Imagine driving your sports car, top open and tunes playing, along a busy main street crowded with people to meet up for dinner – say someplace like State Street in Santa Barbara – when your car just dies completely…. Well that is what happened with our Porsche 914. It bucked a couple of times and died. Fortunately, a friendly (and large) cabby helped me push it to the curb. My suspicion was a relay or the fuel pump – but not much you can do at that time of night. I have spare relays and replaced the fuel pump one on the spot, checked the fuses, but all was ok there… no luck getting the car to run, so a call went out to the AAA for a tow.
Once back at home I used a tried and true method to see if the pump was at fault. First, when you turn on the ignition on a 914 you should hear the fuel pump whir for a moment. I noticed mine was decidedly quiet. I again checked the relays etc. and all was good. So, here is the high tech test of the Porsche 914 fuel pump… You leave the ignition on, crawl under the car a little and tap the pump with a wrench. The pump in the 1973 914 is located underneath the car behind the passenger door area. If the pump starts to run and then engine starts up and runs a bit when you get back up and behind the wheel – you have good reason to suspect the pump if at fault. I thank my son for this particular diagnostic! Sure enough, a couple of taps and the pump would run for a while.
The Bosch fuel pumps for the Porsche 914 are hard to get so I settled for an aftermarket one. They are not cheap for the 1973 model. The first step in installing a new pump is to disconnect the battery. This is important and you are in a situation where lots of fuel can spill if you do not watch it. You then have to jack the car up on the passenger side and take tools and fuel line clamps underneath the car with you. In a 1973 914 1.7 here are three lines that go in and out of the pump. Make sure to crimp the lines tightly as fuel can and will spew out if you do not. Mark the lines so you make sure to correctly attach them to the new pump. Once I had the pump out I bench tested it and it would run for a moment and then just die or not start at all. Definitely the culprit. Installing the replacement pump is easy – just had to make sure to get the hoses hooked up correctly and tight! At the same time I changed the fuel filter. The filters are cheap and any particles etc. in the fuel can ruin the new pump and play havoc with the Bosch fuel injectors.