The fuel pump quit. Can we install an external pump without pressure loss?

  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • FWD
  • 170,000 MILES
Problems: cost of a new pump and install in the tank.
Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 AT 3:07 PM

1 Reply

There used to be external pumps available but I haven't seen them for many years, mostly, I suspect, for liability reasons. You should be concerned with that too. If the other guy runs a red light and causes a crash, and anything related to a custom installation results in a fire, you can be sure his lawyer or insurance investigator will shift the blame to you. That is what every professional has in the back of his mind when he works on your vehicle and determines the best way to repair it. You don't want to put yourself in that position because the cost you're trying to save will be nothing compared to what that other guy could cost you.

Actually, these pumps are not that expensive. I have a '95 Grand Caravan that belonged to my mother. She had a pump installed by the very nice dealership I used to work for and am still on very friendly terms with. That cost her around $450.00 ten years ago, even with a dandy discount. I agree that's a bunch. For that price you get the complete drop-in assembly that includes the pump, sending unit, and pickup screen in the housing.

I have three other Grand Caravans. My daily driver is a very rusty trusty '88. (I really want another rust-free one from down south with 15" wheels. Let me know if there's such things running around in your area yet). This one that I'm sitting in right now needed a new pump two years ago. I found one on eBay for 20 bucks, shipping included, but I burned that one up in a house fire before I had a chance to install it. The next one came from Auto Zone for $75.00. You won't find an external pump for that price. These are just the pump and motor assembly that has to be installed into the housing. The job is not very difficult but there's two things to watch for. The first is you can switch the two plug-in wires by mistake. That will make the motor run backward and not pump fuel. The other is you will want to replace the pickup screen on the bottom of the housing. Those cost around 12 to 15 dollars and just snap on. It's fairly common for them to collapse after driving ten to fifteen miles and block fuel flow. That results in sputtering and stalling, mainly when the largest volume of fuel is being pumped, which is during coasting down from highway speed. I had to replace mine twice in 273,000 miles.

Unless it's leaking due to corrosion, don't waste your time suspecting the fuel filter on a Chrysler product, except for diesel engines. The gas engine filters typically last the life of the vehicle. Finally, anywhere you need to replace a clamp in the fuel supply system, don't use the older, common aircraft style with the worm screw. Those are often used on radiator and heater hoses. The fuel supply system runs around 50 psi and the slotted bands on those clamps will cut into the rubber, and the bands can't withstand that kind of pressure. Use only fuel injection hose clamps. Those are smooth, solid bands that are tightened with a nut and long bolt. The edges of the band are rounded too to prevent them from cutting into the rubber.
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Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 AT 9:19 PM

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