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Elevating the Classic British Car Experience: The Kiwi Composite Fuel Pump Story

By Simon Lawther

Owning and maintaining a classic car poses a unique set of challenges and decisions. Do you opt for a full restoration, focus on preservation, go for modern updates, or venture into modifications? At what point do these modifications transform your classic into a replica, compromising its character? These are the dilemmas classic car owners face, and each owner’s approach is unique.

For many classic car enthusiasts, striking a balance between preserving the original character and enhancing practicality is key. Modernizing certain aspects, like upgrading to electronic ignition, improving charging systems, installing better tires, and upgrading radiators, can make a classic vehicle more usable and reliable without erasing its personality. It’s this character that truly matters in the classic British car ownership experience.

Take my 1974 MGB roadster, affectionately named Maggy, for example. She may not win any concours trophies, but that’s not the goal. I cherish the experience of regularly driving my classic and appreciating its quirks – the nostalgic dashboard layout, the tactile shifter, the distinctive tappet noise, and the throaty exhaust note. Maggy is more than just a car; she’s an embodiment of classic motoring.

However, a recent incident made me question how much modern technology I was willing to introduce into my vintage driving experience. During a 20-mile return trip from a coffee run, Maggy stalled multiple times, leaving me stranded on a busy street. Each time, she would restart after a brief rest, only to sputter out again. While this experience honed my skill of appearing calm next to a stalled classic car, it shook my confidence. Upon investigation, I discovered that the culprit was Maggy’s fuel pump – the ninth one to fail, to be exact.

Replacing a fuel pump is a routine task, but the repeated failures raised concerns. Many of the previous pump failures could be attributed to extended periods of inactivity, a common issue with points-type SU pumps. However, even the newer electronic SU pumps had their share of problems, with solenoid failures leading to circuitry damage. It seemed neither option offered the reliability needed for remote driving in West Texas, where breakdowns could leave you stranded without cell phone coverage.

Considering my options, I contemplated sticking with another SU pump, but their reliability and cost left doubts. Modern cube-type pumps were also on the table, but they came with mounting and pressure regulation challenges, not to mention their noisy operation. None of these options seemed to preserve Maggy’s character or deliver a cost-effective and reliable solution.

FuelFlow 15LM12

My search for alternatives led me to Fuelflow Solutions Limited, a company based in New Zealand, an unexpected source for automotive products. Their ECCO SU-style electronic replacement pumps caught my attention, but opinions about them on internet forums were mixed, with some labeling them as Chinese knock-offs of SU pumps.

Intrigued and determined to get the facts, I contacted the company and received a prompt response from the company’s president, Mr. Jason Forrester fresh back from a surfing trip… My conversations with him provided insights into the company’s history and philosophy stretching back to purchasing this company from his former Boss Mr. Graham WIlkinson. Fuelflow Solutions Limited had been producing composite fuel pumps for over 50 years, with a focus on using modern materials and electronics to improve upon the shortcomings of traditional pumps.

Their pumps featured optical switching, reverse polarity protection, compensation for voltage irregularities and component aging, resistance to temperature fluctuations, and an absence of radio interference or EMF noise. Moreover, these pumps were designed to handle ethanol-based fuels and were fully sealed, weatherproof, and corrosion-resistant.

My research dispelled several myths and misconceptions surrounding these pumps, including concerns about sealing and cracking issues, which had been addressed with design improvements. One user’s experience of cracked threads turned out to be a result of using the wrong type of fittings. Additionally, Fuelflow’s optical switching technology eliminated the flutter mode, which had been a problem in some solenoid-driven pumps.

Impressed by the technology and quality of Fuelflow’s pumps, I decided to give their ECCO pump a try. It was a direct fit, significantly lighter than the SU pump, and came with clear instructions and correctly threaded fittings. The installation was straightforward, with no modifications required to the original harness. When I turned the ignition on, the pump clicked like an SU pump, preserving that essential part of the classic driving experience.

On the road, the ECCO pump performed flawlessly, and upper RPM power even improved. While only time will confirm its long-term reliability, my interactions with the company and my knowledge of their product development process gave me confidence in its durability.

In summary, Fuelflow Solutions Limited’s ECCO SU-style replacement pumps offer a credible, well-engineered, reliable, and affordable alternative to traditional SU pumps. They combine modern technology and materials with the traditional “clicking” of an SU pump, delivering a unique blend of character and reliability. For classic British car owners seeking high-quality, hassle-free fuel pumps, the ECCO pump is a worthy option.

FuelFlow FF020P Highest Pressure Carb Fuel Pump 020P
FuelFlow FF020P Carb Fuel Pump 020P

Despite their impressive product, Fuelflow Solutions Limited faces challenges in gaining traction in the U.S. market due to a lack of brand awareness. However, I believe that as more enthusiasts discover the quality and value of their pumps, Fuelflow’s presence in the U.S. market will grow, for now the UK is leading the way in the classic market for this brand with some big names allowing this pump to take it’s writeful place as the best fuel pump on the market.

For those interested in exploring Fuelflow Solutions Limited’s SU Replacement Pumps please search the following website or email or you can visit their direct website at or contact them directly at:

Fuelflow Solutions Ltd. 32 Waitawheta Road Waikino New Zealand Waihi 3641 Telephone: +64 7 863 8101 Fax: +64 7 863 8523

In conclusion, when it comes to classic British cars, it’s not just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about embracing the character and nostalgia that come with it. Fuelflow Solutions Limited’s ECCO pumps are designed to enhance that experience, making them a valuable addition to the world of classic motoring.

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