DML FAQ : Chassis
: I think my gas pump needs to be replaced. What do I need to know?
I think my gas pump needs to be replaced. What do I need to know?
- If your gas gauge is bad, most likely it is just the fuel sending unit. However, if you are going to drop the just just to replace the sending unit, spend the extra money and put in a entirely new fuel pump assembly/module (which inlcudes the fuel sending unit).
- For us 93-older Dakotas, be sure to spend the extra $10-$15 and replace the fuel filter when doing the fuel pump change. It is located on the driver's side inner frame rail, about 1ft infront of the gas tank.
- I suggest to 'bleed' the pressure out of the fuel system, whenever working on the injectors, fuel filter, or when dropping the tank to replace internals. To do this:
- Pull the fuel pump relay/fuse out and crank the engine over, this should further relieve pressure and get rid of any gas still left within the fuel system. On my truck, it is found in the engine bay on the driver's side of the engine bay, towards the front.
- Take the gas cap off.
- Remove the cap from the test vavle/pressure relief valve near the pressure regulator, if your Dak has one. Otherwise, the pressure relief valve should be on the driver's side of the engine near the firewall. It looks like a valve stem on a tire.
- Use a knife, all, or a screwdriver and depress the pin within the valve. Some gasoline will spray out, so have some rags nearby. Be sure to do this when the truck is cold so the gas doesnt ignite.
- If you are dropping the tank, be sure to spend the extra step to have it cleaned out. Putting a new fuel pump and fuel filter into a dirty gas tank wont do any good. Drop the tank and take the gas tank into a radiator shop. I have a few good shops in my area which will power wash, degrease, and stream clean the tank for $25 or so. Call around shops in your area a see who does what to the tanks and how much they charge.
- It helps to have one or two floor jacks under your gas tank when dropping it, especially if you dont have someone to help you or if the gas tank has alot of gas inside.
- There are really only two bolts which hold the gas tank straps on. There are two threaded rods hanging down which the straps go over, and then nuts secure them on. Spray these threaded rods/nuts really good before attempting to remove them. If your truck has some miles on it, spray them down a few days in advance and keep spraying them. This will make removal and installation much easier.
- Might want to buy a new tank tank cap from the dealer for $10. It will come with a new gasket, but most new pumps will come with this gasket as well.
- Autozone sells lifetime fuel pump assemblies. Most auto shops sell pump assemblies which only carry a 1 year warranty. If your truck is like mine, and goes through pumps every 25,000-35,000 miles, the lifetime warranty is really nice. Plus, Autozone really does have the best price for these. They are sold under an odd name, but once you take it out and compare stock numbers and features, they are the same exact Carter pumps which come from the factory/from the dealer. They ever say Carter on them, so dont worry.
- You will need two gas line 'clips' from the dealer. I have tried using ones which most auto part stores sell, and while they may only cost $1 for the two clips........they just dont hold up and are rather thin. The dealer hose clips cost like $3, but the construction and overall quality is superior.
- I also run a bottle of fuel system cleaner (not fuel injector cleaner!) through the gas once everything is back in place.
- If your fuel pump dies on you (your truck's engine will just crank and crank all day long), especially if you are stranded somewhere, bang on the tank. That's right, bang on it. There is a molded round section on the bottom of the ga tank, this is where the pump sits. These pumps are like Chevy alternators, as sometimes they just need some banging on to get them to work. I was stranded out in the woods one time on a hunting trip when the fuel pump died. I got under it, banged on it a few times with my hand and my boot, and about 2-3 times later it fired up and I was able to drive home.
Remember: Gas not only provides 'power' for your engine, but it helps to cool and lubricate the fuel pump. By running your gas tank down all the time to where the gas light comes on, the pump is working hotter and hotter, and drier and drier. Dont run your tank down past the 1/4 marker and this should extend the life on the fuel pump.
Contributed by: Kyle Kozubal
Last updated: Thu Mar 28 19:22:49 2002