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I need to know how to change the fuel pump on a 1997 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

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Welcome to Fixya

Fuel pump is located on top of the gas tank. Fuel tank must be removed in order to get the pump out. If that's the case, you'll have to move the car outdoors and drain the tank first. On your truck, it may be possible to access the pump without removing the tank. Look and see if there is enough room. I would not remove the bed. Much easier to remove the tank, IMO.

Since few vehicles have a drain fitting on the fuel tank, you'll probably have to siphon the fuel out. Don't even think about sucking on a garden hose to do the job. Gasoline can cause cancer. And if you inhale a mouthful into your lungs, it can easily kill you.

Keep in mind that fuel hoses can have residual pressure, as well as fuel that can spill out when it is removed. Eliminate pressure by cracking a fuel line loose near the engine or depressing the Schraeder valve on the fuel rail.

Gas tanks are held in place with straps. Remove the bolts at the ends so the straps come off and the tank can be lowered. First, you'll have to disconnect the battery and raise the rear of the vehicle on wheel ramps. Then remove the fasteners behind the fuel-filler door that hold the fuel-filler neck to the body. Unbolt the tank clamps, then lower the tank slowly to the ground. The combination fuel pump/sending tank unit fits in a 2- to 3-in.-dia. hole on top of the tank. Disconnect any fuel lines and electrical connectors before unfastening the pump.

Some pumps are mounted to the tank with a locking ring that rotates with large pliers. Some are mounted to a hole in the tank with a matching round plate that has five or six screws. After loosening the ring, or removing the screws, carefully lift the pump and sender out of the tank, being careful not to allow dirt and gasket material to fall into the tank.

Never attempt to bench test a new or old pump. In-tank pumps use fuel for cooling and lubrication. Running one while dry will quickly damage it.

To replace the pump, remove the fuel pump socket, fuel pump and pulse damper from the sending unit bracket. Many new pumps come with a new fuel sock and pulse damper as part of a kit. If these items are not with the kit, it's a good idea to replace them anyway. You should also replace any clamps and lengths of flexible fuel hose.

This is the perfect time to inspect the fuel tank. Begin by inspecting and cleaning the area where the pump unit attaches to the tank. Then check the area under the tank straps. Even if the tank didn't leak before, removing the straps often enough loosens corrosion, which can result in pinhole leaks. You also should check all tank seams and make sure the tank isn't dented or creased anywhere.

Before installing the new pump in the tank, attach the in-tank electrical wires. It's critical that the wires be installed in the same manner as the original pump. Often they are soldered. It might be tempting to switch to another type of connection, but, if it was originally soldered, then resolder the new connections.

Next, coat the gasket surface on the pump unit and the gas tank with a gas-proof sealer, then install a new gasket on the tank before fastening the pump unit to the tank. Install the pressure line and return hoses to the outside of the pump unit, then install the outside wires and reattach the tank with the straps and refasten the fuel-filler neck to the body.

Keep in mind that when a pump fails it usually creates excessive current for a while before there are driveability problems. That extra current can cause the points to become blue and overheated in the fuel pump relay and the oil pressure switch, which in turn can raise resistance and lower voltage to the pump. For these reasons, it's a good idea to replace the fuel pump relay and the oil pump switch whenever you replace a bad pump.

Once the pump and related parts are installed and tightened up, add some fuel to the tank, start the engine, check for leaks and perform the previously mentioned fuel pressure checks to make sure the pump is performing to specs.

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Posted on Mar 26, 2011


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