85 3848.59 2766.98 46.12 665.5
50 8.1 351 58.50 221.45 3.69 3690.86 2653.58 44.23 638.2
55 8.6 338 56.33 213.25 3.55 3554.16 2555.30 42.59 614.5
60 9.1 326 54.33 205.68 3.43 3427.98 2464.58 41.08 592.7
65 9.5 314 52.33 198.11 3.30 3301.80 2373.86 39.56 570.9
70 9.9 306 51.00 193.06 3.22 3217.68 2313.38 38.56 556.4
75 10.3 292 48.67 184.23 3.07 3070.46 2207.54 36.79 530.9
80 10.7 282 47.00 177.92 2.97 2965.31 2131.94 35.53 512.7
85 11.1 270 45.00 170.35 2.84 2839.13 2041.22 34.02 490.9
90 11.6 257 42.83 162.15 2.70 2702.43 1942.94 32.38 467.3
95 11.9 246 41.00 155.21 2.59 2586.76 1859.78 31.00 447.3
100 12.4 233 38.83 147.00 2.45 2450.06 1761.49 29.36 423.6

Note:
Bypass valve opens @ XX psi
Horsepower value @ BSFC of 0.55

Aeromotive Stealth Fuel Pump vs. "Internet Brand"

Fuel pump shootout aeromotive sealth fuel pump vs internet brand 15 Photo 15/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

The Aeromotive 340 Stealth Fuel Pump was designed to deliver superior flow throughout a wide pressure range and marketed to deliver over 30 percent more flow than competitor's models. We tested the Aeromotive unit versus an Internet-purchased unit with similar rated 340 lph. At 13.5 V and 50 psi the Aeromotive unit flowed at a respectable 486 lb/hr and 5110.43/min. When compared side by side to the Internet unit at the same psi, the "off brand" only flows at 462 lb/hr and 4858.06 cc/min. As we climbed through the psi range, the Aeromotive pump offered higher flow characteristics and larger potential to supply fuel for more horsepower. More importantly, we noticed the off-brand voltage as being inconsistent at specific voltages, thus offering an adverse fluctuation in flow numbers.

Make: Aeromotive Stealth FP 340 lph
Pump: None
Volts: 13.5
Test Fluid S/G: 0.76
Fluid Temp: 69

Fuel pump shootout aeromotive sealth fuel pump 16 Photo 16/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

PSIG Amps Lbs/Hr Gal/Hr Ltr/Hr Ltr/Min CC/Min Gr/Min Gr/Sec Gr/Sec
35 10.8 535 89.17 337.54 5.63 5625.67 4044.63 67.41 972.7
40 11 523 87.17 329.97 5.50 5499.49 3953.91 65.90 950.9
45 11.4 504 84.00 317.98 5.30 5299.70 3810.27 63.50 916.4
50 11.6 486 81.00 306.63 5.11 5110.43 3674.19 61.24 883.6
55 12 473 78.83 298.42 4.97 4973.73 3575.91 59.60 860.0
60 12.3 432 72.00 272.56 4.54 4542.60 3265.95 54.43 785.5
65 12.6 432 72.00 272.56 4.54 4542.60 3265.95 54.43 785.5
70 12.8 412 68.67 259.94 4.33 4332.29 3114.75 51.91 749.1
75 13.1 390 65.00 246.06 4.10 4100.96 2948.43 49.14 709.1
80 13.5 371 61.83 234.07 3.90 3901.17 2804.78 46.75 674.5
85 13.8 355 59.17 223.98 3.73 3732.92 2683.82 44.73 645.5
90 14.4 343 57.17 216.40 3.61 3606.74 2593.10 43.22 623.6
95 14.7 327 54.50 206.31 3.44 3438.50 2472.14 41.20 594.5
100 15.2 304 50.67 191.80 3.20 3196.64 2298.26 38.30 552.7

Note:
Bypass valve opens @ XX psi
Horsepower value @ BSFC of 0.55

Make: Internet 340 lph
Pump: 11142-340
Volts: 13.5
Test Fluid S/G: 0.76
Fluid Temp: 69

Fuel pump shootout aeromotive sealth fuel pump knockoff 17 Photo 17/17   |   Fuel Pump Shootout - Fueling for Power

PSIG Amps Lbs/Hr Gal/Hr Ltr/Hr Ltr/Min CC/Min Gr/Min Gr/Sec Gr/Sec
35 9.9 541 90.17 341.33 5.69 5688.77 4089.99 68.17 983.6
40 10.3 518 86.33 326.81 5.45 5446.91 3916.11 65.27 941.8
45 10.7 492 82.00 310.41 5.17 5173.52 3719.55 61.99 894.5
50 11.2 462 77.00 291.48 4.86 4858.06 3492.75 58.21 840.0
55 11.5 440 73.33 277.60 4.63 4626.72 3326.43 55.44 800.0
60 12 416 69.33 262.46 4.37 4374.36 3144.99 52.42 756.4
65 12.3 396 66.00 249.84 4.16 4164.05 2993.79 49.90 720.0
70 12.8 382 63.67 241.01 4.02 4016.84 2887.94 48.13 694.5
75 13.3 360 60.00 227.13 3.79 3785.50 2721.62 45.36 654.5
80 13.6 331 55.17 208.83 3.48 3480.56 2502.38 41.71 601.8
85 14 310 51.67 195.58 3.26 3259.74 2343.62 39.06 563.6
90 14.4 287 47.83 181.07 3.02 3017.88 2169.74 36.16 521.8
95 14.8 270 45.00 170.35 2.84 2839.13 2041.22 34.02 490.9
100 15.3 249 41.50 157.10 2.62 2618.30 1882.46 31.37 452.7

Note:
Bypass valve opens @ XX psi
Horsepower value @ BSFC of 0.55

Stay tuned as we continue our quest to dyno test additional fuel pumps in the next issue, including OEM pumps with results that are sure to shock you!

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Sources

RC Engineering
Torrance, CA 90501
310-320-2273
http://www.rceng.com
Aeromotive
Lenexa, KS 66214
913-647-7300
http://www.aeromotiveinc.com
Walbro
Cass City, MI 48726
989-872-2131
http://www.walbro.com
Bosch Auto Parts
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
888-715-3610
http://www.boschautoparts.com
CNT Racing
Hayward, CA 94545
800-363-8599
http://www.cntracing.com
By Scott Tsuneishi
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