How-to Replace Bad In-Tank Fuel Pump on Older EFI Ford TrucksPosted in How To: Tech Qa on December 11, 2017
Ford EFI pickups and Broncos from the late ’80s through the mid ’90s had their fuel pumps located in the tanks. When a pump dies or the filter gets plugged from rust and years of use — and they’re notorious for doing so and at the most inopportune time — you aren’t going anywhere. The good news is removing and replacing the pump is easy once you can get at the tank.
The easiest route on pickups (F-150/F-350) is to drop the bolts holding the bed to the frame, disconnecting the battery, disconnecting fuel filler hose, and tilting the bed upward so you can easily reach the top of the tank(s). Fullsize Broncos require dropping the tank. That entails having as little amount of fuel in there to minimize weight, and then removing the filler hose, tank straps, and protective skidplate, which is all that holds the tank in place.
If the fuel gauge was reading correctly before the pump failed, there’s no need to buy anything more than a fuel pump module, which typically comes with the strainer sock, replacement gaskets for the fuel pump assembly hanger, and new clips for the fuel lines leading into the tank. The plastic module (housing) that contains the pump, can be found for less than half the price of the entire fuel pump sender assembly, with prices on Amazon in the $40-$80 range depending on the truck and brand of pump.
You just unbolt the old module, snip the two wires, and reinstall the new unit. That’s what we did in replacing a failing fuel pump in our project Bronco, Eddie. The pump was getting louder day by day, and we noticed a little drop off in power under heavy throttle. (We found out the filter was nearly clogged, which was one reason for the loud fuel pump whine.)
If you can find just the pump for your truck, it’s easy to remove the top from the plastic housing (if you’re careful and patient) and replace the old pump with a new one, saving a few more dollars. You still need to replace the fuel tank gasket and the sock strainer that goes over the bottom of the fuel-pump housing.
As our photos show, the job can be done by anyone who’s even the least bit mechanically inclined and a few basic handtools. We made the tank removal easier on our lifted Bronco by using a cart with hydraulic lift that we picked up at Harbor Freight Tools. Total cost for our R&R was less than $50—and about three hours, most of which was getting the tank out and reinstalled. (The filler hose can be a real pain to get back on!). Now Eddie’s fuel pump purrs like a soft-spoken kitten and acceleration is back to normal.