Fuel pump replacement seal

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bluebird02
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:22 am

Fuel pump replacement seal

Post by bluebird02 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:33 pm

This is just a little FYI for anyone who might being reading these posts. I just got finished restoring/maintenance on my newly purchased 2002 Thunderbird. I won't get into all the things I repaired or replaced, except the fuel pump replacement.
The actual replacement was generally straight forward, except that the placement of the pump is extremely tight and you need a special tool to remove the retaining cap/nut. It is a large plastic screw on cap that holds the top of the pump and seal in place. I reinstalled the pump, seal and cap and went to fill the bird up with gas. I left about $10.00 of fuel on the pavement before I realized that it was pouring out from the pump seal and running down under the car.
Three more times I tried to get it to seal correctly, followed all the procedures on how to reinstall the pump and finally gave in and took it into my trusty last resort mechanic.
He and his employees spend several hours trying to get the cap to seal from the top, when they finally decided to drop the tank and reinstall it with the tank out of the brackets. He commented several times that he has never seen a fuel tank located like the Thunderbird fuel pump is and he replaces hundreds of these types of pump, but has never worked on a Thunderbird before.
The seal works great and my mechanic enjoyed learning how to work on the car, but told me that changing the pump from the access hole behind the passengers seat does not seem to be possible unless you get lucky with the seal replacement.
So, I guess the moral of the story is, if your going to change out the fuel pump, save yourself a lot of headaches and just lower the tank from the get go and change the pump with the tank lowered or completely out of the car.

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