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pilotbraden
pilotbraden UberDork
2/8/21 10:58 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

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.

Sir you have just earned your salary for a good long time. Thank you, Braden

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/8/21 11:03 p.m.

Hah, glad I could help! I used to keep a list of part numbers for this pump, but for whatever reason I have way better luck asking for it by application. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/8/21 11:05 p.m.
grover said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Hey now! My classic had an access door. I changed the pump in about 30 minutes in the driveway. One of the easier jobs actually. 

Maybe it was only the P38. I know it was the case for the Defender :)

grover
grover Dork
2/9/21 7:32 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

that is true on the P38 as I recall  

 

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
2/9/21 8:02 a.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

Jeez dude, take a deep breath. Its three lines, two hoses, one electrical connector, and two straps. You're in Nevada, it's probably not even rusty. It's not a big deal. In Ohio when we do those there are torches involved.

Now here are my helpful tips. If you need to get the gas out of the tank either disconnect the filter and put a hose on the line or use a fuel pressure gauge and put a clamp on the pressure release button, jumper out the relay to supply power to the pump. Typically the pump can be made to run by whacking the bottom of the tank with a mallet. That will pump the tank empty. 

Tie shop rags around your wrist when you are disconnecting the lines, this will help keep gas from running down to your armpits. You dont want gas in your armpits. 

Buy a good pump. A cheapo pump will fail again, usually fairly quick.

The thing kills pumps the fastest is pumping against a clogged fuel filter. Replace the filter along with the pump.

That's about it. Put on a happy face and realize that this is just how it is with 30 year old cars. You gotta fix em sometimes. 

New York Nick
New York Nick Reader
2/9/21 8:17 a.m.

Two observations:

1- the car is 30 years old, I don't know that it is modern, heck it doesn't even have OBD II

2- FI is great, it has been ever since automotive electronics haven't sucked. Every time I hear someone bellyaching about how hard it is to change spark plugs (or insert maintenance issue here) on a "new" car I like to point out that when cars were without electronics, and FI and were easy to work on people were replacing motors before these cars need their first set of spark plugs.

BTW- Sorry you have to do this somewhat sucky job, I have cut access holes in a fair number of GM truck beds with questionable fuel lines and tank straps to avoid dropping the tank.

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/9/21 8:20 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

Hah, glad I could help! I used to keep a list of part numbers for this pump, but for whatever reason I have way better luck asking for it by application. 

Ok I need the same external pump but for carb.  Got an easy button for that?

wae
wae UberDork
2/9/21 8:20 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

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.

Just because I know that some day I am going to need this information, is this the pump that you're talking about: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=977789&cc=1124187&jsn=1710

This is going to get written down and stored on board the motorhome.  Hell, I might go ahead and get one of those pumps and the plumbing required to attach it to the generator's feed line and stick all that onboard in an emergency kit.  You think dropping a little 15 gallon tank off of a Century is a pain?  Try a 75 gallon tank.  And the way my luck works, the pump will only die right after I have placed approximately 450 pounds of fuel in that tank.

 

Relevant to the OP:  I totally get the frustration.  Other manufacturers figured out how to make it less of a suck to get the fuel pump out of the tank, I'm not sure why they decided that it was either drop the tank or cut a hole.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
2/9/21 8:21 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

Hah, glad I could help! I used to keep a list of part numbers for this pump, but for whatever reason I have way better luck asking for it by application. 

I went to RA to check specs, so here's a screengrab w/ pn's. For $34, this is what you get:

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/9/21 8:22 a.m.
gearheadmb said:

In reply to RichardSIA :

Jeez dude, take a deep breath. Its three lines, two hoses, one electrical connector, and two straps. You're in Nevada, it's probably not even rusty. It's not a big deal. In Ohio when we do those there are torches involved.

Now here are my helpful tips. If you need to get the gas out of the tank either disconnect the filter and put a hose on the line or use a fuel pressure gauge and put a clamp on the pressure release button, jumper out the relay to supply power to the pump. Typically the pump can be made to run by whacking the bottom of the tank with a mallet. That will pump the tank empty. 

Tie shop rags around your wrist when you are disconnecting the lines, this will help keep gas from running down to your armpits. You dont want gas in your armpits. 

Buy a good pump. A cheapo pump will fail again, usually fairly quick.

The thing kills pumps the fastest is pumping against a clogged fuel filter. Replace the filter along with the pump.

That's about it. Put on a happy face and realize that this is just how it is with 30 year old cars. You gotta fix em sometimes. 

^ This x 1000..  Having done this for both a 1993 Century and a 1991 Chevy C1500 I can testify that while it is a pain, it's not as bad as it appears. If you can siphon the gas out of the tank into suitable temporary storage the hard part (heaving a tank full of gas back up under the vehicle) suddenly becomes a whole lot easier.  If you have a 30 year old vehicle for a DD, there's probably something wrong with you anyway (just realized both my daily and my truck turn 30 this year) cheeky

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
2/9/21 9:11 a.m.

From my experience with a weak mechanical fuel pump on an old VW beetle, there are plusses and minuses to an in-tank pump.  While bolting it directly to the engine provided easier access, it failed faster due to heat, dirt, and vibration.  The last time it stopped working for me on I-81 through Virginia, I managed to siphon gas from the tank and get it pumping again, but ended up with petrol breath.

The number of ways older technology can fail makes it less reliable, IMO.

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/9/21 10:13 a.m.

even my Disco has an access panel to get at the fuel pump.  This is a Gm thing, they don't want to spend the extra dollar it costs to design and install an access hole.  At least they are thinking of how much the mechanic will make draining and dropping the tank before putting it all back together.

 

When the fuel pump in my 318ti died, I walked a few miles to the nearest store that had one they could get in an hour, took it back, and replaced it on the side of the road.  The hardest part was undoing the spin on rings that held the tank closed.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/9/21 10:24 a.m.

In reply to wae :

Yep, that looks like the one!

nocones
nocones UberDork
2/9/21 10:57 a.m.

Gm never worried about it because they didn't fail under warranty (or if they did not often enough).  Also as pointed out on a lift it's not that hard to remove the fuel tank.  

The OEM pump lasted 30 years, saturated continuously in an ever increasing amount of ethanol which it probably wasn't designed to see.  That is pretty impressive.  

 

My MG is currently running on one of those Duralast F250 pumps.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/9/21 1:10 p.m.
RichardSIA said:

Even GM FINALLY got smart(er) a couple of years later.

Wonder how many warranty hours were required to be run up before some bean counter decided that simpler service just might be better for the bottom line after all? I'm sure customer relations never had anything to do with it.

In tank pump count to date, two Chevy trucks, one Range Rover, one Honda (Not mine) and now the Buick.

Did not have to do either of the Geo Metro's even though their bodies are among the worst flimsy junk ever made. So it's five of seven, not a great average.

GMs only put access panels in vehicles where the suspension would need to be removed to drop the tank.  The access panel is an NVH and sealing liability and they'd rather not have one.  And working through an access panel, frankly, sucks.  Pulling interior apart to get to it sucks, working 3 feet away from what you are working on sucks, trying not to get gasoline all over the carpeting sucks.

 

Wait until you find out about the GMs with sealed fuel tanks.  If the pump fails, you replace the fuel tank assembly.  (Cuts down on evaporative emissions, O-rings are porous)

 

Or the Hyundais with access panels too small to get the fuel pump module through.  The panel is only there so you can get to the connections before you drop the tank.  Worst of both worlds!

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/9/21 8:59 p.m.

Done many fuel pump replacements by dropping the tank. 

After you do it a few times, you get pretty fast at it, even with fuel in the tank.

 

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
2/9/21 11:53 p.m.
rslifkin said:

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. 

 

As said, In Tank Pumps = good.  No access panel = BAD / DUMB. If the tank is hard to drop, adding access isn't too hard to do. Ive done both, and not just GM, by any streach!

90BuickCentury
90BuickCentury Reader
2/10/21 6:30 a.m.

I have a couple 1989-1993 Buick Centurys. Had to drop the tank on a 90 with 195K to replace the rusted out fuel sender assembly. Waited until it had just a couple gallons of gas and then dropped it with back tires parked on ramps in my driveway. Wasn't that hard. Thought about cutting access hole, but sparks + fuel leak could = boom. Hardest part was getting the new, empty tank held in position while also attaching the straps. If I was closer to NV and had more parking space, I'd gladly relieve you of your 91 :)

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
2/10/21 6:10 p.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

We agree that an access hole is needed. Dropping a tank full of gas is risky and potentially dangerous without the right equipment.  
     The one time in my life I had to do it I looked at the job and drove the truck to the dealership. Not worth it.   
     I understand Carbs I also understand the old mechanical Fuel injection.Corvette or Hilborn. I've even worked on the Jaguar DType fuel injection.  
  I've plugged an OBD2 into vehicles and replaced parts as needed.  ( and felt like a dolt doing it) 

Is this what I've been reduced to? A parts replacer?  
    

       

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
2/10/21 6:47 p.m.
RichardSIA said:

Did an actual careful count, this will be No. 9 of 11 F.I. cars I've owned or repaired for others. And yes, of course it failed right after filling the tank.

 

I'm confused about this statement.  This is the 9th of 11 that required a fuel pump replacement?

I've owned 17 fuel injected cars I believe (At least 8 or 9 of those were GM).  I've never had a fuel pump fail. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/10/21 7:08 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

I can't remember the last time I've had to replace a fuel pump that wasn't a performance upgrade.  It's been a LOOONG time.  Modern fuel pumps are far better than the old stuff, and I wonder if the trend to fuel pump modules instead of a pump on a stick has anything to do with it.  No matter the fuel level, the module stays full, you see.

 

I did diagnose one about three or four years ago on a Nissan SUV, but the customer said "well, it still sort of runs, I'll just trade it in."  The scope pattern looked extremely ragged and had at least two parts of the commutator not doing anything at all.

 

I've had a couple die on my rallycross car, but it's an external unit, and subject to raucous amounts of exhaust heat and hot air blowing under the car from the radiator fans when sitting in grid.  Every now and then I get the idea to move the high pressure pump to the front inner fender where it won't get heat-blasted, but that would require plumbing.  And wiring.  Two things I really do not enjoy.

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
2/10/21 7:14 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

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

How old is it? If new then that’s not saying much, right? But if older, then color me interested. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/11/21 7:16 a.m.

Even if the car is supposed to have 48 psi, 40 should be enough for it to start and run, if a bit poorly.  Did you by any chance watch to see if the pressure dropped when you revved it and it died?

iansane
iansane Reader
2/11/21 9:09 a.m.

How pissed will you be if the fuel pump wasn't the issue?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/11/21 2:15 p.m.
RichardSIA said:

Tested the Brick again this morning. 40 PSI at the test port and will not start. Did get it to start with ether and it idled but as soon as I tried to get some RPM it died and would not restart. Sources vary on what minimum PSI is needed for the F.I. to work. I've read a low of 34 PSI but also 48 PSI. Only one can be correct. 

If the fuel pressure regulator references the intake manifold pressure, then you have to take current operating conditions into account. Correct fuel pressure will be lower at idle than when doing a static test. 

I have lost fuel pumps on FI cars that have sat for too long. Both of them were external pumps, which meant I had to deal with the tank peeing on me while I swapped them out. If they were in-tank, I could have accessed from above ;) But I built both of them, so it's my own fault.

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