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Technically it shouldn't happen. The sock filter for the pump is about a quarter inch off the bottom of the tank. As long as there is a couple of gallons of gas in the tank it should not matter what the truck is doing. Its possible the filter is damaged or not in the right place, or the sending unit is off and you have less gas than you think. I should also tell you running the truck with less than a quarter tank of fuel is tough on the pump and will shorten the life of it. The pump uses gasoline for lubrication and to keep it cool.
You have to drop the gas tank to fix this. Let me know if your up to it and I will help you through it. Also the level switch is part of the sending unit, With the fuel pump. New will be seberal hundred dollars.Installed at a garge will be $500. to $700.00. If you want to replace just the switch , you can get a sending unit at a junk yard for around $75.00
well its eighter the wiring god mixed up, you installed the sending unit upside down or the unit got corrosion from the outside air.I'm leaning on the unit needs to change sine you sound fully capable of NOT making the first to errors. Year replace the unit.
funny that you mention ' Dark Matter ' -- there is a possibility that you might have water contamination in the tank (?), you can try and get some gas additives that remove water from the fuel. also, there is the possibility that fuel pick up line has been damaged and is not getting fuel from as low in the tank as it use to.
Your gauge is reading high ... I think you are out of gas. You should calculate your actual Miles Per Gallon - find out what the capacity of your tank is and fill accordingly. For esample, you actually get 15 miles per gallon, your tank is 20 gallons - you should be able to drive about 300 miles between fillups. At 250 miles, start looking for a station.
Find out how many gallons your fuel tank holds. Once it falls below a 1/4 tank and starts to shutter. Proceed to the nearest gas station and fill up. If you fill it up with 12 gallons and your tank holds 12 gallons then your fuel gauge is off. So it should be reading empty instead a 1/4 tank.
this is for gas tank behind axle, not in front of axle.
SECTION 310-01A: Fuel Tank and Lines—Gasoline and Diesel
1999 Econoline Workshop Manual
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
Fuel Tank — Aft-of-Axle
Fuel Line Disconnect Tool 310-5039 (T90T-9550-5)
High-Lift Transmission Jack 014-00942 or equivalent Removal WARNING: Do not smoke or carry lighted tobacco or open flame of any type when working on or near any fuel related component. Highly flammable mixtures are always present and may be ignited, resulting in possible personal injury. WARNING: Fuel in the fuel system remains under high pressure even when the engine is not running. Before repairing or disconnecting any of the fuel lines or fuel system components, the fuel system pressure must be relieved to prevent accidental spraying of fuel, causing personal injury or a fire hazard. NOTE: The 55 gallon aft-of-axle fuel tank (9002) is shown; the 35 gallon aft-of-axle fuel tank is similar.
Disconnect the battery ground cable.
Relieve the fuel pressure; refer to Section 310-00A .
Drain the fuel from the fuel tank; refer to Section 310-00A .
Raise and support the vehicle; refer to Section 100-02 .
NOTE: In this illustration, the vehicle body is shown removed for clarity. Disconnect the fuel tank filler pipe (9034) and the filler vent tube from the fuel tank.
Position the jack under the fuel tank.
Remove the 3 bolts.
Remove the 3 nuts.
Remove the fuel tank support straps (9092).
Partially lower the fuel tank.
Disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel pump (9350); refer to Section 310-00A .
Disconnect the fuel pump and fuel tank sending unit electrical connector.
On gasoline fuel tanks, disconnect the hose(s) from the evaporative emission valve (9B593).
On gasoline fuel tanks only, disconnect the fuel tank pressure sensor electrical connector.
Lower the fuel tank.
If the fuel tank is being replaced, transfer the fuel pump, fuel tank sending unit, the evaporative emission valves and the fuel tank pressure sensor (gasoline fuel tanks) or the plug (diesel fuel tanks) to the new fuel tank.
If the fuel gauge drops off when you are driving then its a sending unit problem that means you have to drop the tank and replace the float and sending unit. This is a common problem for alot of cars because of cheap gas. If you have to drop the tank check the fuel pump canster for dirt because of cheap gas. Replace the fuel pump strainer and fuel pump filter. If the car or truck has about 100,000 miles you might want to change the fuel pump at that time also just to cover your back. If you take it to a shop they will charge you at least $900 to start. But if you do it yourself it will cost you about $200 dollars maybe alittle more.
Sorry if this gets posted twice. I have a 95 Saab 900, which I just acquired. I can get only about 4 or 5 gallons in at a time. The best analysis I found was this one where the man pinpoints a stuck valve in the gas tank, and tells of what he did to address it.: http://www.quasimotors.com/9_5_gas_fill_prob.htm