1. #1
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    Default Pump replacement... What do we need to know about a used pump before buying it?

    I've mentioned our Frankenpumper on here before. It's an '86 GMC that had a '70 pump installed when the factory pump blew up. Now the '70 pump isn't quite passing pump test, and we are kicking around our options.

    I stumbled onto a used 1,000-gpm pump and wondered what we would need to know about the truck and the pump to determine if they are compatible. We would be using a real live fire apparatus mechanic to install it.
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    Bump! Got 101 views so far, and apparently everyone knows better than to chime in. The silence is deafening. I get the feeling this might not be a worthy project.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    Bump! Got 101 views so far, and apparently everyone knows better than to chime in. The silence is deafening. I get the feeling this might not be a worthy project.
    I'll speculate on why that is. Probably most of us come from circumstances where that project wouldn't even be considered. We'd look at an over 25 year old commercial chassis and say it's just not worth it. The cost of the work would be more than the value of the truck. Most of us are not programmed to understand nor appreciate fire departments whose funding is so limited as to make a project like this be considered. To an extent, I'm one of them. On the other hand, I've taken on work in our station in years past because it needed to be done but the powers that were at the time didn't agree. But they'd let me do it if it didn't cost money.

    What you want to do probably can be done. But before you even consider it, you need to know the condition of the pump. Will it really do rated capacity at designated pressure? Will it continue to meet that standard for as long as you own the truck? So if the pump is sitting on a floor and not in a truck, how can you test it?

    Or when it was in a truck, when was it last tested. How did it do on its last test? Did it undergo annual testing? Are there records available? If all of that is positive, maybe.

    Next big question - what engine is in this 86 GMC? Is there enough engine to drive a 1000 GPM pump? Been a long time since I crunched numbers, but I think you'll need something on the order of 200 HP +/- at the transmission tailshaft to run that pump. There are others on here who could give you a better answer to that question.

    Who would install this pump? Does that person understand the importance of positioning, securing the pump to the frame, driveline angles, etc.?

    If you can get good answers to all of those questions and more, and if you think the truck itself is in good enough condition to continue on for however many more years, and if you can pull it off for less money than buying a different truck, then go for it. But view the project with a very critical eye. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    I'll speculate on why that is. Probably most of us come from circumstances where that project wouldn't even be considered. We'd look at an over 25 year old commercial chassis and say it's just not worth it. The cost of the work would be more than the value of the truck. Most of us are not programmed to understand nor appreciate fire departments whose funding is so limited as to make a project like this be considered. To an extent, I'm one of them. On the other hand, I've taken on work in our station in years past because it needed to be done but the powers that were at the time didn't agree. But they'd let me do it if it didn't cost money.

    What you want to do probably can be done. But before you even consider it, you need to know the condition of the pump. Will it really do rated capacity at designated pressure? Will it continue to meet that standard for as long as you own the truck? So if the pump is sitting on a floor and not in a truck, how can you test it?

    Or when it was in a truck, when was it last tested. How did it do on its last test? Did it undergo annual testing? Are there records available? If all of that is positive, maybe.

    Next big question - what engine is in this 86 GMC? Is there enough engine to drive a 1000 GPM pump? Been a long time since I crunched numbers, but I think you'll need something on the order of 200 HP +/- at the transmission tailshaft to run that pump. There are others on here who could give you a better answer to that question.

    Who would install this pump? Does that person understand the importance of positioning, securing the pump to the frame, driveline angles, etc.?

    If you can get good answers to all of those questions and more, and if you think the truck itself is in good enough condition to continue on for however many more years, and if you can pull it off for less money than buying a different truck, then go for it. But view the project with a very critical eye. Good luck!
    chiefengineer11 gave you very good things to consider. I would also get an estimate on the labor of the fix. You might find a comparable truck on the used market that is better to put the money into.

    I would think that you are talking in the thousands of dollars for labor to remove and then install a pump.

    I would also ask the make, model and gear ratios for the old and "new" pump. They may be completely different. You may be still in the gas vs. diesel era.

    I am no expert but know these will play a factor.

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    Thanks, gentlemen. Here is our situation:

    We did consider a used truck, but we realize it's always a crapshoot. With this truck, we know 20 years of its history, so we are confident in the drivetrain. Yes, the pump is an unknown, but it's a 2001 model, which is newer than what would be in any used unit we could afford. We put an aluminum tank in it in 2002.

    This truck runs out of a substation and doesn't make a heckuva lot of calls in a year. We try to keep it in top condition in case it ever has to cover at the main station, but for the most part, it stays put.

    It is a diesel, and the current pump is 1,000gpm.

    The installation would be done by fire apparatus mechanics, not six of our guys and a roll of Skoal (which is what does a lot of our work). Before we undertook anything, we'd make sure that they were 1) competent, 2) comfortable, and 3) affordable.

    Thanks again! Some things for us to ruminate on.
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    The biggest issue is to make sure the gear ratio of the pump gear box is compatable with the engine you have. You should call the pump manufactuer and give them the engine and pump information and they will help you make sure they are compatable and that the engine has enough horsepower to pump the rating of the pump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    Thanks, gentlemen. Here is our situation:

    We did consider a used truck, but we realize it's always a crapshoot. With this truck, we know 20 years of its history, so we are confident in the drivetrain. Yes, the pump is an unknown, but it's a 2001 model, which is newer than what would be in any used unit we could afford. We put an aluminum tank in it in 2002.

    This truck runs out of a substation and doesn't make a heckuva lot of calls in a year. We try to keep it in top condition in case it ever has to cover at the main station, but for the most part, it stays put.

    It is a diesel, and the current pump is 1,000gpm.

    The installation would be done by fire apparatus mechanics, not six of our guys and a roll of Skoal (which is what does a lot of our work). Before we undertook anything, we'd make sure that they were 1) competent, 2) comfortable, and 3) affordable.

    Thanks again! Some things for us to ruminate on.
    I would also check to see what type of shop the work would get done in. A repair shop we use told us that once they got the lifts to pick up the entire truck, it made major repairs to pumps much easier. Compared to on creepers etc.... just like your car is easier to work on up in the air. They are not cheap, so the repair shop is investing in their business which shows something about how they do business too.... just another thought.

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    A little more info. The new pump is a Darley LDM 1000 with a 2.44 gear ratio. The old one is a Waterous CMCX with a 1.69.

    Those two gear ratios ain't gonna make music together, are they?
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    A little more info. The new pump is a Darley LDM 1000 with a 2.44 gear ratio. The old one is a Waterous CMCX with a 1.69.

    Those two gear ratios ain't gonna make music together, are they?
    Depending on what diesel engine we're talking about, it might work better. If you're dealing with a 2100 RPM engine such as 71 or 92 series Detroit or many common Cummins engines, you'll have a tolerably decent matchup. That 1:1.69 ratio looks like it was for a V8 gas engine or something that turned pretty fast.

    Another thing to compare is the distance between the transfer case's input shaft to the pump shaft. This can afffect mounting position and driveline angles.

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    I think it's a 60 Series Detroit, but according to what I found on the internet, that model wasn't introduced until 1987 and the truck is an '86. If somehow it is a 60 (my source was not a Detroit site), the max rpms are 2100.

    This calls for a visit to the station.
    Last edited by EastKyFF; 03-28-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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    Have you considered rebuilding the pump? I feel it would be the way to go if your pump would not quite pass the pump test. If you were to rebuild the pump there would not be any concerns with gear ratios, proper mounting, drive shaft angles…

    Check out the Waterous website, it has all the information that you would need to trouble shoot and rebuild your pump.

    DanRed

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    I agree with danred.
    The cost of a rebuild would more likely be lower than buying and installing a whole new/used pump of a different manufacturer, With the swap to a darley you will have to change the plumbing to line up as the manifolds will be different.
    Do you have a competent waterous service center near you that could do an evaluation of what you have?

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    Just hung up with our FART (Fire Apparatus Repair Technician, ha ha). He said just what DanRed and islandfire03 said, that even if the labor were reasonable on replacement, it would be so much plumbing work that it wouldn't be worth it.

    We'll probably just down-rate it to 750gpm and get on with our lives. Once our rescue is paid off in a couple more years we'll probably buy something.

    You guys have been very knowledgeable and helpful. Thanks very much.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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