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Electric Vacuum Pumps · 23 August 05

After ten years on the internet, hundreds of thousands of visitors, and thousands of emails what do you think the most popular question about the EV conversion is?

Hey, where’d you get the Vacuum Pump?

I bought it from a company called EcoElectric, which has since gone out of business. I suspect they bought the various parts and put it together inside of an aluminum hobby box. Here’s a photo of the insides of the box with the major sections labelled.

Annotated 12vdc Vacuum Assembly

Probably the toughest part to find is the 12vdc motorized vacuum pump. Here’s a closeup of the label.

12vdc Electric Vacuum Pump Motor Label

The part number is 608757 and it says VDO Antriebstechnik at the top. It also show a type: M42×25/I

And that’s about all I can tell you about those. A few years back I found some via a web search, but no such luck today. Here are a few suppliers (drop me an email or leave a comment if you know of others):

Believe it or not, out of 60+ people asking where they can find a vacuum pump one fellow wrote to tell me where to find them. There was a small car model that didn’t generate enough vacuum in the engine so they all shipped with an electric vacuum, which he said you can still find in junkyards. Here’s a list of vehicles with electric vacuum pumps.

Another fellow suggested using an old air conditioner compressor and running it off of the electric motor…but that means no vacuum generation unless the motor is spinning. Here’s one built out of an old fridge compressor, but probably not something you want in your vehicle.

Update 5/22/06: Matt writes that he’s using the pump for this motorcycle horn. Even with the horn removed it’s on the noisy side. Another reader sent along a link to this site that shows some of the typical booster types out there.

Comments 26
  1. — robert harding    Aug 27, 2005 08:22 AM    #
    pump was on GM cars//located in engine compartment under battery.I used one on my vw deisel rabbit.
  2. — james edmonson    Aug 30, 2005 18:09 PM    #
    Vacuum Pumps and vacuum pump kits are avalible from KTA services (www.kta-ev.com) from $210 for the pump alone to 375 for a complete kit. Talk to Ken Koch
  3. Jerry Halstead    Aug 31, 2005 11:56 AM    #
    Thanks, James. I’ve added KTA to the list.
  4. — jimmy    Jan 29, 2006 19:20 PM    #
    How much are these pumps ?
  5. Jerry Halstead    Jan 30, 2006 17:25 PM    #
    Hi Jimmy,

    Which pump are you talking about? I think mine was in the $160 range back in 1995 but nobody sells those new anymore.
  6. — Ian Shay    May 22, 2007 21:29 PM    #

    High I am having trouble wiring my vaccum pump and vaccum switch.

  7. — James May    May 23, 2007 03:34 AM    #

    Hi Ian

    Does your vacuum pump work straight from 12V?

  8. — coze    May 24, 2007 18:34 PM    #

    Does the vacuum pump have to run everytime we put on the brakes?
    Can I do something to avoid the pump running so much?
    Is there a small pressure switch I can install?

  9. jerry Halstead    May 24, 2007 19:59 PM    #

    Hi Coze,

    What I’ve done is to make a vacuum chamber. Your normal car typically has one by the firewall, but you can add an even larger one to provide better buffering.

    For the Mazda I made one out of a three foot long section of PVC pipe (2” diameter?), plugged on both ends with a hose adaptor attached that T’d to the rest of the vacuum line.

  10. — James May    May 25, 2007 07:03 AM    #

    I have used a modified plastic toilet cistern float for my reservoir!

  11. Jon Glauser    Jan 23, 2008 19:02 PM    #

    Ah ha! I have the same vacuum pump in my car (at least the aluminum box with just 2 wires and a hose barb). I had wondered where it came from. Now that I see whats inside, you can find pumps like that inside home vacuum sealing equipment! You can pick up a used one for ~$10 at thrift stores.

  12. — Brian Pawlak    Jan 23, 2008 20:42 PM    #

    I also found at Summit Racing a complete vacuum pump with a switch for 15 – 25 in Hg made for providing vacuum for brakes. It’s P/NCLP-12VVCP for $329.95. It seems pricey untill you think that the pressure switch is included and all wired up in a nice compact package. If my existing vacuum pump isn’t sufficient in the 92 escort I’m converting I may buy this to replace it.
    Here is the link http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=CLP%2D12VVCP&N=700+314448+115&autoview=sku

  13. — michael    Jan 24, 2008 22:23 PM    #

    I replaced my old noisy vacuum pump with one of these, and I like it alot. very quiet and trouble free

    My old one was one of these http://www.electricvehiclesusa.com/category_s/187.htm, which worked well enough but was noisy and the vac switch sometimes got stuck in the on position.
    My car is a converted Geo Metro

  14. — Nick Smith    Feb 08, 2008 07:22 AM    #

    I am about to build up a vacuum tank and was wondering about the volume. Is there such a thing as too big? I was intending for something about 1.6 gal made from 3” PVC drain piping I “found”.

    I managed to find one of the metric mind MES-DEA pumps on the EVTradin post and it is pretty quiet. Will put it in the trunk wheel well and power it from the (ex.) fuel pump supply. This location will allow me to run the vac tank along the tunnel and loop straight up to the booster.

  15. jerry Halstead    Feb 08, 2008 08:31 AM    #

    Hi Nick,
    I suspect the main issue with having a big tank is how long it takes to initially evacuate it and the strength of the material. A big tank will mean your pump is going to be running for quite a while removing the air, but you should also get a longer assist out of it.
    On the other hand if you have a large tank it will need to be sturdier than a small container holding the same level of vacuum. Think of the difference between sucking the air out of a 12oz soda bottle vs a 1 gallon plastic jug. The gallon jug doesn’t have the same kind of sidewall integrity since it’s spread over a larger area.

  16. — Ed Cameron    Sep 03, 2008 09:05 AM    #

    Looking for a small electric vacume pump for my harley to pull a vacume on the engine?

  17. — Eng: ABDULLA RAHMOON    Sep 09, 2008 06:18 AM    #

    vacuum pump should be designed according to the last edition of API standard or DIN.
    CAPACITY : 15m3/h

  18. — Joe    Sep 16, 2008 15:55 PM    #

    Ford 4×4 diesel trucks used a small vacuum pump to actuate the front locking hubs. I don’t know if it would be big enough to provide the correct amount of vacuum though.

  19. — ABDUL HAMID SATTOUF    Sep 30, 2008 19:12 PM    #

    vacuum pump should be designed according to the last edition of API standard or DIN.
    CAPACITY : 15m3/h

  20. — Dan P.    Oct 01, 2008 03:02 AM    #

    I have no idea what Eng: ABDULLA RAHMOON and ABDUL HAMID SATTOUF are talking about when referencing API and or DNI standards in relation to a vacuum pump comment found on an (EV) Electric Vehicle sight but seeing as their text reply is identical, makes me believe it to be SPAM – slang name for (UCE; junk/bulk email) Unsolicited Commercial Email and or unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE).

    (API) The American Petroleum Institute, commonly referred to as API, is the main U.S trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, representing about 400 corporations involved in production, refinement, distribution, and many other aspects of the industry. The association’s chief functions on behalf of the industry include advocacy and negotiation with governmental, legal, and regulatory agencies; research into economic, toxicological, and environmental effects; establishment and certification of industry standards; and education outreach. API both funds and conducts research related to many aspects of the petroleum industry.

    (DNI) Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. (DIN; in English, the German Institute for Standardization) is the German national organization for standardization and is that country’s ISO member body.

    (ISO) The International Organization for Standardization (Organisation internationale de normalisation), widely known as ISO is an international-standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promulgates world-wide proprietary industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
    While ISO defines itself as a non-governmental organization, its ability to set standards that often become law, either through treaties or national standards, makes it more powerful than most non-governmental organizations. In practice, ISO acts as a consortium with strong links to governments.

    However here is a link and some quotes that might help you understand the requirements for a Brake Booster: http://www.aa1car.com/library/pwrsteer.htm

    At sea level, air pressure is 14.7 lbs. per square inch, which equals about 30 inches of vacuum on a gauge. The average engine can’t pull that much vacuum, so the most intake vacuum you’re going to read is about 20 to 22 inches. Most engines pull a steady 16 to 20 inches of vacuum at idle. One exception is a diesel, which has no throttle to create a restriction and thus no intake vacuum. So diesels have to use an auxiliary vacuum pump if they have a vacuum brake booster.

    The amount of power assist that’s actually provided by the booster depends on two things: the size of the diaphragm and the amount of intake manifold vacuum produced by the engine; the larger the diaphragm, the greater the boost. An 8-inch booster with 20 inches of engine vacuum will provide about 240 lbs. of brake assist.

  21. — mina mokhles    Oct 12, 2008 10:52 AM    #

    i want all data and perice for
    MEK45×30/I +zahnriemengetriebe + KSY 10/i =1:49,295

  22. — willy mcdermott    Nov 18, 2008 00:29 AM    #

    www.autoanything.com has 12 volt vacuum pump kit. have one on my Mazda deisel 14000 miles works fine. about $250.

  23. — mohamed hussein havez    Dec 24, 2008 14:57 PM    #

    Hi sir
    We are one of the leading company in prepress field in egypt.
    we have noticed that.
    The vacume pump is used in our DT_R 3075 machine brand name SCREEN is your pump, so could you tell me the price of this pump THX

  24. wilders auto service    Jan 16, 2009 11:49 AM    #

    I need price and availability of a vacuum pump (12V) to engage a front differential on a 4X4 normal manifold vacuum will be sufficient 17-20 in./Hg

  25. — jim    Apr 25, 2009 06:10 AM    #

    you can find the right pump on a cadalac deisel, or from GM for about 160usd

  26. — SimonR    May 25, 2009 11:37 AM    #

    Most Diesel engines either have a cam diven vac pump or one attached to the alternator. The alternator types are easy to strip down to just the pump – then attach to a small DC motor – such as one used for an engine cooling fan.