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I would suspect that you have a failing fuel pump, the fuel pump pressure is bleeding off due to a faulty check valve, this causes hard starting esp when cold or after sitting. The fuel pump is located inside the fuel tank, the fuel tank must be removed to replace the fuel pump assembly.
That depends on how much fuel is in the tank, if the tank is full or at least half, then removing the bed is easier, if the tank is less then half full removing the tank is easier. It all depends on where your fuel level is to what is easier. The only other thing that I can think of is that if you do not have a second person to help you remove the bed, then dropping the tank with a Jack would be easier, so it all depends on what your situation is.
there is only 1 fuelpump, and it is in the tank. However, it is much easier to remove the bed to change as there are only like 4 or 6 bed bolts to take out, then disconnect the tail lights and have a friend help slide it off. It is alot easier, and then you dont have to struggle on your back to try and get the tank back into place, or fight with the straps either.
You "could" remove the bed, or just lift it high enough to work on the tank. There are 6 or 8 bolts depending if it is a short bed or long bed. But you should undo the 2 straps from underneath, the filler tube from the gas cap filler, and lower the tank with a jack. Another problem these trucks have is the wiring connection to the sending unit/fuel pump assembly. GM recommends to replace this harness end when you work on it. (about $12.00 for the harness connection). These sending units/pumps retail about $300-$400, but you can find them on line starting about $120.00.
Removing the bed is in no way easier than just dropping the fuel tank, and the fuel tank was designed to easily be dropped down from the vehicle. Who ever told you that removing the bed was the easier way is certainly not an auto technician or even a mechanic.
Remove the gas tank when first emptied out. The pump is inside of the tank. Have the tank supported upon removing so the lines can be removed next then drop it down to remove the top retaining nut to remove the sender with the pump
The only way I can think of to add a tank is to add a fuel cell in the bed. Or have one custom made to go underneath. If you add a fuel cell in the bed, you can just use it to fill your other tank when its low with an electric valve. Hooking the tank to a tank switch would be a lot of work since the fuel pump is in the tank.
If you are needing to remove the gas tank to replace it, then you will need to empty the tank if you are able. You can buy a pump to siphon the gas for about ten dollars. Put a jack under the tank and jack it up to the tank just enough to barely put pressure on it. After that unbolt the two straps that hold it up. Remove the straps and slowly let the tank down. Try your best not to break the gas lines. Let it down far enough to see the gas pump. If it has a metal ring with little tabs on top of the pump. Take a hammer and a screwdriver and carefully tap on the tabs of the ring and move it until it releases the pump. If it is a snap ring holding the pump it, you will have to buy a special pair of pliers to get it out. A snap ring looks like a washer that has one gap in it, with two little holes on either side of the gap. If you are only wanting to remove the fuel pump, it is actually easier to remove the bed. To do that, undo the taillights and pull the wires through the bottom of the bed, and undo all of the bolts holding the bed down. If you do have to remove the tank, removing the bed will still make it easier, as well as greatly reducing the change of breaking a fuel line. good luck!
You need to seperate the tank and pump for tank to be able to be seperated from vechical or you can attempt to remove the fuel lines. and all you need to do is release the tank straps with a 9/16 socket and be sure it is supported and low in gas. To gain access to the fuel pump, it is necessary to remove the fuel tank.
Depressurize the fuel system and remove the fuel tank from the vehicle.
Remove any dirt that has accumulated around the fuel pump attaching flange, to prevent it from entering the tank during service.
Turn the fuel pump locking ring counterclockwise using a locking ring removal tool and remove the locking ring.
Remove the fuel pump and bracket assembly.
Remove the seal gasket and discard it.
Put a light coating of heavy grease on a new seal ring to hold it in place during assembly. Install it in fuel tank ring groove.
Fig. Fig. 1: Fuel pump and sending unit used on the Regular Cab Ranger pick-up