Electric water pumps - Discussion

Ron Earp

Admin
From time to time you see electric water pumps on GT40s. I've always been curious about the electric water pump installations because mechanical pumps will work perfectly well cooling a Ford motor - in many configurations, sizes, and hp outputs.

I know that the drag race crowd favors the e pumps because it saves them a few horsepower - notice the word few. But that is a big jump in usage pattern from street and track work that GT40s are used for.

A fairly exhaustive comparison of mechanical versus electric pumps was done by famed engine builder John Kaase. It was found a well-selected e pump could save up to seven or eight horsepower over a mechanical pump. However, for anything short of outright sanctioned drag racing most builders choose the mechanical pump for simplicity, reliability, and effectiveness.

So do e pump users choose the e pump because they have an inherent cooling issue that gets "solved" when they re-plumb for an e pump? Are folks that feel they are driven to e pumps have they looked a some of the modern mechanical water pumps available for engines including alternative impeller designs?

Just curious about the topic and for the record I'm not non-biased. I've always felt that mechanical pumps can get the job done and if they weren't working properly there is probably another issue with the cooling setup.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
Great topic Ron!

I've chosen electric over mechanical for a few reasons;

1) In the RCR40 chassis I have with the engine positioned where I need it - I found that none of the mechanical pumps would clear the firewall without cutting a hole through the firewall and attaching some sort of "bump". I did not want to do that for esthetic reasons.

2) The GT40 cooling systems all seemed to be somewhat "challenged" in their ability to move the coolant over the long distance of the pipes, then to push that coolant up-hill to the engine on one end and the radiator at the other. I wanted to put something in play that could be "adjusted", if need be, to add in additional pumping capacity. Certainly this could have also been achieved with the mechanical pumps but with more effort in the changing of pump speeds and capacity.

3) I wanted the ability to cool the engine down without having to actually run the engine. This alone would more than likely pay great dividends should I ever have an overheating issue.

=======

It was only recently that I actually started to believe that these electric pumps could be trusted for more than just "drag race" use. From what I have read and heard - Earlier electrical pumps were high failure items. They either could not contend with the continuous heat or their seals failed and the internals would then short out.

You can rest assured that I will be monitoring mine closely once my Forty is finished.

More information on what I've done and how can be found on my website in my signature line..
 
Like Randy, I choose to use a remote electric for packaging issues primarily. I have my Meziere pump mounted in the front, right after the radiator. Using a thermostat becomes more of a problem. I have chosen an in-line T-stat. I am not pioneering this setup, but am basically adopted the setup that Ron McCall has been using with success. I have not even started the motor, so I cannot speak to function yet. I can say the packaging is much better suited to the GT40 layout.
 
I have both - an e-pump mounted on my GTD between the bulkhead and the steering rack. This is temperature control via a CD controller.
The reason for fitting this was twofold.
1) having been at Le Mans Classic in 2006, we were all routed back to the paddock via the pits and we must have been crawling along at less than 5MPH for over half an hour. In that time, the car in front erupted in steam and my water temp hit the stops - 130 degrees. I had to leave the air con fans and ignition on for over an hour to cool the water by thermo-syphoning.
2) The e-pump only acts as a supplementary pump and operates in short bursts when necessary - the frequency of these bursts increasing as the temp rises (that seems to be the way that Craig Davies controllers work). Because it is independent of the engine running and ignition circuit - it will continue to run after engine shutdown, thereby evening out the water temperature and allowing a quicker cool down than if the car is just stationary.
I would imagine that it also reduces the likelyhood of heatsoak within the engine/engine bay too.

Whether that means I have the best - or worst - of both systems, i do not know - but it seems to run well, possibly a bit on the cool side, when poodling along on British motorways at 65-70. The temp gauge reading about 80. Start tanking it and it rises and seems to maintain 95 fairly consistently.
 

Sandy

Gulf GT40
Lifetime Supporter
I think we had an OLD OLD thread on this. Might have been related to water flow and things like that too. (Might have been a discussion about the RaceMate Pumps)

While snooping at the Aston Martin Pit it seems they run an electric pump on the V12's that won at Lemans a couple of years back.

I think a few guys here have also run them with good results on the 40's.

Sandy
 

Jack Houpe

GT40s Supporter
I use a Meziere 55 gpm engine mount pump on my dart block 427. I also have a bypass thermostat just behind the radiator, thus eliminating the bypass from the manifold to the pump. I have never had a over heating issue (other than myself and wife) even in 95 degree stop and go for 30 minutes. I also have a time off relay that is set to run for 2 minutes when the engine is turned off, this removes heat from the engine as not to heat soak the engine bay after your car is turned off. Also my radiator thermostatic control works when the pump is working. So the fans will kick on if the heat is above 185 degrees. I have put this on my R5 turbo II years ago and had great success with the system so I used the same system on the 427. This system was developed by my best bud Mike Trusty for Pantera's many many years ago and he shared with me. You also do away with a fan belt and pump cavitation at high rpm.
 
The advantage an electric water pump has over the mechanical ones is it can be plumbed with a thermostat to cooling the engine after shutdown. The same can be done with the radiator. In tandem, they can prevent heat soak in the engine
 

Kirby Schrader

They're mostly silver
Lifetime Supporter
Supporter
After my saga with the Ford Motorsports pump (which I talked about in a previous thread), I tried the Meziere electric pump (same one as Jack), but took it off because of the 'bump' required in the engine cover. It protruded enough that it was in my right shoulder when I sat in the car. Jack is quite right... the smaller 35gpm pump is shorter, but I decided to go with the remote pump after getting my arm virtually twisted by Jack and Mike...

I bought the Meziere 55gpm remote pump and have been working on installing it for the last week. I hope to have the installation complete and try a system test this weekend.

By the way... anyone interested in a hardly used, block mounted Meziere 55gpm unit? I have one for sale!

:laugh:

FWIW,
Kirby


I use a Meziere 55 gpm engine mount pump on my dart block 427. I also have a bypass thermostat just behind the radiator, thus eliminating the bypass from the manifold to the pump. I have never had a over heating issue (other than myself and wife) even in 95 degree stop and go for 30 minutes. I also have a time off relay that is set to run for 2 minutes when the engine is turned off, this removes heat from the engine as not to heat soak the engine bay after your car is turned off. Also my radiator thermostatic control works when the pump is working. So the fans will kick on if the heat is above 185 degrees. I have put this on my R5 turbo II years ago and had great success with the system so I used the same system on the 427. This system was developed by my best bud Mike Trusty for Pantera's many many years ago and he shared with me. You also do away with a fan belt and pump cavitation at high rpm.
 
I have two questions based on the topic of this thread:

1) does an electric water pump require fitting a higher-output alternator and bigger battery? It would seem there is some chance of running the battery down if the system can operate for a long time after the engine is shut off.

2) Is there a particular mechanical water pump that has been found to be very effective at pushing cooling water for the long distances (and uphills) that GT40s have built into them? Seems like if I have to change out a pump, now would be the time, not later. I think my 302 was fitted with a Weiand or Edelbrock pump, but I don't recall. I have not had any problems with this kind of pump in my Kirkham, but the job of the water pump is far easier.

3) (OK, three) Does anyone know what was used in the first GT40s? Electric pumps weren't available then AFAIK, but maybe they had installed some kind of supplemental pump?
 

JohnC

Missing a few cylinders
Lifetime Supporter
One of the biggest advantages with an electric pump, and its variable speed controller, is the amount of control you have over the flow of coolant, and the cooling of the engine, completely independent of the engine speed and load.

This is the main reason variable speed electric drives for large industrial pumps and compressors are becoming more popular in industry and are replacing mechanical drives. On the surface, they would seem to be less efficient due to the double conversion of energy, however with the amount of control regained, it's actually more efficient (not to mention the process working better because there is now tighter control over it.)

Variable speed electric fans have now become the norme for automotive engines; it won't be long before electric coolant pumps are also.

And as already mentioned, the worries about overspeeding the pump (or fans) with a high RPM motor, and having it cavitate are eliminated.

I'm not speaking from previous experience with electric pumps on car engines, (although the engine being built for my '40 project will have electric pump(s)), but I do have direct experience in industry with changing/upgrading mechanical drives to electric, and they do work better.

Wonder when oil pumps will become electric.........
 
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There are a few belt driven remote pumps out there. The electric remote pumps are
more versatile in that they may be mounted almost anywhere.
 
I am using the Moroso pump for the 351. I chose the electric route due to space issues. With the motor moved forward and lowered, it left only about 3 inches of clearance from the crank shaft to the bulkhead, the manual pump literally was under my elbow. The only offering that Moroso offered was a stock mounted unit. I didn't like that setup and moved it to the side of the engine bay after removing the engine bay side panels which sloped in toward the engine, and made them into shelfs for the various gagets that would later be added. When the actual build started on the cooling system, the guys helping convinced me to put the pump up front after the radiator. Something to do with being a better puller than pusher in relation to the radiator. It required conversion of the pump to a true pump from the engine mounted version. I went along and it has made a cleaner setup of the whole thing. Hoses mounted much easier and no worries about leaks.
I will probably use a controller for the pump with a PWM type setup that will automaticly raise the speed of the pump with the temp. Thus no worries with keeping up with the speed and temp. I thought of using the run on type setup, but got a lot of negative feedback from some notable mechanics. Always liked the idea, but I too was woried about batttery drain. Most of the pumps run on 7-10 amps, and I don't think that the run on will create any electrical issues. I have a lot of extras on mine that will draw a lot of amps, so I will probably stay awayfrom them for now. If the controller has the function built in, then I may try it.

Bill
 

Jack Houpe

GT40s Supporter
I have two questions based on the topic of this thread:

1) does an electric water pump require fitting a higher-output alternator and bigger battery? It would seem there is some chance of running the battery down if the system can operate for a long time after the engine is shut off.

2) Is there a particular mechanical water pump that has been found to be very effective at pushing cooling water for the long distances (and uphills) that GT40s have built into them? Seems like if I have to change out a pump, now would be the time, not later. I think my 302 was fitted with a Weiand or Edelbrock pump, but I don't recall. I have not had any problems with this kind of pump in my Kirkham, but the job of the water pump is far easier.

3) (OK, three) Does anyone know what was used in the first GT40s? Electric pumps weren't available then AFAIK, but maybe they had installed some kind of supplemental pump?

Jimbo, I use a 200 amp alternator just because of all the electrical I have going on with EFI, MSD ignition amp, individual coils, so on, so on. I use a red top battery with no problems. I will say that if you are using current equipment in your car I recommend a 100 amp or better alternator.

Not sure about the original cars and what they have. To be honest with you I like the GT40 for its history and looks but if there is anything I can change to make it better I will do it. :)
 
Ron,

Have a Davies Craig electric water pump mounted in the front of my DRB. Reason I went this way was to simplify belt system and get more things off the front of motor, where space is limited.

Have run with stock 5.0L (ex mustang type motor) and standard thermostat. That worked well. Now have angry 347 motor and no thermostat. Still bedding motor in (still very tight), so can't give definitive answer on how well it deals with a high output motor on the track. Will be getting a Davies Craig digital pump controller soon to help with warm up. It's summer over here right now, so hot weather testing is pretty much any day I take it for a test drive! Will post experiences once I have the final system proven. May need to go for the newer higher output (110 L/min vs 80L/min) pump, but will wait and see. First competition event on this weekend and forcast 35 deg C temperatures, so that will be a good initial test! Will only be taking motor to 6000 rpm though, as it needs to free up a bit first before I get really keen.
 
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