Two Letters Re: Sources for Gasoline and Diesel Fuel in a Grid-Down Collapse

Hi Jim,
I work for a general, solving problems in the Middle East. Fixing vehicles is easy, its fixing the people that’s hard…
I love your stuff on SurvivalBlog and thought I’d add:

There are plenty of submersible type improvised fuel pumps will fit down into a 3″ pipe. Background is that GM and most other manufacturers’ in-tank fuel pumps are part of a tank ‘module’ which includes the fuel gauge sending unit, pressure feed, return feed, and evaporative emissions sensor. The pump is designed to run when submersed in fuel. I’ll get some part numbers if you would like but its fairly straightforward.

* Get a fuel tank sending unit module from any post-1987 fuel injected GM truck or car.
* Strip the fuel pump, pick up screen (filter) and electrical connector from the sending unit module.
* Connect 20-25 feet of wire for power and ground using secure and chemical resistant wire/connections.
* Connect 20-25 feet of 5/16 fuel line.
* Connected to a switch and battery you now have a submersible pump like any deep well water pump. Dip [the assembly] and pump.

I’ve used this setup to pump out fuel tanks removed from vehicles but no higher than 6-7 feet although I think that this may work for up to 15-20 foot lift.

Safety Note: Remember that sparks and fuel should only be combined in a combustion chamber or in a structure that you are denying an enemy.

Any poor connection or general stupidity could/would cause similar to what was reported to be the cause of the downing of [Pan Am] Flight 103.
Cheers, ‘The Mechanic’, in Iraq


I am new to your site. read the first 40 pages of your novel “Patriots” online and ordered a copy. Looking forward to it and digging deeper into you site. Thanks for all your hard work.
As for fuel transfers, I have worked with some #2 oil + kerosene furnaces lately and they have all had a great fuel pump on the side.
Some of these pumps, if configured for a two pipe system, claim to have an 18 foot lift ability at 1/3 gpm. This is quite slow as it’s designed to provide high pressure at a slow rate to the furnace
injection nozzle. However if you cap off the injection nozzle (on a two pipe system) and take the return to tank line and put it in a collection tank I believe you will achieve a much greater flow. These are self priming gear pumps that usually operate at 1,725 rpm or 3,450 rpm. Many cordless 3/8-inch drills can reach at least 1,200 rpm and the drill chuck will clamp right down on the shaft.
I see these pumps still attached to furnace burner guns all the time at the metal scrap yard and out back of the furnace repair shops. They should be easy to obtain for free or scrap price, and are only held on by two bolts.
Most all the info anyone would need to test this theory is here.

It is important to note that the pump must be set up for two line use or capping of the injection line will blow the seals out of the pump. I will hopefully be testing this setup sometime next week and will let you know the results. Diesel should be no problem, transfer of gasoline is probably discouraged by the manufacturer, but I will test
it. – Andy in the Adirondack Mountains

JWR Replies: To the best of my knowledge, drill motor-powered pumps are not approved for pumping gasoline, since drill motors are notorious for throwing sparks. (Read: explosion risk!) They should not be operated near gasoline vapors.