Sunday, February 19, 2012

A reproduction Type 3 fuel pump

A question arose on der Samba yesterday regarding a rather authentic looking aftermarket reproduction early style Type 3 fuel pump that one of the 1500 Club members will be using for their stock engine rebuild.  It looked suspiciously similar to the reproduction fuel pump I picked up a few months ago over German eBay, thanks to a high priority flash alert sent out by Lee Hedges.  I plan to use this pump for my own engine rebuild, even though other options exist for daily driven engines.  The one seeming difference between the fuel pump I have and the one pictured on der Samba is that mine has manufacturer's information cast into the fuel pump body's base.  Not recalling the manufacturer offhand, I rummaged around this morning and found the pump--and about 20 or so other things I had been looking for...I swear that parts stashes are both a blessing and a curse.

BCD is still in the fuel pump business.
I undressed the fuel pump by removing its 'protective cover'...you know, at the risk of dangerously digressing, here, what the hell is it with that cover, anyway? Is it to provide some super-protective powers to prevent damage to the pump, or to my sensitive knuckles?  Anyway, I snapped these pictures of the naked pump this morning.  A quick Internet search revealed that the manufacturer, BCD, is still a viable concern...although by 'viable', I'm not so sure that the current product offerings for the Type 3 fall within that definition.  The pump pictured in this post is certainly a legacy unit and I'm wondering if they can still somehow provide it?  I consider the possibility rather unlikely because it seems that fuel pump manufacturers have already made the critical risk assessment regarding my knuckles, deciding for the world that fuel pumps on air cooled Volkswagen engines shall rightly be the ubiquitous Type 1 'generator style' pump. 

All authenticity concerns aside, internally the early single carburetor Type 3 fuel pumps are slightly different from the early dual carburetor Type 3 fuel pumps, which are in turn very externally different from the late dual carburetor Type 3 fuel pumps.  With a quick review, it seems that Italian fuel pump manufacturer BCD is following suit and has made a cost conscious decision to maintain stock on only one part ( part # 1739/6) for the Volkswagen. However, I have to wonder if the fuel pressure delivered is a bit too high for the single carburetor configurations--or, too low for dual carb configurations?  I mean, some kind of compromise had to be made in BCD's decision to join the herd of manufacturers who only offer one replacement fuel pump for air cooled VW engines equipped with a generator in their product portfolio.  I hope I am wrong, but the pictures and part number in the BCD catalog seem to bear this out.  I might email them for more detail, but I'm not too anxious to run down another parts source rabbit hole right now.  Worst case, if complete new units are not available, maybe this contact can be used as a spare parts source for the pump diaphragm.

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