Electric Water Pump vs Mechanical

Getting ready to do a rebuild on my 70 Cougar with a 351C 4v and was wondering if a electric water pump would be better to do than a mechanical. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Personally, I would stick with the mechanical pump. No need to worry about finding the correct length belts. Without the mechanical water pump, you’ll need to add electric cooling fan(s) as well.

Just my 2 cents.

Makes great sense for a drag car. Not so much on the street. When you change mechanical energy into electrical energy (engine drives alternator to make electrical power) and then change electrical energy into mechanical energy (power from alternator used by electric motor that drives pump or electric fan) you lose a lot of power in the conversion processes. On a drag car where you might not even run an alternator and those accessories are powered by the battery, then it can make sense. The battery on a street car is really only there for starting, otherwise the alternator is providing power for everything plus a little extra to recharge the battery.

A friend has an electric pump on his car. He goes to the track a couple times a year but it’s primarily a weekend cruiser. I wouldn’t run one now. Good idea in theory but part of the joy of these cars is the simplicity and lack of wiring. His issues are Probably mostly installer error, but a mechanical is pretty fool proof and robs so little power I don’t think it’s worth it.

Thanks for the replies. Looks like mechanical is the way to go. Now my decision is to spend the extra money on the Edelbrock Victor series water pump or to get a FlowKooler pump.

I put the FlowKooler on a 1970 Cougar - 351W and have had great luck. No more overheating @ stop lights and everything lined up well…

A lot of the ‘high flow’ pumps have problems with cavitation, which shreds the impeller and shortens their life - along with decreasing their performance. The relationship between pulley size, type of impeller used, and the RPMs you spin with your engine are all important considerations.

The electrics have limited lifespans, and fail to cool well at high RPMs compared to conventional belt-driven pumps. They’re “okay” for cooling at idle, on drag cars.

My advice? Make sure you have a good big-block 3-core brass or 2 core aluminum radiator, and make sure your fan has a proper shroud - whether you go electric or thermal clutch type fan. The excellent cooling afforded by the 24" radiator will ensure that your coolant gets adequately cooled, and even a conventional pump can do the job just fine, stealing less power and eliminating concerns about reliability.

Edit: Sorry for resurrecting an old thread! Didn’t realize this was long settled. =)