what's the deal with the fuel pumps? - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old March 10th, 2017, 08:20 PM   #1
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what's the deal with the fuel pumps?

I want to replace the fuel pump on this '78 Toronado I'm trying to get back on the road. I blithely went to my local Autozone, who says they have one and will order it. I pick it up the next day. I take the old one off the car, and....to my surprise, they're not a match.


The one off of my car looks like this:







But the one that Autozone shows is the correct replacement looks like this:




The number of ports is correct, but note the difference in the height. I'm guessing the second one would work, but it's not a drop-in replacement as the steel line from the pump to the carburetor would not be long enough. I'd have to get a new steel line, which I don't want to do if I don't have to.

Autozone could offer no other option, and even a check of nearby model years didn't turn up anything.

So I go literally across the street to O'Reilly, and the story is the same. Every single pump he comes up with is the "short deck" version. The counterman was great, though. He spent a good half-hour searching with his computer and then pulling out a thick paper parts book and looking through page after page of what must be the fuel pump equivalent of a police mug book. But he could not find a pump that matched, and he ultimately gave up.

So now I'm thinking I'm going to have to try Rockauto, but I thought I'd stop at NAPA first as I was not far from them. To my surprise, bingo. He pulled up the correct-looking part in about a minute. HIS online catalog doesn't even show the short-deck version as an option. I don't actually have it yet because I had to order it and will pick it up tomorrow. But I have confidence that it will be correct.

I looked at Rockauto, anyway, and that site shows BOTH pumps as being correct for my car. Is this correct? Two different pumps that are not drop-in replacements for each other are correct?

The pump in the car is AC brand, so it could very well be original, or at least last replaced many years ago. I haven't seen an AC-brand pump from any vendor I've searched. Rockauto shows three, the Spectra-Premium above, a Carter that also has the short deck, and an Airtex, which is the upper one above and looks correct. It's the same brand and part number I'm getting from NAPA.


It's not that Autozone and O'Reilly had only a non-matching part that surprised me. We all have stories of supposedly correct replacement parts not being correct at all. What surprises me is both vendors showed the same "incorrect" part and could not find any hint of the correct part in their extensive searching. But NAPA does show the correct part, and Rockauto is all over the map, showing BOTH styles as correct. That's covering your bases, I guess, but what's a mother to do? One thing's for sure. If you can, take the old part to the store with you if you can and hold it up to the new part.


And before I get a lecture about how I should go to NAPA all the time, I'll just say that, in this city of 100,000 that I live in, there is exactly one NAPA store, and it is on the other side of town. There are four O'Reilly and six Autozone stores, I pass three of the Autozone stores on the way TO the NAPA store, and I go right by one of them on my way to work, which makes it very convenient for ordering parts and then picking them up later. So 99 times out of 100, I'm probably going to try Autozone first, and 99 times out of 100, they get it right, so I'll probably still go there most of the time.

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Old March 10th, 2017, 09:11 PM   #2
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Most of the tall fuel pumps have been replaced with the short ones so that the manufacturers can use less parts to make more part numbers.
I found the tall one on RockAuto for $21.79 (5 remaining) if that's what you need to do.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 06:37 AM   #3
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Thanks. As I said above, I already have one ordered from NAPA.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 06:59 AM   #4
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Idk the height difference but you may be able to make the metal line work, I put a taller intake on my car and was able to manipulate the fuel line w no issues. YMMV
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Old March 11th, 2017, 07:03 AM   #5
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The metal line would have to be 2 inches longer to reach down to where the shorter pump's connection would be. There just isn't any slack in it to make that happen no matter how its bent. Besides, I don't have to make it work because the taller pumps are apparently still available, at least for a while.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 11:02 AM   #6
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Failure

The pump NAPA had for me was not like the photo on their website. The pump was identical to the shorter, Spectra-Premium pump. I showed the counter guy my old pump, he called up the pump again on his computer, and it shows the taller pump. He did not like that the part that was shipped didn't match the picture, and he says it happens all too frequently. I think NAPA in particular prides themselves on accuracy.

I got my money refunded, and now I'm giving Amazon a try. Rockauto is still a possibility, but I'm a Prime member with Amazon, so the shipping is free (after paying the Prime membership fee, of course), no sales tax (yet), and I get it on Monday.

Amazon Amazon
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Old March 11th, 2017, 12:39 PM   #7
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You can still get the tall pump. Airtex makes it. I just bought one. I will try to get you a number.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 01:10 PM   #8
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The one I ordered from Amazon is Airtex 40736. At least, that's what they say I ordered. I supposedly had ordered the same number from NAPA, but it wasn't the tall pump.

More importantly than the part number, WHERE did you order it?


This is what NAPA's website shows. It's the same photo as on the Amazon and Rockauto sites as well. I'm sure it's a stock image that may or may not be what you actually get.

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/AFP40736

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Old March 11th, 2017, 01:21 PM   #9
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I got it from Amazon . Airtex 40736
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Old March 11th, 2017, 01:23 PM   #10
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Excellent! That's just where I ordered it from. I should have it Monday. Fingers crossed...
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Old March 11th, 2017, 01:23 PM   #11
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I wish I knew you needed one. It was not going to work for my alt. Set up and I gave it away for the price of shipping. Then I got a Robb MC pump.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 01:25 PM   #12
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It's all in the timing. You couldn't return it to Amazon? They're pretty good about returns.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 01:33 PM   #13
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I see it as an automotive good deed. A guy i knew needed it and mentioned he wanted to try to see if it would fix his fuel psi issues on his race car. If not I told him pass it along to someone who could use it.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 07:33 PM   #14
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To finish this story, the pump from Amazon arrived today, and it is the correct unit. I put it in the car, put in new rubber lines from the steel lines to the pump, put some gas in the tank, and attempted to start the car, which hadn't run in probably a decade. It started easily, and sounded good. I discovered that there is a gasoline leak at the rear. My guess is a bad rubber line from the pick up unit to the steel line. That's the next project.


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Old March 14th, 2017, 07:31 AM   #15
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Good to hear that it ended well. Now on to the next project.

FWIW, my 455 has the short fuel pump on it. I didn't know the tall one was available.
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Old March 14th, 2017, 07:42 AM   #16
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I didn't care which style pump was used. I'd have been happy with either one. I just wanted one that matched the one on the car so that I didn't have to make a new pump-to-carb steel line.
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