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Sounds like your senor in the gas tank it self is bad. Most cars have a float that read out how full the tank is and when it goes out it will stay stuck showing you on the dash that your tank is empty even though it is full.
It could be the pump but you need to verify if you can hear the pump running after it stalls and you turn the key back on to try and start it. If you don't hear it it isn't running. The pump is inside the tank but it dosen't come inside, you need to put it in there. That requires removing the tank. On a 90, there is a filter mounted on the chassis near the left rear tire. I'd replace that first as if you replace the pump, that should be replaced as well and if it's plugged up it may in fact be the only problem.
Your needle moving from empty to full and then back to empty indicates that it is trying to set itself (most cars do this each time they are started). So, yes, there seems to be a problem with the sending unit that feeds information to your gas guage. Prior to cracking open your fuel tank, you might try tracking the wires from the back of your guage as far as you can towards the tank. Then track the wires from your tank as far as you can toward the guage. Watch for damaged wires and/or loose connections as you go.