My kingdom for a good pump




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  1. #1
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    Default My kingdom for a good pump

    Returning from holiday 2013

    A year ago, travelling home after holiday with my bakkie, with my caravan in tow, the engine on two occasions gave a violent jerk. So violently that I thought it best to pull off to see whether the caravanís brakes might have become stuck in some mysterious way. I walked around the bakkie and the caravan, felt whether the caravan wheels were hot (they were not) and did the mandatory kicking of the wheels. Iím not sure why, but as everyone always does it, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Nothing noticeable happened though. I took it as a good sign.

    After that I travelled home without any further problems, putting the jerking down to an extreme headwind. I never really thought of it again, until many months later.

    Easter 2013

    Easter weekend a friend borrowed my bakkie. He called me from Botrivier and asked whether the bakkie is supposed to lose power and stutter uphill. I advised him that, to my best knowledge, that was not how the manufacturers intended the engine to function. I also suggested that he desist from driving like an asshole and that the matter should then take care of itself.

    He did not have any further problems. I just assume that my suggestion was taken seriously. However, I did have the bakkie serviced and had the plugs and all that could have caused the jerking, checked out.

    August 2013

    Five months later, one stormy night, the bakkie spluttered to a standstill with my son on the N1 just outside Cape Town. He was blissfully unaware of the danger in which he was, sitting in the bakkie at a point where a barrier prevented him from totally pulling off on the right hand side of the road.
    Late that night the bakkie and my son were deposited at my front door by a flatbed truck. The engine would swing merrily, but there was no fuel. The fuel pump stopped working.

    Pump 1(a)

    As the fuel pump is situated in the tank, and as the replacement pump was quoted as R8000, my mechanic of more than a decade decided to rather fit an impeller pump in the fuel line under the bonnet.



    This pump had a rather annoying whining sound that was audible up to 50km/h. However, as it cost R330 instead of R8000 I was quite happy to live with it.

    Yet, the next working day the bakkie died on me inside of the parking garage where I work. My mechanic came and towed me in. He concluded that the dead pump in the tank would not allow fuel through.



    Pump 1(b)
    So now the tank had to come off in any event. However, as the replacement pump would still cost R8000, I settled for the mechanicís suggestion that he simply replaces the pump with a spacer. For this purpose he used a fuel filter that incidentally turned out to be an exact fit into the rubber housing from which the pump was removed.



    So now I was a happy traveler again.

    After three months of uneventful travelling, the pump on a few occasions seemed unable to overcome the vacuum when cold. After fiddling with the line a bit, though, it would start working again. Until the Sunday a week before my departure for the December holiday. Fortunately it died in my back yard. Paaah!

    Pump 2

    OK, now the impeller pump was replaced by a much sturdier looking diaphragm pump.



    The mechanic advised me that the instruction manual to this pump states that, in the unlikely event of fuel starvation, the return pipe from the carburetor to the fuel tank should just be blanked off, and that this should then take care of the fuel starvation problem. However, he never had it before, and he suggested that it should not be necessary.

    The bakkie then ran like a charm. We went off on holiday, and it was towing like a dream. Problem solved.

    Not so.

    Returning from holiday 2014

    Upon my return from holiday, once again with my caravan in tow, we encountered a heat wave in Worcester. OK, for the folks living in Worcester it was probably a day just like any other summerís day, but for ordinary people it was extremely hot. I guess about 40 degrees.

    And then, just as I gunned the bakkie over the bridge at the fire brigade, it gave a single violent jerk, and then proceeded in ordinary fashion again. I immediately had that sinking feeling in my stomach. You know, that ďAaag, nee my ***!Ē-feeling.

    Iím 80kmís from home, I had my family with me, and both my bakkie and my caravan were fully laden.

    After a pit stop at the garage we proceeded, but with me now driving with a very even right foot not to elicit any unwanted responses from the engine. Halfway between Worcester and the Rawsonville weigh bridge I felt the engine losing power, and then there would again be a surge in power.

    So now what? Weíre so close to home. Do we see how far we go and hope we make it back home? It might work out fine. Or then again, it might not. Imagine I get stuck inside the tunnel with my rig. Or before the tunnel, in the searing heat, at a spot without cell phone reception. We decided to rather play it safe, and pulled in at the Rawsonville weigh bridge.

    Believe you me, even under that tree, with a mild wind blowing, it was extremely hot. Iím tempted to give you the uncensored explanation of how hot it really was, but I will desist.

    I had a chat with my mechanic on the phone then. He reminded me of the blanking off of the return pipe. However, there was no way that I would attempt even something ostensibly that simple without proper supervision. In any event, my wife told me that, regardless of what I might try, she and the kids will wait at the weigh bridge for alternative transport.

    Nou ja, one hour later the road side assistance guys knew where the Rawsonville weigh bridge is. They will tow me in to Worcester, which is the nearest town. That would be no good, I told the guy. I need to get all my stuff home. This is Friday afternoon, 3 January, everyone is still on leave. OK, they will give me a quote to tow me home instead of to the nearest garage.

    I accepted their quote to deliver me at home for more or less the price of three full tanks of fuel. I did not see much of an option. Even my friend in Worcester who might have been able to assist was still away on holiday. Whatís his story, going on leave in December, I ask you!

    A friend came driving past and happily waved at us, his hooter blaring. I thought he had no reason to be thŠt happy. Asshole.

    A further 90 minutes later the tow-truck arrives from Paarden Island.



    Ten hours after my departure on a 360km journey, I got dropped off at home with my bakkie on the truck and my caravan in tow.

    Upon the arrival of the truck in our street our neighbours came out and took pictures. I felt so welcome, I did not think they would have missed us that much, you know.

    Pump 3

    I now requested my mechanic to rather source me the genuine real replacement pump. In twelve monthsí time I had two scares, and had to tow the bakkie in 4 times, all related to the fuel pump and its alternatives.

    Iím happy to report that the genuine replacement pump has since been sourced Ė now for R3800 instead of the initial R8000. It seems as if not two providers quote the same price. Adding this to what the alternatives attempts cost me (inclusive of being towed home) it would eventually come down to the same price as what it would have been if I obtained the original pump at the price first quoted.

    Now Iím just waiting for a spot in the queue at the workshop to have the job done. In the meantime the bakkie is doing fine. The current pump just does not like towing a caravan when itís 40 degrees Celsius.

    Apart from that it still pumps like a charm.
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    PG Jonker
    Mazda Magnum 3.4 DC 4x4 (petrol)
    5,5 - 7,3 km/l
    mileage: 319 000 km's

  2. #2
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    - Good story!
    Hope it's sorted now!!
    Ranger 2.2 XL D/Cab
    1.6 Polo Hatch (Mom's taxi)
    BMW F800GSA
    1968 Ford 20m coupe (Very special Kanniedood!!)

  3. #3
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    Holley pump and fuel regulator you will never look back. El Cheapo to supply 50cc Scooters
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

  4. #4
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    Sterkte PG (en jy MAG maar meer stories skryf)!
    Francois Johnson





    (swambo: Christel)

    Our rides
    • 2010 Isuzu KB300LX DTeq 4x4 D/C
    • Metalian Maxi Trailer, Maxine

  5. #5
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    bwahahaha , your topic heading had me in stitches !! nice story though

  6. #6
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    Buddy you should definitely quit your day job and start writing short stories for a living....sorry to hear about your woes, but man I enjoy your style

    Let us know ASAP when something else bugs you OK!
    2013 BT-50 2.2 SLE 4x2


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartho View Post
    bwahahaha , your topic heading had me in stitches !! nice story though
    It's better if you translate it into Afrikaans...........
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
    Ela Diablo: Land Rover S2A 109 PUP

  8. #8
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    My Caravelle didnt like towing a caravan and always died on me within 50km of a fuel stop.
    Later dawned on me that I shouldnt fill the fuel tank to the brim, the fuel consumption is so bad that it beats the air going into the tank thereby causing an air lock.
    Kept my refills thereafter to 3/4 tank and no more problems.
    If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right. SJ

  9. #9
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    I'm happy to report that my bakkie got his new pump. The Huco pump still sits there as a back-up, with the fuse removed to prevent it from working before specifically being commissioned again.

    I must commend my mechanic. Theuns at Stellenberg Motors has pretty much been working for free on this bakkie for most of the hassles on the pump. Save for charging me initially for 2x tow-ins, installing the first pump and removing the old pump, he thereafter spent many hours on the problem, without charging me. In fact, on the second pump he only charged me the cost difference between the Sebring pump and the Huco pump.

    Problem now solved.
    PG Jonker
    Mazda Magnum 3.4 DC 4x4 (petrol)
    5,5 - 7,3 km/l
    mileage: 319 000 km's

  10. #10
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    I'm not suggesting this is the problem with your bakkie, but related to fuel starvation.
    My uncle was traveling through Namibia in a ranger 2.5td and the bakkie also started jerking and died a few times, pull over, check everything, start again perfectly and continue, intermittent. He pulls into the little workshop at the garage in Solitaire and asks someone in the workshop if they have any idea what the problem could be?
    Mechanic opens the fuel flap, takes the fuel cap off and drills a hole straight through it, "problem solved" he says, and it was. Feul cap sealed so well it caused a vacuum in the tank and fuel could not be sucked out anymore.
    Glad your problem was solved.

  11. #11
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    .
    Last edited by Lofty; 2014/01/30 at 03:29 PM.
    Ford Ranger 2.5 D/C 4x4
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    http://travel.webshots.com/album/558867451ncpSPZ

  12. #12
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    @dumbluck: I once had that on a 1980-ish Peugeot 305. Travelling from Pretoria to Stellenbosch as a student we had to stop every half a tank to open the cap for the same reason. I did not consider that on the bakkie (well, the thought did not even cross my mind, given the fact that I suspected the fuel pump), but it would nogal be strange if, after 16 years and 285 000km's, it only now happened for the first time. Will bear that in mind should jerking re-occur. Which, if it happens, would really tick me off big time, I must tell you....
    PG Jonker
    Mazda Magnum 3.4 DC 4x4 (petrol)
    5,5 - 7,3 km/l
    mileage: 319 000 km's

  13. #13
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    Also drilled a 1.5mm hole in the filler cap!
    Easier than trying to find & sort the breather. No fuel has leaked out yet.
    Your mind is your strongest weapon.
    Then there's.....POWER TOOLS!
    '94 LC 80 GX
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    2002 Sprite Surfer Nomad

  14. #14
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    I share in your pain bud. On My X5 there is a "high pressure" diesel pump just outside the tank in an almost impossible place to reach. The replacement is also in the region of R7000.00 bucks. What possible technology can be in this stupid little pump that can add up to R7000.00 especially when they manufacture 100's of thousands of them.

    A swimming pool motor pump is only about R2000.00 bucks. When my diesel pump went it gave no warning and just died. R7000.00 bucks later and a real pain in the butt changed it and problem sorted. I still cringe at the price.
    Jeep, there is only one.

  15. #15
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    @kevjones: Well, if I had the pump replaced with an original one once it died on me, it would have cost me R8000 plus labour. Now it eventually also cost me R8000 plus labour (tow-in included, though), only spread over 6 months!

    The downside, however, is that having been towed in 4 times in 6 month's time has now caused a nervousness about my bakkie. Even though I (think I) KNOW the problem has now finally been fixed, I seem to be the only one in the family to think so.

    So we now seem to be looking for a replacement. And that is even more expensive than a fuel pump, believe you me.
    PG Jonker
    Mazda Magnum 3.4 DC 4x4 (petrol)
    5,5 - 7,3 km/l
    mileage: 319 000 km's

  16. #16
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    Hi PJ. Just read about your Mazda fuel pump problems,
    I have a Mazda DC Magnum 3,0L V6. (yours is 3.4L?)
    Just bought a Huco fuel pump model 443020 but have not fitted it yet.
    The Mazda is a 1995 model. 9your pump is a 443010)
    I do not tow but just drive around on my farm with a once a year trip into town with this bakkie.
    In the past 6 months I have burnt out 3 smaller centrifugal pumps (R330 each)
    Do you think this Huco will do the job for my 3L V6?
    Look forward to your comments.
    Regards, Ron

  17. #17
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    Hi, Ron
    Let met start off by saying that a friend of mine once introduced me to his friends as “the most unhandy guy I know”. So just to set the scene that I’m not the guy to give any advice on matters technical.
    However, I can tell you what my mechanic said on the issue.

    The instructions for the Huco apparently provides for blanking off the return pipe from the carburettor to the tank in the event of you experiencing fuel starvation. So there seems to be a remedy for the problem that I had. However, I was not keen to move even further away from standard, and felt it is now time to revert to what is prescribed for the bakkie. Bear in mind that was the fourth tow-in for a fuel pump problem. I just felt this is it, rather go standard now and get the right part. At that time the bakkie was still my primary family vehicle. It still is my primary vehicle for towing / off roading.

    Bear in mind,this happened in Worcester on a very hot day in January. According to my mechanic, the old W123 Merc’s apparently had similar fuel pumps. They also experienced similar fuel starvation problems in the karoo on very hot days. So all sorts of steps were taken to cool down the fuel pump. Which probably explains why we ended up having fuel pumps inside the tank, rather than outside.
    My understanding is that fuel apparently perculates when it becomes hot. The pump inside the tank would appear to be more effective, probably because it pushes the fuel out, rather than having to suck it from a distance, which requires overcoming the vacuum caused by the perculating issue. A problem that does not exist if the pump is inside the tank.

    But from the type of usage that you describe, it would seem that your pump should work fine. I am fairly sure I would not have come to a total standstill if I chose to proceed on my journey. However, I just did not want to take the chances of getting stuck with my rig inside the Hugenote tunnel!
    Once I arrived home on the low bed, I simply went on driving the bakkie without any problems, until my mechanic sourced the replacement pump for me about a month later. It was still summer, we had hot days, but I had absolutely no ill effects driving around town.
    PG Jonker
    Mazda Magnum 3.4 DC 4x4 (petrol)
    5,5 - 7,3 km/l
    mileage: 319 000 km's

  18. #18
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    Thanks PJ, Good information. I still had a problem last week with the petrol "Boiling".
    Left it at a workshop and they have told me that the engine overheats as the timing is out and the radiator clogged up with gunk.
    I will be trying it out again in the next week or so.
    Thanks again for the info.
    Regards, Ron

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