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Old 08-13-2012   #1
87GTACKO
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GTA Year: 1987
GTA Engine: Custom
Replacing the fuel pump

ok alot of us dread of this. but for my 5.3 to run the tpi fuel pump wont get it done... so that being said i need to replace it. Do i absolutly have to drop the rear end in my car. no i dont want to some say you can lift it and let the suspension hang and you can get it out. and no i dont want to cut a hole haha. but i would like to know asap. Thanks everyone.
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Old 08-14-2012   #2
Fred91GTA
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

Just undo the rear shocks and let it hang. Just amke sure you don't put undue stress on the center rubber brake line and you should have plenty of room to drop the tank.
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Old 08-14-2012   #3
87bucketgta
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

X2 on what Fred said, not really that bad, just takes alittle time, please for the love of god do not cut a hole in the trunk, just keep your eye on your brake lines when letting down the rear end
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Old 08-14-2012   #4
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

Also what you have to do is make the differentials go down far enough so you can remove the exhaust. Because you have to remove the exhaust to have enough space so that the fuel tank can be lowed and you can get to the top area of where the fuel pump is installed. I remember it very well how we do this, since we have done this many times before to my GTA. If you remove the passengers side rear wheel first, when you disconnect the components to allow the differentials to be lowered, you can lower it enough on the passengers side to remove the exhaust by passing it over the brake disc on that side. After the exhaust is removed, you will have a lot of space to let the fuel tank come down and out of the area. Good Luck.

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Old 08-15-2012   #5
89-5.7GTA
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GTA Year: 1989
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: Replacing the fuel pump

This is timely advice because I am replacing mine this weekend. Yumiko, that is a great tip about the right rear wheel to get the exhaust out, I will keep that in mind.

Any other tips? I'll check back before Saturday.
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Old 08-15-2012   #6
87GTACKO
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

alright thanks guys i just dont want to do any extra work that isnt needed. Giving it a go tommorow morning thanks
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Old 08-15-2012   #7
Fred91GTA
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

Have JB Weld handy. Reason why is because when you angle the tank to get it out, you WILL bend the filler neck. To make sure there were no cracks, I put JB Weld all around where the neck meets the tank. Also, replace the sending unit if possible. Chances are, the lines may be rusted. If not possible, paint them over to prevent more rust. Use penetrating oil on the locking ring that holds the sending unit in place. It's probably seized from all those years. I used Kroil and a few well placed taps with a flathead broke it loose. Just be careful that you don't make any sparks!

When you put the tank back in, the filler neck may sit lower than before. This is fine, it's the bending from getting it out and back in.
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Old 08-16-2012   #8
MunsonGTA
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by 89-5.7GTA View Post
This is timely advice because I am replacing mine this weekend. Yumiko, that is a great tip about the right rear wheel to get the exhaust out, I will keep that in mind.

Any other tips? I'll check back before Saturday.
did you ever try replacing the fuel pressure regulator first?
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Old 08-16-2012   #9
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

One of the first things that you want to also do is to remove the locking fuel cap and then you can remove the black plastic piece that fits inside where you put in the fuel. If you remove those parts, you can then remove the tank without damaging the seam where the filler tube connects into the actual tank, that is if you have also removed the exhaust and the differential is lowered enough. Removing all of this should allow the tank to be removed without bending or stressing any part of the tank and filler pipe. Also you should remove the straps completely from the car that hold the fuel tank on. If you do not remove them completely, you will need to bend them and that makes it difficult when you reinstall the fuel tank, because you now have to rebend them to fit properly. It is best to remove them from the car completely and not bend them back to allow the tank to be removed. The first few times the straps on my GTA were bend, but the last time, we replaced them with new ones from GM so it was so much easier and quicker to reinstall them properly. I am not sure if they are even available from GM anymore. So you should remove them instead of bending them.

It also helps if you have no fuel inside of the tank, because it is alot of weight with the fuel inside, depending how much fuel you have. The past time that my husband and I did this to my GTA, it took us about three and a half to four hours from beginning to end. It is alot of work but if you remove everything and have the car up in the air in the back, it is not that hard and everything seems to come apart easily.

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Old 08-16-2012   #10
90 L98 TransAm
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

at what approximate mileage intervals are you folks having to replace your fuel pumps and what were the symptoms that a replacement was required?

OP - consider taking a few pics when you do this and post for others to see -thanks!
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Old 08-16-2012   #11
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

The only symptom I have experienced with my GTA is it does not start or if it happens while it is running, it is like it just ran out of fuel and it will not start again. That is the only symptom I have experienced with it.

First time, the original one in my GTA stopped in about March 1992, so that made it five years old, and my GTA had about 100,000 miles on it when this first happened.

Second time was about two years later, but this may because I used an aftermarket fuel pump and not one from GM. I also replaced it at this time with another aftermarket fuel pump and not one from GM.

Third time was around 1996 and this time I replaced it with a fuel pump that I purchased from GM.

No other fuel pumps have stopped working on my GTA since then, because I replaced it again in 1998 before it could stop working and I replaced it again in 2003 before it could also stop working. That is the last time we changed the fuel pump in my GTA, nearly ten years ago. But I think that is because my GTA is not driven more than 1,000 miles only every year since then.

From what I have experienced with my own GTA, you should expect to change it every 35,000 to 40,000 miles with the aftermarket fuel pumps that are the cheaper ones from the chain auto parts stores. The ones that you get from GM seem to work no less than twice as long compared to the cheaper ones that I have mentioned.

When you change the fuel pump, you also want to change the strainer that is attached to the bottom of the fuel pump at where the fuel is brought into the pump. If you do not change that also and if there are particles in your fuel tank, that could cause the fuel pump to have a less length of lifespan. Also if you never change the fuel filter that often and if it gets filled up with sediments, this would also cause the fuel pump to work harder to get the fuel to the engine and again cause a less length of lifespan for the fuel pump.

When you change the fuel pump, there is a rubber o ring on the top of the fuel tank. You should get the rubber o ring replacement at GM because the replacement rubber o ring that comes with the replacement pump is simply rubber only. The replacement rubber o ring from GM has a reinforcement wire molding in the center of the o ring and it is much more stronger. This is important when you are sliding the metal o clip to lock the assembly in place when reinstalling the sending unit.

I also experienced the problem with this because we used the simple rubber o ring and what happened was the stress of the metal o ring tightening while it turns upon reinstallation, caused the rubber o ring to become disfigured and fuel then would leak out if we filled up the fuel tank all the way. If you want photographs of the GM rubber o ring, I can get some.

The GM rubber o ring is only less than ten dollars so it is worth it.
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Last edited by YumikoGTA; 08-16-2012 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 08-16-2012   #12
YumikoGTA
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

I checked my receipt excel spreadsheet for prices and part numbers so if you are interested to see if any of this is still available from GM:

Metal O ring clip, $5.94 Part #25124032
Rubber O ring, $8.89 Part #22515965
Strainer, $8.57 Part #25055458
Fuel Pump, $113.32 Part #25116163

Note: These are the list prices from GM and tax is not included in these prices above.

Another thing that will shorten the lifespan of the fuel pump is if you ever run it out of fuel. Two times my fuel pumps have failed was shortly after I ran out of fuel because I had a quarter of a tank of fuel and I exited from a freeway at an exit too fast and all of the fuel moved to one side of the fuel tank and then the car stopped running for a little bit. This must be a design defect and I hate it because the tank has a quarter tank of fuel but if you take the exit too fast, it runs out of fuel. And each time this happened, about two weeks after each time my fuel pump would no longer work. This happened when the fuel pumps that I was installing in my GTA were the cheaper aftermarket ones from the chain auto parts stores. Not 100% sure this was the issue, but it seemed very obvious since each time this happened, the fuel pump stopped running a few weeks after. Good Luck.

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Last edited by YumikoGTA; 08-16-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 08-16-2012   #13
90 L98 TransAm
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

great info Yumiko - thanks.
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Old 08-16-2012   #14
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

I hope that it will help.

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Old 08-17-2012   #15
MunsonGTA
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

My car is an 87. I replaced the pump a few years back, it was still working and had 123k miles on it. I went with the walbro 255 lph kit and love it.
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Old 08-18-2012   #16
Fred91GTA
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

I have a 91. I replaced the pump last year with 62k miles on it but it was still working. I upgraded to a Walbro 255 with a Racetronix wiring harness because I needed a pump to support 450 hp. The thing to remember with pumps is to never let your tank go below the 1/4 mark at the gauge. Above this mark, the pump is still submerged in fuel, and the fuel keeps it cool. Below this, the pump gets hot and gets burned out. I usually fill up two ticks after the 1/2 mark.
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Old 08-18-2012   #17
89-5.7GTA
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GTA Year: 1989
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: Replacing the fuel pump

Started my replacement project today. Without a lift to work under, I'd be a cripple right now. Job is not done. Here are a couple of items of note:

I could not get my exhaust completely off. By lowering the rear axle (removing lower shock mounts, sway bar end links, pan hard bar, the other frame locating bar - whatever that is called) I was able to swing the exhaust completely to the right side of the car and got it mostly out of the way.

Again, had to lower the axle as much as possible. Unbolting the tab where the hard line meets the rubber brake line allowed much more travel to lower the axle.

Removed fuel door and plastic shroud around filler neck. Removed all heat shields.

There was a a lot of swearing.

A buddy was a lifesaver.

After we replaced the pump and installed the entire assembly back into the tank, the tank went back into the car fairly easily. Then we broke for lunch. I had a bleu cheese bacon cheeseburger, fries and 2 bud lights. It felt good to sit down.

All fittings reconnected, axle returned to position, and basic reverse of disassembly.

Ran out of time and will finish tomorrow, only a few things left to do.

IMO the job is impossible to do without lowering the axle as much as possible and getting the exhaust out of your way. I have pity for anyone who had to do this job without a lift.

Sorry, no camera, plus my hands were filthy. I have two cell phone pics that I will attach later.
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Old 08-18-2012   #18
89-5.7GTA
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GTA Year: 1989
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: Replacing the fuel pump






Unless you want to go insane, you basically have to gut the back of the car.

I don't know why the pictures are different sizes, they are both photobucket and from the same phone.
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Last edited by 89-5.7GTA; 08-18-2012 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 08-19-2012   #19
YumikoGTA
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

That is a very nice photograph. So I am unsure why you would not be able to completely remove the exhaust out. You should be able to pass the "U" in the exhaust pipe above the passengers side disk and then backwards out. That is how we did it. And we never did it with the equipment that you have your GTA on. We do it while it is on the ground.

Everything looks good in your photograph. Did you use a new rubber "O" ring when resealing the top of the fuel tank? If not, I hope that is does not leak. My GTA fuel tank leaked because of the rubber "O" ring not being exactly seated inside that area well. We found out when we filled the fuel tank up completely and it started to run out of the top. We then had to do it all over again but this time get the better rubber "O" ring from GM. I hope that it is a success for you. My GTA is also a 1987.

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Old 08-19-2012   #20
Fred91GTA
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Re: Replacing the fuel pump

Good job getting it done. When we did mine, I simply cut the exhaust out of the way and had it rewelded afterwards. If I ever have to replace the pump again, it's getting an Aeromotive external tank.
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