Carburetors Carb discussion and questions. Upgrading your Third Gen's carburetor, swapping TBI to carburetor, or TPI to carburetor? Need LG4 or H.O. info? Post it here.

Carb gas tank pickup

Old 06-29-2006, 11:26 PM
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Carb gas tank pickup

I'm swapping from tbi to carb and I'm going with an external electric fuel pump. I'm dropping the tank and removing the pump. Will an earlier year carb car fuel pickup work on my tank? I've heard different opinions on what to use after removing the fuel pump. I would like to buy something off the shelf/parts house if possible. Oh yea.. I did a search and didn't have much luck. I know my answer is here somewhere. Thanks.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:21 PM
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Since no one has any good information. Tell me why this won't work.

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Last edited by pondriver; 08-18-2006 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:48 AM
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The strainer is soldered to the stainless line. It shouldn't go anywhere.

Last edited by five7kid; 06-08-2007 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:21 AM
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What strainer did you use? It looks very similar to the factory part used on my '57 Bel Air, which slip fits over the pick-up pipe and holds itself in place. I've suggested to people in the past to do just what you did, you're the first I recall posting a picture. I think this should be a sticky.

For the record, the '82-'86 factory carb pickup/sender will fit the EFI tanks ('87 used an electric in-tank pump).

Last edited by five7kid; 06-08-2007 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by five7kid
kboehringer did a similar thing in his swap, chronicled in the Engine Swap forum (Father & Son Project sticky).
https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/engi...n-1st-car.html Post # 596. . .
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:32 AM
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Here's where I purchased the strainer from. It came in a ac delco box so I'm assuming I can get it from the local parts house. I haven't ran the delco # by the parts house since I've received it.

Strainer

Last edited by pondriver; 09-21-2014 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Updated the link:
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:26 PM
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you still need power I haven't finished mine yet but I think there is 4 wires to the plug 2 are for the gauge but you can leave them all just plug it back in and it will work fine.
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:46 AM
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Moderator note to members: The purpose of this sticky is to provide information about how to convert a fuel tank pick-up from in-tank electric pump to manual pick-up. If you have comments about any other topic (e.g.: "I just kept the pump, it runs fine") I will delete it. Please post any questions or comments not related to converting a fuel tank pick-up from in-tank electric pump to manual pick-up in a thread in the main portion of this forum.


Thank you.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:29 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

thats a very clean setup that you made. what did you have to do to make it? sizes, and what did you use?
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:26 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

3/8" stainless line and compression fittings. Available at most industrial parts houses. There is a link to the strainer that was brazed to the piping.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:56 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

i havent peeked under the car today but arent the lines from the tank to the engine 3/8? and i believe there is a compression fitteng by the filter? I think Ill follow your example and just mke it myself, just use the existing parts as donors
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:33 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

I just pulled the tank and pickup from my 84 TA today (factory carbed). Picture attached of the pickup. It looks like the strainer is completely gone. I'm sure I can find one of those, my question is about the rest of the setup. I am planning on using a mechanical pump, with -8 AN braided line going to the pump and back for the return. A return-style adjustable regulator will handle the connection to the pump, return to tank, and feed to carb.

Any engineering ideas for how to make the pickup 1/2" line so it is not a bottleneck?

Also, assuming this is not a street car, can I safely close off the vapor line, or how does the typical hot rodder vent the fuel tank?

What is that black thing attached to the lid of the pickup?

Edit: Sorry, didn't see this post was specific to pickup conversions from EFI. Mods please move to Carbureted main forum if desired.
Attached Thumbnails Carb gas tank pickup-fuel_pickup_carb.jpg  

Last edited by thewolf; 03-08-2008 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Possible incorrect placement
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:56 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

I just did this. But I did it for the return, Im using a sump.

I drilled out a larger hole in the cap and JB welded in some half inch copper. I bent it to follow the old pickup tube. It was the only thing that I could find with a nice 90 degree elbow.

While you have the tank out, why not just drill and weld a 8an fitting in the bottom? Its easy, and if you put it where the stock baffle is, you dont have to worry about fuel missing the pickup.

For the vent you can just use an old fuel filter. Im using a new one that I will never use.
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:17 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

I think you've got the right idea. I might look at bending new steel line, and using a -8 AN bulkhead fitting that seals real well at the pickup cap. I don't have ready access to a welder, and since I'm going to use the vent and return tubes, I might as well reuse the pickup too.

Apparently for the vent, you are right about the fuel filter. Some people have run a vent line above the tank, used an inline fuel filter and then a tip-over check valve, pointing down, to vent pressure from the tank. It sounds safe to me, especially since I don't want to run lines to the charcoal canister in the front again (which is gone now anyways).
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:17 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

do you even need a strainer?
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:24 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

You don't need one, but if its a car you drive daily and need to rely on it, I'd use one.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:37 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

I simply ran a 3/8 hose from where the original piece connected the fuel pump, ran it to the round retainer and cut it at an angle. From there i mounted a in line fuel filter before and after the fuel pump. No strainer. I blocked off the return line and charcoal line and left the small blck filter that mounts next to the brake line. Hasnt given me a problem yet and ive done it on 4 camaros converted from TBI.
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:02 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

I think that filter is only one way though. I think its only for suction. And the line for the charcoal filter is pressure only. I could be wrong though, and I dont know if it would even cause any problems. I just used a cheap fuel filter for a vent.

The two filters idea is a good one, but would limit flow and pressure I would think.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:57 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

I am fixing to swap from a holley blue to a holley black for the bigger engine so i dont think the filters matter that much as a holley like that is a pusher not a puller, basically it is like having one filter i would imagine. I might consider your cheap filter swap on the one way valve, makes sense.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by HottestZ28 View Post
do you even need a strainer?
Originally Posted by Batass View Post
You don't need one, but if its a car you drive daily and need to rely on it, I'd use one.
Use a strainer. Your pump will thank you.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:07 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

We used a fuel sender from 86 camaro V8 4bbl model. fits well
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:06 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Dont Use a Strainer! How often do you want to drop your tank???

Measure fuel pump cut rubber hose (3/8) , to length add about 1/4 inch length to it or so. Put a hose clap on and there you go.

Put a inline filter in somewhere that way your fuel pump on your block willl never see any contaminats.

and you can replace that easier then dropping your tank!

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A VENTED GAS CAP!!! if not ALOT of presure will build!

Drill a hole in the Gas cap, and your done!!

Last edited by ademarti; 10-18-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:10 PM
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FWIW, I'll go on the record as disagreeing with everything said in the above post.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:15 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Originally Posted by five7kid View Post
FWIW, I'll go on the record as disagreeing with everything said in the above post.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:22 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

since i'm already here, I'll post my masterpiece.

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Since I have (or had) an 87 LG4, I had the wonderful pleasure of having a supplemental in-tank low pressure pump. I'm not sure if it had ever worked since I bought the car, stock, in 2004.

FWIW, I gained 7 tenths last time to the track with this "mod."

now for the driver mod...lol.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:57 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

This is going to seem like a redundant question, but if I disconnect the power to the pump outside the tank, like removing it from the pig tail, will my fuel gauge still send a signal?
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:01 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

It should as long as sending unit wire is still hooked up. Looking at diagram it should work but what do I know I am only an electrican. Lol

Last edited by dano2377629; 05-21-2011 at 02:02 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:15 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Looks like the strainer for the 82-86 carbed cars is still available, Im thinking just cutting the tube off my bad carb sending unit and using the compression fittings to splice it to the efi unit. Bottom of the tube would still be stock carb unit so could use the stock strainer
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:14 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

This came out of a 1985 4.3 Astro van and is with a return line set-up and is kind of a universal fit with a 27 gallon gas tank:

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Old 10-17-2011, 08:49 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

ok. stupid question. my '89 has a carbed 355. the dude i bought it from had a hokey regulator with a return line out of it. i think my fuel pump in the tank took a dump,so my question is....if i do all this to the pickup,run an inline elec pump,why do i need a return if i have a regulator? my duster has the same regulator that i have also put on the camaro and i don't have a return on it so what is the difference? seems like i could just drop a pickup in the tank,use the factory filter under the car,pump it,regulator,and bam!
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:03 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

the return style regulater is used for high fuel pressure pumps, like fuel injection. youll burn up the pump without a return line. if your useing a pump made for a carb, you dont need a return generally.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:13 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

You still need to get that old in tank pump out. but a return line if useing a pump for a Carb is not required.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by redcatch32 View Post
... but a return line if useing a pump for a Carb is not required.
Depends.

The factory used a return line for all 3rd gens, including those with carburetor and mechanical fuel pump. They did that for a reason.

If you like vapor lock, then don't bother with a return line.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:46 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

57 has a valid point. If you run a engine driven pump ,vapor lock could be a problem. I would do a electric pump my self and place it at the rear of the car. We managed to road race for 1000 s of miles with out a problem. Be sure to have a cut off switch. Altitude will also change the boiling point of fuel so if you are at higher elevations more to consider. We have set many a Land Speed Record with a Single Electric Fuel pump. I step it down to 14 psi at the back of the car and to 7 at the fire wall. We burn 1 gallon per mile. We used the same fuel delivery system at all of the open road races which are 100 miles plus. I am not against a open system {return Line}. Your question was do I have to use it. NO. Should you? It depends on how you will use the car. How deep is your pockets. I am a big fan of Magna Fuel Prostar pumps as they bypass externally.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:28 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

So with reading this thread I noticed a question not answered that I have as well. What is the black box thing for and if one has a used pickup what all should be replaced. strainer seems to be one item.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:52 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Hey all, I'm doing an EFI TO Carb swap as well, and I'm using the same sender posted earlier.

My only question with this sender is concerning the pigtail connector. Does anyone know what the red and black wires correspond to?

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Old 09-21-2012, 08:01 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

I have a carb on a 91 camaro that we build and it want to vapor lock. What could be the problem
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:05 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

coleman did you take the fuel filter out after the tank? or are you using the elec. pump in the tank yet?
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:30 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Originally Posted by fabo_83 View Post
Hey all, I'm doing an EFI TO Carb swap as well, and I'm using the same sender posted earlier.

My only question with this sender is concerning the pigtail connector. Does anyone know what the red and black wires correspond to?

I believe those were power for the pump. If you're certain they're not, then they're for the sending unit. No harm in leaving them in. In fact, no harm in leaving the factory electric pump and running a regulator to bring the pressure down for the carb.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:33 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Originally Posted by wracksRS View Post
ok. stupid question. my '89 has a carbed 355. the dude i bought it from had a hokey regulator with a return line out of it. i think my fuel pump in the tank took a dump,so my question is....if i do all this to the pickup,run an inline elec pump,why do i need a return if i have a regulator? my duster has the same regulator that i have also put on the camaro and i don't have a return on it so what is the difference? seems like i could just drop a pickup in the tank,use the factory filter under the car,pump it,regulator,and bam!
The return line helps prevent vapor lock and helps keep the pressure steady by sending unused fuel back to the tank rather than "dead heading" it at the pump/carb.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:55 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Originally Posted by five7kid View Post
What strainer did you use? It looks very similar to the factory part used on my '57 Bel Air, which slip fits over the pick-up pipe and holds itself in place. I've suggested to people in the past to do just what you did, you're the first I recall posting a picture. I think this should be a sticky.

For the record, the '82-'86 factory carb pickup/sender will fit the EFI tanks ('87 used an electric in-tank pump).
my 1984 tran am has a in tank fuel pump (pusher)and a mech.on the motor ,it came from the factory that way(3-5 p.s.i.)it has a 305 h.o.with the elec.carb.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:34 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Just worked on my sons 86 Z-28 gas tank and pickup assembly. Those are the sending unit wires. Black is ground, Red or black with a red stripe is the senders wire going to the gauge in the dash. I did not have continuity on that wire and it came down to the "contact" that is crimped on the end of the sending units flexible brass lead that contacts the reostat on the inside of the sender unit. I had to use a dremel tool with a small wire wheel on it, shine up the flexible brass lead and solder the back side of the contact to the brass. Now his fuel gauge works great, and it beats buying an expensive new one. Just simple electronics 101.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:06 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Originally Posted by colemanbarrett View Post
I have a carb on a 91 camaro that we build and it want to vapor lock. What could be the problem
My '83 would vapor lock bad after it was converted to carb. Holley fuel pump outside the tank, and some wooden clothespins on the fuel line where it comes up into the engine compartment (sounds crazy but I swear it works, it's an old military trick). Those two things insured proper fuel delivery and no more vapor lock since.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:40 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

ok so right now I am putting a carbed 355 in my originally v6 88 Camaro. I have the tank down and the pick up is out. from what it looks like I need to cut the fuel pump off and replace it with the 3/8 line? and get a new strainer? if anyone could just clarify exactly what needs to be done I would GREATLY appreciate it.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:15 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

My fuel pump had a rubber hose connection to the 3/8 solid fuel line. Remove the in tank fuel pump, buy some fittings to connect a section of solid pipe to make up the difference. Borrow a tubing bender to make the turn at the bottom, and braze on the new strainer.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:32 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

So whats the down side of keeping a walbro pump in the tank and running a regulator with a return line?Daily driver 383
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:34 PM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Originally Posted by hookedon3gen View Post
So whats the down side of keeping a walbro pump in the tank and running a regulator with a return line?Daily driver 383
None.

Been running mine for almost 4 years without issue.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:32 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

I just left the original pump in and hooked the original lines by the tbi to a Cadillac cts fuel filter that filter has a fuel in fuel out and a return line so I didn't need a pressure regulator whatever fuel my 2 barrel holley didn't need returns to the tank,going on 6 months and not a problem at all with this setup
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:17 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

ok i bought my car 92 firebird originally tbi, now is a 4 barrel carb. running off what i believe to be the stock TBI fuel pump with no return line. now my fuel pump when out or so i believe, once i test it i'll know for sure. but its been two or more months since ive driven it and really all i want is to drive for the next few months. i thought about buying a mechanical pump and rerouting the hose but will it pull through the in tank pump?
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:53 AM
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Re: Carb gas tank pickup

Originally Posted by thebandit50187 View Post
ok i bought my car 92 firebird originally tbi, now is a 4 barrel carb. running off what i believe to be the stock TBI fuel pump with no return line. now my fuel pump when out or so i believe, once i test it i'll know for sure. but its been two or more months since ive driven it and really all i want is to drive for the next few months. i thought about buying a mechanical pump and rerouting the hose but will it pull through the in tank pump?
A mechanical pump is not enough to feed a carb'd engine on these cars, I tried to do exactly what you just described and it did not work (nor have I seen it work in anybody elses experience on here).

You need to either: A) replace the in-tank pump and route it through a regulator
or
B) install an electrical (out of tank) pump and route it through a regulator.
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