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RichardSIA
RichardSIA HalfDork
2/8/21 6:09 p.m.

Furious with GM! Another dead in-tank pump, with no access panel!

If anyone knows the %$$@! that came up with the idea of putting the fuel pump INSIDE the fuel tank please do me a favor. Land three good hard punches on their face, I will send bail!

By my count four out of five cars with the pump in the tank have needed the pump replaced as soon as I bought them. And some folk cannot understand why I despise FI and it's over-complexity?

Not pulling another tank, sick of it, I'm going "Okie" or "Red-Neck" and cutting the trunk floor.

Car is a 1991 Buick Century with 107,000 miles one it.

So thirty years old, gutless, ugly, sure to have a cascade of additional problems, and never going acquire any more value.

And of course Youtube lies, there is no fuel pump access hatch in this model year.

Only bought as a temporary ride until I may get an OLDER car running, the modern trash is just too annoying to put up with.

If this is the Generals best thinking maybe it's a good thing they have announced that they are ceasing production of gasoline powered cars. Now wondering how many folk will be electrocuted once all they do are EV's!

If anyone has a measurement for where to cut the hole and will share that would be great.

EOR, hopefully I will never get another FI car no matter how long I live.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/8/21 6:15 p.m.

Pump in tank has a few benefits: the fuel around the pump keeps it cooler.  It absorbs more noise so you don't hear the pump as much.  And the pump isn't exposed to the weather so it doesn't corrode.  That said, the lack of access hatches over the pump in so many vehicles (not just GM) is stupid.  My Jeep requires either cutting or a tank drop to change the pump, for example.  BMW was nice enough to provide access from inside, on the other hand. 

All I hear from you is complaining about how everything modern is awful, can never work, how we were better off with carbs and points that required constant fiddling just to run poorly, get 5 mpg, etc.  Go crawl back into your luddite hole.  EFI, electric fuel pumps, etc. have been here to stay for 30+ years.  Learn how to work on it, suck it up, deal with it and quit bitching about it. 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/8/21 6:17 p.m.

Think of it this way, them making all EV will make things an order of magnitude simpler for them. Not as much plumbing to worry about. laugh Maybe they can finally make something that's not a POS.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
2/8/21 6:18 p.m.

This isn't a modern car/overcomplexity/fuel injection issue.  Its a design/GM issue.

On cars with an access door over the pump it is no big deal.

 

Teslas don't have in-tank fuel pumps FYI.  Edit:  Too late.  Damn.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/8/21 6:31 p.m.

I think that line of cars from GM were pretty good at killing fuel pumps.  I've known a couple of people who had weak/dead pumps in Centuries over the years.

Not sure if it's worth fantasizing about violence over. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
2/8/21 6:43 p.m.

For the record, I tried to upvote the OP's post because it really is an awesome rant and I felt it deserved recognition, but it didn't register.

It takes all of 10 minutes to cut an access so it's really not that big of a deal. 

My only other suggestion is to buy older cars. Then you can bitch about setting dwell or float leveles. laugh

 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/8/21 6:47 p.m.

I don't get all the hate for in-tank pumps. Yeah, you have to drop the tank, which adds a few hours to the job. For a part that needs replacement maybe once in the car's lifetime? Doesn't seem like that big of a deal. That said, an access hatch is nice. But that costs money, and people complain when premium cars (which often have niceties like pump access hatches) cost more money. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/8/21 6:48 p.m.

Also, my electric car has needed zero maintenance, service, or attention aside from wiper blades and washer fluid over three years of ownership....

In reply to Tom Suddard :

It's a GM. It's going to need more than one pump. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/8/21 6:51 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) :

I said the life of the vehicle. Since it's a GM isn't that about 75k miles? cheeky

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/8/21 7:00 p.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

Should we stay off your lawn also?  At least it's not a Volvo S40 alternator.  I was told those required dropping the front subframe.

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/8/21 7:00 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

My 99 truck is about to hit 200k thank you very much.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/8/21 7:05 p.m.

I know there are a bunch of EFI German cars with inline external Bosch pumps. Used one on my MGB when I put in a fuel injected engine :) Used another on my Seven with the EFI Miata engine.

I'll probably replace the MG one with an in-tank for better packaging. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/8/21 7:18 p.m.

Miata has an access panel for the fuel pump. smiley

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/8/21 7:26 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

This is true. My go-to external pump for EFI on cheap old cars is the pump from an '88 Ford F-250 with a 302 and fuel injection. Every single parts store carries them, they fit anywhere, and they come with 5/16" barb fittings.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/8/21 7:29 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I needed this information before I put a weird German pump in my MG :) Good to know. 

Flynlow (FS)
Flynlow (FS) HalfDork
2/8/21 7:31 p.m.

I've had my '88 Camaro since high school, dropped the tank twice on it.  Also helped people replace the pumps on Suburbans or Full-size vans (both of which look more similar to the Camaro underneath than I'm comfortable with). 

When I got my '84 200SX in college, and the pump went out within the first couple of months, I was dreading the job, setting aside a whole weekend, not realizing there was a better way.  20 minutes and an OEM access hatch had me scratching my head and wondering "Why doesn't every OEM do this?  They must do competitor benchmarking, don't they?"

 

Good luck!

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
2/8/21 7:32 p.m.

Those Ford inline pumps are great; I've used one in an early E30 with enough success that I never got around to replacing it with the correct pump.

As annoying as in tank pumps can be, I've had far fewer problems with fuel starvation with them. Most in-tank pumps have a housing or a bowl of sorts that holds fuel around the pump. While I'm sure the intent was to prevent the pump from overheating and burning up with low fuel level, it sure does help with preventing starvation on curvy roads.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/8/21 7:55 p.m.

It takes like ten minutes to drop the tank on a Century, on jackstands, in a snowy driveway.  BTDT

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/8/21 8:03 p.m.
gearheadE30 said:

Those Ford inline pumps are great; I've used one in an early E30 with enough success that I never got around to replacing it with the correct pump.

As annoying as in tank pumps can be, I've had far fewer problems with fuel starvation with them. Most in-tank pumps have a housing or a bowl of sorts that holds fuel around the pump. While I'm sure the intent was to prevent the pump from overheating and burning up with low fuel level, it sure does help with preventing starvation on curvy roads.

We had the pickup on one of our enduro Miatas so dialed that of the engine coughed in Turn 1 at Thunderhill, you weren't going to make it to the pits :) It would run on ounces of fuel. 

No reason why a good sump with an external pump couldn't be the same, though. 

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/8/21 8:05 p.m.

On most of my 80's FI Chrysler's I didn't even have to drop the tank, just lower the rear axle off the shocks and rotate the locking ring.

Im sure others have had to replace fuel system parts on vehicles after 30 years, so why is this any different?

RichardSIA
RichardSIA HalfDork
2/8/21 9:10 p.m.
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) said:

Think of it this way, them making all EV will make things an order of magnitude simpler for them. Not as much plumbing to worry about. laugh Maybe they can finally make something that's not a POS.

Judging from their past performance you will probably have to remove major components to change out batteries, or a bulb in the dash. 

RichardSIA
RichardSIA HalfDork
2/8/21 9:21 p.m.
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) said:

It takes all of 10 minutes to cut an access so it's really not that big of a deal. 

My only other suggestion is to buy older cars. Then you can bitch about setting dwell or float leveles. laugh

 

Dwell and floats are a snap! I have just spent tens of thousands of dollars to have a place of my own where I may undertake such mundane task as relaxation.

But no matter how much I spend I cannot buy a new shoulder, Arthritis is permanent, so trash design like this which demands that I make the most awkward of movements is more than I am willing to tolerate quietly.

NEVER had such stupidity on any of my many "Older cars", trying to decide which to restore first, Alfa Spider, Spitfire, Lotus?

Spitfire is simplest to work on so most likely.

Rons
Rons HalfDork
2/8/21 10:17 p.m.

In tank and having to drop the tank is an issue with at least Ford and GM. One of my cousins was a body man and had to drop the tank of a Crown Vic, and unfortunately the half full tank dropped and knocked over the trouble light. No one was injured in the ensuing fire that destroyed the shop. I hate tanks that have to be dropped. Most Japanese cars have an access panel under the rear seat or in the trunk and that makes life much easier.

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