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Fuel systems Q&A Carbs, injection, tanks, lines, pumps, everything fuel system related!

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Old 09-22-2018, 03:51 PM
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Default How does a pickup tube work?

I've been having fuel delivery problems. I've changed pumps, filters, etc. Today I took the fuel line off the front of the tank (where the fuel pickup ube comes out of the tank. Fuel just dribbled out. WTH? Shouldn't fuel run out in a stream? The tank is new, is shiny inside, no gunk anywhere. The pickup tube filter looks brand new, but when I tried blowing air through the tube backwards, very little actually came out the other end. Is this normal? Do I need a "puller-type" pump to draw the fuel out of the pickup tube? It's about 1 1/2" above the bottom of the tank, and with 5 gallons of fuel on the tank, no fuel comes out at all, not even a drip? I'm lost.
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Old 09-22-2018, 03:57 PM
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Hey Animal, if you can put a clear hose on the tube with the end in a gas can, then lightly pressurize the tank with a rag and a blowgun to see if your getting a fuel stream.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animal View Post
I've been having fuel delivery problems. I've changed pumps, filters, etc. Today I took the fuel line off the front of the tank (where the fuel pickup ube comes out of the tank. Fuel just dribbled out. WTH? Shouldn't fuel run out in a stream? The tank is new, is shiny inside, no gunk anywhere. The pickup tube filter looks brand new, but when I tried blowing air through the tube backwards, very little actually came out the other end. Is this normal? Do I need a "puller-type" pump to draw the fuel out of the pickup tube? It's about 1 1/2" above the bottom of the tank, and with 5 gallons of fuel on the tank, no fuel comes out at all, not even a drip? I'm lost.

Ok, Animal, let's look at what you have. I read that you have a "pickup tube", which leads me to believe your pickup is ON TOP of the tank, is that right ? If so, it is a very common way of doing it, I encounter it in the marine business I am in all the time.

If you have that top mounted tube, can you remove it ? They generally unscrew some way. I have seen them plugged up, pinched, and the screen on the end gets plugged and fuel will not flow. Also, NO, fuel should NOT simply flow out of that tube when disconnected, it needs to be sucked out.

What did your tank come from ? I am running an aluminum marine tank in my 27, and it sounds like you might have something like that. Did it ever work OK , is this a new problem or has it never flowed ? Do you have a free flowing vent hose plumbed into the tank ?


Please answer the questions I have asked, and maybe post a picture of your set up. This is a simple one to fix.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:29 PM
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it's weird...it's obviously flowing fuel, as the car will run 60_65 all day, but runs out of fuel if pushed beyond that or under hard acceleration. I'm wondering if a rotary pump will pull more head and supply more volume under load.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animal View Post
it's weird...it's obviously flowing fuel, as the car will run 60_65 all day, but runs out of fuel if pushed beyond that or under hard acceleration. I'm wondering if a rotary pump will pull more head and supply more volume under load.

You haven't answered the questions I asked, Animal. A fuel tank could not be a more simple mechanical device.....it stores fuel, you withdraw it with a pump, and a vent lets air back in to replace the fuel. Very basic.


You will not know if you need a better pump, etc, until you SOLVE THE MOST BASIC questions. Give me what I asked and I will give you your answer. I do exactly this at work 5 days a week, it is a no brainer.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:38 PM
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From Animal's build thread...

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Originally Posted by animal View Post
The tank is vented, the cap is vented, the pump is an inline electric. Under much acceleration, it rarely gets to 60 mph without running out of fuel.
I still believe the pump cannot "pull" enough fuel. I understand the pickup is top mounted and I also believe the gravity/siphon effect is weak and/or non-existent.

I'm curious to hear your opinion, Don...

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Old 09-22-2018, 06:50 PM
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Don, I just posted earlier, didn't see your post first. The pickup tube, or supply tube, is mounted to a fitting in the front of the tank, about 2" from the bottom. The tube runs from there to approximately the center of the tank, then bends down with a filter on the end nearly touching the bottom of the tank. The tank is a brand new stock replacement 1956 Ford Fairlane tank. The tube is not removable. It is welded to the tank.

The reason I thought fuel should run out is that when submerged, the outlet is below fuel level.

I wonder of the filter is resticting flow somehow. I tried blowing air through it backwards and very little came out. I thought maybe whoever glued it on the tube got some epoxy or whatever over the opening.

I appreciate any help, just didn't see your posts until right now.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:53 PM
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And there is a free-flowing vent on top of the tube, hooked to a free-flowing vent hose. Fuel won't run out, even with the fuel cap removed.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:11 PM
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If you can't blow much air through it backwards, it's partially stopped up somewhere. You should get as much air coming out in the tank as you air hose puts out. Either it's kinked at the bend, or the filter could be clogged. I have blown a stopped up filter right off by reverse blowing like that.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:15 PM
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Ok, Animal, thanks for that info, helps a lot. I have never seen a pickup location like that, but you are right, look at the picture on this ebay ad:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fuel-Tank-S....c100505.m3226


Bamamav is right, if you can not shoot compressed air into the tank (take the cap off first) then there is some blockage in that tube. What is the fitting that goes into that tube, it is hard to tell from the pictures? Is it threads or what ?
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