Monthly Archives: April 2006

SU Fuel Pumps

The Aston V8 has a twin SU fuel pump (like two normal ones joined together in the middle), but one half wasn’t clicking.

Having had no success with SU pumps in the past I reluctantly removed the plastic end covers to have a look at the points. The top contact slides out when the screw is undone a few turns and can be cleaned against a bit of fine sand paper. Removing the top contact allows access to the bottom contact for cleaning.

I put the pump back together, tested it and both sides worked! That’s a first for me and was very satifying. Yes I know I should fit a Facet solid state pump, but the evil SU pumps are working now, and I’ve been unable to find a single case of a car blowing up due to the close proximity of fuel and point arcing.

Incidentally, the SU pumps on the Aston have a condensor between the live and earth. It’s a remote condensor exactly the same as the ones fitted to distributors. And it’s fitted for the same reason – to stop the points from burning out. Anyone with an MGB fitted with the dreaded SU pump would do well to pick up an old condensor and fit it to the fuel pump.

The photo is an old one from before the pump was removed. I’m planning to replace the fuel piping partly because it’s plastic and it’s old (but not too brittle yet), but mostly because it doesn’t seem to stretch all the way to the front of the car any more. The condensors are blue in the photo.

Twin SU fuel pump

New Rollable Hammerite

Finnigans Smoothrite is usually great. I use the stuff a lot and used to find it to be very good – drying in a couple of hours and very durable when painted over primer (rubbish and brittle when painted directly onto steel).

My most recent tin declared it was new and improved as it could now be applied with a roller. “New and improved” should have rung some alarm bells. When Tesco do new and improved it normally means they’ve done a cost down exercise – the product has become less nice but you’ll probably keep on buying it because you are in Tesco anyway and you used to buy the old inferior stuff.

Cutting to the chase. I brushed some of this new improved Smoothrite onto the boot floor to tidy up some bare patches on Friday. It’s now Monday and the stuff still hasn’t dried. It’s still sticky. I’d expected it to dry after the normal two hours, so after three days felt safe enough to sit inside the boot and fit the fuel pump.

Big mistake. The boot needs painting again and I’m very sticky. The paint is going back to the shop.

Beware the new improved rollerable Smoothrite! Try for an old tin from the back of the shelf.

Exhausting Holidays

It’s been a productive week. My clients think I’m taking a holiday over Easter, but really I’m getting on with the Aston. The fuel tank went in yesterday and the exhaust today.

You’ll be wondering how it could take a whole day to fit a fuel tank. I’ll admit it did make it’s way in and out a few times while I figured out the sequence of assembly. Some bits and pieces needed to be fitted before the fuel tank, and some needed to go in afterwards. I found one very special screw which couldn’t be fitted either before or afterwards. It was just an earth connection for the boot lamp, but the screw was in a really awkward spot.

The exhaust was much the same. The rear mounting to the body was inaccessible. It seems the rear bumper or overrider should ideally be removed so the rear lower quarter panel can be detached to access the top screw in the exhaust mounting. It’s that sort of thing that makes low volume cars special.

Once the fuel piping has been connected (tomorrow) the car should start and drive! Then a spot of paint and some interior trim and we’ll finally be there. I like this stage of a project. While there are surely hours of fiddly bits to go the car feels “nearly finished” which helps a lot with motivation.

I wonder how long I can get away with pretending to be on holiday…..

PS – I’ve got some new projects for when the Aston is complete.