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How to replace fuel pump?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Ingo1392, August 25, 2015.

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  1. Ingo1392

    Ingo1392 New Member

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    Hi guys i am new here and i love this forum been browsing for a few days and man oh man do i want to modify and improve my new ford the thing is i just got an Explorer as a gift from my father, its a 1996 xlt 4.0.
    I need to replace the fuel pump and was wondering if there is a simple way to do that besides removing the fuel tank from underneeth something like cutting a hole from the inside if that is the road to take where do i cut?
    All information and/or tips would be very appreciated.
     
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  3. Mr. Alligator

    Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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    Fuel pump access

    There are several informative posts on this forum about cutting a fuel pump access panel. But if you have jacks and a place to work, lowering the tank seems to be easiest.
     
  4. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I've changed 3 this year alone. PM me if you want to know how I do it. As long as you're not dealing with a lot of rust it's not that hard to do.

    I just remembered I'd written this up already, so here you go:

    Fuel Pump Replacement - Return-less System:
    1. One way or other, get the tank as empty as possible.
    2. With the engine running (assuming it runs) pull the fuel pump relay to release pressure from the fuel line.
    3. Loosen the lug nuts on the d/s rear wheel.
    4. Jack up the rear of the truck as high as possible and place safety stands under the spring perches.
    5. Jack up the front of the truck until the wheels are just off the ground. Place on safety stands.
    6. Remove d/s rear wheel.
    7. The electrical connector/plug for the fuel tank is located just over the rear axle on the inner frame-rail. Take it loose from the frame and unplug it. You must push in a clip to get it to release.
    8. Remove the two 17mm bolts from the front of the tank. It does not have to be supported at this time.
    9. Support the rear of the tank with a piece of wood on top of a floor jack.
    10. Remove the 13mm bolt from the center tank-strap. As you do, the front of the tank will drop onto it's mounting bracket. Once down, I like to put the tie-wrap through the inner-most bolt hole to keep the tank from sliding rearward until I'm ready. Doing this also allows you to move the tank around without
    dropping it.
    11. Pivot the tank toward the drive shaft to allow enough room to unhook the tank strap from the frame rail. It keys into the frame from the top.
    12. Begin lowering the tank at the rear. You need to lower it until you can get at all the stuff you need disconnect from the tank;
    - the hose clamps that hold the fill and vent hoses to the rear of the tank.
    - the other electrical plug on top of the tank (which also has a clip you must push to release).
    - the evap system hose. This hose has a light gray plastic clip on the end that must be squeezed together to release. It has two flat areas that you can squeeze with your fingers, or a pair of pliers. Be careful not to break this clip.
    13. Once all the stuff is disconnected from the tank, I find it easiest to drop the front of the tank (cutting the wire-tie and sliding it rearward). remove the six 8mm bolts from the fuel pump assembly and finagle the assembly out of the tank. Then you can twist it around and place it on top of the leaf spring to work on it without having to disconnect the fuel line (which can be a bitch to do). At that point you can place the fuel tank on a piece if cardboard and drag it out of your way. check the sump for any dirt and clean as necessary. I like to clean and put a little Vaseline on the gasket surface to help with sealing during reassembly.
    14. Remove the single small screw/bolt that holds the clamp around the fuel pump.
    15. Remove the hose clamps that hold the pump to the regulator and unplug the electrical connector from the pump. The pump is now ready to be removed from the assembly. It just slides out from a "U" shaped recess on the bottom of the assembly.
    16. If your pump was replaced in the past, you may have the wide terminal plug installed on the assembly, or you may have a thin-to-thick terminal jumper wire. Most replacement pumps have the wider terminals.
    17. Remove the regulator to change the hose going from it to the fuel pipe and replace it with a new hose. Be sure to use fuel line rated to be submerged in fuel. Best to use fuel injection hose clamps.
    18. Install the new pump with hose, rubber insulator and strainer/sock.
    19. Place the fuel tank back under the truck and use pieces of wood to raise it up evenly front and rear.
    20. Place the rear of the tank on the floor jack again and begin raising it. It's a little tricky to get the fuel pump assembly to evenly line up with the hole in the top of the fuel tank so that you can put back the six bolts that hold it in place. I used pieces of 2x6 as cribbing and kept adjusting it until I got it to drop in and line up. Once it's in and tightened down you can start reconnecting everything else.
    21. When everything is reconnected, put the front of the tank up and install the inner-most 17mm bolt loosely. This will hold it in place while allowing you to pivot the tank away from the frame-rail to reinstall the center tank-strap in it's slot.
    22. Using the floor jack raise the rear of the tank until it is as high as it will go. Then you can bolt the tank-strap back in place.
    23. Replace the remaining 17mm tank bolt and tighten everything down.
    24. Install a new fuel filter.

    Make sure you've reinstalled the fuel pump relay.
    Make sure you've put everything back where it belongs.
    Put at lease 5 gals of fuel in the tank (to make sure the pump is submerged).
    Turn the ignition key from OFF to ON 5 or 6 times (to prime the fuel system).
    Start the engine, which may run a little rough for 15-20 seconds until all the air is out of the system.

    That about does it. Reinstall the rear wheel and take it down off the jack stands and you're done.

    Tips: On my more rusty truck, the fill & vent hose clamps were rusty and would not turn. I cut them off with my Dremel tool using a thin cutting wheel and replaced them.

    Wear gloves when dealing with the fill and vent hoses. Nothing will get your hands dirtier than handling old rubber lines (and it will takes days to get your hands clean again).

    The 3 tank mounting bolts on my rusty truck were pretty frozen. I soaked them with WD40 and ran them back and forth at least 20 times with my impact wrench on the lowest setting until they came out. I reinstalled them with anti-seize.

    Note: On a '97 you have a return type fuel system, which means you'll have 2 fuel lines at the fuel tank and your fuel pressure regulator is not in the tank, other than that the procedure is about the same.

    It takes me 3-4 hours to change a fuel pump. I prefer Bosch replacement pumps, which can be had off eBay for around $50-$60. Don't forget to replace your fuel filter and pump strainer/sock.
     
    Last edited: August 25, 2015
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  5. Flash

    Flash Well-Known Member

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    Said the man from the Sunshine State where it never snows and they don't salt the roads.

    Same here.
     
  6. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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  7. SaltyEx

    SaltyEx Elite Explorer

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    This help more than I can explain. I had it done in about 3 hours. Thank you
     
  8. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    You are very welcome. :)

    BTW: I've changed 3 more fuel pumps since I wrote the above instructions. I've now got the job down to about 90 mins and I hope I'll never need to do it again. I've learned that it's better to put 2 tie wraps on the front of the tank and just let it hinge down. Leave the front of the tank sitting on it's bracket as I've found it is not necessary to drop the tank to the ground in order to remove the fuel pump assembly. I've also stopped bothering to check/clean out the fuel tank, as I've never found any dirt is a tank. This makes the job easier and go much faster.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
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  9. 239

    239 Active Member

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    I found a close out deal on a motorcraft fuel pump for $50. I’m wondering if I should buy it and keep it in storage until my 2000 needs it. It’s still on the original pump.
     
  10. fastpakr

    fastpakr Elite Explorer

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    Definitely buy it at that price
     
  11. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I would, but if just the fuel pump you need to include new submersible fuel hose, FI clamps, and maybe splicing in wire connectors (perhaps not splicing as it's Motorcraft). That's why I like the Bosch 69128 fuel pump kit off eBay as it comes with that stuff and free shipping. I don't think the Motorcraft pump is any better than the Bosch pump based on my experience with the half dozen + I've installed. Cost would be my deciding factor.
     
    Last edited: August 1, 2018
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  12. 239

    239 Active Member

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    Cool. Thanks for the advice. Is this the correct part? It’s listed as PFS459. Also, the description says “stripped chassis”. Any idea what that means?
    8485C86C-99E6-4700-AB46-5A0B4B540982.jpeg
     
  13. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    "Stripped chassis" sounds like it does not include a pump or fuel pressure regulator, perhaps not even the fuel level sender. You'd better make sure before buying it.

    Found one on eBay (PFS459) with a price over $700, so I don't think you would get much for $50.

    Motorcraft PFS-459 Sport Trac Fuel Pump | eBay
     
    Last edited: August 1, 2018
  14. 239

    239 Active Member

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    The description reads “Units come as complete assemblies for easier, faster installation”. But yeah I’ll definitely call to make sure. I saw it on amazon for $650, so they’re definitely expensive.
     
  15. German Engineer

    German Engineer Active Member

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    Two years ago I ordered my fuel pump assembly for $120 via Amazon from this Canadian company here called Spectra Premium:
    Fuel Module

    It's running perfect for 2 years and about 17.000 miles now. Also comes with a good fuel level sender by the way.
    It's probably still a bit early for me to really be able to say how long lasting it will be, but I'm extremely satisfied with it so far. And I don't just say that lightly. By any means it's certainly far better than the other aftermarket fuel pump assembly some previous owner put in. It's not making the noise the old one was making and the fuel gauge also behaves much nicer and more trustworthy ever since.

    Fifty dollars sounds more like a cheap but typical price for a low end after market fuel pump only, the bare pump without assembly.
     
    Last edited: August 1, 2018
  16. delexploder

    delexploder Well-Known Member

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    I drop the tank just enough to unbolt the pump assembly from the tank and then let the tank drop down , this is so i dont have to deal with the lines , i only replace the pump , pop one clamp and the pump has a small plug , add a new pickup filter and cram it all back together , its fast and around here the lines or fittings usually break if you screw with them , just my 2¢
     
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  17. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    Big thanks to Koda2000 for the instructions, they are a huge help. Went with the Bosch 69128 kit and a Denso fuel sock/strainer from Rockauto - strangely, they are both listed for "Mexican built" Explorers but they fit just fine.

    Bosch pump "assembled" in USA, Denso filter made in Japan.

    I just changed my pump as preventative maintenance since I didn't know how old my existing pump was (and honestly because Koda made it seem fairly easy!). The job itself is not a pleasant one and I hope to never do it again but I was done and inside the house in about 3 hours. Much to my surprise, the old pump was OE! Date stamped on it was Sept 1997. That's pretty amazing IMO for the original pump to have lasted 254,000 miles and 21 years, and it was still working.
     
  18. EB4X

    EB4X Active Member

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    Oh how I miss the days of mechanical fuel pumps on side of engine....two bolts and 10 minutes later -- done.
    Or my same era Ranger....slide bed back 18" - 6 bolts from top of bed..unplug license plate light etc... 20 minutes.>> total access.
     
    Last edited: August 12, 2019
  19. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    I really like these walbro pumps
    Very nice
    Made in USA which is a big deal for me
    It's a gerotor style pump
    Just buy from a reputable place I think these walbro pumps are the most copied pumps ....China.....

    It's what I'm gonna use from now on

    Here is a short vid of explaining myself I know it won't help but worth knowing



    The best part of this video is me trying to say walbro :)
     
    Last edited: August 12, 2019
  20. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    @masospaghetti - Glad you found the instructions helpful.

    When I replaced the fuel pump in our '97 Sport (at over 267,000 miles IIRC) I found it also had it's original pump with a 1997 build date stamped on it and it was still working fine. Maybe they build them better back then. After installing 7 Bosch pumps and having driven on them for many miles/years I wouldn't use anything else. Last time I looked they were down to around $40 on eBay. I give them a 5-start rating. 6 of the Explorer fuel pumps I replaced were OE pumps and all of them started giving me problems between 150K-200K miles, which I consider pretty good service life, but not exceptional.
     
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  21. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    @koda2000 I'm not putting down the Bosch pumps at all I my anti back flow valve in my 255lph pump ....that came with my kit....worked intermittently
    So I started doing research .....I wasn't doing this job again....:banghead: to find the best oe quality pump and walbro seems to be the preferred pump by a lot
    Just figured I would put the info I got out there
    Lol hell half the oe equipment on our trucks is Bosch
     

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