Register now to get rid of these ads!

Hot Rods fuel return line ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scotty t, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. No good reason NOT to run one, but they're not necessary on carbed setups with stock or street performance level mechanical fuel pumps.
    They keep fresh, cool fuel circulating through the systems, which is only ever a good thing. They will help alleviate vapor lock and other fuel heat related issues. But you need to size them properly for your setup. They cannot present a restriction to fuel flow. When I switched to a Walbro 255lph fuel injection pump to run with my carb, I was required to add a return line and the appropriate regulator. In my case it needed to be a regulator that can drop the high pressure of the EFI pump down to carb-safe levels. So my supply and return lines are the same size. If you run a return line in this setup and you can't get your fuel pressure low enough, it's a sure fire sign that you have a restriction in your return.
    On a carb setup with a mechanical pump, you can run a smaller return line since the amount of fuel to return is typically less. So a 3/8" feed line can utilize a 5/16" or even 1/4" return. The pros say not to use a typical dead-head style regulator to run a return line, you want to use one that is specifically designed to run a tank return. I've also heard of guys having success by just adding a tee in the fuel line and running it back to the tank. I don't think I'd do that in any sort of performance application though. Sounds like a recipe for fuel supply issues or cavitation.
    Anything that prevents the fuel from dead-heading at the regulator is a good thing.
     
    scotty t and Boneyard51 like this.
  2. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,336

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    A filter in the suction line to the pump should suffice for that. The secondary filter before the carb should be for fines that make it through, and to keep them out of the needle valve and jets.
     
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  3. If any of you guys know of any articles or threads about this topic please link them here. This thread may help other people down the road.
     
  4. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,833

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I have a 1988 E350 Ford chassis motorhome that has a 460 in it. It has a carb on it factory, and had a factory electric pump. It also had a fuel return, it was a gizmo about the size of a fuel filter {which I thought it was} with screw on fittings on each end and one on the side about middle ways. It got to starving for fuel, so I went and tried to find a replacement, had to order it from Ford, nobody else had or could get it. Meanwhile, I blocked the return and ran it, no problem. When I got the new gizmo and put it on, it started starving again, turned out my pump was dying and not putting out enough pressure. New pump solved my problem, nothing was wrong with the old gizmo. All the gizmo is is a cylinder with a spring loaded plunger inside, when pressure gets to a certain point, it opens and returns fuel to the tank. I think it was about $85 at Ford 5 years ago.
     
  5. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,331

    c-10 simplex
    Member

    How much pressure drop would occur (if any?) if using this Wix filter vs. no return line at all?

    Note: i'm not too concerned about fuel pressure as i'm getting anywhere between 3-5.75/6 lbs. according to gauge, it's a quadrajet, and i rarely rev above 3000 rpm.

    i might, however, be having issues such as percolation in hot summer traffic jams.....maybe...?
     
  6. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,163

    OLDSMAN
    Member

    I have always ran a fuel return line. That helps keep cool fuel at the carb and return excess fuel to the tank. Just fun a 1/4 inch line from the fuel line to thank. It’s an easy job to do.
     
    c-10 simplex likes this.
  7. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,331

    c-10 simplex
    Member

    Self-centered, but well-meaning BUMP:


    How much pressure drop would occur (if any?) if using this Wix filter vs. no return line at all?

    Note: i'm not too concerned about fuel pressure as i'm getting anywhere between 3-5.75/6 lbs. according to gauge, it's a quadrajet, and i rarely rev above 3000 rpm.

    i might, however, be having issues such as percolation in hot summer traffic jams.....maybe...?
     
  8. RR
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 94

    RR
    Member

    Unless you are running a high volume mechanical pump, I doubt that you need a return line. If you are running a high volume mechanical pump or an electric pump, a return line is required (to me but some will disagree I am sure). The advantage of a return line on a pump and a bypassing regulator is that it keeps the pump running at a lower pressure all the time where as a typical dead head regulator after the pump with no return line keeps the pump at max pressure all the time. This adds heat to the fuel and wears the pump out quicker. Typically, I will run a supply line from the tank thru a 100 micron filter into the pump. Out of the pump, the fuel goes thru a 40 micron filter (carb application) to the bypassing regulator. From the bypassing regulator, run the supply line to the carb. Run the return line from the bypassing regulator back to the tank. Pretty simple and keeps your pump alive longer.
     
  9. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,285

    Beanscoot
    Member

    "How much pressure drop would occur (if any?) if using this Wix filter vs. no return line at all?"

    With a properly operating pump, there will be no pressure loss. This is because the pump is designed to provide a significant excess of fuel at any power output of the engine, and the tiny orifice will drain away less than the excess fuel always provided.

    If you have a mostly clogged fuel filter however the flow will be lower, so the small return drain will cause the engine to starve for gas sooner than if it weren't there.
     
  10. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,331

    c-10 simplex
    Member

    Well, the man said post links. So here goes:

     
    wackdaddy and scotty t like this.
  11. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,285

    Beanscoot
    Member

    He made an interesting point that the usual place of vapour locking is inside the mechanical fuel pump. I can believe this since yesterday when fooling with the carb on my old pickup I was feeling up the pump to see if was leaking, and it was darn hot.

    If the bypass type filter is between the fuel pump and tank, it won't help cool the pump since the return is before the pump.
     
  12. Scott
    Joined: Dec 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,699

    Scott
    Member

    I like the 3 port filter method, but I already have a Holley 12-803 regulator, can I use the extra port as a return?
    IMG_1419.jpg IMG_1416.jpg
     
  13. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,079

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^No, that is not a return reg. You need one like Scotty has below
    And you need the type of reg that Scott has. Holley 12-804 has the inlet on the bottom and the two uppers are outlets to the carbs. Fuel pressure is 1-4 pounds on the 12-804.

     
    scotty t likes this.
  14. My setup has cobwebs on it! I don’t even remember where I left off on that project.
     
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  15. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,079

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    We allow cobwebs on the HAMB, just not spiderwebs. :cool:
     
  16. I don’t like spiders and snakes.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.