There is a long running debate on whether a mechanical fuel pump or electrical fuel pump is the best way to feed your big horsepower engine. The debate will always rage, But, If you’ve decided to go with an electric fuel pump to feed your beast, we’ve taken a close look at two new choices from Holley Performance.
Why You Would Choose An Electric Fuel Pump?
Mechanical fuel pumps have changed since the 60’s and 70’s. They have been redesigned to pump more volume at a higher rate than the stock versions of the muscle car era. With mechanical fuel pumps working so well these days, why would an electrical fuel pump be a good choice for an engine with a carburetor type fuel delivery system?
The most instant answer to that question is explained by Liz Miles, from Holley, “There are a couple reasons to switch from a mechanical fuel pump to an electric one. If we’re talking about Holley’s new billet HP and Dominator in-line pumps, they flow higher volume. This is necessary for high-horsepower applications. Our pumps also operate at a higher pressure, not that it’s necessary for a carbureted application but it can be used with a return-style HP or Dominator regulator,”
The other advantage is seen when you have a project car that sits idle between races. A mechanical pump can require several turns of the engine cranking before fuel pressure is built up. With an electric fuel pump, you simply turn the key on and the pump begins delivering fresh fuel to the system right away without having the engine turn over a single time.
Location, Location, Location
Imagine you have shoe-horned a monster big block into a cramped engine bay and there is no room for an beefy mechanical fuel pump to supply fuel for your beast. You have a wide range of choices where to mount an inline electric fuel pump. If the area in your engine bay is tight, an inline electric fuel pump may solve the problem for you.
Miles also brought up another point, “It’s also convenient to be able to flip the fuel pump on or off to fill or empty the carburetor’s bowls without cranking the engine or to diagnose ignition problems without the engine firing” she added.
Inline electric fuel pumps are not a new item, so we asked what Holley has done to make the HP and Dominator electric fuel pumps different and unique. “The HP pump is a single gerotor-style pump in a heavy duty anodized billet aluminum housing. It is capable of supporting up to 1,050 horsepower in a naturally aspirated carbureted application,” said Miles.
As for the Dominator electric fuel pump, Miles told us, “The Dominator billet electric fuel pumps feature two independent pumps in a single housing that can be operated simultaneously or individually.”
OK, why would you need two electric pumps? “One pump can be running all the time while the second pump is triggered by any electronic signal you can think of. It can be triggered by boost, low fuel pressure, nitrous, or a simple toggle switch. This keeps from recirculating an unnecessary amount of fuel before and after racing while providing a backup or booster pump on demand,” Miles explained.
Features of the Holley inline electrical fuel pumps:
- Billet aluminum construction for durability & good looks
- -8 AN o-ring inlet/outlet for high flow and superior sealing
- Excellent for use with carbureted or EFI applications
- Fully submersible in-tank for custom applications, space savings and less plumbing
- Compatible with 12v to 18.5v systems for street or race use
- Compact (7.5” Long x 3” Wide x 2.75” Tall) for easy installation on frame rails or other tight areas
- Proven durability beyond 3,000 hours in gasoline or diesel fuels
- Weighs only 3.1 lbs.
- Current draw at 43 PSI and 13.5 VDC is 8.6 Amps
About The Design
Miles claims that the Holley engineers “modeled the new billet HP and Dominator electric in-line pumps after factory OE fuel pumps.” The goal under these parameters were to run for 100,000 miles or more while providing a consistently high pressure and flow rate. Holley’s engineers took matters a step further in the design of these electric pumps in order to make them operate quieter than electric fuel pumps in the past, “especially rotor and vane style pumps” says Miles.
Miles maintains that the Holley HP and Dominator electric fuel pumps, “last longer, flow higher and sound better than other electric pumps and they have a budget friendly price tag.”
Key to the incredibly quiet design is a positive displacement gerotor type pump. While this type pump is inherently more quiet than other style pumps, it is able to provide constant and even discharge regardless of pressure conditions. gerotor type pumps also tend to have less moving parts which can indicate a long and trouble free pump life.
The Holley HP and Dominator electric fuel pumps are indeed a quality high performance piece. Manufactured with a billet housing and incorporating the tried and true gerotor type pump design, these pumps are built for durability and really shine under race conditions.
They can be used for street applications with no worry about fitment or fuel supply issues, although it’s probably a little overkill for your everyday grocery getter, with a rated lifespan of more than 100,000 miles there is an added degree of confidence and piece of mind that you won’t have any fuel supply issues with the Holley billet inline electrical HP and Dominator fuel pumps.