Re: External EFI fuel pumps - need to prime??
The pump needs to be primed! these pumps are dot designed to "draw" fuel, they should be mounted as low as possible on the frame, so that the fuel tank floods the inlet of the pump. On initial start up you should let the outlet of the pump drain into a small gas can while a small amount of air is pressurizing the tank, this will get the pump to draw the air out of the supply line.
I do not know if these pumps will burn up if run dry, but I was involved in retrofitting a bunch of USAF C-135 aircraft because the fuel pumps would cause a fire if the crew left the pump running in an empty tank. I know that about 7 Air National Guardsmen died in one of those incidents. Just something to think about...Safety First
good luck, jjc