By Tim Palmer
Some 11 years ago my brother and I wrote an article on the installation of a Vega electric fuel pump in the Corvair. I am happy to report the original installation provided many years of service and was still working just fine when my brother sold the car. I recently performed the same operation on our 62 Monza Coupe using the original article as a guide. Here is some updated and additional information.
The conversion works on all 61-69 Corvairs except the trucks. I tried to make the setup work on my Rampside but the truck fuel tanks are just to oddly shaped and the sending unit opening is on top of the tank. An external inline pump will work.
One detail left out was the part number for the fuel pump. The AC part number is EP30. The cost is now $40 to $50 depending on the brand. The pump is no longer a stock item in most parts stores. It is a warehouse item you can get a day or so.
The article talked about the use of a fuel pressure regulator. The EP30 pump I recently used is rated at 4-5 psi. That is the same pressure the 61 Shop Manual lists for the pressure of the stock mechanical fuel pump. I have 4,000 miles on my recent conversion without the use of a regulator. It seems to work fine with no signs of pushing past the needle and seat.
The use of clamps on the hose between the pump and sending unit is a must to prevent the pump from twisting on sending unit causing the pump not to sit on its rubber bumper. It will cause the pump to transmit more noise.
I did not use the plug made by Clark’s to fill the stock fuel pump hole. I used a freeze plug from a local parts store to avoid having one more place to leak oil. It actually look better.
I bent new fuel lines and routed them in the forward part of the engine compartment since they no longer had to go to mechanical fuel pump. This cleans up the appearance of the engine compartment and gets them away from the fan belt.
Electrically the pump should be powered by a power source that is on when the key is in the on position but not on when in the accessory position, so you are not pumping fuel while you sitting in the listening to the radio. A safety shutoff for the pump should be installed also to shut off the pump in the event of a crash. There are two ways to accomplish this. One is with the use of an oil pressure switch that has an extra set of contact that won’t allow the pump to run unless there is oil pressure. The disadvantage of the oil pressure switch is the engine has to crank a little bit to build oil pressure before the pump is allowed to pump, plus the you have to run wires from one end of the car to the other. The other method is to use an impact switch. This is a ball in cup that on impact or roll over spills the ball breaking the circuit. They are resettable with a little button. They are used in most late model cars with fuel injection. The one I have is off a Ford. Ford mounts theirs in the trunk of the car buried in the fender.