Replacing the Fuel Pump & Fuel Level Sender
Last Updated: January 1, 2004
Disclaimer: The instructions below are what I did to my car and can be used as a "guide" for working on yours. But, I take no responsibility for what you decide to do to your car. Be sure to read through all of the instructions first before doing anything to your vehicle.
The Walbro 255 lph flows more than twice the stock pump's 110 lph rate. A must for high horsepower applications and is a direct replacement if your stock one craps out on ya. Not to mention it's quite a bit less expensive than the stock part.
1st Generation '96-'99 Dodge Neons.
Time Required: 3 hrs
Scale of Difficulty: 3 (5 being the hardest)
Cost: ~$100 - $170
- Walbro 255 lph Fuel Pump Kit ($100)
- New Fuel Filter/Regulator ($55 - recommended)
- New Fuel Level Sender (if yours is broken) - $40
- 13mm Socket
- Awl or Tiny/Thin screwdriver
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Large Flat Head Screwdriver
- Black Marker
- 11/64" & 3/16" drill bit -- optional
Right click and Save Target As . . .
Fuel Pump How-To
Info for tweaking the Walbro Fuel Pump
To make this easier, make sure your gas tank is near empty. I think mine had ~5 gallons left in it and it worked just fine.
1. Open the gas cap. Then relieve the fuel pressure by removing the cap on the fuel rail and depressing the schrader valve (just like your tires have) with a small screwdriver wrapped in rags to soak up the fuel.
2. Once all the pressure is gone, remove the fuel pump relay or fuse (or both) from the fuse panel under the hood.
3. Jack up the passenger's side and place a jack stand under it. Unplug the electrical connector on the fuel pump by first sliding out the red tab. Also disconnect the fuel line from the fuel regulator unit. Just squeeze the two plastic tabs and it will pull apart (needle nose pliers helps).
4. If you need more room to get to the fuel pump assembly, loosen the driver's side fuel tank strap and completely remove the passenger's side strap. The bolts should be 13mm. Take your black marker and draw a line across the top of the pump assembly, nut and tank. This way you'll know how far you'll need to tighten the nut later. Now, use your large screwdriver & hammer and unscrew the large plastic nut. Carefully, take out the fuel pump assembly, making sure you don't bend the fuel pump sender, and drain the fuel into a clean container.
5. Remove the filter sock on the bottom and disconnect the inner electrical connector. Now you'll need to remove the wires from the connector. First, draw a quick diagram of where which wires go where. Then, use your needle nose pliers to pull out the blue locking tab. To release the wires, move the plastic fingers and pull the wire out (an awl helps with this).
6. Take the removal tool that came with the Walbro kit and use it to unclip one of the locking tabs (it only fits in one of them) and pull the lid off. Unclip the power & ground wires from the pump and remove the old fuel pump, then wipe everything clean.
7. This next step is optional. If you measure the inside diameter of the output of the Walbro tip you'll see that it's smaller than the stock pump, (Walbro = 9/64" Stock = 5/32") which is not good for higher fuel flow needs. Dennis has a good fix for this for high horsepower applications which you can find here:
Info for tweaking the Walbro Fuel Pump
Keep in mind that you will need an aftermarket fuel regulator with this mod. If you don't plan on making that much power and just need that extra fuel flow, then you can drill out the hole to a bigger diameter. You can see that the Walbro has enough extra meat around the tip to drill it out to 3/16" inside diameter. Take off the top and start off with an 11/64" drill bit and go SLOW ! Oh yeah, and make sure you drill straight also.
8. Place the supplied new blue grommet on the end of the new fuel pump and slide the wires up through the lid and snap the fuel pump to the lid. Make sure that small filter is in place too (mine kept wanting to fall off). Then, place the whole assembly back in the canister until it locks into place (this was a little tricky).
9. If you need to replace the fuel level sender then here's how ya do it. First, there's a small black clip that easily comes off. Then, in the 2nd & 3rd pics above you can see the red circle of the wedge that needs to be pushed in so you can slide the sender out. Now, to get the wires out, you need to slide the whole bracket out from the canister as shown in the last pic above. There is a similar wedge that keeps it from sliding out. Just pull and twist hard enough and it will slide right out. Run the new wires through the appropriate slots, keeping track of which wire is which, and reinstall the opposite of removal.
10. Put the wires back in the connector, making sure they go in the right slots and place the blue locking tab back in. Plug the electrical connector back in. Install the new supplied O-ring and sock filter to the bottom of the canister.
11. If you're gonna replace the fuel filter/presure regulator unit, press in the tab and twist it to the left. Then, it will pull straight out. Put the new one in and twist to the right until it locks in place. Simple as that. This can also be done on the car without having to remove the assembly from the tank.
12. Put the whole assembly back in the fuel tank, making sure the alignment tab is in its slot. Then, place the locking nut on and tighten it to the mark you made. Plug the fuel line and electrical connector back in and tighten the straps on the fuel tank. Lower the car, put the fuse/relays back in, put some fuel in it and you're good to go. Mine misfired off and on for the first 15 min., but has been perfectly fine since. I'm guessing it just had some air pockets that were passing through.
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