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by Cass Rymar, 2013 • These steps will probably be the same for 2001-2007 minivans
The fuel pump on my 2002 Chrysler Town & Country minivan was working fine but getting a bit noisy, so after eleven years I decided it was time to replace it before it quit and left me stranded. Astounded by the $700+ that the dealer wanted for an R&R, there was no recourse but to do it myself. However, this is not a job for the unequipped novice.
Main minivan repairs pageAs with any job involving fuel, exercise caution. Allpar is not responsible for any consequences, and has not checked the accuracy or completeness of the material on this page. Any action taken is at the risk and responsibility of the reader.
If you own a trolley jack and some jack stands, then you probably have the experience needed to successfully replace an in-tank fuel pump. No special tools are required. You can replace the fuel pump on third-generation minivans without removing the tank, but I don’t think this can be easily done with a fourth generation because of the different tank and chassis layout. I also wanted to clean the tank, inside and out, and work on the bench where it’s more comfortable for an old geezer like me.
The job is actually easier and more comfortable with the tank removed. It’s an involved procedure, but not really difficult if you are patient and work methodically. Once completed, you’ll have a feeling of pride and accomplishment enhanced by the fact that you saved big bucks doing it yourself.
1. First step is to jack up the vehicle and make sure it’s safely supported (as high as possible) by four sturdy jack stands. I removed the wheels because it makes it easier to scoot around under the vehicle. Also, since the van is eleven years old, I decided that it was a good time to replace the brake hoses.
2. Drain the fuel tank (it’s easier after the vehicle has been jacked up). Use 1/4" vinyl tubing with the insertion tip cut to a 30 degree angle. This allows the hose to get past the check valve in the tank. Takes a bit of poking around. Now’s a good time to have a beer because it will take a while for the fuel to drain. I used a 5 gallon gas can, so I made sure that there was less than that remaining in the tank.
3. This is a view of the underside of the vehicle looking forward in front of the left rear wheel. Disconnect the vent tube by pushing both sides of the release ring. Loosen the screw clamp on the filler pipe side of the fuel filler hose. Don’t try to remove the hose yet. Leave it attached to the fuel tank.
4. Here we’re looking at the right side of the fuel tank from the passenger side of the vehicle. Disconnect the quick-release connectors on the purge line and fuel line.
5. This is the type of quick-connect fuel line fitting used by Chrysler. The quick-connect mechanism is on the female end of the connector. To disconnect a fuel line, squeeze the two ears which will release the lock tabs. To connect, simply push the connector onto the corresponding male end of the fuel line (or the nipples on the fuel pump) until the lock tabs engage. It’s a simple elegant design.
6. I bolted a piece of plywood to my trolley jack to provide more stable support for lowering and raising the fuel tank.
7. Support the fuel tank with the trolley jack and remove the 17mm bolts holding the two tank straps to the frame. Lower the tank just enough the get access to the electrical connector on the fuel pump. Only the right side of the tank will drop because the left side is held up by the fuel filler hose.
8. Here the tank has been lowered just enough to access the fuel pump electrical connector. Be careful not to lower the tank too much or you’ll pull on the wires. Disconnect the electrical connector.
9. To disconnect the electrical connector, first use a small screwdriver to push the red lock tab out to the unlock position. Press the release lever down while pulling the connector off of the fuel pump.
10. Lower the tank a bit and work the fuel filler hose off of the fuel filler pipe. Don’t forget to pull the vent tube out of the frame member. In this photo, the fuel supply line, fuel vapor line, vent tube, fuel filler hose, and electrical connector have all been disconnected. The tank is now ready to be rolled out on the trolley jack.
11. The trolley jack makes it easy to roll out the fuel tank. I hate to think of doing this job without it. Carrying the handles make the lightweight plastic tank easy to life and transport (when it’s empty!). I estimate the tank weighs around 35 lbs.
12. Wash the tank thoroughly with detergent and warm water to prevent any debris from falling in when removing the fuel pump. I used duct tape to temporarily cover the vent tube, filler hose, vapor purge line, and fuel supply line (circled left to right) to prevent water from entering the tank.
13. Remove the fuel filter (it will be replaced) with a 10mm wrench or socket. The quick-connect fittings make it easy to disconnect the lines from the fuel pump.
14. Remove the lock ring that secures the pump by tapping it with a bronze punch in a counter-clockwise direction. The use of a bronze punch eliminates the chance of spark generation...important when working around a fuel tank. This job is best done outside where there’s adequate ventilation.
15. Here’s what the exposed end of the fuel pump looks like after the lock ring and fuel lines have been removed. Notice the locator tab at 3 o’clock.
16. Old (rear) and new (front) fuel pumps. I bought a Denso fuel pump which is the same as the OEM pump. I found that both pumps are made by Walbro as evidenced by the identical imprinted logos. A new green O-ring came with the “Denso” pump.
With the fuel pump removed, I drained what little fuel was left in the tank, wiped the inside dry, and put the tank in front of an electric fan for a couple of hours to eliminate residual vapors.
17. Don’t forget the O-ring before you insert the pump. Be careful of the fuel gauge float when inserting the new pump into the tank. The pump will only fit in one orientation determined by the locating tab at the 3 o’clock position.
18. Place the lock ring on the pump, apply pressure to compress the O-ring, turn and then tap the lock ring clockwise with the bronze drift until it reaches the lock position. Install the new fuel filter. Push the quick-connect fuel lines onto the fuel pump nipples until the tabs lock.
19. The new fuel pump and filter have been installed. Now it’s time to put everything back together. Installation in simply the reverse procedure of removal. Make sure that the vent tube passes through the frame member when jacking up the tank into position.
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