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Old 07-12-2016, 03:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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How to access fuel pump through the floor

Hi All,

New to the Class A world. Bought a really nice, well maintained Newmar Dutch Star with a Chevy 454. Have done a bit of searching and discovered that our fuel pump failed right about when it was supposed to, right around the 50K mile mark. Naturally we had just filled the tank before going to the lake.

The good news is that it failed in the drive way just after we pulled in at home.

What I want to know is:

1) can you put an external fuel pump on and not replace the in-tank one? Pros and cons?

2) if you can't do the external pump, how do you go about accessing it through the floor?

I'm not afraid to do this myself (with help) but would REALLY rather avoid having to drop the blasted fuel tank.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

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Old 07-12-2016, 04:32 PM   #2
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Location: Cincinnati
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While some folks have cut a hatch in the floor over the fuel tank, I'd really suggest draining and dropping the tank. With the tank out, you can not only replace the in tank pump, but also inspect the tank interior and replace fuel lines for the engine and generator.


Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:09 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 3,598
I just changed the fuel pump in my Suburban, it didn't fail but I had trouble starting it and suspected a failing pump. I dreaded doing this but in reality it wasn't a bad job. I backed the Suburban up on some ramps for elevation and worked through dropping the tank. Luckily I was able to run most of the fuel out, ended up with less then 5 gallons in the tank so it was fairly lite. I disconnected the fuel lines and wiring harness for the pump. Pulled the tank out and and cleaned the top good before taking the pump out of the tank. Went back with new pump and reinstalled in reversed order. Took me about 2.5 hours to do the job.

I had done some research on doing this, found a couple Youtube videos that helped. Also found a video showing cutting an access hole to replace the pump. One issue is not knowing exactly where the pump is located on top of the tank and how the fuel lines and wiring harnesses are run. Getting everything clean would probably be more difficult. It is possible but I don't know if it would save you any time.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:43 AM   #4
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Location: Rochester, MN, USA
Posts: 314
I would seek another diagnosis. Most failing fuel pumps exhibit problems on the road under heavy load usage. If you just filled with fuel I might suspect and/or change the external fuel filter first.

Have nice day - Darrel
2007 3912 KSDP w/350HP ISL Cummins
2003 Grand Cherokee toad w/M&G Brake
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:06 PM   #5
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I dropped mine last fall, used a harbor freight hydraulic table. The tank was half full but the table can handle 1000 lbs. I did have to jack up one side of the motor home about 3 inches to roll it out but it was very doable. I replaced the fuel pump and all of the hoses above the tank so as if I have a problem on the road I'm able to access the rest.
1990 28' Georgie Boy, 454, 4bbl, Thorley Headers, Recurved Distributor, 8.75 mpg. RVM 76
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:33 PM   #6
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Dropped 90gal RV gas tank years ago. Got the fuel as low as possible. Used a floor jack and 3/4 plywood. Tank was held by 6 long bolts, replaced one at a time with allthread. Moved nuts down the allthread a few inches at a time and lowered the tank enough to get to the top. Only replaced wiring but would have had room to replace a pump. That RV had external fuel pump.

If the tank has fuel, it can get out of hand it it is tipped so the fuel sloshes while lowering -without support to the frame..

You asked about external pump, pre-fuel injection engines had external but don't know if external can pull thru the pump in the tank or if it can develop the pressure you need...

Hooligan, Pensacola, Fl -U.S. Coast Guard 1956-1985
2016 Thor Siesta Sprinter 24ST diesel
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