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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. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    Not enough customer demand for it. The typical person buying a new ~ $25K vehicle back then wasn't thinking about how hard the fuel pump would be to change years later. They still aren't today.
     
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  3. bluestream1

    bluestream1 Active Member

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    Its not really what the consumer wants or doesn't want. Its about whether the manufactures cares about the tech who has to change this pump down the road. Most other companies do, but Ford does not. They would rather save $5.00 per vehicle and increase their profit, and let the tech/owner deal with the headaches. Its very short sighted in my opinion

    I don't think I will buy another Domestic vehicle for this reason.
     
  4. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    ^ Every vehicle has its faults. Trying to lump it into domestic vs import would simply be ignoring faults of any import vehicles.

    No manufacturer expects consumer oriented vehicle owners to change their own fuel pump. Besides, it's really not a big deal to unbolt or cut straps to do it given a pump, lift, and jack... all things any decent shop has.
     
  5. Meriden

    Meriden New Member

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    I'm finishing this project today and there are a handful of posts suggesting that this cannot be done on certain Gen II Explorers due to the pump being too far back. The photo below is an example of the problem:

    [​IMG]

    The tank on my '96 XLT 4 door is sloped at the front, putting the pump farther back and under the body sub-frame. I thought about cutting that sub-frame and decided against it since the cut would be between where the sub-frame mounts to the frame rail and the set belt anchor. I may still use the hole to remove the pump once I've lowered the tank, saving me the trouble of removing all the hoses and pulling the tank from under the truck.

    I suggest that anyone planning this on a Gen II cut a small hole in line with the back bolt on the center seat belt anchor and check the location of the pump before they get rowdy with the snips.

    m
     
  6. Abbondanza

    Abbondanza Active Member

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    you don't need to drop the tank. I have a 2nd gen and look at my pictures earlier in this thread (bottom of page 5)..I got it out with the cut... not pretty but better than dropping the tank (or so I hear) looks like you started your cut too far forward and didn't go back far enough..you won't totally clear the back of the pump , but you can angle the old pump out and new one in.http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=182160&page=5
     
  7. Meriden

    Meriden New Member

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    I'll post another two photos that are more inclusive:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I cut a pretty big hole to start with, but after some thought decided not to cut through the body sub-frame. I also spent some time looking at the photo on the forum and at my installation. It appears that most of the photos before mine show the pump aligned with the front bold on the seat belt anchor while mine is much closer to the back bolt. Somebody with the right cutting tool could remove enough of the body sub-frame to get it out but I'm not sure it's less work than the way I did it.

    Anyway, I managed to change it out. Dropping the tank down a few inches to get the pump out was so darned easy. It turned out to be three bolts and a floor jack. And now to patch the hole...
     
  8. Abbondanza

    Abbondanza Active Member

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    yes you needed to get more of the subframe to wiggle it out without dropping the tank..glad you got it done though...congrats!
     
  9. Meriden

    Meriden New Member

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    Final follow-up. The pump is installed, the Ex running, and the fuel gauge doesn't work. I'll piddle with that problem later, but in the meantime I'll use the trip odometer to keep up with miles between fill ups. I made a couple of aluminum panels to cover the holes.

    And now on to the driver's door.
     
    Last edited: January 22, 2015
  10. atxjax

    atxjax Member

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    Newbie here. Thanks for allowing me on the forum.


    I have a 97 Mountaineer with the V8. Looking to replace the pump and want to cut a door. Am I going to run into the same issue as the 2nd Gen Explorers where the pump is too far back and have to cut through subframe?
     
  11. Meriden

    Meriden New Member

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    Look at post 96 and then post 146. In post 96 the pump is aligned with the forward bolt on the seat belt anchor. In 146 it is closer to the back bolt. If I were doing another one I would drill one or two holes to see how the pump aligns with the bolts on the seat belt anchor before starting. To Abbondanza's point, it will work either way, you just have to cut more if the pump is mounted toward the back. I found having the port useful even though I had to drop the tank because I didn't have to remove the hoses, etc.
     
  12. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox New Member

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    .
    ---USE A NIBBLER TO CUT THE SHEET METAL!!! ---

    I strongly suggest that no one use a grinder or anything else that creates heat or sparks to cut a hatch near the fuel tank! Others may have been lucky but you could be the one who sets your Explorer on fire - or worse - has it go up in a blast right in your face.

    Probably the best way to cut the hole would be to use a nibbler tool. You can get an inexpensive manual one, an air powered one, or an electric one. They are cheap at Harbor Freight. They all work the same. Carefully and slowly drill a starting hole with cutting oil so it does not get hot, using a stop collar on the drill bit to keep it from going any farther than barely through the sheet metal. Size it to fit the head of the nibbler - probably 3/8 or 1/2"

    Insert the head and operate the nibbler along the line you wish to cut. It literally nibbles little chunks of metal away as you move along the line. You can turn it to make a corner. Very quick, clean, and cool.

    ,
     
  13. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox New Member

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    .
    --- ADDENDUM ---

    My 95 Explorer would crank but would not start. I could tell that the pump was not running as I turned the key towards start, because I did not hear the usual "whirr" from the pump for the first few seconds.

    Replacing the pump is a last resort so I started with easy checks.

    I wiggled a few connectors to sensors and such, especially one that I had fail previously. No change.

    Then I removed the pump relay, rapped it smartly against the panel above the radiator a number of times on all sides, and reinserted it. My theory was that the contacts are getting old and pitted, OR a thin film of oxide may have formed on the connector tabs. Tapping aggressively should bounce the contacts enough to "clean" them at least a little. The relay is sealed so I couldn't see the contacts, but as a last resort I could have cut the relay case open and cleaned them that way.

    But now I hear the pump run and the motor starts normally. Rapping the relay seemed to do the job.

    I took the relay out, cleaned the connectors, added some silicone dielectric on them, and reinstalled it, and it should hold until I get to the auto parts store to buy a replacement. I can't complain much - the relay lasted 249,750 miles!

    .
     
  14. FasterFrank

    FasterFrank New Member

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    I have read to Page 8 inclusive and have found no info on cutting the access port out of a Gen 3, 2002 Explorer XLT 4 door.

    Has anyone tried this on a Generation 3?
    If so, can you point me to the thread please?

    Thanks!
    Faster Frank
     
  15. FasterFrank

    FasterFrank New Member

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    Yes - OR

    You can try swapping the relay in question with one you know to be working. In the Gen 3 Explorer XLT, for instance, there are relays either side of #48 (fuel pump relay) that are identical and which you can see they work by looking at the High Beams before you swap the relays one for the other.
    ps. don't try this particular swap at night whilst driving
     
  16. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox New Member

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    .

    I did pick up a replacement relay at the auto parts store - plus a spare since there are two other relays which are the same vintage and might fail. Having a spare might get me out of a jam some day!

    Funny thing - I put the new relay in and it didn't work immediately. I took it out, tapped it, and it has been working fine ever since! Probably a small bit of manufacturing oil on the points.

    If one uses one of the other relays as a temporary replacement, as advised in the prior message - just be sure that the relays have the identical pinout and diagram on the side. And also that the relay is not for an essential function such as a control module, etc.

    In general the reason relays fail is because the contact points get worn, pitted, or oxidized and the tapping trick will often get them working again - at least temporarily. The rest of the parts inside - coil, spring, etc - are very reliable and not likely to fail!

    Of course the blades connecting the relay to the power box can also oxidize, as can the socket contacts, especially if water has gotten in the box.

    .
     
  17. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    That's a mess
     
  18. FasterFrank

    FasterFrank New Member

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  19. Austin96

    Austin96 New Member

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  20. Ken Whitmore

    Ken Whitmore New Member

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    Reader beware: I made my cuts as accurately as I could using your photo and measurements as a guide, adding a diagonal cut to to remove the left-rear inward corner for safety, but my fuel pump assembly is mounted about 4 inches toward the passenger side compared with yours. I could still get all the screws out, with only the two furthest in requiring a 5/16" ratcheted box end wrench. Turns out I didn't need to cut away the vertical part towards the rear, since the pump assembly is also a bit forward compared to yours.

    Due to such differences, I can't re-emphasize enough how important it is to keep the depth of your cuts to the very minimum needed! I used a 1/16" thick cutting wheel and managed to do it all without touching any fuel line or wiring, even with the differences of location of the pump.
     
  21. Burns

    Burns Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    You always need to know your vehicle. At the time this was made the tank had been out twice so we knew where it was. If you do not know where yours is at you need to drop the tank.
     

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