In January of 2020, I added a fuel pump to be used for priming today my Wildcat. When the car would sit a week between driving, the fuel would evaporate from the carburetor, as it is open to the atmosphere, and the car would take a lot of cranking to get it to start. This is because I choose to use a mechanical fuel pump, and the engine needed to be turning to pump gas into the carburetor to replace what was lost to evaporation.
Below is everything necessary to add a low pressure pump inline, to be used for priming.
The links, which provide a commission, are to the products on Amazon I used for this project. I used an Airtex E8251 12 volt pump because it was documented elsewhere it could be used in a pull-through configuration, where the mechanical pump could still pull gas through it even if it wasn’t running. Airtex requires a fuel filter inline to retain the warranty, so I went with a Wix 33063, which was an equivalent to the discontinued Airtex filter usually used in this application.
Above I am testing the E8251 to make sure it will work as intended. I’m pulling a vacuum through the unit, and then releasing my finger to make sure the vacuum breaks. If it didn't, the mechanical pump wouldn’t be able to pull through it. Note that the E2851 is sold as rated for marine application. The Airtex E8016S seems to have the same specifications as the E2851, and is listed for motor vehicles, however some say the design will not pass fuel when not engaged, like having a mechanical pump pull through it. The manufacturer's literature shows a gear like impeller to pump the fuel on the 16S, instead of the solenoid style of the one I am using.
Above is the assembly I created to mount the pump to the car. An “L” bracket was made out of a galvanized outdoor antenna bracket. The fuel pump was then mounted in the provided mounting sleeve, with a piece of rubber between the two for vibration isolation. I used Rectorseal for sealant on all the fluid connections, as I have found it superior to Teflon tape. The ring terminal for ground was attached to the mounting bolt.
To provide power to the pump on command in a convenient way, I found that in 1964 Buick ran the wiring through the dash for every car to have provisions for a power antenna. This wire is usually taped up in a harness above the glovebox. Above, the wire is pulled out for view.
The other end of this wire terminates at the fuse box at the "POWER ANT. 9A" fuse. By populating this fuse holder with a fuse (I used a 5 amp), 12 volts DC is always provided to the red power antenna lead, even with the key off.
While I do not have a power antenna switch, I have a cruise control switch purchased previously. I believe these switches to be identical. It is a two position momentary switch, which I will only use half of. I opened the switch, cleaned it, lubricated it, then painted the switch lever black to match the others.
A new wire was run down the passenger side of the car to provide this now switched 12 volts DC to the pump.
The supply wire (yellow) for switched electric fuel pump power was routed through the same grommet/hole as the fuel sender wiring.
This is the pump installed under the Wildcat. The fuel supply, the 5/16th sized hose, had a section removed and the pump and filter placed within that footprint. The "L" bracket made for the pump is secured by a bolt also used to secure one end of the passenger side suspension bump stop. Wires were routed where they won't chafe. Care was also taken to make sure the upper control arm would not make contact with the new fuel pump assembly even at full articulation.
With the addition of the switch to the empty "ACC" slot, usually used for a power top, I can now run the electric fuel pump for around 5 seconds, and then have the Nailhead roar to life on the first crank, with no excessive cranking to fill the carburetor up with fuel.