Radium Engineering uses fuel pumps in products ranging from fuel surge tanks, to in-tank fuel pump hangers. We deal with a variety of fuel pumps on a daily basis. By offering a range of options from select manufacturers, we allow our customers to select the perfect fuel pump(s) for their needs.
When deciding what fuel pump to use, it is very important to know how they compare to one another. Third party independent flow testing data on aftermarket pumps can sometimes be found with research on the web. However, the data can be inconsistent between sources, presented in a way that makes comparison difficult, or data may not exist at all. Variation in testing methods can also lead to inconsistent results. This makes it hard to compare pumps from random internet information. To remedy the issue we decided to do our own in-house comparison test of some of the most popular pumps on the market. All pumps are tested in the exact same way back to back. This ensures a true apples-to-apples comparison. This information will equip our customers with the knowledge to choose an optimal fuel pump for their needs.
Testing was performed in September of 2019. The pumps tested are shown below. Absent from the photo is the Ti Automotive/Walbro F90000295, however it closely resembles the F90000274/285 in appearance. For more informatoion on the Walbro F90000-series pumps CLICK HERE. All pumps were new samples right out of the box and had never been used in a vehicle. We have our own test bench equipped with a highly accurate flow sensor and pressure transducer. These were used for all the test results shown below.
The BKS1000 brushless fuel pump setup from Ti Automotive utilizes a E5LM pump (aka "veyron pump") and a new controller designed for the aftermarket. This was released in the summer of 2019. Ti Automotive does not sell the pump or controller separately at this time.
Flow versus pressure is the most important criteria for measuring fuel pump performance. Several factors can make pumps perform better than others in this regard. Every fuel pump has two main components; the actual electric motor and the pump mechanism.
Some of the electric motors are more powerful than others and some pumping mechanisms are more efficient than others. This results in different performance between pumps.
The results shown in the above table probably need some explanation. Each of the 7 pumps were run at pressures from 16psi up to 100psi. A flow reading was taken every 5 psi.
As pressure increases, it gets increasingly more difficult for the pump to push out fuel, hence the flow rate dropping.
The top performer in the test, and also the most expensive, is the Ti Automotive BKS1000 brushless pump setup. This was the only brushless fuel pump in the test. Brushless technology has been making it's way into the automotive performance aftermarket for several years. But this is the first brushless setup by a major OEM pump manufacturer released specifically for the aftermarket with an included controller. Brushless pumps require a controller which drives up the price making them cost prohibitive for many users.
A respectable second place is the Ti Automotive F90000295 which is a new revision of the popular "Walbro 450" style pump. The "295" is the exact same architecture as the F90000274 and F90000285. But unlike those pumps, it does not have a built-in check valve.
Like the Walbro F90000295, the Bosch BR540 also does not have a built-in check valve. It is emerging as a possible "go-to" pump, but the high price makes it hard to compete with the relatively affordable Walbro F90000295.
*The GSS342 was the only gerotor style pump in the test. This pump will actually increase in flow by 10-15% after it has been broken in. The sample tested was not broken in.
Another important fuel pump characteristic is the amount of electrical power it consumes. This is measured in current (Amps). It is a safe assumption that the more current a fuel pump draws, the more heat will enter the fuel. This can be a major issue on systems with multiple fuel pumps running at full speed.
Looking at this chart, there is a noticeable benefit in brushless fuel pump technology. The Ti Automotive BKS1000 was the highest flowing pump tested, but draws a relatively small amount electrical current. Aside from the brushless pumps, it is clear that flow rate is directly related to current.
Keen eyes will notice that the Walbro F90000295, while out flowing all the other brushed pumps, draws less current than several of them. How is this possible? The answer is related to the check valve, or lack of. This results in less restriction at the pump outlet. It should be noted that the Bosch BR540 pump also did not have a check valve, but still did not outflow the Ti Automotive pump.
For a street car that is driven on a regular basis, fuel pump noise can be a concern. Using a simple dBA measuring device, the sound levels were measured for 6 of the 7 pumps (F90000295 was not available for this test). The pumps were run at 13.5 VDC and 45psi in a consistent setup.
The Walbro GSS342 takes the prize as the loudest pump followed by the brushless Ti Automotive BKS1000. Noise is directly related to the pumping mechanism. The Walbro "255" uses a gerotor which is inherently noisy. The Ti Automotive BSK1000 brushless pump uses a twin screw design, which can also create extra noise. The rest of the pumps use a turbine style pumping mechanism which is very quiet, as shown in the results. Certain factors can impact the actual fuel pump noise the driver hears, such as where the pump is placed (fuel tank, surge tank, etc), amount of vehicle insulation, and other factors.
Tested flow rate at 45 psi: 246 LPH
Current Draw at max pressure: 14 Amp
Excellent value and proven reliability in a small package. While the loudest of the batch, it is still an OEM quality pump so it is all relative. These pumps have a long history and are used extensively all over the world. They are a popular option for mild upgrades.
Tested flow rate at 45 psi: 382 LPH
Current draw at max pressure: 19 Amp
This pump has been on the market for several years and is an evolution of the Ti Automotive 39/50 DCSS ("Walbro 450" pumps). Radium Engineering uses this pump extensively in many products and customers have been very pleased with it's performance. Compatible with E85 and traditional fuels, it is a great choice for motorsports customers.
Tested flow rate at 45 psi: 424 LPH
Current draw at max pressure: 22.3 Amp
This relatively new pump is a further evolution of the Walbro F90000XXX pumps. It is essentially a more powerful Walbro F90000274 that draws more current. Some customers do not want the extra flow at the expense of the added current, and other customers need all the flow they can get. This pump fits in any Radium product that uses the Walbro F90000274, as it is the exact same physical dimensions. More information on this pump can be found HERE.
Tested flow rate at 45 psi: 485 LPH
Current draw at max pressure: 19.7 Amp
The newest offering from Walbro and once again, another evolution of the Walbro F90000XXX pumps. It is essentially a Walbro F90000285, with the more powerful electric motor, but it does not feature a check valve in the outlet port like all other Walbro F90000XXX pumps. This pump fits in any Radium product that uses the F90000274, as it is the exact same physical dimensions. However, it cannot be used in multi-pump configurations when pump staging is used. Also, fuel pressure will drop to zero as soon as the pump is turned off. However, it is the perfect pump to be used in a surge tank as a lift pump since a check valve is NOT required.
Tested flow rate at 45 psi: 321 LPH
Current draw at max pressure: 16.6 Amp
This E85 compatible pump from AEM is the same compact package as the Walbro GSS342, but is a turbine style pump. This means less noise and more flow. The relatively low current draw helps keep heat down as well. Radium offers this pump as an option in many products.
Ti Automotive BKS1000
Tested flow rate at 45 psi: 577 LPH
Current draw at max pressure: 14.4 Amp
This brushless pump setup is a perfect option for users wanting maximum flow and minimum current. Brushless technology is big leap forward for pumps. Radium Engineering has already released products specifically for this pump setup.
Tested flow rate at 45 psi: 404 LPH
Current draw at max pressure: 21 Amp
This Bosch Motorsports pump does not feature a check valve, which means it cannot be run in parallel with another fuel pump and be staged. It comes in with mid-pack performance in line with the Ti Automotive F90000XXX pumps.
Because this pump has a larger body size, it is only available in a select amount of Radium products. Contact us for more details.