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How to: 1st Gen Gas Tank Fuel Pump Access Panel

Discussion in 'Body Work & Detailing' started by Burns, March 17, 2007.

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    1. J_C

      J_C Well-Known Member

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      Maybe someone has already mentioned it but a full tank of gas may be safer than an empty tank, if by empty you mean only running down the tank or siphoning it off because then the tank volume is full of gas vapor with air (oxygen) which can be more explosive from a spark than if it were full of liquid and only a little vapor. Either way I'd want a big fire extinguisher nearby just in case...
       
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    3. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Moderator Emeritus

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      I dropped the tank on my BII for like 10 years, changed like 4 in tank pumps and modified the tank and added sensors for my V8 conversion.. I have had my BII tank out too many times!

      Recently when I put in a new carter in tank boost pump and it was a NOISY POS right out of the box, instead of dropping the tank again I FINALLY cut an access hole......heck yes!! Makes it a 15 minute job now to access the pump... my thinking was not only "lazyness" but also "trail repair" alot easier to fix it on the trial now.....

      the BII tank is so easy to drop too, 6 bolts total....but still its a PITA when its full and about 20" off the ground (Lifted truck)
       
    4. scrivyscriv

      scrivyscriv Elite Explorer

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      Hey Johnny,
      Isn't the Sport a 2dr Explorer?
      Great picture showing the access location, by the way.
       
    5. kimball

      kimball New Member

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      I completed my 97 AWD fuel pump access hole and install. Worked out fine.
      I used the metal disconnect tool and a $100.00 pum from part store also bought
      new screen for bottom of pump. So far so good!
       
    6. ranger7ltr

      ranger7ltr Elite Explorer

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      So what did you use to re-seal the hole in the floor?

      I too just replaced a fuel pump that seem to lose pressure under load after running for 30 mins or longer here in the Texas heat... I dropped the tank on my 99 Sport though and I found the filter sock had fallen off the bottom of the pump!!! I had installed this pump back in May and I can't believe the filter came off or how long it had been off... I do know that the pump was sucking up any junk in the tank and it was failing under acceleration...

      I am interested in cutting the floor to eliminate dropping the tank again even though it only took an hour or so to drop, drain 8 gallons of gas out of it, replace the pump, reinstall tank and refill with the fuel I drained out... I just wonder how you will seal the floor to keep out water, air, exhaust, etc...

      Great pictures btw...
       
    7. kimball

      kimball New Member

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      well I actually still have that part to do. I decided to drive it for a day or so before
      i seal it up. I plan on using some flashing metal with self tapping screws and silacone.
      I am sure that will be fine. I used a side grinder with a 4" cutting wheel. I was concearned about the sparks so i had a fire extingusher handy. I plan on taking a picture and uploading it today.
       
    8. DR

      DR New Member

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      Thanks for the pictures and information step by step. It sure would help also to have reference points by dimensions on where to make the cuts. Where to make the cut from the top and bottom and left and right. 1993 XLT. Thanks, Don
       
    9. johnny23toronto

      johnny23toronto New Member

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      answer for scrivyscriv

      yes, its a two door sport.

      I used strips of 3" wide sheet metal and self tapping screws to close it up.

      I banged it smooth with a hammer.

      Then I sealed it with silver hvac tape, its airtight.

      It turned out nice in the end.

      As for reference points of where to cut, I kept looking from bottom and top, and you can kinda reference it from the seatbelt bolts, to about 1" (going towards the rear) from the angled/sloped portion nearest the front.
       
    10. scrivyscriv

      scrivyscriv Elite Explorer

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      Someone asked this earlier in the thread and it got passed over -

      Anyone care to post the quick-disconnect coupling sizes? They're either 1/4", 5/16", or 3/8" inch, and it's a lost battle trying to get them off with the wrong size tool.

      I'll post my tool sizes up here if someone doesn't beat me to it.

      As a side note, don't buy the plastic disconnect tools. The tabs will break off and the legs will wear out. And if you *do* buy the plastic tools, don't buy the short type. They're for A/C work and won't even touch the inner tabs of the fuel line couplings.
       
    11. CarolinaBlazer

      CarolinaBlazer New Member

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      Just thought I'd add a picture of the access panel I made in my '97 4-dr XLT since this site has been so helpful with other Explorer related issues. It's not the prettiest cut.... I has to widen the opening a couple times by trial and error until I could get the whole sending unit out. For some reason, the location of my sending unit seemed a little farther back compared to the other Gen 2 Explorer picture thats in this thread. The white square on the right side of the picture is double-sided tape that helps hold the yellow bracket down (the bracket that secures the jack extention rods).... use that for reference when cutting.

      Like others, I was very concerned about using an angle grinder to cut just inches away from the fuel lines, but since I live in a condo and had to use the parking lot, dropping the tank wasn't an option without getting the HOA people in a tizzy. One suggestion to help hedge the fire rsik, once I made a couple cuts and could peel back the metal, I covered the top of the tank with 3 or 4 water-soaked shop rags, right beneath where I was cutting. It isn't fool-proof but it gave me a little piece of mind.

      Hope this helps...

      [​IMG]
       
    12. CTF250

      CTF250 New Member

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      Ok the air chisel idea worked great for me here. I was able to replace the assembly with little problems. I do have a question though on the destinations of the two wire plugs which are part of the pump assembly wiring loom.

      In the photo posted by others above, I had a similar wiring loom with one plug going to a connector in the frame rail which powers the pump and float, and the second going to some connection which seems to go into the tank on the passenger side of the top of the fuel tank. Have very limited view or feel in that area so I cant tell what it is

      Any idea what that second wiring connector does? Cant seem to find it in any of my wiring books

      By the way its a 96 4 door with a 4.0
       
      Last edited: November 1, 2009
    13. scrivyscriv

      scrivyscriv Elite Explorer

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      What year/model are you working on? I don't know of any other harness entering the fuel tank other than the fuel pump connector. I've worked extensively on my fuel system and it's a 1st gen 1993 Sport.
       
    14. bats

      bats Active Member

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      I just replaced the fuel pump on my 94 about a month ago. The gas gauge wasn't working when I bought it. I used a Dremel to cut the access panel so it took forever but it made a pretty clean cut. The only problem was that the disk wasn't wide enough to reach the second layer of metal so some additional bending was required. Then I was able to wiggle the whole unit out.

      [​IMG]

      I straightened some small angle irons and bolted them to either side from underneath.
      [​IMG]

      To seal it, I just used some duct tape. It sealed up perfectly and I don't get any fumes leaking into the cabin.
      [​IMG]

      I'm never dropping a tank again!
       
    15. scrivyscriv

      scrivyscriv Elite Explorer

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      Here are a few more pictures of the process. I had to cut mine because the fuel float was cracked and needed to be replaced. Soldering the float isn't easy. If you have a big crack in it, the solder will just fall right through as you move along... If you solder correctly. Don't use epoxy: the gas will eat right through it.


      This is on a two door 1993 model.
      The fuel lines are 3/8" and 5/16". You can buy the combination tool for about $8 at Auto Zone. Don't even bother with the plastic tools. They are a waste of time and money for most fuel line work, even the kind with the longer sleeves. You can expect the fuel line tines to be stuck.. Don't be afraid to work the coupling up and down while you're using the tool. Put some linear mojo on 'em.


      I found some 18-ga or so stainless steel for a patch and used the bandsaw at work to cut it. I cut it 10"x11", which left about two inches of overlap to fasten it down. So far all I've done is drilled a hole for the small non-seat-holding stud, threaded the nut tightly onto it, and speed taped all around the patch. I plan on using a combination of rivets and self-drilling screws to hold it in place permanently. Oh and some black RTV underneath.

      All I did to access the pump, by the way, was drill a 3/8" hole off to one side and then cut an H-shape with some aviation tin snips. I just curled the metal back to access the pump, and when I was done, I curled the metal right back in place. Used some 16" channel locks and a ball pein both times.


      Anyone wanting more pics can just post asking for them and I'll get em posted up.

      First is the far view:

      [​IMG]


      Next the inside view where you'll be working:
      [​IMG]


      Here are the nuts you need to remove:

      [​IMG]

      Seat unbolted and out of the way - both seats need to be unbolted, because there's a piece of black plastic underneath the seats bolted down on either side. Don't have any idea what it does. I left mine out.

      [​IMG]

      Far view:


      [​IMG]

      Up close:

      [​IMG]
       
    16. KevN2009

      KevN2009 New Member

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      I have a 96 explorer xlt 4 door, and this thread has been very helpful so far. i was about to junk my explorer instead of having to drop the tank. My question is, what special tools will I need to remove fuel pump from tank, fuel lines from pump and filter??
       
    17. bats

      bats Active Member

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      You will need a Ford fuel line removal tool. Most auto parts stores should have them on the shelf. I got mine for under $10 and it looks like this
      http://www.frontiernet.net/~slray96/04F250/FuelFilter/DisconnectTool-01.JPG

      At first I tried to remove the lines using a generic set of fuel line removal rings, essentially plastic rings that mimic the ends of the above tool, but found there wasn't one that fit the larger line. Other than that, you'll probably just need a flat head screw driver and a hitter to free the lock ring IIRC. Then the pump should wiggle right out. Hope this helps!
       
      Last edited: November 28, 2009
    18. KevN2009

      KevN2009 New Member

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      Just got done replacing fuel pump and filter, thanks to everyone who posted here. It was "easy" after getting all the info beforehand. I just want to share some of my experience here, sorry I did not take any pics.
      (1996 Explorer XLT 4 door 4.0l v6)

      1) Took advice here and bought air hammer with set of 8 chisels from Harbor Freight for $12.99 (they actually have a plastic one for $2.59 on their website but it wasn't at my store, and others for $9.99. I guess the one I got was their deluxe model!). The "V" shaped chisel worked best for cutting through the floor panel.
      2) Bought 4 piece aluminum fuel line disconnect set 96834-2VGA from Harbor Freight for $12.99 to get fuel lines off of filter and pump. I needed the 5/16" and 3/8".
      3) Rented air compressor for 4 hours from Home Depot for $20.00.
      4) Bought fuel pump E2059MN and in line Motorcraft filter FG872 from Advance Auto Parts ($138.00+$12.99) {Same prices and products as Autozone}
      5) Air chisel worked great on floor boards, but there is some underlying bracing underneath that it would not cut thru easily or at all that was in the way, especially towards the passenger side seat. But I was able to wiggle the pump assembly out without cutting it anyway. I also had to wait for the small compressor to refill after only a few seconds of work.
      6) Couldn't figure out how to get the harness off the top of the fuel assembly where the 6 bolts are (mine was the long one with 4 wires coming out, not round), but finally realized there are 2 other harness plugs close by that you can find by following the wires, you can disconnect them to get the assembly out. They were not especially easy to get to though, especially the one attached to the top of the tank.
      7) Make sure you have a crimp tool/wire stripper as the new pump has butt connectors and has to be spliced to the old wires. I couldn't find mine and had to go to the store again.
      8) My neighbor had some leftover galvanized steel roll which I cut with snips to cover the hole. I had some "tar tape" that I used to use to seal satellite dishes to shingles. I lined the hole with that and used self tapping screws to attach the cover. It did the job but it didn't seal as good as I hoped as some of the screws wouldn't go through the double metal. I just put more sealer on the top afterwards and it should be fine.
      9) Oh on my 4.0l v6 the fuel schrader valve is on the passenger side of the engine just in front of the distributor cap.
      10) When I changed the filter some fuel spilled out but it wasn't too bad, just have a container to catch it, it is under the driver's side door frame rail.
      11) Lastly the seal (o-ring) that seals the pump assembly to the tank was intact and did not match any of the new seals that came with the pump, so I just used the old one.

      Well, that's it. Overall it worked out, I would not have done it if I had to drop the fuel tank. So for a little over $200 it was worth it. If anyone has any questions my email is kevinmurphy4u@comcast.net

      Thanks again all.
       
    19. ddeen

      ddeen New Member

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      This thread was very helpful to me in fixing my truck. I have a 98 explorer sport. I followed all the recommendations above. I cut 3 sides of the sheet metal and folded it open. I then lined the hole with thick tape to keep from getting accidentally cut. A friend loaned me a plastic coupler removal tool and that did not work at all. I had to ran out and buy the metal tools. I should have followed the tips above instead of messing with the plastic tools. The plastic piece that goes underneat the seat is a rear seat cushion support. You will want to keep this part on if you have a lot of passengers that ride in the back. With the new part put back in my truck fired right up even with temps in the teens.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    20. nhill

      nhill New Member

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      Hey guys, I'm looking to do this repair today. I was wondering how exactly the lower part of the seat was removed. Also, with the new pump, is that easily wired into the existing unit? Any help would be great guys....
       
    21. ddeen

      ddeen New Member

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      nhill, are are pictures on this thread on how to remove the seats for the 2 door version (keep scrolling up). There are only 2 nuts holding it. Basically remove those nuts and just flip the seats over into the trunk area (dont have to remove them completely). As far as the fuel pump unit, the one I bought had a connector included in the package - no wire splicing required. The hardest part of the whole job was removing the fuel couplings.
       
    22. jhard

      jhard Active Member

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      Yeah I'm looking for input on doing this on a 3rd Gen too?
       
    23. Super_Swamper_98

      Super_Swamper_98 Active Member

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      sweet idea i willl be doing this once mine goes out.
      Posted via Mobile Device
       
    24. ExploringNC

      ExploringNC Well-Known Member

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      Completed this mod last night, heres a few pics, turned out real good and clean.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    25. 90gsplx

      90gsplx New Member

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      Just use this tread to change my pump as week. Freakin Awesome.
       
    26. bsr2002

      bsr2002 Member

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      I want to do this with my Aerostar, I seen someone used an air hammer? Will an electric Hammer work as well? I have no air compressor. Did you use cold chisel? Was there alot of spark?

      Thanx in advance,

      Ben :)
       

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