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Walbro 255 Fuel Pump – Genuine vs Fake. What is the diff?

The fuel pumps used in the Turbo and High Tech Performance fuel pump test laid on a steel topped table

Turbo & High Tech Performance magazine did a fuel pump comparison test. They tested many performance fuel pumps including a genuine Walbro 255 pump and a fake “Walbro” 255 fuel pump. They looked at the usual fuel flow vs boost pressure metrics but the beauty of this test is they also tested fuel flow against current draw.


Short Version

The genuine Walbro 255 pump is far superior to the fake pump. It flows almost the same amount, it draws much less current and it can maintain consistent fuel pressure under high loads.


eBay

Compare prices & buy genuine Walbro 255 fuel pumps on ebay:
Walbro GSS342 Click Here,
Walbro GSS341 Click Here,
Walbro GSS340 Click Here


The Testing

Why is current draw important?

Stock fuel pump wiring is designed to support a maximum amount of current draw. It is great to have a fuel pump that flows all the fuel you need, it is not great if you have to rewire your fuel pump circuit with thicker cables to support the new pump.

What else did they test?

The fuel pump comparison was done by RC Engineering. As well as current draw and flow capacity at various boost levels they also looked at the consistency of the fuel pressure. Its fine to have good fuel flow over a one minute flow test but it can be catastrophic for an engine if the fuel pump cannot maintain steady pressure. To state the obvious, fluctuating fuel pressure, even if it’s only for a fraction of a second, can cause catastrophic engine damage at medium/large loads.

The Test Data

Lets look at current load (amps) versus boost pressure (psi) vs fuel flow (litres/hour)

Fake Walbro looks good until we see the current draw

In this graph we have fuel flow on the left Y-Axis, Current Draw on the right Y-Axis, with boost pressure along the X-Axis.

From a fuel flow point of view the fake Walbro looks good, it appears to outflow the genuine pump at boost pressures above 35 psi

The Problem

The big problem with the fake Walbro pump is the current draw. Even at low loads the fake Walbro is pulling around 13 amps (which is massive) where the genuine pump is only pulling just over 6 amps. At 35 psi of boost pressure the fake Walbro is pulling a massive 15 amps where the genuine Walbro 255 is only pulling just under 9 amps.

If your fuel pump circuit uses a 15 amp fuse I think you can see the problem in using the fake pump.

I have said in other articles, I do not want my fuel pump circuit operating close (within 4 amps) of its maximum current capability for extended periods of time, especially if we are looking at an older vehicle were the wiring may have a greater resistance than it did when it left the factory. In short, for me to be comfortable using the fake Walbro I would have to rewire the fuel pump circuit. Considering how close the genuine Walbro is in fuel flow, I don’t think it makes any sense to go through that hassle.

More Problems

In the test, all the non branded fuel pumps/fake fuel pumps had issues maintaining a steady fuel pressure at higher boost pressures, this factor on its own it enough for me to completely discount these pumps. An engine is more expensive than a good fuel pump.

Conclusion – Walbro 255 Fuel Pump vs Fake

In my opinion it is clear that the technology that Walbro are using in their fuel pump is far superior to that used in the fake pump. The genuine pump draws much less current meaning it can be used as a real drop in filter (ie no worries about having to run new power wires to it) and it flows enough to support 600bhp and the fuel pressure is consistent.

The problems with the fake pump (current draw, inconsistent fuel pressure) on their own completely discount the fake pump as an option for me. But when you also couple in the fact that the price difference between the genuine and the fake pump is tiny in relation to the cost of an engine, choosing a Genuine Walbro 255 over the fake pump is a no-brainer.


More information on fake Walbro fuel pumps

Walbro GSS342/340/341 – How To Spot Fakes

Driven 2 Automotive has a good article here showing how to judge if what you have bought is the genuine article.

Why is the Walbro 255 fuel pump so popular (& so copied)?

It has:

  1. Amazing fuel flow capacity (supports big power)
  2. Very efficient ie low current draw (car’s standard wiring is fine)

Where do fake products come from

Some companies, when they see a super popular product that they think they can replicate for much less money, the temptation to manufacturer a knock-off is too much to resist. They look at it as a license to print money.

Sometimes these products can be good quality but most of the time there is a reason for the cheap cost of the fake. The manufacturing and component quality are low and/or the manufacturer of the fake simply does not have the knowledge to know if what they are making is good.

In the case of the Walbro fuel pumps, they may have copied the fuel flow volume that the genuine 255 could do, what they couldn’t do or understand is how Walbro do it while using so much little electrical power. In this case the manufacturer of the fake Walbro has chosen fuel flow as the priority and if it draws silly amounts of current which could blow fuses/melt wiring then so be it.

Find performance parts on ebay




This page was last modified Apr 4, 2023 @ 1:14 pm

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