Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fuel Pump Fix for 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, Part Three.

Once the tank is out, and hopefully with the connection unbroken get back under the car to change the fuel filter. Since this connection is going to be rusted, shoot some penetrating oil on the connection and use two flare nut wrenches to get this broken loose. The filter unscrews from the fuel line, which you need to hold stationary with a backup wrench (15mm). I had to use locking pliers to get the old filter off as I couldn't find the correct size. Gas will spill out of this thing and I strongly suggest you getting your peepers out of the way before this comes off.  Sturdy gloves are also recommended as you're working next to the heat shield.  Since the new filter only goes on one way, just hold the fuel line stationary with the backup wrench, tighten the new one on and you're in business.

Now for that locking ring. This is a five sided monstrosity that clamps down on the fuel delivery module and happens to be made of steel, even though the gas tank is made of plastic. While contemporary Chrysler and Ford products use a plastic locking ring you can access with a strap wrench or carefully with a big pair of pliers, GM uses the antiquated locking ring that has been on cars for decades prior. If you end up installing a module off a wrecked car, like I did, it's a guarantee the gasket is going to roll, bunch up and leak. Clean off the top of the tank and use a brass punch or wooden dowel to hammer off the locking ring. Do not use a plastic hammer to hammer off the ring as you will scar the tank. A steel punch could spark and cause an explosion. Remove the spent module and inspect the inside of the tank. If it looks bad inside you will need to clean it out. This means you'll have to use a siphon pump to remove the gas into a proper gas can. I would just use a hose and wash this out, turn it upside down and wait half an hour. Minor bits and pieces probably won't hurt though.

If you're reusing the gasket, and want to avoid a check engine code or gasoline leak when you top it off, put a small thin bead of high temp silicone into the gasket groove before trying to place the gasket. Position the gasket (an o ring really) evenly in the groove and let set for five minutes before setting the "new" module and tightening the locking ring. Look inside as you tighten, to make that o ring didn't squirm out. You'll have to look carefully as if this ring starts squiring, you'll have to undo it and start over. Once you're satisfied the o-ring is staying in place, you can tighten it all the way. Cover the vent and push gently on the tank. As long as you don't hear air escape from that joint, put the tank back under the car, hook the vents up, and then slide the tank over the heat shield on the left side. As long at it's empty, you can lift it high enough to get a bolt started in the straps. Connect the fuel lines and make sure the plastic clips are engaged. Reconnect and install the clamp over the fill tube and hook up the electrical connecter. Tighten the straps, while making sure the left strap is under the heat shield. Install the plastic fastener in the shield to strap hole and the 10mm screw in the heat shield to body one. Pour two or three gallons back into the tank. Go ahead and cycle the ignition key from off to on to prime the pump, then go back under the car to check for leaks. You should be able to hear the pump engage. Then start the engine and check again for leaks. Shut it off, lower the car and clean up your tools. Now your wife, or husband can go pick up that 12 pack of sparkling water. Kick back and crack open a can of cool, carbonated goodness. You've earned it. Maranatha!


Unknown said...

Hey Walter -
Just wanted to send some appreciation your way about the efforts you took to document this. I know my way around a car, but dropping the fuel tank was a new one for me and between your commentary and a video on YouTube, it made the task relatively easy.

Unknown said...

Hey Walter -
You don't have to publish this [I see moderation is on], but I just wanted to say "Thank You" for the efforts you took to document this process. I know my way around a car, but the fuel pump problem was a new one for me. Between your commentary and a video I found, I made it through the chore with ease. So thanks :). -G

Walter Grace said...

Been working on old cars for nearly 30 years, and glad I could help.