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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.

  1. CowsPatoot

    CowsPatoot New Member

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    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.
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  2. SuperDutyZ5.3

    SuperDutyZ5.3 New Member

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    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.
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  3. SuperDutyZ5.3

    SuperDutyZ5.3 New Member

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    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
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  4. redvett

    redvett New Member

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

    nancygrl New Member

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    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
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  6. moogvo

    moogvo Moderator

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    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.
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  7. thrasher

    thrasher New Member

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    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.
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  8. CowsPatoot

    CowsPatoot New Member

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    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.
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  9. b-radical

    b-radical New Member

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

    CowsPatoot New Member

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    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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  11. kevin11

    kevin11 New Member

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    I am working on a car i I think the fuel pump might be bad. How can I test it to make sure its bad before i buy a new one? I took the fuel line off the filter and turned on the key and it came out very slow. Is that a good indcation its bad or should i do somthing els?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2012
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  12. bazar01

    bazar01 New Member

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    I am working on a car i I think the fuel pump might be bad. How can I test it to make sure its bad before i buy a new one? I took the fuel line off the filter and turned on the key and it came out very slow. Is that a good indcation its bad or should i do somthing els?


    I usually open the fuel pressure regulator return line and attach a longer hose and use a 5 gallon bucket to collect the fuel. Then find the fuel pump relay, pull it out and be ready to put a jumper on the 30 and 87 terminals and to start a stop watch. Most 4 cylinder fuel pumps put out about 50-60 ounces per minute or 25-30 ounces per 30 seconds.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2012
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  13. thunderhawk

    thunderhawk New Member

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    just an fyi, if your fuel pump quits on you, you can actually get it running again long enough to get you where you want to go. have someone crank the engine over while you beat on the gas tank with a hammer or pipe. trust me it'll work. it got me 50 miles back home and i had to climb under the truck 4 or 5 times and keep hitting it!
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  14. Patman

    Patman New Member

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    my brother had a fuel pump work for months after he hit the bottom of the tank with his wheel nut wrench in a drive through... then when it finally quit again (at a gas station) there was no starting it again. we dropped the tank on it and replaced the fuel pump assembly, took us about 2 hours on the floor in the driveway.
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  15. 69duke

    69duke New Member

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    Just replaced mine on a 01 Silverado. I saw the raise the bed. I have an electric hoist so it would not be a problem. I checked getting to the bolts. Some are easy can do with an impact some are not. Bumper braces and what not in the way. I dropped the tank in 30 min's Two straps. The 3 fuel lines I got off with needle nose pliers. The 2 electric plugs came out no problem. Removed the fill pipe at the fuel door. The hose clamps were easy to get loose but couldnt pull the rubber hose off. It came out all together. Then with it on the floor I could get it off. Hit the ring one time with a hammer and it spun and that was it. My filters were clogged up and some trash was in the little rubber valves holding them open so Im guessing thats why it couldnt make pressure. Bought just the Delco pump on e bay for $40. Didnt need the whole canister. Put it all back together and it was done, Longest time was waiting for the pump. Advance Auto and Napa none carried just the pump. Whole deal about $300. I got a quote to replace it $850. Nope I got more time than money.
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