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Ford Explorer 2002 fuel pump replacement

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
Norman M Johnson
Jacksonville FL
2002 Ford Explorer
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Ford Explorer 2002 fuel pump replacement

Ford Explorer 2002 4.0L 4-door fuel pump change out.

After digging around on the Internet and bookmarking the pertinent pages I bought a manual in the local parts store and studied it all until I got a fairly good idea what I was looking at.
First, following everyone’s advice, I disconnected the negative battery terminal.
Then I jacked up the rear of car with a floor jack lifting under its differential (with a plywood pad) and set two jack stands near the rear wheels. I lowered the floor jack then seriously wiggled the car to be sure it was secure.
I crawled under car, loosened the spiral clamp holding the rubber fuel fill hose at the rear of gas tank and pulled it off the tank. While there I pulled a forward-leading hose from the electric valve located nearby aft and up.
I set up the floor jack under the fuel tank with a piece of plywood between jack and fuel tank to prevent damage to thin plastic fuel tank from the lugs sticking up on jack. Then I jacked up gently against the tank to transfer the weight of the tank from mounting straps to jack.
The tank is easier to handle with less fuel in it. Mine had about 1/8 tank and I had no problem.
If you need to remove fuel then after removing the fill hose one will find a check valve inside the hose fitting on the tank, to prevent fuel from coming from tank in case the hose gets ripped off I suppose. If you want to drain some fuel, put a pan under the hose fitting and use a chopstick to open the check valve to drain most of the fuel; a small diameter siphon hose threaded through the valve will work after the fuel gets lower than the fitting.
The forward mounting strap is easily removed using a 15mm deep socket.
The rear mounting strap has its bolt at a bad angle.
To get at it I unbolted the drive shaft using a 12point 12mm socket and moved it about an inch farther away from the tank. This required putting the transmission in park to remove the first two bolts, then neutral to rotate the u-joint to get at the other two bolts, and park again to remove them. To move the shifter one must have the battery connected, the key in, and the brake pedal depressed. So it would be good to do this with some help.
Moving the drive shaft allowed me to get a 5/8” universal joint socket on the 15mm bolt and back it out. (5/8” and 15mm are about the same) After loosening the screw, actually getting that end of the mounting strap free required some brute force to get it down between the tank and the drive shaft.
This mounting strap goes back in hard too. I wedged a rubber mallet head between the mounting strap and the drive shaft to force the strap back in place. The bolt has an unthreaded end that I got into the threaded nutplate, then pushing hard on the ratchet wrench while turning it got the bolt back in.
Once the two mounting straps are removed, lower the jack until the aft end of the tank is on the ground. I did NOT have to do anything with the transmission cross brace. The forward end of the gas tank stayed on that cross brace yet I was able to lower the tank enough to change the fuel pump. As you lower the tank look for any hoses that may have to be unhooked as the tank descends. I can’t recall now if there were any.
There are two electrical plugs and two hoses that must be removed to remove the fuel pump. They are obvious.
The plugs were a pain to find the release mechanisms but eventually I got it.
The fuel hose fittings slip onto their pipes with an o-ring to make the seal and an annular ridge in the pipe to provide a means to lock the fitting on. The black fuel hose connectors have a u-shaped piece of red plastic that slides in a slot at right angles to the pipe along the tank side of the ridge to lock the fuel connector onto the pipe. The red plastic piece has a gate that can then be closed and snapped shut to keep the red plastic slide securely in place.
To remove the fitting one must first open this gate by prying apart two red plastic lips on the latch end of the gate with a small screwdriver and swinging the gate open. Then the whole red plastic sliding lock piece must be worked back out of the black plastic part and away from the ridge to release the fitting.
I used the same screwdriver for pushing alternately on the hinge side and the lip side of the red plastic piece. Eventually it started sliding out of the black part until I could get it far enough out to slide the fitting off the pipe. One was easy and one was a pain.
Don’t worry about which hose goes where, they are different sizes.
Now one must unscrew the securing ring that secures the fuel pump in the tank. I used a large screwdriver and a large hammer against the lugs on the securing ring. Before starting to unscrew the ring I marked it with a Magic Marker so I could see how it was moving and so I could get it back to approximately the same tightness later. Once the ring started moving it was just more of the same until I could turn it with my fingers.
Removing the fuel pump/gas gauge sender after I got the securing ring off was more fussy than I thought it would be but eventually it came out. DON’T drop anything into the tank!
The new pump should come with a new sealing ring. I put dielectric grease on the sealing ring and securing ring threads and the securing ring surface that contacted the top of the pump unit. I figured if dielectric grease didn’t harm connector plastic it would be OK for the fuel pump plastic.
Before installing the new pump I painted some dielectric grease on each electrical pin using a small artist’s paint brush.
Putting the fuel pump back in was impossible until I used a screwdriver to hold it down into the tank while I put the securing ring on. The pump assembly is spring loaded to keep the suction firmly down onto the tank floor so it had to be held in against this spring. There is also a key tab (or two) on the pump top and a slot on its seat on the tank so make sure these fit properly.
I screwed the securing ring down until my Magic Marker mark was within two inches from the original position.
Putting everything back together was the reverse of the front half of the job.

I changed the fuel filter without jacking up the car. It is just behind the passenger’s front wheel. Remove the aluminum heat deflector. The outboard two screws are easy with a ratchet wrench. The inboard screw is fussy. Start it with a socket but as it comes out it will jam the wrench against an exhaust pipe so just break it loose with a socket then finish the job with an open end wrench and flashlight. Then there is an easy two nuts holding a plastic shield and the filter bracket itself. There were three hoses. Two were of the same type as at the fuel pump, and one that uses a special tool that goes around the pipe and slides into the fitting to release a locking ring. This one was a SOB. The plastic type release tool did not work. I got an X-type metal tool and after I filed down the two metal lips that slid into the fitting so they were even, and after a lot of effort and cussing, it finally came loose. Installing the new filter was easy.
I hope my experience can help someone.
Norm Johnson
Jacksonville FL
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:53 PM   #2
tampa fl
2002 explorer v8
Join Date: Jul 2012
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I thank you for this. I went through this on my '94 v6, don't remember it being so involved. been a while i guess. I have to do the same with my 2002 v8 and am not looking forward to it. just need to figure out whether i need to replace whole assemply or just pump. seems to be losing pressure as soon as power is off, takes turn key on and off several times before it will fire up, but then runs like normal till next time you shut her down.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:42 AM   #3
Norman M Johnson
Jacksonville FL
2002 Ford Explorer
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Sorry I cannot help you with your troubleshooting. I just replaced the whole fuel pump assembly.

Good Luck...

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