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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Technician
Category: Classic Car
Satisfied Customers: 2436
Experience:  I have 30 years experience repairing, restoring, and customizing cars, and pickup trucks.
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Installed a fuel pump in a 1954, Dodge Royal, Hemi V8

Customer Question

installed a fuel pump in a 1954, Dodge Royal, Hemi V8 because the old pump started leaking fluid. Now can not start the car either with newly installed fuel pump or reinstalling the old pump after priming and several attempts. Any Suggestions
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Classic Car
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

My name is ***** ***** I am a licenced diagnostic technician with over 20 years experience.

I will do my best to help you with your automotive problem. Please remember, I cannot see, hear or feel your vehicle which can make diagnosing very complicated and some vehicle require extensive diagnotics that require certain diagnostics computers that can not be done over a computer or phone.Please be patient as I am not online 24 hours a day, as I do work, but I do check my page every day.A positive rating is always appreciated for my time and knowledge to help you with your problem.

LEts make sure we are in fact getting fuel to the carberator.

can you see if the accelerator pump is injecting fuel down the barrels when you pump the pedal? (not crankin of course if you like your eyebrows).

If not, can you take the fuel inlet line off at the carburator and crank it over and see if fuel is actually pumping to to carberator inlet.

please have a rag to absorb fuel and disable the ignition so no fires please.

let me know.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Cam,
In layman's observation: We have already done that and that seems to be the problem.........meaning fuel pumps pumping action or its lever is not being depressed and released as is normally done during normal operation. .......we noticed that the lever of the new pump is tiny bit shorter but it does seems to have a slight contact, ie contact surface is lesser than that of the older fuel pump.........
OK other finding is : timing chain is not taught ie there is a slag felt when touching the chain by the finger through the orifice where the fuel pump goes. I was thinking that could be the part of the problem. If that is the problem, I could order a timing chain,and try to install the fuel pump all over again........if that is so..............please let me know? I d o not have the manual of the car. Which timing chain will be required? or should I purchase? for : 1954 Dodge, Royal ; Hemi V8 . Please let me know.specifications? Thanks
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

i dont think this is a timing chain issue, as the car was running when you decided to take the leaking fuel pump out.

Even iff the chain has slack,which it ussually does, it will still operate the pump as long as the cam is tunring.

the shorter pump lever is a bit of a concern though. is the old pump ok enough to pop back in? it might be leaking a bit but we know it is a good working pump, and if starts and operates normal, than we know we have a bad or wrong new pump.

I have chases my tail sometimes with a bad new part, right out of the box.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Cam,
This car never had problem starting.........but the mechanic noticed some gasoline on top of the fuel pump and recommended changing it to avoid fire hazard. Yes we did reinstalled the older fuel pump about 5 times and the new pump +- 7 times trying different angle of entry.............we think there could be a special technique of installing..........because car always started with the older and original fuel pump till we uninstalled and installed it will start only due to priming the carburetor and die soon after..........any suggestions? Thanks
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

this is one of those times i wish i could pop my head through this computer screen, lol.

now, you said it starts by priming. how are you priming it?

is the carberator float bowl empty? you can tell this by hitting the accelerator and watching the stream of fuel down the bores.

lets start with this and well go from there,

i appreciate your patience as this might be back and forth a little


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Perhaps I did not explain well.......The carberator float remains empty..........This is why when we fill the carburator bowl with gasoline via a tipped plastic bottle, car does start and thereafter dies when gasoline in the carburator is used up.
1.- No gasoline noted in the carburator during start up efforts, once the gasoline to prime the carburator is used up.
2.- gasoline line from the fuel pump to the carburator was disconnected , engine started, but no gas squirting out from the disconnected tube.
3.- Installation and re-installation was repeated roughly 7 times switching back and forth the old fuel pump and the new fuel pump..........but now the car does not start.Conclusion: The cam shaft or the device to depress the lever of the pump is not making a contact with with the lever of the fuel pump.
Car has full tank.
Any suggestions?
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.


now were on the same page lol.

so its obvious we have either a pump lever problem, Where its not physically operating the pump, or its a siphon issue.

Ill pop a couple of possible things and lets see if any click.

i doubt its a camshaft problem, or it wouldnt have ran before. Im going to ask kind of a silly question, but are we sure that the pushrod was put back in, an not lying on the floor, lol.

Ive seen this tons of times before believe it or not.

If its a syphon problem, the fuel is running back to the tank from either a missing valve on the new pump maybe?.

or im thinking that we need to prime the actual fuel line itselt.

The line from the pump to carb should have a internal valve and should not let it run back to the tank,so it shouldnt be that.

Im just really beginning to lean towards a lost prime, and the pump is not strong enough to pull fuel from the tank for some reason.

I have a 59 buick this past summer, put on a fuel pump and the system lost its prime. no matter how long i cranked it or added fuel to the carb, i could not get it to run.

THe only way i got the system primed was i had someone add shop air to the fuel tank with a air blower (be carefull not to blow too mutch pressure in the tank, lol) with the line off to the inlet of the fuel pump, when fuel shot out, i plugged it with my finger while i attached it to the pump, I than took the line off just before the carberator and applied very minor pressure to the tank (again being carefull not to blow the fuel pump diaphram this time) and cranked over the engine with a pressurized tank. than i finally got fuel prime.

attached to the carb and away i went.

So as long as its installed properly with all of the parts, than i think we just have a prime problem. and we just have to give the fuel a little help to the pump to get things goin, once its primed it should hold its own prime.

lets give this a shot and let me know


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,
what complicates any theory so far is that...... placing the old fuel pump should have started the car but it did not. As mentioned earlier we re installed the new & the old pump +- 7 times...............spent the whole two Saturdays trying to start the car.
This fuel pump can only be installed in the appropriate orientation to confirm with the installation of metallic gasoline lines. If wrong orientation, it can not be accommodated in place. So in this particular car push rod automatically aligns at supposedly appropriately place and there is no possibility that it is lying on the floor or distorted in the wrong direction.I have talked to several mechanics including some old one seem to have experienced or heard or understand this type of problem.Before I call the mechanic to come to the car, I need to have a logical procedure in hand. I need to understand as to why the pumping action is impaired..........why the lever of the fuel pump is not making contact with it's counter part in the engine?
I have ordered another fuel pump to try our luck. But question still lingers as to why It no longer starts when the old pump was reinstalled .
About the old pump.........the leakage consisted of like a condensation. It was not loosing gasoline in drops or stream, so pump is not dis-functional.The gasoline tank has an safety overflow feature.....if you continue filling, it will start overflowing/ spilling gasoline. So it is not a completely sealed system. I fear if we inject air with pressure, it will start overflowing, but when we start working on the car again, we will definitely try the air. Currently I am waiting for the new fuel pump to arrive.It will be helpful to see a schematic of the installation as shown somewhere in the working manual for the car and some clues related to the installation technique if there is any.. Any suggestion?
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

I searched the first time i replied to see if there was some documentation and diagrams on fuel pump replacement,but i could not find any unfortunatley.

like i said before, i had the exact same this summer with a buick, and i could not get that pump to suck fuel from the tank untill i primed it. i have also used an air operated vacuum system to draw fuel to the pump

As for the action of the pump, I would need to see it with my own eyes to see if anything doesnt add up unfortunatley. it should still start with the old one re installed. thats why im thinking prime issue.

I wish i could help more but im hoping and thinking this will be something simple that we missed.

please let me know what you find and if i can assist you in any way further

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mr. Brookhouse,
Last night one of the neighbors who has degree in auto mechanic, but works in a different field, came by to help.
We tried as follows:
1.- We noticed that upon disconnecting the gas line to the fuel pump, gasoline was oozing out from the disconnected orifjce.
Actually it did that before also, that is why the mechanic had placed a large container below the engine to catch the spilled gasoline. I just did not pay attention before. So the gasoline line is not dry,
2.- Even though we knew that line has gasoline, we introduced a large diameter rubber tube, directed as close to off take of the gasoline line as we could and introduced air from made some mess because the tank is full, but we followed the steps recommended by you. Carburetor was primed. Car did not start. Next............
3.- We replaced the arm of the new fuel pump with that of the old fuel pump and repeated the steps of priming...........Car did not start.Next: I will buy a suction manual pump used to syphon the gasoline/liquids and try do as is being recommended by you. Let
us hope that will work.Note: I tried to open your correspondence dated 20th Oct, but could not................says: this web page is not available !Question: Do you have access to mechanic's manual for this car ie : 1954 Dodge, Royal, Hemi V8, Red Ram.?
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

hi there,

I would not purchase i vacuum pump if he line is wet, that means that there is fuel getting to the pump.

My assumption was that there was no fuel getting to the pump and the system was dry. IF fuel is still coming out at the inlet when you take it out than the prime is still there.

When you crank the engine over, and you have the fuel line disconnected at the carberator, are you getting any fuel pulse to the carb from that open end?

I will check what manual infor i have when i get home after work today.

I would also like to talk to you over the phone as this can be quiker and eliminate if i can help you any further.

let me know if you are available to talk tonight, I normaly charge for this but i would do this for free this time as im really curious what happened when the pump was changed.

let me know


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can see the response under the date Oct 18th..............Thanks
I will prefer that we converse when the Mechanic is here so that he can follow your suggestions. Since he works and is about 65 miles from here, he can only come here on a if possible we can set it up on a Saturday if you are available.
We are in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
I am not familiar with auto any other layman, my observation is very limited therefore I may create more confusion than explanations...............Other problem is that mechanic is not fluent in english so I have to be involved.
Let me know as to how we can do this if we can at all.
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

i do work this saterday, but ill be home later i the afternoon to help out if needed.

He should be able to access it and get a little more closer having eyes right no it,

but i will check in saterday to see how it going



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mr Brookhouse,
I have placed the order for the fuel be on the safe side, I am going to plan to attempt to reinstall the 2nd new pump on 31st if the mechanic is available........... I will talk to him and then let you know of the outcome. By then we will have the 2nd new fuel pump with us for sure.
We will replace the lever of the new pump with that of the old fuel pump if necessary.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mr Brookhouse,
I have a question : What are the specs of my car engine. It is 1954 Dodge, Royal, hemi V8, Red Ram, dbl carburetor............I do not have the car manual. It is essential for getting the most appropriate part, instead of playing hit and miss.
Expert:  camerontech replied 1 year ago.

hi there,

I do not have the factory engine specs on this car.

I did manage to locate a manual for you though.

HEre is the link. deffinatley a good investment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mr Brookhouse,
I have no doubt that if you had the engine in front of you, probably you could have solved the problem long time ago.
You do have impressive experience but not with these particular models etc...........that poses a problem!
Also diagnosing the problem from the distance and assuming and recommending a solution is not as effective and foolproof as though you were directly working on the engine...........Buying the manual may be good, but for me it will have questionable value, because I do not work on cars........Conclusion: I am not very handy, Your suggestion have not worked and unfortunately you are not nearby so that you could personally install the fuel pump, trouble shoot and/or supervise the installation of the fuel pump.
After reviewing the above........I started searching a mechanic with experience on classic cars & particularly these models...
I was referred to Mr Schrieber in Allentown, about 8+- miles from here. After talking to him, I had the car towed to his garage.
He is familiar with these old engines and thinks he can have the fuel pump installed and have the car running. He has not heard of this problem before.........but since the car was running before, does not see a problem.............however, since he is very busy, it may take 2 to 3 weeks before he can get to it. That is fine with me, what other choices do I have?.If it is OK I want to cancel our agreement because you have not been able to solve the problem.
I am desperate to resolve the car issue............that is why I feel a little at ease that now the car is in the hands of a very experienced mechanic . It iis definitely a better choice. I hope I am right.
I will keep you informed. Thanks a lot for trying to be helpful.

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