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Old 02-20-2017, 07:43 AM
jrich jrich is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arnaudville, LA
Posts: 60
Default Electric Fuel Pump Stopped Working

During the walk around check a few weeks back, I turned on the master switch to get a fuel sample with the electric fuel pump running. The pump ran for about 4 secs. then just stopped completely. Using my hand, I banged around the general area at the belly of the plane and the panel cover near the fuel pump. It didnít resume pumping. I pulled the panel covering the fuel pump and checked with a tester for electrical power going to the pump and confirmed there was power at the pump. I called and spoke with tech. service at Facet/Purolator to get some troubleshooting ideas (typical resistance across the leads, etc.). They asked what was the service for the pump. I told them an airplane. For that service, the guy said he couldnít help me. This is what I get for being an honest person. He gave me a number to someone who sold Facet pumps for airplanes only and thus, he did not have data for the cube type pumps. I ordered and received a new pump through Vans. I decided to search for similar ďfailuresĒ on the VAF forum and read where these pumps rarely fail and that perhaps trash in the fuel stops the pump and if the pump is rapped directly, the pump starts pumping again. I loaded my vehicle full of tools in anticipation of having to drain the fuel and replace the fuel pump. Before draining the fuel, etc., I decided to try what was recommended in the VAF forum. So, I turned the master switch on, took a hammer, and lightly rapped the fuel pump directly on top of it once and it started pumping immediately and has continued pumping for (4) short flights (about 1 hr.) since that time.
The instructions that came with the Facet 40105, calls for a 74 micron fuel filter upstream of the pump. I donít know if this would be too much of a restriction aiding vapor lock during clean fuel conditions and be too risky by adding a fine mesh filter like this for our service. If an hourly replacement schedule for the filter was included in the maintenance manual, this may be safer than having the pump shutdown in a critical situation (hot conditions, etc.) in flight due to trash stopping the pump.
Also FYI: The new pump that Iím storing as a spare shows 25,000 ohms across the leads.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:56 AM
Mich48041 Mich48041 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Riley TWP MI
Posts: 2,635

A filter with a large filtering area would not drop much pressure.
Since the fuel pumps are solid state, an ohmmeter check might not be a valid test. Powering it with 12 volts is the best test. The pump should not be run dry though.
Joe Gores
RV-12 Flying
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:27 AM
DHeal DHeal is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 679

The Lucas ("Prince of Darkness') electric fuel pump in my good old '73 MGB English roadster needed a good rap every once and awhile to keep it motivated. I often wondered if using a bit of air pressure to "reverse flow" the fuel in the fuel line might help clear the fuel line obstruction. I carry a spare Facet fuel pump in my RV-12's emergency parts kit just in case this Go/No Go item fails while away from my home base.
David Heal - Windsor, CA (near Santa Rosa)
EAA #23982 - EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor; CFI - A&I
RV-12 E-LSA #120496 (SV w/ AP and ADS-B) - N124DH flying since March 2014 - 640+ hours (as of June 2018)!
VAF donation through June 2019.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:28 PM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Hinckley, Ohio
Posts: 875

I had two MG's. With Lucas electrics you need a spare car!
Jim Stricker
Hinckley, Ohio
PPL/ASEL 1970 Sport Pilot since 2004
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub
RV-12 E-LSA #120058 AWC Jul 2012 - Bought Flying Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 350

LSRM-A Certificate 2016
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:31 PM
AeroDog AeroDog is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New London, NC (near Charlotte), Boulder, CO
Posts: 168

Originally Posted by Piper J3 View Post
I had two MG's. With Lucas electrics you need a spare car!
I had a 1966 MGB. It had a three-position light switch: off, dim and flicker.

Empennage and fuselage kits complete
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:40 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,213

As cheap as they are I would just put in another if it had power available and didn't run.
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:56 AM
E. D. Eliot E. D. Eliot is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Pedro
Posts: 874
Default Agree - English cars

I had a 1959 Sunbeam Rapier while in collage - a fun but under powered coupe. I contend that that car forced me to become a mechanic. It seemed to know when I had a few extra $$$ in my pocket as it often broke down when I had saved a little money for my education.

Want your son or daughter to become at least a shade tree mechanic then give them an older English car.
Building finally
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:16 AM
Tomcat RV4 Tomcat RV4 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jacksonville,Fl. 32246
Posts: 210

I rebui!t 100s of British cars in my, and all got NAPA $15 dollar version of $45 dollar facet pumps.ŗlso have seen many NON facet pumps in older Cherokees !
Tomcat RV4
dues paid and worth every penny
Life is uncertain -Eat desert first !
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:51 PM
Nick Leonard Nick Leonard is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 30
Default Same Fuel Pump Problem

We have had the same problem with the electric fuel pump not working, not once but twice. Replaced it the first time about a year or so ago. Second pump failed but giving it a tap with a hammer got it started for about a minute. A second set of taps and it continued to work indefinitely. We are thinking of putting an inline switch so it only runs for take-off and landings.

This must be a more common problem than Van's is indicating ("We haven't heard about any failures").

Who else has had this problem?
Nick Leonard (#40015) Finally Finished & Flying
C (916) 425-1064
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:57 PM
jrich jrich is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arnaudville, LA
Posts: 60

Do not turn the electric fuel pump off during any part of flight operations! See my post and rvbuilder2002 (Scott McDaniel's) comments at:
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