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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Wonder what kills these pumps?
I really hope it's just age. The pump was out of my spares box so was in unknown condition. I did test it but who knows.

There's nothing unusual about Dragon's fuel system - the car started up perfectly last weekend and ran normally, but once the engine stopped, apparently so did the pump, permanently. This time I fitted a brand new battery (Bosch Silver) which was a reasonable 12.5v when I got there. There's a solar charger on it.

Maybe some gunk got past the strainer and caused the impeller to seize? Which is kinda unlikely as the last time I got fuel was in 2019 and UK fuel doesn't noticeably degrade with age.

I can't explain it.
 

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Debris in the tank usually. Needs to be very clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Okay, so I did a lot of searching around and noticed that Walbro not only makes a high-capacity pump, but they also make a drop-in kit for the original:


I got a good deal on this so I ordered one. Hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow.

I'll have to drain and clean the fuel tank. Having to discard 10-15 litres of fuel is a painful thought with our fuel prices through the roof, and even worse, all UK regular fuel is now 10% ethanol (up from 5%), which Dragon does not like. Premium fuel remains E5. I'm very annoyed I now have to pay extra for premium fuel just to have the car perform like it would on regular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
So I did ultimately get the Walbro pump fitted. After dropping the tank a second time, we drained the fuel into a large container and there was a noticeable green tinge to it - usually it's a faint yellow/straw-colour. So looks like it was fuel contamination. I have no clue what with, but it must've been able to get past the strainer and gum up the pumps.

Walbro pump and fresh (premium! ouch!!) fuel led to Dragon starting up fine, and it's been running great ever since.

In a couple thousand miles, I'll have another look at the spark plugs, see if there's any more signs of running lean.
 

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Rob Strong Work!!
 

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Rob,

How did you clean your tank?
I had lean-out problems several years ago. Under heavy load at 100 km/hr, the motor would start to surge and lose power. The check engine light would come on. When I slowed down, the light turned off, but it stored an error code indicating an O2 sensor/Lean issue. The problem got more and more noticeable.

Rather than just changing the in-tank fuel filter sock and main fuel filter, I took the vehicle to a radiator shop and had them coat the fuel tank with a product called 'Red-Kote', which seems to have stood up for several years.

Damon Industries - Red-Kote

There seem to be several different vendors who sell similar products, but my shop uses this so I went with their recommendation.

I thought that the inside of my fuel tank would be disgustingly rusty, but in fact, it looked almost perfect before coating.

Fuel tanks used to be steel and were coated with a coating of 'Terne, an alloy of lead usually with 2–25% tin and small amounts of zinc, nickel, and magnesium. . The amount of lead continually decreased due to environmental concerns. I believe that in the 1980's, the amount of zinc had increased dramatically.

Terne is supposed to be quite resilient, but that pesky Ethanol is hygroscopic, and draws moisture into the gasoline. This is especially an issue with a vehicle that is parked a lot, and not driven much.
There are several coating that are used to coat the inside of fuel tanks to remove. Terne should be water resisitant, but if the pH is low or high, it will tend to strip.

Gosh knows what would give the fuel a green tinge, but I suspect it is some of the Terne stripping off.

Dale
 

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Green tint to petrol is sign of outside moisture getting in. That green can also coagulate into clumps that'll clog various parts of your fuel-system.

Check all your hoses and canister to make sure there's no leaks. Can even convert extra gas-cap to have shraeder valve fitted so you can pressurise slightly, 2-3psi. Then squirt all hoses and junctions with soapy water. Look for bubbles, very easy to spot if there's leak. Common problem is cracked plastic vacuum fittings in EVAP system.
 
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