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TDI Power Enhancements Discussions about increasing the power of your TDI engine. i.e. chips, injectors, powerboxes, clutches, etc. Handling, suspensions, wheels, type discussion should be put into the "Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)" forum. Non TDI vehicle related postings will be moved or removed. Please note the Performance Disclaimer.

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Old April 1st, 2008, 23:09   #1
Left Coast Resident
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Default How to: Lift Pump Fail Safe Fuel Circuit

How to: Lift Pump Fail Safe Fuel Circuit

Introduction:
I’ve posted up about this before in a random manner. In two parts, here is all the information, part numbers, and procedures together with pictures. Other threads detail the ‘how to’ and the ‘why of’ installing the PD pump in an ALH car, and won’t be gone into here. Use the advanced search function to find threads with the words ‘lift pump’ in their titles.
Note: This isn’t meant for PD cars, as I don’t know if the PD IP will pull a vacuum at its inlet.

History:
With your fuel filter in good condition, the VE pump will pull approximately 8 to 10” Hg. (negative 4-5 lbs.) suction at its inlet. The PD pump will give you 5-7 lbs. at idle, a difference of 9 to 12 lbs., or thereabouts. But the PD pump is a positive displacement pump and if it stops running for whatever reason, NO fuel can be drawn through it, and your engine stops running. Opps! The solution is to ‘T’ in a second fuel pick-up line with a check valve in it. Under pressure when the pump is running the check valve closes. If the pump stops working with the engine running or attempting to run, the check valve opens and the fuel flows to the IP as it would have in its stock configuration.

Materials:
I sourced materials to be compatible with diesel and bio-diesel, and to be OK to 190 F min. I doubt you’ll see temperatures as high as I’ve allowed for.

The following materials ARE NOT suitable (or particularly suitable) for bio-diesel: brass, bronze, copper, lead, tin, zinc, ethylene polypropylene (EPDM), hypalon, hysunite rubber (Goodyear brand name), neoprene, nitrile (aka Buna-N), non-fluorinated rubber, polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene, PVC, silicone, tygon, vinyl, polyvinyl.

The following materials ARE suitable (or pretty much suitable) for bio-diesel: acetal (POM) copolymer (watch out for a high enough temperature rating), aluminum, steel, fluorinated polyethylene, fluorinated polypropylene, teflon, fluorosilicone, kynar, nylon (temp range varies from 200 F to 270 F -- if you don’t know, assume the lowest temp rating), polyurethane (watch out for low temp rating – max temp will be 165 F to 180 F – if you don’t know, assume the lowest temp rating), viton, viton B (fluoroelastomer aka FKM).

What you are doing:
You’re just ‘Tee’ing in a 2nd line with a check valve in between the pump outlet tube and the barb it goes to on the underside of the top of the fuel assembly. The end of your new line just goes down into the bottom of the well assembly so that it's always in a supply of fuel. So much for the simplicity of it – let me give you a walk through.

Parts and where you get them:
Here are the parts you need, they come more or less from two sources – McMaster Carr, and Cole Parmer Co., and yes I know that the barbs in the pump are 5/16”, but bear with me, please. If you have other sources, post it up here, or PM me and I'll add them:

Tubing – 2 feet of thin wall (3/8” OD, 1/4” ID, 1/16” thick) ‘firm’ Viton tubing, part #5119 K861 from McMaster Carr . Click on the link, then type in ‘Viton tubing’; you’ll find it. I chose green so that when I find pieces later in my garage I'll recall that I am looking at Viton and not some incompatible grade of rubber as listed above. You won’t need the full 2’ – but DON’T order too little. For one thing, if you look the pictures of the completed modification, you'll see that the line can not loop too tightly, or it will kink. I didn’t buy it from Cole Parmer because they don’t sell it in short lengths.

Check valve – this has a nylon body with a fluorosilicone diaphragm, and is 1/4" barb – it is also available from McMaster Carr , part #47245K27. FWIW, you can also get it at Cole-Parmer: part #EW-98553-02, Nylon Check Valve, 1/4" ID.

'T' fitting, nylon – 1/4” x 1/4” x 1/4”. After buying a 10 pack of 5/16” x ” reducing ‘T’s from Cole-Parmer, I discovered that a straight 1/4" 'T' fitting was shorter in overall length, and would work better. I think McMaster Carr has them, but I’m not sure and couldn’t find a receipt for them. On their website, search pages 136 thru 139 for a starting point. Warning, warning, warning: 1) I like multi-barb better than single barb because they provide more friction and because as you will see below, I cut them shorter to fit the space limitations. 2) You want nylon for temperature and compatibility reasons. DON’T buy common polyethylene or polypropylene fittings that are easily available. You'll regret it.

Here is a photo of the three parts you need:

Check valve, 'T' fitting, random lengths of Viton tubing I had laying around.


Crazy Dave’s (DOK to you) stock PD pump that we previously installed in his 2001 ALH:

You’ll see two yellowish convoluted lines, the bigger is the line out of the pump, and the one we’ll have to replace (as you can’t just cut it and ‘T’ into it). It appears to be acetal copolymer. That’s not real important to you – I just like using big words that I don’t completely understand. The small line is the pick-up line that feeds the pump.


Lay the lift pump down on your workbench and remove the 4 Torx screws so that you can gain better access to the Oetiker clamps on the fuel line that you’re going to remove.



The two halves are apart and I’m prying open one of the Oetiker clamps so that I can pull it off.



Lift pump tools of death and destruction with the two destroyed Oetiker clamps.

From top to bottom, left to right: long nose pliers, long nose pliers, screwdriver, nail pulling pliers, screwdriver, and 2 dead Oetiker clamps. The nail pulling pliers killed the top Oetiker clamp (the one you can get to – you’ll see when you do it) in literally seconds – a trick I learned from the guys at the local hydraulic shop.


Here you see one end of the fuel line. It will slice easily with your sharp Exacto knife.

3 to 5 gentle slices lengthwise towards the barb and in a few more seconds you’ll have it tweaked off.


A gratuitous photo of the two parts of the pump separated. I’m about to attack the remaining Oetiker clamp.



Here I am cutting the barbed 1 /4” nylon ‘T’ I’ll be using.



For your dining and dancing pleasure, here’s the ‘T’ partially cut to illustrate what I’m up to.

The other two legs are cut in the same manner before it is used.

Continued . . .
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Last edited by Left Coast Resident; April 1st, 2008 at 23:25.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 23:13   #2
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Continued . . .

The lift pump has had the 4 Torx screws put back in, and is ready for the new Viton line.



For your visual clarity, here Im holding in place the line assembly Im about to install.

Notice the T fitting has been trimmed, notice the check valve is in place (black to the top of the pump), notice on the left side of the photo that the end of the Viton that will be in the fuel well has been notched slightly so that it can always pick up fuel. Youll see which end of the check valve goes where when you test one by blowing into, or sucking on, one end.


Here is a completed view of the finished lift pump. Notice that the Viton line curves around.

This will move easily out of the way for re-installation. If you pull it too tight (short) you will see that it will kink. You dont want that. Notice that NO clamps are needed on the Viton line it will seal and hold pressure just fine whether it goes over a 1/4 or a 5/16 barb.


Here is a second view from a different angle of the finished modification.

Ive enhanced some of the colors and contrast in the foregoing photos to help make the parts in question stand out better. Please forgive the skewed color pallet . . .


Want to get to know Crazy Dave better? This isnt him, but Ill swear to you that its his Doppelganger, and that in a dark alley or a wild bar or a Hollywood Babylon party you wouldnt know the difference. Talks like that, too: http://www.sniffpetrol.com/category/crazy-dave/

Al
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 03:01   #3
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Hay deadhead great job.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 06:02   #4
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Thank you very informative. You could make a kit and sell it.

I think this would be a great mod for us folks who have pumpe duses, as well, because our lift pumps do fail and I think the engine may continue to run if the lift pump were to fail on a PD, if this mod were installed. There is an additional "tandem" pump on the cylinder head of the PD TDI that generates vacuum and is a fuel feed pump for the injectors. This should provide enough suction if the fuel is already flowing, I bet.

My lift pump failed on day without warning and the engine just quit and I had to coast off of the road. I would not like to think about what would happen if my lift pump were to fail again and I were on some highway with no shoulders and Jersey barriers on both sides. That could be downright dangerous.

--Nate
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 06:14   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard55
Hay deadhead great job.
See -- I don't spend ALL of my time staring at the white garage doors and the pretty colors that surround us . . .
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.p...&postcount=263
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 06:18   #6
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Nice job. But with this done and your lift pump fails you wont even know it quit working on an alh engine.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 06:28   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KROUT
Nice job. But with this done and your lift pump fails you wont even know it quit working on an alh engine.
Actually, I'll know, because I have a vacuum / pressure gauge in the line after the fuel filter. Pictures here:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.p...9&postcount=33

Or full gauge install thread here:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=173640
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:19   #8
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Hey Al,

Very good mod indeed! I have worried that if the lift pump fails in a hard pull at high rpms, it will quickly kill a pump with fuel starvation (needed for lubrication).

This mod will still enable you to get home in the event of a pump failure ;-)

The only thing that worries me is a sloppy gtg installation with incorrect materials, hose, clamps, etc. can fill up emails regarding poor performance.

I had a customer with a glass-barrel fuse holder that would stretch when the motor torqued up due to inproperly routing the wire (too tight). His motor quickly died every time he really cranked on it - cuz the wire would pull the nub away from the fuse inside the fuse holder (against the spring) and open the circuit to his lift pump relay (from the cutoff valve 12v supply). I always recommend the new style fuse holders ;-) and a good loose routing of the wire. Just like the vaccum hose that feeds the y on the firewall always gets yanked out with a new tuning that rocks the motor too much.

Jeff

dok - did you get your pump problems sorted out?
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:36   #9
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Nice write up, I just got my LP,,maybe I could this mod before installing the LP.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:42   #10
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Nice write up, I just got my LP,,maybe I could this mod before installing the LP.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:45   #11
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So, will the first person to try this on a PD give it the "acid test" by pulling the fuse to the lift pump while the engine is running?
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 11:35   #12
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NIcely done Al....I did one about a week and a half ago using your materials list. Worked excellent. I have all the pumps set up that way now.....just have to do the ones in my tanks......
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:02   #13
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anybody take one of those check valves apart and make sure it doesn't dissolve in diesel?
great mod
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:14   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87turboquattro
anybody take one of those check valves apart and make sure it doesn't dissolve in diesel?
great mod
Note that both the materials in the check valve are in the compatible materials list.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchill
NIcely done Al....I did one about a week and a half ago using your materials list. Worked excellent. I have all the pumps set up that way now.....just have to do the ones in my tanks......
Chris -- I was thinking about doing this 'How To' for a long time, and your PM came just a day before Dave was specifically coming over to do this, so I thought 'maybe it's time to take pictures and post up' . . .
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