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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. DgtlExplorer

      DgtlExplorer New Member

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      94 EB Blue / 94 EB Maroon
      Sigh of relief - thanks to all who posted - this is awesome info

      I dropped a tank on my first 94 EB about 10 yrs ago in 98 degree summer heat and it was NO FUN after getting the pump out i saw the cause of the problem was the two wires inside the tank (power?- red and ground?- black) had actually rubbed themselves together so bad they arced and were welded together !!!YIKES!!!!!! i couldnt believe it didnt go kablammo! should have taken a pic but anyways today my pump went out on my second 94 EB and i was totally bummed about having to drop the tank (which was full of course lol) in the muggy heat here in florida (fireants are crazy here too ouch!!) so i happened upon this great thread and now im really relieved....thanks for everyone's pics, descriptions, and shared expereinces . you all made my day!!

      Matt
      :exp: :thumbsup:
       
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    3. Roadrunner777

      Roadrunner777 Well-Known Member

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      At 11AM today, I had a no start condition at a convenience store. Thanks to these forums, I accomplished the following:

      12PM Vehicle towed home, verified bad pump.

      12:45 Back seats removed, access door cut, staring at top of tank, verified 12 volts going in, no gas coming out, no noise of any kind.

      2:00 New pump swapped in, key turn, engine starts immediately.

      3:00 Everything reassembled, driving down the highway with the AC on and a nice cold glass of ice water.

      Basically a 4 hour fix including the tow home. Total cost $200 including tow.

      I'm offering these words because, you know, once I saw some pictures and knew other people had no trouble, I jumped right in.

      The gas line connections were a pain. The Lisle kit with the white plastic tools didn't work very well. I'd buy something else. Owing to the sharp edges in the trap door that I cut, this was a 3 band-aid job.
       
    4. Fordexplorerguy1

      Fordexplorerguy1 Active Member

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      94 XLT 4.0 tow package?
      For the tool to remove the plastic lines, i bought a universal tool from advance autoparts that Says its for ford vehicles, and its Metal so it can be used over and over. It fits both Large and small lines. Just my thoughts
       
    5. burgundy1994xlt

      burgundy1994xlt Active Member

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      My turn now. The ex died with no more pump sounds and I checked everything out to verify: fuel pump needs replaced.

      Sooo, i'm going to both drop the tank so I can inspect everything under there, and cut the access hole for the future.

      Awesome thread! Thanks to everyone including the original poster.
       
    6. explorerjohn64

      explorerjohn64 New Member

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      Thanks and leaving the seat in

      First of all THANK YOU BURNS for the great pics. I left my seat in, held the fold down plate back with a coat hanger. Took a 3/8" titanium drill bit and put it in my drill, found a 1/2"drive deep well socket that was long enough to only leave a 1/4" of the drill tip showing. Drilled holes about a 1/4 inch apart.... I didn't take the "L" shaped jog... just went straight up. Then used a vertical sheet metal nibbler to connect the holes. I made my cover out of aluminum so it wouldn't rust, and simply set it into a large bead of rtv. I also filled my quick connects with dielectric grease to hopefully avoid the rust build up that was such a PITA this time. For anyone doing this in their spare time, I would strongly advise converting to some fuel injection hose and clamps. These quick connects are a nightmare if you live up north where things get so rusty. Thanks again.
       
    7. JG88

      JG88 New Member

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      97 2dr sport

      Thanks for this great idea! I'm contributing pics of my 2-door 97 explorer. The fuel pump is directly under the rear driver's side seat.

      Here's the view from the passenger door:
      [​IMG]

      Here's a closer view from inside:
      [​IMG]


      And here's a close-up shot of the hole I cut with the new pump in:
      [​IMG]


      The connector on the left is directly in line with the studs that hold the chair in, so you can use them to gauge where to begin. The bottom cut goes right below the stud that holds the plastic guard in, and about an inch past it to the right (pic of that later). There's a thick support connecting the floor to the rest of the chassis next to this stud that didn't look safe to cut through.

      I tried to get a picture of it here:
      [​IMG]


      Here's a picture of the metal folded down:
      [​IMG]

      I used a 3/4" cold chisel that I picked up from Home Depot for under 10 bucks. It took me a little over two hours to get through all the metal, but most of that time was spent trying to figure out how to use a chisel. I'm sure that if you have even basic experience with a chisel then you could do it in under a half hour. Also, BE CAREFUL!!! If you have two inches between the floor and the fuel lines, then you are blessed. If you hit one of these you won't create a spark to start a fire, but you WILL hate yourself when you have to replace the fuel line.
      The fuel line tool is whatever generic quick-disconnect tool that Autozone sells. I don't remember what sizes the two fittings are, but I know the box said it was good for all Fords. It doesn't feel like it fits the bigger line, but I managed to get it off with some patience.

      [​IMG]

      Here's the plastic thing that goes under the seats. I don't know what it's for, but it doesn't seem too important. Even though I cut around the stud that holds it down, I can still get it back on. I'll probably re-attach it just in case...

      All in all this wasn't too bad of a job. It beats the hell out of laying on my back. Unclipping the connector on the frame wall wasn't too bad - I used a flathead jeweler's screwdriver to put a gap in the clip and push the two connectors apart. Clipping the new one in was a bit of a hassle though. I went in from the top and had to twist my arm in a strange, uncomfortable way to get the connectors to line up.
      Be sure to air out the vehicle after installing the new pump, and keep the windows open at all times. My tank was about 3/4 full when I did this. I swapped my pump as quick as I could, opened all the doors and windows, and went across the street for a smoke break. When I came back about 10 minutes later, the whole interior still reeked of fuel vapor. I waited probably another 15 minutes before re-entering to clean everything up.
       
      Last edited: September 25, 2011
    8. J_C

      J_C Well-Known Member

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      What's the consensus on what the best, *common*/inexpensive tool is to cut this out? 4" angle grinder? (unless, of course, you have a fuel leak).
       
      Last edited: September 25, 2011
    9. Burns

      Burns Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      That is what we used when doing this. It has never failed us but we did always let it get low on gas just in case.

      Just take your time and do not make deep cuts. Take the time to do this one right. Otherwise you may have a fire on your hands.
       
    10. jwwing

      jwwing New Member

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      I cut the hole in my 1993 XLT 4x4 using an air chisel. The tin went very easily but when I got to the double thick part it was harder. I drilled starter holes in three corners (front driver side front other and rear other). I hit the double thick part about 6 inches back from the front radius (down). It was too hard for the chisel so I drilled 1/4" holes every 1" or so in an arc from the spot where the double thick started to the irear hole drilled earlier. Then I cut the upper sheet first with the chisel, followed by the heavier gauge material below it afterward using the holes as starting points. The tank was farther back than others showed. I haven't done so yet, but it looks like the unit can come out without too much maneuvering. The problem I am having is that the gauge is indicating wrong, I think the float is full.

      Note: I used the v-chisel for the sheet metal but it wouldn't do the heavier stuff so I used the regular air chisel blade. It pounded quite awhile but did the job. I can't quite imagine using a hand chisel to do all of that, but I'm old and kinda puny.

      Update: I was successful at removing the ring on the pump using lots of WD40 and some patience. The ring got damaged because I used a screw driver on the tabs that stick up. (I just straightened them with a pliers and installed the ring 90 degrees off.) After I got it loose, I pulled the cable connector loose from underneath behind the tank, connected a wire to it and drew it out while pulling the wire in. Then I disconnected the fuel lines (really easy with a metal tool) and the pump came out with some jockeying around. I covered the hole with a towel after cleaning up. I saw that the float was cracked and full. To fix it, I tried cleaning it with a wire brush and soldered the crack all around the depression where the float's rod is inserted. They used a c-shape to encircle the float which fits into a boss all the way around the float. After soldering, I reinserted the float rod and put it back together, using the wire to pull the connector back where I could reach it. Tried it, same problem as before. So pulled it apart again, removed the solder and coated the boss and cracked areas with J B Weld. After drying over night, I reinstalled it. Oops! Now it shows full. Then I realized that I had put the float on backwards according to the picture, the float should not contact the body of the pump. Pulled apart again, reinserted so the float is free. It works showing me 1/4 tank which is about right. Couple of days later it still works so I think the repair was successful and I made a cover plate, reassembled the seats and carpet - looks as good as new. I made the cover plate using some material from an old water heater tank shell. I cut it about 9.5 x 7 and bent both the front over the front lip and the back at about 2.5" in. This fit nicely - I put self-tapping 5/16 drive screws that they used to make my shop; three on the front bend, two at the rear bend and two on the top. Looks pretty good.

      BTW, though there is no reason to be stupid about it, but gasoline is very difficult to get started burning - you are better off with a full tank of fluid rather than less than that with a partial tank of vapors. As long as there is not enough heat or pressure from the flash to disturb the gasoline or start the gasoline burning, the worst you will get is a scare as the vapor mixture ignites and burns - the chances are that this will not cause anything to happen to the liquid gasoline - however, better to err on the side of caution and avoid the experience entirely (it's one you can live without). It won't blow up in a fireball like in the movies without some assistance.
       
      Last edited: November 28, 2011
    11. Fordexplorerguy1

      Fordexplorerguy1 Active Member

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      I used a 4" angle grinder, It did the job but i was worried about fires... at the time if i had better tools i woulda used em
       
    12. 1996BLKBauer

      1996BLKBauer Well-Known Member

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      Where did you get a pump for $200 or less???

      I cannot find one for mine for under $350. Although I am looking for the whole assembly. Float sending unit and all. Also I was stupid enough to drop the tank, instead of going on here to see if it was possible to cut a hole, I might just cut one so that if it ever happens again I don't have to drop the tank.
       
    13. TheBluesMan

      TheBluesMan New Member

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      This is a great idea and is easy to do. All you need is a socket set to remove the seat (4 bolts); a hammer and a cold chisel to make the hole. If you have the desire to get an air chisel, it would make the job go much faster, but I did this by hand in about 20 minutes.

      '96 Explorer 4WD - 4.0L 6cyl.
      [​IMG]

      Now - what are the chances I can get those rusty bolts to come out?
       
    14. sethpdx

      sethpdx Active Member

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      This thread is awesome! Great work everyone.
       
    15. teckpro

      teckpro New Member

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      can this be used for a 98 XLT?

      Does the thicker cross member have to be cut slightly?
       
    16. Yerba1

      Yerba1 New Member

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      great pics

      After replacing the window motor "hockey pucks" and finding out that the bozos left a dimple that I had to drill to find the missing bolt, I no longer fear the cut and paste method of auto repair. BTW my son's 1998 Honda Civic has a neat cutout in place over the pump. Same idea, remove back seat, remove cutout, remove and replace pump, reassemble. I did it with cordless tool kit in about an hour. I'm doing fuel filter first - if results aren't as desired - pump cut is next! Thanks again!
       
    17. sethpdx

      sethpdx Active Member

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      More pics!

      As clean as I could get it with a sazall.. ;)
      [​IMG]
      A side shot
      [​IMG]
      Preparing
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    18. sethpdx

      sethpdx Active Member

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      New pump installed!
      [​IMG]
      Getting ready to apply the stitches
      [​IMG]
      Silicon and weatherstripping.
      [​IMG]
      Used a piece of sheet metal I picked up from home depot
      [​IMG]
      These things work great!!!
      [​IMG]
      The final look before I put the carpet back down and install the seat!
      [​IMG]
       
    19. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    20. sethpdx

      sethpdx Active Member

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      The panel on the right looks like a fire rated access panel :thumbsup: It may fit with some slight modifications and would be a nice way to trim things off.

      This thread is excellent! I've learned a lot from it. I kinda wonder why it is in the waxing washing, wheel cleaning and body work section :scratch: :D
       
    21. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    22. Carguy3J

      Carguy3J Well-Known Member

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      Are the most recent photos, above, of a 2dr or 4dr?

      I imagine the floor pan and cut location will be slightly different between the two.

      Can anyone point to, or post, photos of this on a 2nd gen 4dr (Mine is a '99)?
      Thanks
       
    23. J_C

      J_C Well-Known Member

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      ^ It's still going to be the same relative position, where the floor pan bends upward to create the recess that the tank sits under.
       
    24. Carguy3J

      Carguy3J Well-Known Member

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      Are you sure? It seems that the relationship between the tank opening and the rear seat/floor pan supports,etc.. would have to be different on a 2dr vs 4dr, given the different body length/configuration. In other words, if you lined up a 2dr and a 4dr next to each other, the front bumpers perfectly even, would the back seats also be perfectly even with each other? I don't think so. I also don;t think the gas tanks would be lined up either. In fact, I seem to recall the 2dr and 4dr having different size gas tanks, which would definitely affect where the pump sits relative to any interior "stuff"
       
    25. J_C

      J_C Well-Known Member

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      You could always get out a tape measure and compare outside and inside measurements from the door, or the rear, whichever but the tank is in the recess as already mentioned.
       
    26. honkin

      honkin New Member

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      4 door 98 XLT?

      Has anyone had success using this method on a 4 door 98 XLT?

      I may have to do this or drop the tank.

      So here is my "shpeil";

      Over the summer, my Ex all of the sudden had the check engine light flashing, and ran like it only had a few of the 6 cylinders firing. A-zone read the code, and said it likely just needed a tune-up. I took it to a local shop, cause I did not want to deal with those three plugs on the passenger side. Local shop said it was intake manifold ($385.00).

      I ended up waiting a while, took it to a guy that does this for a living, "and on the side", he replaced the intake, even though it was not the source of the codes, however he said the intake gasket was shot due to the constant backfiring that occurred while driving it on the reduced # of cylinders.

      After the intake was replaced, he still kept getting codes, and ended up figuring out that two injectors were clogged. After he was done ($580.00), I noticed that occasionally, I would go to start it, and it would not kick over. The engine cranked, but no joy! I played around, and discovered if I cycled the fuel pump a couple of times, it would fire right over.

      This all being said, it still happens after replacing the "CLOGGED" fuel filter. Chunks of rust came out.... I also ran a bottle of Seafoam through her. It is better, but still happens on occasion. I'm thinking there is a bunch of rust from the tank, fill neck, and whatever else trapped in the pump (check valve), allowing the fuel to fall out back into the tank.

      If I need to change out the pump, I want to use this mod, but two other fellas said it would not work with 97/98 XLT.

      Any takers?:thumbsup:
       

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