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Jeep Cherokee fuel pump replacement (other vehicles may be similar)

by Pete Jackson.

This is one of those very dangerous repairs that require extra special attention. No smoking, naked flames or sparks... also see our minivan fuel pump replacement article.

My 1987 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) fell victim to a dead fuel pump. Here is a replacement how-to for Renix era XJs....

Preparation: make sure the tank is less than half full

Tools required:

  • Brass drift
  • A ball peen hammer
  • Flat Blade screwdriver
  • 1/4" drive ratchet
  • 1/4" Dr 5/16" socket
  • Small extension for ratchet (or use a deep socket)
  • 3/8" combo wrench
  • Jewelers flat blade screwdriver (optional)

Parts: NAPA Part# P74155 fuel pump (comes with the strainer, gaskets and rubber insulator rings for pump mounting)

Jeep Cherokee fuel pump replacement steps

  1. Raise and safely support vehicle if necessary. I was able to slid my fat butt underneath without lifting the vehicle.
  2. Unplug fuel pump connector from main harness (there are a few zip ties securing the wire to the rail, cut the ties to remove the wire). The connector hangs next to the filter and passenger side frame rail above the axle tube.
  3. Using the flat blade screwdriver loosen hose clamp at filter inlet and at the return line, remove loosened lines. (just in front of tank, above the tank lock ring).
  4. Using the brass drift and hammer, loosen the lock ring by turning it counter-clockwise.
  5. Once the lock ring comes off, the pump assembly may be removed from the tank. Be sure that there is less than a half tank of fuel before removing the lock ring. The fuel tank does not need to be dropped to replace the fuel pump on the XJ Jeep Cherokees for most years.
  6. With the pump/sender unit out of the tank, remove the electrical leads from the pump. It may help to use the jewelers' screwdriver to loosen the spade terminals on the pump. Getting the pump between the tank and the rear diff can be a challenge, but once the right angle is found, it comes right out.

  7. Remove the pump strainer from the bottom of the pump by pulling firmly.
  8. Remove the fuel pump output hose from the pump after loosening the clamp.
  9. Remove the 3/8" bolt from the upper pump bracket. There are two nuts, one for the ground and the other is the mounting bracket. Remove only the bracket bolt.
  10. Slide the old pump off the bottom bracket.
  11. Install the new rubber isolators onto the new pump, both top and bottom.
  12. Slide the pump onto the lower mounting bracket making sure the lower isolator is centered.
  13. Slide the pump upper bracket onto the pump, keeping the terminals on the flat side of the upper mounting (the hole is a half circle) to avoid shorting the terminals against it.
  14. Tighten the nut securely. Keep the pump as centered as possible while tightening.
  15. Install pump strainer to pump by pushing firmly. It's indexed so it can only go on one way (strainer is parallel to sender float and arm).
  16. Connect the fuel pump output hose the pump and tighten the clamp. The new pump comes with a new output hose, use it you need to too.
  17. install the spade terminal to post terminal adapters using the supplied 5/16" brass nuts and washers. The smaller spade goes on the negative terminal (the pump is labeled).
  18. Reconnect the electrical leads. These are indexed by size, so as long as you got the spades on the correct terminals, your okay.
  19. Install the pump/sender into tank using the new O-ring seal between the tank and pump. (you may be able to re-use the OE O-ring).
  20. Re-install lock ring using the brass drifter/hammer and turning it clockwise until the tabs on the ring touch the tabs on the tank. It may take a few tries to line up the pump flange so it drop onto the tank. There is a index tab so you don't get the pump in wrong.
  21. Reconnect fuel supply and return hoses and tighten the clamps.
  22. Reconnect the fuel pump connector and secure it with zip ties to the frame rail.

The Jeep should fire up once pressure is established.

My pump blew the fusible link, so that also has to be replaced.....


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