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Aeromotive Phantom Fuel Delivery System

The Phantom Knows!

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After doing high-performance automotive technical stories for more than 30 years, it's hard to get really excited about most new products. Many over-promise major gains only to succeed in under-delivering. But once in a great while, a product comes along that is well designed, fills a great need, is easy to install, and generally works exactly as promised. Such is the new Phantom fuel-delivery system from Aeromotive. The new generation of self-learning EFI fuel-injection systems has made EFI more popular than ever. As questions arise about which system is the best way to go, often the most important system—fuel delivery—is overlooked. The OEs have spent an enormous amount of time and money developing a fuel-delivery system that is totally functional.

The challenge for a fuel-system designer is to maintain a quantity of fuel around the fuel pump at all times—much like a dry sump system uses a separate oil tank to supply a constant source of fresh oil to the pump. Carbureted engines can accommodate fuel-pressure fluctuations because the float supplies the constant source of fuel, but EFI systems cannot. Budget fuel-system users quickly discover what happens when you attempt to use a stock carbureted fuel tank pickup with an external fuel pump—when the fuel level drops below half full, fuel slosh uncovers the pickup (generally under acceleration or cornering), which means the fuel pressure immediately drops to near zero because of air in the fuel line. When fuel pressure drops, the engine hesitates or dies. This will happen only about two or three times before you will be looking for a solution to the problem. Enter the Aeromotive fuel pump and Phantom system.

Aeromotive has been well aware of this problem for a few years and has created several different solutions to the problem, but most entailed either a custom fuel tank or major welding of a custom fuel pump sump to the rear of the tank. Neither of these ideas is inexpensive. The solution needed to be a small, in-tank pump that could be easily retrofitted to nearly any OEM muscle-car fuel tank. The key component for this approach was a small enough fuel pump that could be easily retrofitted yet strong enough to supply fuel for 700–1,000hp engines. When Aeromotive introduced the Stealth 340 fuel pump a couple of years ago, it quickly became the key component. The 340 name comes from its ability to pump 340 liters of fuel per hour, which equates to around 90 gallons per hour, equivalent to roughly 1,000 hp worth of fuel, carbureted, or 700 hp with EFI. At first, Aeromotive created specific tank packages with the Stealth pump, but eventually they came up with the universal Phantom system so you could adapt this excellent idea to almost any factory fuel tank.

One fuel delivery approach to avoid fuel-pressure fluctuations is the small black bucket that is the base for the Aeromotive fuel pump. Combined with the yellow fuel cell foam surrounding the pump, the foam and bucket work as an excellent reservoir that will maintain a constant fuel source for the pump, even when the tank is nearly empty. After this pump installation, we tested it on our El Camino, pulling the fuel level down to where there was just a little more than a gallon of fuel in the tank. Even with this very low level, the car did not surge, which means the Aeromotive fuel pump Phantom system was still supplying a constant source of fuel. As an added bonus, the pump is so quiet you can only hear it if the engine is not running. This means no more growling pump to deal with on long drives. If you're considering converting to EFI in the future or just want a reliable electric pump for your machine, check out how easy it is to install the Aeromotive fuel pump in your car. We completed this entire installation in less than three hours, and that included a trip to the hardware store to buy the 31⁄4-inch hole saw.

Parts List

Description PN Source Price
Aero. Phantom kit 18688 Summit Racing $549.95
Aero. 10-micron filter 12321 Summit Racing $94.95
Aero reg. 3-65 psi 13301 Summit Racing $131.95
Aero ORB6 to male -6 15606 Summit Racing $15.95
Aeromotive fuel pump wiring 16301 Summit Racing $79.95
Aero F-car tank assm. 18657 Summit Racing $754.95
OPGI fuel tank AD0GM6C Original Parts Group $116.99
OPGI sending unit PZ00732 Original Parts Group $68.99
OPGI fuel inlet hose CH28633 Original Parts Group $17.99
FAST EZ-EFI kit 30226-KIT Summit Racing $1,783.95
Dow Corning RTV 09-00383 Aircraft Spruce $96.60

SOURCES
Aeromotive
7805 Barton Street
Lenexa
KS  66214
913-647-7300
http://www.aeromotiveinc.com
Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI)
1770 Saturn Way
Seal Beach
CA  90740
800-243-8355
www.opgi.com
Fuel Air Spark Technology
3400 Democrat Road
Memphis
TN  38118
877-344-8355
http://www.fuelairspark.com
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