Performance on and off the track continually increases, and sometimes, we see cars that combine both attributes and push both to the limits and beyond. With Tom Bailey’s incredible performance’s in his “street-legal” Pro Mod Camaro during things like Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week, Bailey has brought race-level horsepower to the street, and providing enough fuel to the twin-turbo powerplant during runs at the track, as well as on the street between tracks, has required advancements in fuel pump design from companies such as Aeromotive Inc.
“That guy is obviously going to be Forced induction, probably running E85/methanol and possibly dual fuel,” noted Aeromotive Vice President Jeff Stacy. “So he was going to run a mechanical pump or a cable-driven pump—we gave him an electric option, but had to figure out how to reduce the amperage draw to make it usable.”
Aimed squarely at this market of vehicle are Aeromotive Inc’s new spur gear brushless fuel pumps, but you don’t have to have a Pro Mod to take advantage of their features, as this line of pumps come in 3.5, 5.0, 7.0 and 10.0 gallon-per-minute models to meet a variety of fuel demands.
Aeromotive’s Brushless Spur Gear pumps have a number of favorable characteristics built into their design, starting with the brushless motor.
“When NHRA first mandated EFI, the electrical load of the conventional brush type [pumps] was going to be more than double than what the cars were wired for,” Stacy explained. “Maximum mandated pressure was 100 psi, and thankfully, before the cars hit the track, it was more common to see 40 psi. We were using the roller vane technology early on and then switched to our brushless design. We had first developed the brushless fuel pump for our diesel lift pump and this technology fit perfect with our new spur gear pumping mechanism.
Key to running big-flow pumps like these on the street is the true variable speed capabilities of the brushless pumps.
“As we progressed through the 3.5- and 5-gallon pumps, we continually improved the controller to get the characteristics we wanted,” Stacy told us. The 7- and 10-gph pumps eventually received their own unique controllers, with all of these true variable speed controllers being able to slow down the fuel delivery to just 30 percent of maximum volume.
The variable speed control is operated by a 0-0.5-volt DC input signal, such as a throttle position sensor, which allows precise and near-instant control of the pump’s speed. Two key benefits of being able to drop the output of the fuel pump are lower fuel temperatures and lower current draw. With slower-moving fuel that isn’t recirculating the fuel as much and a motor that doesn’t create as much heat, the fuel stays cooler and denser.
As Stacy points out, fuel pressure demands have changed over the years and the brushless gear pumps were designed for this.
With an LS combo at 40 psi of boost, you’re already at 100 psi of fuel pressure, and the brushless gear is more friendly at those pressures—the flow rate is more linear, and have been tested up to 125 psi. Total system pressures are much higher than what we saw 10 years ago. It’s not uncommon to see 120 psi fuel pressure.”
To give you an idea of these pumps’ capabilities, the 3.5 Spur Gear In-Tank Fuel Pump with Variable Speed Controller (P/N 18394) can support 1,800 horsepower in forced induction combinations and 2,400 in naturally aspirated powerplants—these being electronically fuel-injected as well. Most all carbureted combinations can be serviced as it can handle up to 2,600 horsepower naturally aspirated and 2,000 in forced induction setups.
Seemingly, you’d think that pump would be good enough for most applications, but there are some that require more and the 5, 7.0 and 10.0 pumps are there to support it. In E85-fueled, EFI applications, the 10.0 supports 3,430 hp boosted and 4,830 hp naturally aspirated. Switch to a racing gasoline and you’re looking at 4,900 hp on under manifold pressure and 6,900 hp naturally aspirated.
With the amount of fuel that these pumps can provide and having the ability to reduce the flow rate according to demand, they can essentially reduce the complexity of the fuel system.
As far as fitments go, Aeromotive offers these pumps in external, in-line, and in-tank configurations. Application wise, these pumps are great options for high boost value cars, and everything from 7-8 second cars to 6-second Drag Week machines.
“The 7 and 10 pumps are good for forced induction, dual-purpose cars,” Stacy says. “We got a couple of calls today that were race only, but for the most part they are Drag Week cars. A lot of these guys are dual fuel, and that’s where the pump volume matters. The number of guys that are calling to buy the 7 and 10, it’s like their second or third hot rod. It’s so easy to build 1,300-1,500 horsepower.”