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Old 07-11-2018, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Walbro pickup issue

I run a Walbro 255 in the tank with two Walbro pickups (MB-12 and MB-13 with bleed hole) in each diagonal corner of the tank.
The pump starts out quiet then after anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours it starts screaming and wont stop- even the next day. Fuel pressure is still good (maybe down a couple of pounds- 50ish psi).

The pump only stops making noise if I pull everything out of the tank and disconnect the pickups from the pump. It appears the pickups are sticking partially closed?? Anyone else having this problem?

Is the 255 too much for just two pickups? Is the bleed valve clogged on the MB-13?

I'm at a loss and about to mount the pump externally just to put a vented ball valve in the suction side of the pump to ghetto fix it by relieving the vacuum? when the pump gets noisy. I don't want to, help me fix it right.
Thanks.

FYI 300hp 3800 supercharged V-6 with a fuel return.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check the mesh on the pick ups, I assumed you cleaned them but we pulled some that had apparently sat in gas that went bad or something and caused a slight layer of " varnish" for lack of a better word that seemed to clean off but took a second look to get it all out of the mesh. Second thing we came across was the connector hoses sitting in the gas softened and would collapse. Jim Job has worked thru a bit of these issues on Alex's car. Do you have a spare pump ? tried swaping the pump out ? Last issue, check voltage, sounds weird but have had the relays go out or malfinction because when replaced we had proper voltage. Coulda been a connection or wire problem but it fixed.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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throw the walbros in the trash. they are made for 2-stoke snowmobiles, a gravity fed carb motor. youre pump is flowing far more than that. ever use a pool skimmer? go slow and there is no resistance, go fast and no flow. now add in bouncing around in desert and they will close themselves off.

- hydromat

- just run a std pump sock on one pump, walbros on the backup for those times you think you need it. if youre a racer i bet that time never comes.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peesalot View Post
Check the mesh on the pick ups, I assumed you cleaned them but we pulled some that had apparently sat in gas that went bad or something and caused a slight layer of " varnish" for lack of a better word that seemed to clean off but took a second look to get it all out of the mesh.
they looked clean, but I'll take a closer look. I wondered of running Torco in the fuel could affect the pickups?

Second thing we came across was the connector hoses sitting in the gas softened and would collapse. Jim Job has worked thru a bit of these issues on Alex's car.
Only about an inch of "R10" submersible hose connection the pickups to stainless steel tubing, but I'll double check the hose.
Do you have a spare pump ? tried swaping the pump out ?
Swapped the pump- no difference.
Last issue, check voltage, sounds weird but have had the relays go out or malfinction because when replaced we had proper voltage. Coulda been a connection or wire problem but it fixed.
Pump is on a separate relay w/ circuit breaker, but I'll check the voltage to be sure.

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Originally Posted by mobil1syn View Post
throw the walbros in the trash. they are made for 2-stoke snowmobiles, a gravity fed carb motor. youre pump is flowing far more than that. ever use a pool skimmer? go slow and there is no resistance, go fast and no flow. now add in bouncing around in desert and they will close themselves off.
I had the same thought, but, it seems many U4 guys run them without issue??

- hydromat
That may be my next option if I don't get the Walbros to work

- just run a std pump sock on one pump, walbros on the backup for those times you think you need it. if youre a racer i bet that time never comes.
Don't race anymore and just run a single pump (with a spare always in the parts box).

Thanks for the input.
I'll check it out when I return from the Gambler 500 this weekend.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've run 2 walbro pickups with an external E2000 (if I recall correctly) pump feeding a tbi 454 (lower pressure requirements) and ran 4 walbro pickups with an external 255 pump feeding a 6.0 and never had a problem. On both systems I had 1/2" hose from the pickups to the pump then 3/8" hose to the engine from pump.

Maybe 2 pickups can't deliver the volume needed for your system?
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I ran 2 walbro pickups on my TJ with the factory 4.0L no problem. Running 4 on my buggy with a 6.0L but that was mostly because the fuel cell is larger and I wanted to have one in each corner.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So, I pulled the pickups and they seemed to work properly. I disconnected them from the pump, dunked them in fuel and applied vacuum (don't ask how) and they both closed. the MB-12 held and the MB-13 w/ bleed hole would slowly open back up= all good.

I then replaced one pick up with just a generic fuel filter and reinstalled.
The pump was quiet again, just like every other time I took it apart to look for the cause of the noise and reassembled with both Walbros. We'll see how long it takes to get noisy again with the non-closing filter

I noticed after the pickup replacement, my fuel pressure was way too high 70-90 psi. It was fine before, I thought what did I do?? I replaced the factory fuel pressure regulator (FPR) with my spare and everything was fine again- 50-60 psi.

Now I'm wondering if the FPR was failing all along causing my problems I guess if it seems to work now long term, I may put the other Walbro back in and see if it was the FPR.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling. I'm just kinda thinking out loud.
Still open to ideas.
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'12 KOH, '13 LCQ, '14 Backdoor Shootout, '15 EMC Legends

'93 Dodge W250
12V, NV4500, 60/14 Detroit, 37's, service bed,
pop-up cabover, DD, Tow rig, Overlander

'69 FJ-40 2F, SM420, Fairy OD, 4.88's, SUA.
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Last edited by VooDoo; 07-22-2018 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Excuse my ignorance, but when submerged in fuel and vacuum applied you say filter "closed", I'm confused, is "closed" meaning fuel is flowing ??

Had you noticed high fuel pressure while the pump was making noise before you did the pick-up replacement ?

Just outa curiosity, where does your return feed back in ?

Is the FPR vacuum controlled ?
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Old 07-25-2018, 04:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Excuse my ignorance, but when submerged in fuel and vacuum applied you say filter "closed", I'm confused, is "closed" meaning fuel is flowing ??
I should have said "submerged and removed" the screen has to be wet for it to close (stop flowing) under vacuum.

Had you noticed high fuel pressure while the pump was making noise before you did the pick-up replacement ?
It was actually about 8-10 psi low.

Just outa curiosity, where does your return feed back in ?
Top of the tank.

Is the FPR vacuum controlled ?
Yes vacuum + boost. FP goes up about 10 psi at idle if line is disconnected, and up 1 psi per pound of boost (connected obviously).

Last edited by VooDoo; 07-25-2018 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We ran into a similar issue years ago with a 3 pickup setup with a walbro 255lph pump, one pickup was a bleed pickup. I can't remember specifics, but I believe what we found was the flow rate of 2 pickups was barely enough to support the flow of the pump. What would happen is if one pickup closed, the other 2 couldn't keep up causing a decrease in pressure to the pump. This would cause the 3rd pickup to be "sucked shut" even when it was submerged in fuel again. Eventually the second and third pickup would close, the pump cavitates and you get to the failure you're describing.

Our solution was to run 2 bleed pickups and one non-bleed. This would prevent the decrease of pressure and allow the pickups to open back up when they were submerged again. This solution worked for years of racing.

Last edited by tantjjim; 07-29-2018 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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We ran into a similar issue years ago with a 3 pickup setup with a walbro 255lph pump, one pickup was a bleed pickup. I can't remember specifics, but I believe what we found was the flow rate of 2 pickups was barely enough to support the flow of the pump. What would happen is if one pickup closed, the other 2 couldn't keep up causing a decrease in pressure to the pump. This would cause the 3rd pickup to be "sucked shut" even when it was submerged in fuel again. Eventually the second and third pickup would close, the pump cavitates and you get to the failure you're describing.

Our solution was to run 2 bleed pickups and one non-bleed. This would prevent the decrease of pressure and allow the pickups to open back up when they were submerged again. This solution worked for years of racing.
Thank you. My thought was to add a third, but wasn't sure if it should have a bleed. Now I know.
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'93 Dodge W250
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Update.
I pulled both pickups and just left the 10mm to 1/8" npt adapter and 1/8" npt 5/16 compression Tee attached to the fuel pump inlet and NO NOISE!!
As expected, this confirmed my pickup suspicions. I'm going to add 2 more pickups (one with another bleed hole) and see what happens with 4 walbros and a 255lph pump.

Fyi, I contacted Liquid Industries and they recommended a 190lph max. for a their pickup setup with 2 walbros.
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'12 KOH, '13 LCQ, '14 Backdoor Shootout, '15 EMC Legends

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Old 08-17-2018, 05:12 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have 4 walbro pickup in say a 20? gal tank. All hard lined pr plactic line. Much better feeding than when it was all rubber line(works ok, but moves around and eventually breaks down)


This is feeding a e8428 pump and a vortec 350. I do have the pump mounted level with the bottom of the tank as well.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You're better off ditching if the collection of walbro pickups and just installing a hydramat, it might be pricey. But even if you run dual 380lph pumps you can't outflow it and it will always give you a clean supply of fuel.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I agree. A hydramat is probably a better setup.

But I’m not sure how to keep it from flopping around in a poly cell with no foam( too many foam issues-never again). Altech style baffles would be difficult to fit in the tank with my internal pump hard mounted to the filler plate.

Footprint of my cell is 25”x9”. The 15”x8” mat is the closest size, which would probably work, but I’d rather have the pickups 5” closer to the edge of the cell.

If 4 walbros don’t work, I’ll put a milder fuel pump in. 255lph is about 2x what I actually need.

Thanks for all the replies and input.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VooDoo View Post
I agree. A hydramat is probably a better setup.

But Im not sure how to keep it from flopping around in a poly cell with no foam( too many foam issues-never again). Altech style baffles would be difficult to fit in the tank with my internal pump hard mounted to the filler plate.

Footprint of my cell is 25x9. The 15x8 mat is the closest size, which would probably work, but Id rather have the pickups 5 closer to the edge of the cell.

If 4 walbros dont work, Ill put a milder fuel pump in. 255lph is about 2x what I actually need.

Thanks for all the replies and input.
Ive thought on a hydromat could be held down with earth magnets on both sides of the cell to keep it from flopping around. Its a bit like trying to build a ship in a bottle though with an internal pump.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VooDoo View Post
I agree. A hydramat is probably a better setup.

But Im not sure how to keep it from flopping around in a poly cell with no foam( too many foam issues-never again). Altech style baffles would be difficult to fit in the tank with my internal pump hard mounted to the filler plate.

Footprint of my cell is 25x9. The 15x8 mat is the closest size, which would probably work, but Id rather have the pickups 5 closer to the edge of the cell.

If 4 walbros dont work, Ill put a milder fuel pump in. 255lph is about 2x what I actually need.

Thanks for all the replies and input.
They have multiple options, you can glue chunks of steel in the bottom of the tank and use magnets to hold it down or put steel on the outside of the tank and use magnets to hold it down. Even if you don't hold it down, as long as a corner of it is in fuel it will work.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Mine is just held down in the middle of the X with the hose from the top, and the arms just free float or move. I figured once the fuel level gets that low they will settle to the bottom by themselves. Have not had a single problem in the two years I have been running it yet. I will never install another walbro pickup in anything of mine....
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Update. I added 2 more pickups. Now I have 4 walbros 2 w/bleed holes. and so far so good. It seems to be working fine now with the 255 pump. I'll know for sure after Trail Hero. Thanks for all who contributed to this thread.
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Supercharged series III 3800,a340 auto, Jana 76's w/ 7.17's
'12 KOH, '13 LCQ, '14 Backdoor Shootout, '15 EMC Legends

'93 Dodge W250
12V, NV4500, 60/14 Detroit, 37's, service bed,
pop-up cabover, DD, Tow rig, Overlander

'69 FJ-40 2F, SM420, Fairy OD, 4.88's, SUA.
UA 2015
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