Product Review: Kenne Bell’s Boost-A-Pump
Thursday, December 17, 1998
The idea of the Boost-A-Pump is simple, increase the voltage to the fuel pump and increase fuel flow. Since EFI fuel pumps are really nothing more than electrical motors, the amount of voltage they receive determines the motor’s speed and therefore its output.
The most common candidates for a Boost-A-Pump are well built 5.0 Mustangs with good heads, intake, 36# injectors and a Vortech making more than 10 psi. The average car in this category will easily run out of fuel around 6000 rpm when making between 12 – 15 psi even with a 190l or 255l in-tank pump and a frame mounted T-Rex. The problem is that almost all electric fuel pumps are designed and rated for 14V operation. The average Mustang only gets 10.5 – 11.5 volts to the fuel pump(s). The resultant low voltage situation dramatically decreases the pump’s ability to flow fuel when the engine needs it most – under boost.
Typically, a Mustang with the aforementioned combo and an FMU will spike fuel pressure to around 70 psi but as the run progresses fuel pressure will steadily drop to 50 psi. And that’s not a safe condition. With the fuel pressure falling off because of inadequate pump performance the engine goes lean and blown head gaskets become a possibility.
In the past, we would upgrade customers making more than 12 psi to a 1/2″ fuel line, Cartech pickup, high-flow rails and a better frame mounted pump to solve fuel delivery problems. But for relatively mild applications like the one mentioned, Kenne Bell’s Boost-A-Pump solves the problem. With no changes besides the Boost-A-Pump, the car that was dropping fuel pressure into the 50’s can now make 90 –100 psi at the start of a run and hold it there until the end.
The Boost-A-Pump is essentially a voltage amplifier. It is wired into the existing power wire that leads to the pump(s). A cockpit-mounted knob can adjust the amount of voltage increase from 0 – 50%. A boost activated hobs switch turns on the Boost-A-Pump when blower boost rises above 4.5 psi. So for those of you worried about increased wear, the Boost-A-Pump is only increasing the speed of your fuel pump when it needs it most.
There are two Boost-A-Pump models available, a 30-amp model and a 40-amp model. The 30 amp is ideal for single pump applications such as one Bosch or Cartech pump. The 40 amp is more popular as it is the best choice when 2 pumps are used, an in-tank and a T-Rex on the frame. The 40 amp is also better suited to single high output pumps like the Weldon.
We have found that the Boost-A-Pump’s gain control only needs to be set to 10% in most applications. This will raise fuel pump voltage to a solid 15 volts, which is more than enough to supply adequate fuel pressure for the majority of cars. At its full 50% gain setting fuel pump voltage will approach 20. It’s easy to know when the Boost-A-Pump is doing its job; the fuel pump grows louder when the extra voltage rushes in.
The Kenne Bell Boost-A-Pump is an excellent addition for the large number of supercharged cars we see making over 10 pounds of boost. In most cases it can supply the extra fuel delivery capabilities previously possible only with a much more expensive fuel system upgrade to larger lines, pumps and rails.
Boost-A-Pump 40 amp unit $295
Occasionally we find a product that is so fantastic we can’t wait to let everyone know, and Kenne Bell’s Boost-A-Pump is one of them.