Interest in Electric Vacuum Pump Conversions?

Interested in an Electric Vacuum Pump

  • Yes - but only a ready to run, drop in kit

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Yes - and I am comfortable crimping some wires

    Votes: 4 50.0%
  • Yes - and I'm fine running down all the various parts

    Votes: 5 62.5%
  • No - I'm just here killing time at work...

    Votes: 2 25.0%

  • Total voters
    8

HudsonvilleHornet

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So in a nutshell, earlier this year I went down the rabbit hole of buying one of these old rigs to fiddle with and put to work here and there. One of the many, many things this rig has needed was a vacuum pump. I looked in to reman units, which looked like a mixed bag, and then hydroboost..which seems great, but, was a little more involved of a conversion than I really want to bite off right now. So that pretty much left converting to an electric pump. So over the past months I've been diving down that rabbit hole, trying to find something simple to install and OEM reliable. Which basically meant I had to engi-cobble something together myself.

Ultimately I did find what has, so far, been a great little setup..and now I am wondering if there would be interest in me making up some of these. It's based on an electric booster pump from a current model OEM application, and it's mounted on a laser cut, CNC bent bracket that mounts behind the passenger side battery, which also supports the switch, relay, and breaker. No permanent mods to the truck, other than cutting the vacuum hose a bit shorter - so 100% reversible. This could also be mounted behind the driver's side battery without any issues, I would just need to make a mirrored bracket.

So, any preliminary interest? I am afraid I am probably too busy to make/sell turn-key units, so I'd most likely be selling some form of kit (or even just the mount and a parts list). Cost wise, I'd have to get a quote for a run of the brackets and go from there, this is just a one off for my own kicks.

Comments welcome, and don't forget to vote..

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IDIBRONCO

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As long as it can keep up with the volume of vacuum needed to run the brakes and older cruise controls, it's a good idea.
 

HudsonvilleHornet

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As long as it can keep up with the volume of vacuum needed to run the brakes and older cruise controls, it's a good idea.

Has been running my brakes fine. I set up a little light in the cab so I know when it's running, it's on for easily less than 1 second to recover from a normal effort stop. I have cruise out now as I was pulling the parking brake pedal and water separator out to fix those as well - if I can pull myself away from the end of the year household projects a bit I'll throw it back in. I did have a leak somewhere in there though, may have been the canister, but still need to diagnose that. I would say this is probably sensitive to vacuum issues, not sure what duty cycle these pumps are good for.

What is your max vacuum, and cost to make one?

Bench testing, it would pull ~25" unregulated. I'm running it on the low end now while I am proving it out, with the switch turning it off around 17-18" now depending on which vacuum gauge I test with. Sure beats the 6-10" I was getting with the old pump, hah.

Cost is TBD..not ready to spew numbers quite yet. Plus I should probably contact an admin here to see what I need to do (if anything) to stay in good standing with something like this. Quantities of scale will come in to effect for the big ticket items (mounting bracket and pump), it will be a lot more to run 3-4 of them vs. 10-20+. It would fall in between hydroboost and a reman pump, all-in.
 

ROCK HARVEY

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I’m interested. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a used hydroboost unit locally, but if this is comparable in cost I’d definitely consider it.
 

HudsonvilleHornet

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How is yours different than electric vacuum pump kits that exist for this purpose? The mount for this specific application?

If you show me what else you're looking at, I can go further in to detail. As far as I know, there is no other direct fit mounts for these rigs. There are aftermarket vacuum pump setups I've seen that are marketed towards hot rods and racecars, but I question if those pumps have been tested as thoroughly as something from an OEM pump application (eg, will they work in -20F and +120F ambient, have they been tested to operate XX,000 hours, etc). Others I have seen utilize a lower capacity pump than what I've got set up here, which as I recall are more for boosting low vacuum and not being the sole source of vacuum.

I’m interested. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a used hydroboost unit locally, but if this is comparable in cost I’d definitely consider it.

My basis for saying it's well under the hydroboost figure is assuming new or mostly new hardware, which I believe is somewhere in the $800-1000 range (possibly old/outdated numbers) - maybe not realistic, since many might bank on used parts, hard to say. I thought I saw one of the vendors offering a hydroboost all-inclusive kit that was something like $1200+, which is multiples of what this will probably fall at.
 

IDIBRONCO

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Others I have seen utilize a lower capacity pump than what I've got set up here, which as I recall are more for boosting low vacuum and not being the sole source of vacuum.
These are what I've usually seen. My worst nightmare was a Chevy van with a 6.2 that a big dummyhead just "had" to use to pull his 32' camper. There wasn't a turbo kit for those so he rigged a truck turbo on it. He was also using a cheap 12v electric vacuum pump instead of a factory version. They didn't last him that long before he had to replace them. I think they would last about a year.
 

IDIoit

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i use super duty electric vacuum pumps.
but i will never count on a electric vacuum unit to control my brakes.
hydroboost is well worth the mod
 

hacked89

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If you show me what else you're looking at, I can go further in to detail. As far as I know, there is no other direct fit mounts for these rigs. There are aftermarket vacuum pump setups I've seen that are marketed towards hot rods and racecars, but I question if those pumps have been tested as thoroughly as something from an OEM pump application (eg, will they work in -20F and +120F ambient, have they been tested to operate XX,000 hours, etc). Others I have seen utilize a lower capacity pump than what I've got set up here, which as I recall are more for boosting low vacuum and not being the sole source of vacuum.



My basis for saying it's well under the hydroboost figure is assuming new or mostly new hardware, which I believe is somewhere in the $800-1000 range (possibly old/outdated numbers) - maybe not realistic, since many might bank on used parts, hard to say. I thought I saw one of the vendors offering a hydroboost all-inclusive kit that was something like $1200+, which is multiples of what this will probably fall at.
I’ve used two of the $400+ plus ones, specifically the one that’s $498 in the list to solely run my vacuum brakes but I agree, I didn’t like it. Like you mentioned they are meant to “t” in and sense when vacuum is ~15 then boost it. When they run continuously they get hot. I was curious how yours is different regarding running continuously and controlling heat and reliability. The ability to bolt on without modification is the bottom of my list but that’s personal preference. I understand the appeal.
+1 I wouldn’t rely on solely electric pump for brakes and would go hydroboost. I went hydroboost. Like you said new aftermarket is around $1200 but junkyard/used all in your around $400
 

Greenie

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I bought a NAPA driven pump, swapped the pulley (serpentine) and it's been golden. The original pump with 270K miles still worked OK but I swapped it out just as a precaution. I try to keep things simple and stock.
 

chillman88

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I bought a NAPA driven pump, swapped the pulley (serpentine) and it's been golden. The original pump with 270K miles still worked OK but I swapped it out just as a precaution. I try to keep things simple and stock.

Some of us have a really hard time with that dirty S word LOL
 

HudsonvilleHornet

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i use super duty electric vacuum pumps.
but i will never count on a electric vacuum unit to control my brakes.
hydroboost is well worth the mod


Those are meant to run HVAC stuff, totally different class of pump. I bought one some years ago to run a mini vacuum fixturing prototype, I will say it did better than I expected it to do, but it certainly does not move enough volume for brakes. No system is perfect, with the hydroboost if you toss a belt or have an engine failure you're out of luck as well (I guess, same as the stock setup). Does it have some sort of accumulator so you get one or two more assists without the engine on?


I’ve used two of the $400+ plus ones, specifically the one that’s $498 in the list to solely run my vacuum brakes but I agree, I didn’t like it. Like you mentioned they are meant to “t” in and sense when vacuum is ~15 then boost it. When they run continuously they get hot. I was curious how yours is different regarding running continuously and controlling heat and reliability. The ability to bolt on without modification is the bottom of my list but that’s personal preference. I understand the appeal.
+1 I wouldn’t rely on solely electric pump for brakes and would go hydroboost. I went hydroboost. Like you said new aftermarket is around $1200 but junkyard/used all in your around $400


Just left to run, it heats up in a hurry. But as I said earlier, in a normal stopping scenario, it only runs a second or less to catch back up. I am sure if you just sat there and pumped the brake pedal continuously for a while you could kill it, but that's nowhere near a normal operating scenario. I've thought about buying another pump to see how long it'll chooch continuously before burning up.

The health of the vacuum system would be paramount though - if you've got a leak and it's running frequently to compensate for that, that's going to be a problem. There are gotchas with this that do make me apprehensive about selling anything related to this at all. The idea of getting sued because someone wrecked their rig after burning up a pump because that vacuum leak "wasn't that bad" makes me wonder if this is a good idea or not.


I bought a NAPA driven pump, swapped the pulley (serpentine) and it's been golden. The original pump with 270K miles still worked OK but I swapped it out just as a precaution. I try to keep things simple and stock.


When I bought my truck I found a brand new Motorcraft pump but decided to pass since I was spending a lot of money elsewhere on it and hadn't diagnosed the system yet..probably don't need to tell you that's $90 I really wish I would have spent, hah.
 

HudsonvilleHornet

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Here's a few pictures of the bare bracket. There's a studded plate (not shown) that sandwiches the battery brace. This is actually an "oops" part (bends were made in the opposite direction; technically this could actually fit behind the driver's battery), but you get the idea. And yes, eagle eyes will notice the rivet nut is too short for the material thickness - the correct size was on backorder and I wanted to use this to test fit everything while I waited on the corrected part to be made. .090" 5052 aluminum as shown, if this actually goes anywhere the "production" part would probably be steel or stainless.

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