Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fuel Pump Fix for 2004 Pontiac Grand Am, Part Two

Warning: Gasoline is extremely flammable, poisonous, and carcinogenic. Do not store gasoline in anything but a gasoline can or a fuel tank. Do not use trash cans, diaper pails, soda bottles, detergent containers, anything! Never, ever siphon gasoline with your mouth as it can kill you by getting in your stomach or lungs. Do not work in the vicinity of anything that can cause a spark, open flame or other heat source while working around the fuel system. Power drivers, unless they are air operated, are contraindicated. The car needs be to supported with jackstands or ramps on the rear with the front wheels chocked AND the transmission in park. Disconnect the negative battery cable. NEVER, EVER work under a vehicle supported only with a jack. Never work where the ground is soft. Concrete is best and asphalt should be avoided if all possible as this is unstable with a jackstand. Gasoline will also dissolve asphalt. Never use a steel punch to open the locking ring, as a spark could cause an explosion. I have no control over the quality and due diligence of your work. You should install new, OEM parts for this installation only. The problem is that the parts are close to $300.00 in my neck of the woods. You can get a new fuel pump for less than $80, but some of these are allegedly of questionable quality. If this is the case, a low mileage used part can also be considered, but the O-rings will be stretched somewhat and difficult to reinstall without causing a leak. Do this and any other fixes at your own risk. It would be better to pay a mechanic than to change this part out yourself, to put it bluntly.

You need to disconnect the negative battery cable, chock the front wheels and put the rear on jackstands. I would jack up the right rear only and place the stand as high as it will go on the notch between the rear suspension arms. This will give you enough room to slide out the tank and work on the connections. Undo the return and supply lines from the tank. The one with the blue clip is the return and the green one is the supply what's attached to the filter. The clips have a cover that pry out and the ends push in the line so you can slide it off the metal fitting or fuel filter. The electrical harness unplugs from the passenger side, and the fuel filler comes off with an 8mm socket. Have the auto parts counterperson explain the fittings to you, as these will make more sense than I could show you. When you remove the fuel filler hose, no fuel will come out as there's a one way valve so no worries there. Remove the push fitting holding the heat shield to the left fuel tank strap as well as the 10mm screw next to it holding the heat shield to the body. Be very careful as this shield has raw edges and is very sharp. Carefully bend this away from the plastic tank as you will need to put it back when you reinstall same. Undo the 14mm bolts holding the straps and ease the tank down. A creeper or old bedspread will keep you from gouging the tank as you lower it. There are two plastic vent hoses still attached to the tank and these are easy to remove. Squeeze the fitting on the smaller one forward and gently pull to remove. The larger one to the rear is held on with a molded fitting with two plastic tabs. Use a small screwdriver to disengage the tabs while gently applying pressure to get this fitting off.  Remember, this stuff is plastic and dealer only. BE CAREFUL and study how these are hooked on before you start tugging.

As long as everything is off the tank, with the bedspread under it, use the handle on the right side to gently pull the tank out. You will have to wiggle it out, but if it's no budging or act like it's stuck get back under the car and find out why. The straps could be in the way and you don't want to break them. I lied, I'll write part three tomorrow. Maranatha!

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