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Old 07-20-2010, 07:22 AM   #1
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Default Notes from a fuel pump replacement on a 1999 Bravada/ Blazer/ Jimmy

Replaced a fuel pump on a 1999 Bravada last weekend. The pump was working fine, the fuel level indicator failed and although one can purchase just the level indicator- these pumps are known as a high failure item so I replaced it all.

One of the hardest decisions was which pump to buy. Many reviews state that the Airtex pumps fail in the Bravada, so it was down to AC Delco, Bosch or Delphi. The only reason I considered the Bosch (barely) was the AC Delco/ Delphi pumps were known to fail. In the end I went with the Delphi, found a seller on E-bay that sells them $50 less than RockAuto. Upon receipt- I was thrilled to read a document in the box provided by Delphi showing all the modifications/ improvements to the pump in great detail, from the springs used to the sensor update to the connector update.

About a week prior to the tank removal I started spraying the strap bolts with PB Blaster. This was a waste as the strap bolt was so corroded that I used a bolt cutter to get it off. I ordered new straps, but discovered ALL the strap sets sold by RockAuto, Autozone, Advance and Orielly only contain the two main straps, and the top strap is a dealer only item. Note this if you plan on doing a Sunday replacement and need the top strap- you will be waiting for the dealer to open on Monday.

Removing the tank was fairly easy. I had less that 2 gallons of fuel left in the tank. After lowering the straps about halfway- I disconnected the three fuel line connectors, two electrical connectors and the front vent tube. I then tried to disconnect the rear vent and filler hose and took about 30 minutes to get them off. Just takes time and patience, and as Mike stated- a little Mission Impossible music blasting for some focused motivation.

After pulling the tank out- I noticed the OEM pump had a Delphi label on it- made me feel a bit better with my replacement decision. What I hadnít expected was how badly the fuel pump ring had corroded to the tank ring hooks. If I had known this I would have dropped the tank the night before and soaked the ring in PB Blaster. If you damage the ring hooks- the tank is shot and it is a plastic $500 tank. I spent about an hour with PB Blaster and a carefully placed chisel/hammer and finally got the pump out. Although I continually cleaned the area outside of the tank where the pump mounts, plenty of tiny stones entered the tank and I used a paper towel with the tank on its side to clear out every tiny piece of material that entered the tank.

The ring hooks had corroded badly. I used Rust-oleum rust restorer and covered the ring hooks and added a few more coats. I did this as I doubt these hooks, left untreated would withstand another pump replacement. Installed the replacement pump and then placed a light coat of anti-seize over the hooks where it hits the ring. I know this may attract dirt- but it is sealed and may protect from salt/ water corrosion.

What I didnít expect/ plan for was the rewiring and replacement of one of the electrical connectors. Delphi updated the connecter and it requires cutting of 4 wires. Delphi provided 4 wire crimps, but I decided to solder instead as I am not a fan of crimping. Had to run to Wal-Mart and buy a solder iron, solder and heat shrink tube (all located in automotive) as I left my soldering equipment at home (working at a rented garage) and didnít want to run home. Spliced the wires, soldered, heat shrink and then wrapped in high temp electrical tape.

Installed the new tank, added a gallon of gas and turned the key. Started right up. Overall a fairly easy job. A little tough doing it on jack stands as clearance is limited. Only tool really needed was a 15mm socket w/ extensions and 15 mm box end- along with electrical wire strippers, pliers for clamps and jack/ jack stands.

Very glad I did this myself. On my 1997 Bravada fuel pump failed while traveling and dealer charged over $1500 for the same repair, and had to return to the dealer a week later as the fuel tank leaked when I fueled up- and they charged my $300 stating the ring seal had failed (a $10 part- should have been replaced when they did the pump).
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:33 AM   #2
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Another satisfied do-it-yourself customer!

Yea I ran into the same issue with the tank straps, but I only needed to replace the short 6" piece that was dealer only. I think I paid $8 for it.

But now I'm beginning to wonder. My new pump is the Airtex brand. I wonder how long that one is going to last???

I did save myself $75 last year by not buying a new ignition switch. Instead, I took it apart and cleaned all the contacts. Believe me, this did the trick, but I couldn't get that damn return spring to go back in. So I left it out for the time being.

I wonder how much money shops lose because of forums like these?
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:45 AM   #3
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"I wonder how much money shops lose because of forums like these? "

I think they lose a lot. Even more so, I think I MAY have done a better job than the dealer as I took the time to do little things like clean the tank inside spotlessly, refurbish the ring tank hooks (dealer may have simply broke the hooks and then what- only option is to buy a new tank). I also treated all the visible corrosion on the frame and other near areas when the tank was out. Dealer doing his personal vehicle would have done a better job, but on a customers' vehicle I think attention to detail may not have been as good as what I did. You did better than me on the top strap- dealer charged me with new bolt and washer $30. Amazed that nobody sells the top strap yet it is what fails.

The right-ups I have read on Airtex for this pump have not been so good. Time will tell, I just didn't want to take a chance as this is my Wife'* car and I am out of state for work for weeks/ months at a time and don't want another $1500 dealer bill. Going the Ebay route for the Delphi- it is the same price as the RockAuto Airtex.
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