Restoring an EFEP 385A
Bringing a Bosch Fuel Injection PUmP Test Bench Back to life
One of the most difficult parts of working with Bosch fuel injection pumps, besides the lack of resources and technical details in the first place, is finding a shop that has the equipment needed to ensure your pump is running efficiently. Anyone can polish it up and replate, but getting a fuel injection pump clean is far different from making sure it's working well.
Not only do we have Bosch test benches, but we're so dedicated to getting our restorations right that we are always on the lookout for better options, even if that means more work on our end.
About a month ago we found a shop looking to unload some less-than-pristine examples that were perfect for our needs
Though rough around the edges, this EFEP 385A was exactly what we were looking for to upgrade our service. It had a lower horsepower, perfect for gasoline fuel injection pumps, was quieter, and didn't require quite as many modifications as our previous benches, meaning we could get it up and running quickly.
After a brief inspection we got the process started. The bench technically ran and the worst issues were cosmetic, but we're a restoration shop and we don't go half-way when it comes to a classic...even a test bench. All the removable parts were disassembled, cleaned, and stripped. The main body was sandblasted and prepped for painting and we had our fabricator get started on the few modifcations needed.
Once we got it apart, it was clear that it had never had its fluids changed and had rarely been cleaned (never thoroughly) but despite that, all the important pieces were in remarkably good shape. The fluids all had to be flushed and replaced, which actually took a little research. They had never been changed over the previous decades and even other experts in the field weren't sure exactly what grade to go with (more on that at the bottom).
After some color matching, a few quick coats did the job and this half-century-old bench was looking brand new. A couple hours of assembly had the tubes, cranks, gears, and dials ready for use, and once the wiring was straightened out, it was begging for a fuel injection pump.
Slight modifications included rewiring it to run off a normal wall plug, installing a light bar inside the housing for easier viewing, removing a number of the plunger fittings and adjusting the remaining for a gasoline Bosch fuel injection pump. As mentioned before, we also drained and replaced all the fluids, checked for leaks, and replaced hoses, clamps, and fittings where necessary
And just like that, after some testing we've got a "new" test bench ready to dial in your Bosch fuel injection pump. Like most things fuel injection pump related, it wasn't easy, but like most things that aren't easy, it's rewarding to reach the finish line.
There's nothing quite like seeing a well-done restoration bring a derelict machine back to life. Even more, since we'll be using this machine to fix countless fuel injection pumps in the future, this bench will be breathing life into Pagodas for decades to come.
Replacing the Fluids
The Life-Blood of the Bosch Test BEnch
Ignored and forgotten for over half a century, the fluids coursing through the Bosch test bench are essential to its function. Like the oil in your engine or transmission, out of sight should not be out of mind, and these fluids were in dire need of a refresh.
To make matters even less clear than the fluid we were replacing, no one familiar with the machine (and that's not a lot of people) knew what kind of fluid it took. After vague suggestions and a bit of research we landed on a rust and oxidation inhibited general purpose oil, which, up to this point, has worked flawlessly. In the images you can see the state of the oil when it first came out of the bench on the left, after one flush with clean oil, and the clean oil as it should appear on the far right.