As we prepare Project Biting The Bullitt to head back to the dragstrip with a refreshed look, we’re also taking some time to do a few updates under the hood. One of those updates is a new electric water pump from Moroso.
Moroso’s electric water pump for small-block Ford engines, part number 63585, offers several advantages over a traditional belt driven water pump. The most obvious of these is freeing up horsepower lost t0 parasitic drag caused by the crankshaft driving the mechanical pump. Moroso’s Thor Schroeder says, “We’ve had engine builders tell us that engine dynamometer tests prove that many water pumps produce severe drag on engines at high RPM, absorbing as much as 15-20 hp.“ While that may not sound like much when we’re dealing with an engine that makes over 1,000 hp like the one in project BTB the truth is that in drag racing every horsepower counts as you make your way down the track.
Perhaps an even bigger advantage of swapping to an electric pump are the cooling benefits when the engine isn’t running. We typically campaign BTB in NMCA’s True Street class. On race day we usually drive the car to the track, and then we have to take it on the 30-mile True Street Cruise followed by running the car in back to back passes down the strip.
We’ve had engine builders tell us that engine dynamometer tests prove that many water pumps produce severe drag on engines at high RPM, absorbing as much as 15-20 hp. – Thor Schroeder
Schroeder explains, “A race car on the track goes from being pushed to its limits on the track to a stationary object after the race. Even though the race car is being pushed to extremes, it still has air moving through the radiator and engine compartment to help cool it down. On an engine with a standard mechanical water pump, when the engine is turned off, the coolant stops moving and heat soak occurs. Heat soak in this case is the residual heat from the hot engine parts that heats up the still coolant and surrounding engine components to a temperature that is higher than when the engine was running. Why heat soak is harmful is because it can lead to failed gaskets, cracked/warped cylinder heads, and affect bearing life etc. The electric water pump can keep the coolant circulating, letting the engine components cool down at a gradual rate. “
At 12 volts Schroeder says the Moroso electric water pump can flow 20 gallons per minute. At that kind of flow rate we can potentially circulate all of the coolant from the radiator through the block at least five times per minute, if not more. Add to this cycling our cooling fan and we have a method for dropping engine temperatures quickly in the lanes.
Moroso constructs this electric water pump from 6061 T-6 aluminum. This includes the housing, impeller, pump plate, and motor cap. Sealed ball bearings along with a a heavy duty brushless motor provide long life and maximize efficiency of the pump. Moroso includes stainless hardware for installation.
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An added bonus to the Moroso electric water pump is its low current draw needing only 8-10 amps to operate on a 12-volt system. This means that while we’re in the staging lanes we won’t have to worry about the pump drawing excessive power from the battery which could lead to the car not starting. For racers who don’t run an alternator it also means that this pump should allow them make a pass without worrying about the battery’s state of charge.
Installation is as simple as replacing the factory water pump with the new electric unit and making the proper electrical connections. We connected the water pump electrical leads to our Racepak Smartwire system to allow easy management of when and how we run the pump.
Packaging in the engine compartment is much simpler as well with this installation. We no longer need a belt to run the water pump, this allows the crankshaft to spin only our supercharger and the alternator. The powder coated outer case of the water pump also looks much nicer than the standard cast mechanical pump we’re replacing.
We’re looking forward to our next trip to the track and keeping temperatures at bay with the use of our new Moroso electric water pump.