photos by: Greg Lovell
A Former Magazine Project Car Gets an Much-Needed Fuel Pump Upgrade, Courtesy of Racetronix and AntiVenom Performance
If your engine is fuel starved, you’re asking for trouble. While the LT1s actually have a pretty decent fuel pump and pickup assembly design, age is starting to hit them. As they’re crossing, or reaching the three decade mark, fuel pumps are starting to roll over and give up. Although we’ve done plenty of fuel pump upgrades in the past, we’ve never had a chance to do a Racetronix swap on a LT1 for our readership, but we’ve been wanting to give it a whirl.
When Greg Lovell needed to do a Racetronix fuel pump swap on his famous 1995 LT1 Formula, known as the Dirty Bird (although Greg has since sold the car), we had to be there. Greg has actually been the go-to guy for installations over the years in many different publications, so we’re happy to be able to bare witness to a few installs lately on his personal vehicles. Also, as the owner of AntiVenom Performance, he’s done a lot of these swaps, so we knew we could pick up some good installation tips and tricks by watching the master at work.
LT1 F-Bodies have a fuel pump that’s inside a plastic fill-bucket. The inlet for the fill-bucket and check-valve system, in combination with the fuel pump, are made to suck gas from the bottom of the tank. This design keeps the bucket full and the pump constantly immersed in gas, regardless of the fuel level. It’s actually a really good design that allows the engine to run on low fuel, not be fuel starved during cornering, and so on. The Racetronix fuel pump borrows from this design, and adds to it with the high performance/high flow Walbro Fuel pump design.
“RXP Turbine-Tech fuel pump which supplies 255LPH of fuel at 43.5PSI at 13.5V*. Racetronix RXP pumps use new turbine technology to reduce pump noise, improve reliability and provide enhanced compatibility with Ethanol enhanced fuels. This pump and harness combination will typically support 600 flywheel horsepower.” – Jack Levinson, Racetronix
The Plug & Play Harness is also a great investment as it requires no crimping or soldering. The connectors are weather/water proof, as is the fuse holder. These harnesses are considered to be some of the best out there, and Racetronix spares no expense in their production. Check out the parts used here — there’s also some additional upgrades you can get with the kit for higher horsepower applications.
Greg Lovell and Kyle Miller are the masterminds and muscle behind, and in front of, the camera, and this is what we learned during the installation…
Part I: Fuel Pump Replacement
Note: Some F-Body owners want to suggest cutting your trunk floorpan and installing a trap door to gain access to the pump, but we’re not huge fans of hacking up cars for the sake of fuel pump access. However, the information is out there if you’re just determined to do this mod…but you’re on your own.
“Be absolutely certain that there are no contaminants in the tank, we’ve had fuel pumps failing in hours of installation from debris in the tank.” – Jack Levinson, Racetronix
Since we’re using the Racetronix Plug & Play wiring harness, it’s time to get that squared away.
Part II: Plug and Play Harness Installation
The keys to both the pump swap and wiring harness installation are taking your time and following the instructions that comes with the kit, precisely! Regardless of any advice you find on the internet, the manufacturer knows best, and they can also easily tell when you did something that will void the warranty.
While Greg and Kyle make it look easy, they’ve probably done this more times than the average enthusiast. Most of us will only tackle a fuel pump once or twice in our lives (per project car, anyway), so you can spare the time to do it right. Racetronix includes fully illustrated instructions with their pumps, it’s a smart move to use them!
Elizabeth is a hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!