By Chris Ritter
A car with a steady fuel leak isn't going to run for very long and it isn't going to be pretty when it burns to the ground. With that realization, I was more than happy to send my leaking fuel pump to Arthur Gould for a professional rebuild. I was happy that I did this for a few reasons. Gould's work is fast, efficient and relatively economical and I can rest easy knowing that a critical component on my car was rebuilt by someone who does fuel pump rebuilding as a living. Turnaround time was under three days and the $90 I spent was a wise investment considering a rebuild kit is over $45. As a bonus, the returned pump is absolutely gorgeous! It's amazing what a little bead blasting, new hardware and clear coating can do for looks.
Gould reported back that my pump had two major flaws. First, the diaphragm was stretched out allowing fuel to pass from the top chamber, through screw holes and into the body of the pump that is not supposed to see any fuel. Second, a portion of my pumps actuating foot was broken off. The broken piece held the return spring in place. While the foot would have probably worked ok, the return spring could have fallen out at some point rendering the pump inoperable. The solution was to find a new pump core and Gould had plenty to sell.
My freshly rebuilt fuel pump.
The new pump is installed and leak free.
With the rebuilt pump in place (and installed properly), my Buick started again with no hesitation and the pump was leak free. As the car ran I began searching the rest of the engine for anything out of the ordinary and discovered fuel leaking out of the carburetor's fuel bowl and coolant leaking from hoses.
Hoping that the carburetor issue was just a few loose screws, I tightened the bowl cover and was disappointed when fuel still kept seeping out. To fix this fuel leak I had to remove the carburetor so I could resurface the bowl cover and the bowl itself. I resurfaced these faces by placing a fine grit sandpaper on glass and then working the pieces in an irregular pattern. Prior to sanding I used a Sharpie to mark the faces in various areas. When all of the Sharpie mark was removed I reassembled the carburetor. I should note that I used a new carburetor rebuild kit so I had completely fresh gaskets and components inside. With the refreshed carburetor back in place I finally had no fuel leaks from the tank to intake manifold.