Join Date: Oct 2001
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Trap door to access in tank fuel pump
Well, I finally got around to doing this.
I don't have a pic for now. But basically if the thought of dropping the tank to access the fuel pump and sending unit does not excite you, then this mods for you! [img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]
It especially bothers me because I would also have to wrastle with the 35 pound gas tank skid I installed.
Basically what I did was use a hand hacksaw (one of those you can get in tight places). Wasn't real keen on the sawzall (poke a hole in tank, not good), nor did I like the idea of going up in flames with the grinder. So I took the slow but sure route, cutting out three sides of a 9.5" x 9.5" square. The access hole I positioned by looking under the truck. One can see by looking over the rear diff that the fuel pump screws into the top of the tank in the center, but toward the front of the tank. I looked up at the body and found a crossmember with two bolts sticking down. These bolts are for the steel latch in the bed of the body to hold down the rear seat. Using the rearmost bolt as my reference point, I measured 10.5" rearward. This is the point that would be the frontmost part of the access panel, so from there I measured another 9.5" rearward, and 9.5" side to side.
I decided that for strength, I would only cut the two sides and once across (at the rear part of the truck). The idea was to cut three sides and bend the access panel up when I was needing to get in there. How often would that be? I am hoping not very often, maybe not for years. So then I bent (the first time was not very easy as the bed is "corrugated") the access panel up, with the intact side being furthest forward. Now I can easily get right to the top of the tank, right at the fuel pump.
I pushed the panel back into place, put a little plastic edging around it, and put two little metal plates over the one cut side, and screwed them down to the access panel and body (DO NOT use too long of a screw!!). A little expanding foam, clean up, and paint, and I was ready to go. I can jump on this with no worries. I also still have nice carpet back there, so I laid that down, and reinstalled the rear black plastic edge that goes across the bed right at the joining of the tailgate. This edge piece holds the carpet down. So, all finished, easy to get to, and totally unnoticeable. Should be water/leak proof too, for the most part.
Also, if you do this, clean up all metal shavings that fall down on the tank, don't want all those little pieces rusting up there. I also took the time to clean up the top screw in. My pump was a factory replacement I had the Ford store do while in Denver several years ago. Those nice Ford folks had a little sticker on there with the part number and the date of manuf. 8-14-98. Seeing as I only drive 7-8k per year since the replacement in '99, I should have many years of trouble free service out of this pump...but just in case, I'm now ready for a much easier job.