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What is the best way to replace the fuel pump?

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by CowsPatoot, Jun 30, 2012.

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  1. CowsPatoot

    CowsPatoot New Member

    2001 Silverado Z71...5.3l, 4T65e, auto 4wd...regular cab, stepside...209k miles

    My fuel pump started whining on me today. Happened suddenly...no whine yesterday, very distinct whine today. I can only assume this means it is about to fail. Since I rely on my truck, I have to at least be ready to replace it (if not replace it before it leaves me stranded).

    So...main question...what is the easiest way to get to it? Move the bed out of the way, or drop the tank? A bit of background might help here. It spent it's early life in Michigan before I moved down here to NC...so it does have it's fair share of rust under there. I didn't have any issues with broken parts when I did the tranny a couple months ago, though. As far as equipment...I have an A-frame with a chain hoist, cherry picker, a plethora of jacks (including a high lift jack and a motorcycle jack), and air tools. I tend to find myself doing these projects without an assistant.

    Second question...is there a cheaper way of doing this? The fuel pump and sending unit seem to be sold as a single piece, which makes the price skyrocket. Is there a way to dissect the unit that is in there and just replace the pump with a Walbro 255 (or other non-original pump of an appropriate size)?

    Third (and final) question...assuming the answer to question two is "nope", what is the most reliable brand to replace it with? I have found that buying the better parts pays off in the long run. Are there any pumps made in the USA? I can even accept Mexico, Canada, Japan...but please don't make me put Chinese junk in my truck.
  2. SuperDutyZ5.3

    SuperDutyZ5.3 New Member

    Cowspatoot- to answer all of your questions, it is 100 times easier to drop the tank thoe it may not seem like it. I have replaced 6 pumps in 99-04 z71 including 2 on my own and i have yet to find one that atleast 2 of the bed bolts wont come out of so save yourself the time and hastle and drop the tank. Start by disconecting the filler neck and completely remove from truck. The loosten the hanger bolts untill almost all the way out that should give you the room to disconnect the 3 lines, the lines are easy squeeze the white tabs together at the end of each hose and pull you may have to use a small pair of needle nose bc i never can get it with my fingers, just push untill you hear the click to reconnect when finished. Be very carefull not to bend,smash,or jerk the lines as they are hard plastic and being old they will crack. Double check for n e other lines and proceed to dropping the tank. It is possible to dicect the unit but i have found that the pump that autozone carries is the best replacement "expensive" $450 here in LA but it comes with a lifetime warranty and will give you a free replacement if it ever stops. Bring the old unit with you bc there r several diff modles. You will have to do some wiring but the new pump comes with everything you will need just follow the directions. Do in reverse to install and you should be good as new in under an hour if your dicent with a wrench. If you disect the old unit check the pump with a good battery bc i have never herd one whine r sometimes work they simply just shut off with no worning. Hope my advice is helpfull feel free to ask if more info is needed.
  3. SuperDutyZ5.3

    SuperDutyZ5.3 New Member

    Kevin the same goes to you read my other post carefully. There isnt much diff between the unit in a car r truck just the size.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  4. redvett

    redvett New Member

    On a pick up just pull the box.
  5. nancygrl

    nancygrl New Member

    We had to replace the unit in our '97. We brought it to our friend that has a lift and he was able to drop the tank and got it all done in less than an hour.
    We bought ours from Rock Auto. I've found the prices are way better than the local stores/dealer if you don't need it right away and can wait a couple of days for shipping it's the best place, imho. Many different brands to choose from too. (heck they're probably all made in the same Chineese factory anyway :rofl:
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  6. moogvo

    moogvo Moderator 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    I haven't seen this discussed yet but BUY QUALITY! Saving a few dollars in the beginning won't make up for the hassle of doing the job over again. Buy a Delphi or AC/Delco unit as a replacement. As far as pulling the bed/dropping the tank, there are those who do it both ways and swear that their way is best. That will have to be up to you. Just know that the bed is heavy and cumbersome. If you have a bunch of buddies or a engine hoist, it might be better to lift the bed. If not, drop the tank.
  7. thrasher

    thrasher New Member 100 Posts

    Eff that!! - Pay someone to do it! THAT'S the easiest way!!!LOL. Actually, when I do mine, I'm considering cutting an access hole in the bed. I can fab up a nice, aluminum diamond plate cover for the opening.
  8. CowsPatoot

    CowsPatoot New Member

    I tried to post an update, but apparently I forgot to hit the "send" button. I appreciate the input from everyone, but my issue turned out to be much simpler...it was a problem with a lack of voltage caused by a loose wire at the battery. Gotta love the simple fixes.
  9. b-radical

    b-radical New Member 100 Posts

    thrasher- smart idea. I may have to copy that. Thanks
  10. CowsPatoot

    CowsPatoot New Member

    Does it really take more time to drop the tank or remove the bed than it does to cut a hole and fab a cover? For as rarely as this needs to be changed...I find that it is worth the effort to keep from butchering the truck. I guess I can understand if you have a beater...but mine is still in pretty good shape, and I would like to keep it that way. Even though I admit that you would never see the difference under the bed liner.

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