Diesel engines are still very much around, and not just in the trucking industry. Those who wish to boost power without sacrificing efficiency (as diesel engines rate number one for the most efficient internal combustion) usually fit a diesel engine into their vehicles — and if they want a little extra oomph, they’ll upgrade the diesel fuel system.
Before you go digging around in your engine (or pay someone to dig around in your engine), it’s important to know the components involved in diesel fuel systems. Your engine will contain a diesel filtration system, complete with diesel fuel filters to ensure that no dirt or debris gets into that very expensive engine, an injection system, which is responsible for injecting the fuel that will be turned into mechanical energy, but — most importantly — your engine will contain a diesel lift pump.
The fuel lift pump transfers fuel from your tank to the injection system. Virtually every diesel has a lift pump of some kind, yet many people prefer to purchase and install aftermarket pumps to boost their power past factory settings.
Feel The Power
Modifying the amount of fuel that gets injected, either through programming (if your truck is computer-equipped) or manually, is one of the easiest ways to push your engine and “see what she can do”, so to speak. Unfortunately, most factory diesel lift pumps cannot keep up with the change: when supply fuel pressure drops, the injection pressure into the engine will also drop, and so will horsepower. In fact, running pressure that’s too low can potentially harm the injection pump and cause it to fail, so any time you modify your engine for more power and performance, you’re going to want to install a new lift pump as well.
Now that you understand how your system works, you can begin looking for a suitable lift pump. Low-pressure fuel pumps are inexpensive (carrying a price tag of around $100), but they almost always fail in diesel setups. It’s a much better idea to do your research and find a quality diesel lift pump that has been proven to succeed.