Quick Tips on Choosing a Diesel Injector Pump
Your diesel injector pump gives your engine an edge over gasoline-fueled engines by directly injecting fuel into the combustion chamber where it is ignited by hot, high-pressured air. Your fuel takes a more direct route and this gives your vehicle better gas mileage and stronger towing power. Since it is responsible for providing your engine with fuel, your diesel injector pump is an essential component that you simply can't do without. If you are looking to replace a faulty diesel injector pump or replace your current pump with one of higher quality, here are some general things you should know.
Types of diesel injector pumps
- In-line fuel pump - One of the earlier models of diesel pumps, this type allows the pistons to have continuous stroke and injection throttle by employing an in-line layout with a series of cam-operated injection cylinders. The volume of fuel in each injection is controlled through the cylinders, which have a cut-off port that is aligned with a slot in the cylinder. The rate of injection is varied by the rotation of the cylinders depending on how much engine power is needed. In-line fuel pumps are commonly found in large vehicles like trucks and tractors.
- Rotary fuel pump - In this type, one injection cylinder, is driven by an axial cam plate to inject fuel into individual fuel lines. A distributor valve is used to guide the injection cylinder. The rate of injection here is varied by differing crank speeds. This process creates more power at high crank speeds and smoother, more economical running at lower crank speeds. Rotary pumps are usually found in cars and small trucks.
- Electric fuel pump - In this type, the car engine's computer (also known as the engine contrul unit or ECU) and a set of sensors control a valve which supplies the pressurized fuel to your car's engine. With the valve opening and closing several times in a second, the fuel is released as a mist, which allows the fuel to burn at a steadier rate.
Other things to consider in buying a diesel injector pump:
- Other than the price of the injector pump itself, be sure to consider installation and periodic maintenance costs as well in your budget. Installation kits range from $20 to around $70 or more while getting professional help for installation can costs hundreds of dollars.
- You can also look into how a particular injection pump will affect the quality of your emissions and your fuel economy.
- Some popular brands include Bully Dog, Powerstroke, Cummins, and Duramax.
- Refer to your vehicle's owner manual for detailed information regarding what kinds of diesel injection pumps are best for your vehicle.
How to Replace Your Diesel Injector Pump
Unlike gasoline-fueled engines where the fuel takes a more circuitous path before it is ignited by spark plugs, your diesel engine has fuel directly injected into the combustion chamber where it is ignited by hot, high-pressured air. This gives your vehicle better fuel economy and superior towing power. Your diesel injector pump is largely responsible for giving you that advantage. Without it, your engine won't get the fuel it needs and your vehicle won't run. You can replace a faulty diesel injector pump yourself with a few basic tools and mechanical skills.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Here's what you'll need:
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- 19-mm wrench
- Replacement diesel injection pump
- Vehicle owner manual
WARNING: Do NOT do this procedure with your engine running. Your diesel engine is a high pressure environment and the pump builds up a ton of pressure. Fuel escaping under that much pressure can easily penetrate your skin—a medical complication that can be serious enough to require amputation. We recommend working after your engine has cooled.
Here are the steps:
- Use your ratchet and socket to remove your engine's valve cover.
- Use your 19-mm wrench to remove the diesel injector line, located at the driver's side of your engine.
- Remove the bolts securing the diesel injection pump in place with your ratchet and the appropriate socket.
- Remove the hold-down bracket.
- Pull out the old diesel injector pump.
- Install your replacement diesel injection pump. Secure it in place with the hold-down bracket and the same bolts you removed earlier.
- Reconnect the diesel injector line with your 19-mm wrench.
- Restore your engine's valve cover and use your ratchet and socket to tighten the bolts.
Take care not to over-tighten any bolts as this can damage the threads. Refer to your vehicle's owner manual for any specifications that may require you to deviate from these general instructions.