The Pumpin Stuff

Water pump, Fuel pump and other stuff

All this was needed to upgrade, actually back date, the water pump to fit my radiator config and set the front cover up for a mechanical fuel pump with integrated fuel filter.

Retro Water Pump

Replacing the water pump on this project had to do with which side the lower water outlet is on so that it matches the radiator. We are currently using a 65 Mustang radiator. It also gets tangled up with the 86 serpentine belt drive vs 65 V-belt drive pump drive direction issues. The simple solution was to back date to a 65 Mustang pump setup. pullys, pump and timing cover. Over all a cheap, v-belt drive and the right outlet solution to mate with the 65 Mustang radiator we are using.

Now with that decided upon there is another front timing cover related issue I had to deal with. Why the cover you ask? Because of the fuel pump stuff! That's why!!

Retro Fuel Pump

The fuel pump decision was actually very simple. No electric fuel pumps allowed! I am using a 70 Ford F100 mechanical fuel pump that has the fuel filter canister built into the pump housing. One less thing to locate and plumb. The intake configuration is such that I am keeping the cast iron intake and transplant a two barrel Holley R-4778 onto it.

Retro Timing Cover

Now we get to the reason for the timing cover dance.

The motor is of 86 vintage. Which by nature is a fuel injected car. While the front cover has the fuel pump mount pad, it is not machined. Also because it came out of a fuel injected donor car the timing drive did not have the cam eccentric needed to actuate the mechanical fuel pump. [ Or so we thought! ] Not an earthshaking issue but it could be easily solved by some mixing and matching timing cover / pump drive combos. And since I had some extra covers in the shop we were able to come up with a viable combination.

Changing the cover - It's always something!

In order to change out the front cover the harmonic balancer has to come off. The crankshaft retainer bolt did not want to give up without a fight. It appears that someone in the past had grossly overtightened that bad boy down to the point that it severely dished the thick washer under it! After a bit of sweat equity and brute force applied sparingly I was able to get the crankshaft bolt to release. Along the way I did have to fab a bracket to stop the crankshaft from turning while I applied a 24 inch long 3/4 inch drive breaker bar and 24 inch extension to it. Air tools were initially considered as an option but, after some technical consultation with a close friend engine builder Mr. Campbell (aka Captain Crankshaft) we were concerned for breaking the bolt and/or the crank nose so I opted for manual labor. After some time it finally did come loose. The harmonic balancer came off uneventfully. With it off I was able to remove the timing cover and to my amazement there was an eccentric already in place. A quick inspection did show major slop in the timing chain which did have the nylon shelled gear set. So a replacement with an all steel set is in order. A swap out for an earlier cover will get us a fuel pump access i needed and a dipstick hole.

NOTE - Some research unearthed the fact that this year was a transition year with passenger cars being fuel injected and trucks being carburated. So all blocks included the pump drive eccentric.
A special ThanX to Mr. Greg Campbell of Campbell's Auto Repair for his insights on this project.


The timing cover of choice is a 69 unit and the water pump is a left outlet 65 unit. The timing cover was blasted and drilled for a Lokar dipstick. I cleaned and painted both pieces. I am keeping the engine color pretty calm. No need for gaudy stuff here. All of the correct hardware for the reassembly came from NPD. There are some bolt configuration differences based on the front cover / water pump combinations so getting the correct full set makes the install so much easier.

Installing the selected timing cover, water pump and fuel pump combo was pretty straight forward. A new high performance steel timing chain set was indexed and installed with the fuel pump eccentric. And the cover gasket set sealed it all back up. Well except for the two L shaped gasket pieces at the bottom of the timing cover where it meets the pan. The 70 Ford F100 fuel pump was an easy get from any local parts house and bolted up nicely. The harmonic balancer went back on at the correct 90 ft/lbs torque not the 10 zillion it was on with before! I also put the alternator brackets on at this time since they hang on the front cover / water pump bolts. And since I was in the area I went ahead and mounted the re-purposed 45 amp alternator from the 70 Mustang. This car has no accessories so it should do just fine.