Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The fuel pump went on my truck last week (a 1998 F150 4.6L V8). So I had to drop the tank and install a new pump. The pump failed because it relies on rubber components in order to maintain pressure in the fuel lines. This might sound surprising; the pump in this vehicle is located inside the gas tank where we might expect it to be relatively protected. The failure here falls under the mysterious category of ‘ageing’. It is not always clear what happens to the elastomer exposed to gasoline, but the result is clear. The stress eventually leads to fracture, and failure of the component. Add it to the list of other good problems in polymer science!