An electric fuel pump saved my Corvair (and probably my garage)


Starting an engine for the first time, whether after full rebuild or partial disassembly, is an exciting process. It is also one that should be approached with patience and careful attention to detail. One loose fitting can really ruin your day—and your bank account—if ignored.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/01/10/electric-fuel-pump-saves-corvair-carb-rebuild


I had a similar issue with my small block Nova last year. When changing jets in the carb, I missed tightening one of the fuel line fittings. The car started, was running lean, I was a little baffled since the jet change was 1 setting leaner and shouldn’t have caused misfire, then boom! Just as you described, the engine backfired through the carb and lit the engine compartment on fire. Fortunately the car was in my driveway and I had a fire extinguisher close. Another good thing was the car needed to be painted anyway. It burned the paint off the top of one fender, and inside the engine compartment.