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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.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Burns

    Burns Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    After a few were talking about the wonderful task of getting the fuel pump and float out of the gas tank in a explorer. I also just love doing this so me and my dad have created a easy solution that we have now used in three of our four first gen explorers. We have cut out the floor above the gas tank and made a access panel to go back on. Here is how you can do this for your self. Do not do this with a full tank of GAS. There is the possibility that you might SLIP. I dont have to tell you what happens when there is sparks and possibilty of gas. You need to be carefull if you attempt to do this project.
    Step 1: Remove you rear seat and peal the carpet back so you can see the most of the floor under the drivers side back seat. Also while working on this project please note: The safe way to do this is to remove the tank before cutting. Its better to be safe now. It may not save you time now but it will save you if you ever have the need again.

    Step 2: Prepare to cut your floor. I used a grinder with a small disk. The best tool for the job would be a dremel. They are small and will allow the margin for error to go nearly to zero.
    [​IMG]
    Here is the size of cuts i made.
    [​IMG]
    After you have made your cuts you may have to use the hammer and bend some of the metal around the edges to ensure that you do not slice you hand open while pulling the sending unit/gas pump unit.

    When you are cutting you need to remember that the gas lines are there. When cutting you only have about a inch and a half of room. Dont go to deep and cut a line.
    [​IMG]


    Step 3: You will now need to prepare to put you truck back into usable order. You will need to make a patch panel to go over the hole that was cut into the floor. You will need to make a few bends in the metal. This can be done with the bare hands. No need for any special benders here. Use a thin sheet metal to make your cover.
    [​IMG]
    Next. You will need to do some drilling. You need to drill some holes to allow you to screw the new panel back to the floor. Silicone will then be added to the floor and the patch panel on top. Screw it down to the floor and you are done.
    [​IMG]

    You will now need to replace the interior parts that you removed earlier.
    If you have any questions just ask.
     
    Last edited: September 23, 2009
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  3. Phager

    Phager Active Member

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    Thanks Burns. That's a great write up.
     
  4. Gatorblazer

    Gatorblazer Active Member

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    where was this thread Thursday when I replaced my fuel pump! Why wasnt I smart enough to figure this out myself!
     
  5. Burns

    Burns Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Its been a life saver for me
     
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  6. james t

    james t Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Ive done the same on a couple of trucks ive owned. I did it the first time about 10 years ago and ill never drop a gas tank again. :D
     
  7. uh60james

    uh60james Active Member

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    What is the stuff that you sprayed all over the exposed area of the fuel tank. I see it is rusty in the first pic and then has some tan gunk all over it.
     
  8. blueka

    blueka Elite Pickler Elite Explorer

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    when my ex first died (the day after I bought it) the AA diagnosed fuel pump failure.

    I bought a new pump ($500) and a new fuel pump relay ($50) plus crank sensor ($50)

    plus a day's labour ($200) and 2 sets of plugs ($60) only to find out that the timing on the left bank had slipped.. great eh?

    I didn't drop the tank tho.. I didn't know the first thing about explorer's then..

    Si
     
  9. JMan689

    JMan689 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like dried mud to me.



    Awesome thinking Burns guess ill work on doing this to both my Xs this spring/summer.
     
  10. gsmaclean

    gsmaclean Active Member

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    I did this exact procedure last fall when I replaced my fuel sender - I never saw this thread first, so I ended up doing a lot of measuring before cutting, to make sure I got it right.

    Instead of a grinder/dremel (which make SPARKS, which, to me, is just plain stupid when you're working next to the gas fittings), I used an air chisel. You can get them for under $10 at Harbor Freight, and it cuts through the metal like a knife through butter.

    Also, when I cut the metal to replace, I cleaned it and spray-painted it with some leftover paint I had, to keep it from rusting. Instead of screwing it in place, I used pop-rivets.

    But I can attest that this method works great, and is far easier than dropping the tank.
     
  11. unclemeat

    unclemeat Well-Known Member

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    A question, can the repair plate be replaced using a metal bonding epoxy?

    I need to mine soon.
     
  12. Burns

    Burns Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Im sure you can used metal bonding epoxy. I have never used it. I used screws and some rtv to make it seal up for easy removal later.
     
  13. carlover

    carlover Well-Known Member

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    Ok, quick question. Anyone know if the fuel pump is in the same spot on a 96???
     
  14. JMan689

    JMan689 Well-Known Member

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    In the tank? Should be
     
  15. carlover

    carlover Well-Known Member

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    To add a little to this thread for us 2nd gen guys. You need to make the opening wider towards the center of the vehicle.

    pump1.jpg

    pump2.jpg
     
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  16. timn8er

    timn8er Member

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    Great Idea. I cursed Ford when my pump died. Had to empty a full tank and drop it. Unlike my old VW. open the truck remove the access cover. spin the ring and remove the pump. sweet. It was after i droped the tank I thought that I should have cut a hole, LOL.

    Remember Gas does not burn or ignite.....

    Its the Fumes (Gas+Oxygen)

    Got that wrong on an exam. frigin trick questions..
     
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  17. mikesparky

    mikesparky Active Member

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    This is awesome! I was going to drop my tank this weekend, now I'll do this. Can't thank you guys enough.
     
  18. JCUZ

    JCUZ Well-Known Member

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    Does that mean if you hold your nose while lighting petrol, it won't ignite?

    Anyone done this on a 3rd Gen yet?
     
  19. Fire926

    Fire926 New Member

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    It may sound crazy but you're actually more at risk with a tank not full of fuel since gasoline itself is not what ignites and burns but the vapors right above the liquid do. So a tank 1/2 full is much more dangerous than a full tank. Great post though!
     
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  20. Anime

    Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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    I prefer to drop the tank when it's time to replace the fuel pump, since by the time it needs to be pulled and replaced, enough junk has probably accumulated on top of and around the tank to justify dropping it to clean the tank, the inside of the left frame rail,and check all the hoses and wires hidden behind the tank. It's also good to remove the bolts holding the tank straps so they don't rust solid to the rather weak threaded clips.
     
  21. Ranger Al

    Ranger Al Active Member

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    It is called "trap door", we used to have a 75 Toyota Corona and there was a trap door to get to the fuel level sensor. The Japanese beated us to it! lol
     

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