View Full Version : Paging the mechanics; 98 Bravada fuel pump replacement.
10-02-2010, 02:55 PM
I believe my fuel pump is shot. The pump was getting a little whiny lately and the truck stuttered a few times today. It then died two block from the house. I've got spark and it turns over fine. No pressure in the fuel rail. Also, the pump isn't whining any more. I hear something, but it's a LOT quieter than before. There is gas in the tank, 16 gallons roughly...just filled up.
So, is this a job I can do in my garage?
I've tackled jobs such as head gasket replacement, intake manifold replacement, tough heater core jobs, and brakes and such, but never removed a gas tank or messed with the newer fuel systems.
I've got a Haynes repair manual so I know the basic steps.
What does the book say as far as hours on a job like this?
Thanks in advance!
10-02-2010, 03:21 PM
It's definitely a DIY job in terms of difficulty, but it might be a mechanic job in terms of pleasantness. The first headache is getting the gas out of the tank, since you really don't want to be handling the tank with all that extra weight. Some "newer" cars make it really difficult to take gas out through the filler neck and draining an entire tank can be really slow going if you don't have a fancy electric siphon pump (plus what're you going to do with 15 gallons of gas?). The other thing that can make this job really unpleasant is rust-- if the straps that hold the tank in are rusted in it's darn-near impossible to get them off, and you have to be very careful using cutting tools and heat near the gas tank.
But if you've got something to do with the gas and there's no rust, it's a relatively straightforward job. You'll also almost inavoidably smell like gas for the next day or two, which is why fuel pumps have fallen off my own personal DIY list.
10-02-2010, 03:41 PM
The gas tank has to be removed to get to the fuel pump.
The tank really should be emptied, or nearly so. That much gas weighs a lot AND sloshes around -- it's a good bet that some, if not all, of it would end up being spilled in the work area and on you. Until the tank is about half empty, gas will spill out of the filler hole even with the tank kept level.
You'll need (or really want) a floor jack to lower and raise the tank (use with a flat piece of wood, so as to not dent the tank). Even when empty the tank is fairly heavy, and big and awkward to handle as well. On some vehicles the tank straps are fastened with nuts over l-o-n-g studs, such that a deep socket won't reach. It can be tedious unscrewing them.
You'll likely need a fuel line disconnect (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2009/08/TBirdSystemax/images/Fuel_line_tool.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2009/08/TBirdSystemax/index.php&usg=__NgERUNvlJ-DnWlG4g-lqaqUU3I8=&h=389&w=600&sz=23&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=HNROi6EAXras6M:&tbnh=133&tbnw=181&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfuel%2Bline%2Bdisconnect%2Btool%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1024%2 6bih%3D555%26tbs%3Disch:1%26prmd%3Divs&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=120&vpy=83&dur=1272&hovh=181&hovw=279&tx=160&ty=97&ei=LZenTOSLJoiWnAe_1fHYDQ&oei=3ZanTMSuOIL_8AansaiiDA&esq=6&page=1&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0) tool (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/158022_lg.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/showthread.php%3Ft%3D29691%26page%3D3&usg=__PYMeTuFHsi_eMzkwzs0QjH9j81g=&h=400&w=400&sz=10&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=OyhwNL-mhOxxVM:&tbnh=137&tbnw=155&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfuel%2Bline%2Bdisconnect%2Btool%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1024%2 6bih%3D555%26tbs%3Disch:1%26prmd%3Divs&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=141&vpy=247&dur=609&hovh=191&hovw=191&tx=130&ty=212&ei=LZenTOSLJoiWnAe_1fHYDQ&oei=3ZanTMSuOIL_8AansaiiDA&esq=6&page=1&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:0).
My estimator shows 2.1 for a 2-door, 3.0 for a 4-door.
Its such a PITA that many my self included remove the box on a pickup truck, or I have seen some where an opening is cut through the trunk, box, or floor boards to access the fuel pump. It depends on age of vehicle what route to take, and if you are handy at patching the openings.
Remember to evaluate the brake lines in those blind areas while the tank is out on older vehicles. Its hard to remove a tank without disturbing other components IMHO.
10-03-2010, 11:08 AM
I agree with GreasyJack.
It can definitely be done yourself, especially since your tall SUV gives you extra work space underneath. But it sure is an unplesant and dirty job.
If you do decide to try this yourself, some must-haves will be good eye protection (not just splashing fuel, but rust and dirt falling down on you), old/disposable clothes, and a work space not near open flames. I'd do it outside if you can, but be especially cautious if your garage happens to contain your home's furnace.
Regardless of whether your wash your work clothes or throw them away, spread them out outdoors to let the gasoline evaporate first. Gas fumes inside your electric-powered mashing machine aren't a good idea.
Also, in my experience, if you get a big board or rubber mallet and bang on the gas tank, you'll likely to get the fuel pump to work once more. This will at least save you towing charges....and I suppose you could drive around or leave the engine running until the gas level goes down enough to drop the tank more easily.
10-03-2010, 12:42 PM
...leave the engine running until the gas level goes down enough to drop the tank more easily.At approx. 0.2 gal/hr, that could take quite a while.
10-03-2010, 08:08 PM
This is worth doing yourself if you're reasonably handy. I think it's easy, but then I'm a mechanic.
If you've done head gaskets and heater cores, this is no problem. One thing to find before you get started is a brass punch - one with a flat nose. This will be for removing the retaining ring on the top of the tank. Yeah, you could use a screwdriver or something, but why risk making sparks if you really don't have to?
I recently had my 16yo boy replace the pump in a late-model Cadillac. The same job, just less clearance. Last month he did his own 97 Bravada. I just sat and had a Coke while supervising. You can do this.
PB Blaster (http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com/blaster-pb-penetrating-catalyst-p-6870.html?ref=42) on the 2 rusty strap-retaining nuts, first thing.
Wear rubber gloves. Makes clean-up a snap. Plus the extras can be fun...
Wear goggles. The tiniest bit of crud in your eye will ruin the whole day.
Jack the back up, and rest it on jack stands. Clearance is your friend.
Four hands are better than two if you have a buddy, but you can manage with a small floor-jack and a small square of plywood for lowering and lifting the (empty) tank.
10-04-2010, 02:01 PM
AutoZone.com has free vehicle repair guides on their website. They have step by step instructions with photos and illustrations, and I have used them several times when I get in a jam. Here is link for the fuel pump on the 1998 Bravada. (http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?pageId=0900c1528025035d)
Sorry, Excuse my skimming (I just read that you have the Haynes manual). But anyway, someone may find some use for the tip that Autozone has the free repair guides.
10-05-2010, 06:07 AM
Thanks guys! I'll keep you all updated.
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