Sunday, December 22, 2013

Changing a fuel pump in a GMC Yukon

Saturday, me and my friend set out to change the fuel pump in the Yukon that was in my garage. Changing a fuel pump is a pretty basic job but it's really nice to have 2 people when you are wrestling the fuel tank out of the vehicle. Here is the Yukon. We jacked it up as high as my jack stands would go so we could fit under the car easier. I really blew it with the pictures on this one but I posted what I did get so here it is.
 We went with an airtex fuel pump. We found it to be the cheapest from amazon. It was over 100 dollars cheaper there then it was from auto zone or o'reillys and there was a year warranty. That is the longest warranty you will get for a fuel pump.
 We opted to remove the rear wheels so we could place the jack stands out near the hubs. That was the best place for them so they weren't in our way when we removed the fuel tank.
 Here Ian is getting ready to remove the charcoal canister. You can see why we wanted to get the car as high up in the air as we could. I swear someday I am going to get a lift in my garage. That would really make jobs like this go so much nicer.
First thing to do is remove these 2 hoses. They are for the filler neck and the vent for the filler.
 You then need to remove the charcoal canister. That is what Ian is doing here. It has 3 hoses going to it and it is held on by 2 bolts. The hoses have quick disconnects on them but they are different then the white ones GM usually puts on their quick disconnects. These ones are a little trickier to remove. From here you need to put a jack under the fuel tank to support it and remove the 2 straps that hold it up.You can then slowly drop it down. The rear of the tank will come down first. The front of the tank will be held up by the front support. That is OK, lower it just enough to remove the 2 fuel lines that go to the pump and the 2 electrical connectors. You then will need to push the tank towards the rear of the car and lower it the rest of the way. You can then drag it out from under the car. You are now ready to change the pump.
 Whew, the tank is down. It was half full so it was a little bit heavy. It is still better then all the way full which they usually are. I had to include this photo because it cracked me up. I think Ian is picking up the bolts to make sure we have them all. We spilled some fuel so we opened the garage door and shut off the heater. Ian had fuel spill on his crotch but luckily he had multiple layers of clothes on. Ha Ha.
 To get the pump out, there is a big ring that holds it in. You need to get a screwdriver and a hammer and hit the ring off. It comes off easy, just make sure you clean off the tank really good before removing the pump to keep any crud from falling into it. You will have a bunch of crap on the tank from all the road debris that gets blown there. Here is the old pump removed from the tank and discarded. Our new pump came with a new float. Some do not so make sure before you throw away your old one. Our new pump did not come with new quick disconnects and one of ours had a broken tab so we had to make a run to autozone to pick some up. You should probably replace them anyways just to be safe.
Here is the new one installed and the tank is ready to be re-installed. GM has upgraded their wiring harness. If yours is not upgraded already you will need to splice the new plug into your harness. Ours was already done so we didn't have to do that. I hate cutting into a factory harness but you will have no choice if you have the old plug because it will not plug into the new pump. Even if your wiring has been upgraded, you need to still inspect it. Poor connections will cause a pump to fail prematurely. Installation is just the reverse of removal at this point. Push the tank under the car and lift it onto the jack. We poured out most of the fuel so it was much easier to install. When it's on the jack lift it up slowly and tilt it so the front of the tank is on the support. It will be tilted so now is the time to connect the fuel lines and the electrical connectors. When that is done you can jack it up completely and install the 2 straps. Get rid of the jack, connect the charcoal canister and the 2 hoses at the filler neck and you are good to go. Fill it back up with fuel if you drained it and take it for a test spin.
 The pump worked great and we drove the Yukon around for a little bit. We are still going to change the engine soon. We got the donor engine mounted on the stand and did a quick inventory of parts that we needed to get for the swap.
 We found a broken bolt on the exhaust manifold. That sucks because we then had to remove the exhaust manifold to fix it. If the bolt wasn't broken, we wouldn't need to remove the manifold.
 This is what happened when we removed the manifold. Another bolt broke off so now we have 2 to fix. You have to love aluminum heads and steel bolts. This is a common problem with these 5.3's Both our bolts are broken below the surface so we will need to drill them out. That's OK though, I have drilled literally hundreds of bolts out of jet engines. (high heat and brittle bolts cause great fusion) Jet engines cost a lot more so these 2 bolts don't bother me too much.
 That is where we ended the weekend. I will bring my extractor set home on Monday and remove those bolts and then we have to replace the valve cover and oil pan gaskets, the rear main seal and inspect the timing chain before we install the engine. We decided to wait until after Christmas before starting the swap.That will give me enough time to borrow my Dad's heater, insulate the garage door and get the garage stereo working. You just have to have priorities.
I figured this weekend was a real success! We changed the fuel pump, didn't blow up the garage or ourselves, and I finished all of my Christmas shopping. Woo Hoo, the only thing left to do is just enjoy the holiday. I hope everyone has a great Christmas. Check back to see how the engine swap goes.

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