Fuel pump and float WIRES | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Fuel pump and float WIRES


Well-Known Member
November 5, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Manhattan, KS
Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 Limited
Let me preface this by saying I DID read the stickies and tried a search. no luck....

I have a 00 Explorer limited with 40k on the clock, I went out to run an errand for some motorcycle parts and it cranked and cranked but no ignition. I know three things are necessary for internal combustion: fuel, spark, and compression. Starting with fuel i cranked it and then went to the schrader valve on the fuel rail = No pressure, turned the key to the on position and no hum of the fuel pump, checked the fuse and relay and they both worked so i figured bad fuel pump.

Well i dropped the tank without much trouble only to find that 3 of the 4 wires going to the pump/fuel level sending unit were cut/chaffed/torn so i ran two wires of the battery to the pump and it started right away and then checked for pressure on the fuel rail and it seemed good. pulled the pump out and disconnected everything so i could put it on my work bench to solder some new wires on. got that all done and now i have two areas of concern.

1.)Is this common? has anyone else had this problem? what should i do to make sure it doesn't happen again. I used solder and heat shrink with generous amounts of electrical tape and wire loom to protect it.

2. For the variable resistor that is attached to the float arm i had to solder the new wire IN THE TANK but then heat shrinked it is this a cause of concern given it is in the tank, will it explode?

Sorry for the long winded post but i was expecting to pay $100 for a new pump not just solder some wires together... i was confused to say the least since i couldn't find anything that would rub against these wires to cut them.

p.s. my center console data center works just fine and accurately reads the fuel level b/c there was no chaffing of the wires that i could tell.

Soldering and heat shrink in the tank should not be a problem. Yet, you might want to drop a sample of the heat shrink in a cup of gasoline for a day or so to see if it softens. If it does, you will need to find a better insulator.

Sparks in the tank are normally not a problem. The gas fumes in the tank are so rich that combustion is not possible (actually it's the lack of oxygen). An example is the fuel pump. All DC brushed motors, which the pump is, create sparks where the brushes rub the commutator. These "in tank" pumps literally pump the gasoline through the motor (the gasoline is the coolant). This includes the brush/commutator area. But the tank does not explode. Even if you run out of gas, and pump fumes through the motor, it doesn't ignite.

It sounds like you did not put tape in the tank. This is good. The tape would turn to mush and might get in the screen.

yeah tape with gasoline is a big no no. I am wondering how to prevent this from happening again? any known problems with these wires chaffing or splitting?