Pump up the Volume, Fuel Volume That Is

October 26th, 2011

Text and Photos by Jim Mozart

FAA Parts Standards Are a New Reality!

The effect of a fuel pump failing on a race car creates little more than depression over a lost race. OK, so maybe it’s really depressing, but as disheartening as that might be the affect of a failed pump on aircraft usually results in a fall from the sky. This is where Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations play an important role in not only the fuel pumps Weldon produces for aircraft, but also for the auto and marine racing industry.

In the late 1800s, the Weldon Tool Company began producing carbide end mills made of tool steel. In the ‘40s, during World War II, the U.S. Army needed precision-made windshield washer pumps to transfer ethylene glycol for the windshield cleaners of B24 bombers. Weldon was chosen because of its quality work and experience with tool steels.

Today Weldon manufactures precision-built pumps for the aircraft industry, OE automotive, street and marine performance, and finally, racing markets.

In compliance with FAA regulations for aircraft fuel pumps, the use of non-metallic components is strictly prohibited. The problem with other materials, such as phenolic resins and thermoplastics, is that they expand when they get warm. As a result, they require much greater operating clearances, making it impossible for them to compete with the efficiency, strength and the trueness of a racing pump made of tool steel and bronze.

Weldon has been producing high-quality pumps since World War II through its involvement with the U.S. military.

On occasion, FAA representatives appear at Weldon’s door without notice and inspect every component in the building, review every record pertaining to every piece of bar stock in the company’s raw material racks, or test every member of the workforce for drugs. These stringent regulations benefit Weldon’s racing fuel pumps, as both they and the aerospace pumps are produced in the same factory, controlled by the same standards, and assembled by the same teams.

Recently, we looked closely at the latest big-volume fuel pump produced by Weldon, the D2035-A. This is its 20 Series pump, which is very similar to the Weldon DB2025-A. The only difference between the two is the power of the electric motor. The D2035-A has a more powerful motor and is popular with Pro Stock and Outlaw race teams with supercharged and turbocharged engines. This pump spins at almost 7,000 rpm and has the capacity to move 180 gallons of race fuel per hour at 80 psi.

There are three principal components of the pump element (viewed upside-down): the bronze pump housing, tool steel pump ring and one-piece rotor head and shaft.

No matter the application, Weldon uses precision in everything it does in order to transmit fuel. Its rotors and vanes are produced from tool steel (M4 and M7, and treated to 65 Rockwell hardness) and the rotors are of a unique, one-piece design.

Because of the company’s exacting specifications, quality materials and tolerances, these pumps are capable of running exceedingly high fuel pressures. The same pump will serve fuel-injected and carbureted engines. Weldon uses only one style of vane (four vanes per pump), which is also made of tool steel. As pressure increases, tool steel vanes do not deflect. Additionally, all fasteners and metal used in Weldon pumps must originate in the United States, so the material can be traced by the FAA for its validity.

Regarding the electric motors, they are designed to operate at a low-amperage draw. At 80 psi, Weldon’s DB2025-A fuel pump draws fewer than 20 amps.

Most of the efficiencies of Weldon pumps can be attributed to the stability of the materials used. With rotor to pump-ring clearances of one-thousandths of an inch, it is no wonder they offer lifetime warranties.



Weldon Pump

640 Golden Oak Pkwy
Oakwood Village, OH 44146



Weldonracing.com (http://www NULL.Weldonracing NULL.com)

Sportsman Pump

While we discussed the DB2025-A pump, Weldon’s new design Sportsman model pump utilizes the same quality components and precision assembly.

The only difference in the Sportsman pump is the size of the electric motor, but it will still flow copious amounts of fuel to support engines up to 1,200 hp. In addition, while a separate fuel pressure regulator is necessary with the DB2025-A, the Sportsman pump utilizes an adjustable integral bypass valve that requires no tools to adjust fuel pressure. A knurled knob can be turned and locked afterward, preventing pressure changes.

The billet aluminum body has a small footprint that is drilled with several different mounting patterns to adapt the pump to numerous existing fuel pump brackets. Weighing only 4.1 pounds, it draws only 10 amps of power at 28 psi while flowing 150 gph. This new pump is completely rebuildable and has -10 inlet and outlet and one single -8 return ORB-type ports. The Sportsman pump also carries a lifetime warranty.


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