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Old 05-03-2011, 08:59 AM   #1
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New Owner Fuel Pump Questions

I just bought a 1997 Wrangler 2.5. It is my first Jeep. It had been sitting for about a year. After doing an ignition tune-up and adding about 2 gal of fresh gas, I drove it to the gas station and added about 5 more gal of premium. The fuel gauge appeared to be working normally. I drove it around town all weekend. It ran fine and seemed to have no other issues. Yesterday, as i was driving about 20 miles to work, it slowly began to lose power. The fuel gauge was nearing 1/4 tank. I eased of the road, and it eventually died. It would not restart immediately. After less than two minutes, it fired back up. I drove another 5 miles, and it happened again. Sat another couple minutes and it fired back up. Drove to the nearest gas station (about 5 miles) and put in 7 gal, and drove the last 2 miles with no issues. After work, I drove the 25 miles home with no issues.
My thoughts are a fuel delivery issue. Low pressure, or crud in the tank when the level drops. I am thinking the sending unit and gauge are fine, since it ran another 10 or so miles after the first time it "ran out of gas". From what I am learning, the fuel filter is attached to the fuel pump. My thoughts are; since i am dropping the tank to replace the filter, my time and money are better spent putting in a new pump as well. So here is my question (finally).
I see two types of fuel pumps offered as replacements, and two tank sizes. One pump looks to be an entire assembly with the sending unit, filter, pump all as one unit. I also see just a small cylinder shaped pump offered with little "sock like" filters. Both are listed for the same year, model & application. I would prefer to have the pump on hand before i drop and clean the tank, but I am not sure what to get.
Sorry if this is a long post, but I wanted to give as much info as possible. Thanks for the help.

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Old 05-03-2011, 09:07 AM   #2
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The filter is a mesh bag on the intake of the fuel tank. If you replace the fuel pump, you replace the filter. It certainly sounds like a fuel delivery problem. The gauge (sender) is notoriously inaccurate; I put a new fuel pump on my '99 and it fixed that problem too. You probably have a 15 gallon tank, there is a way to modify it to hold 19 gallons, and if you get a 19 gallon pump with a 19 gallon sender the gauge will probably be accurate. There are on line instructions for the modification, but do not follow the advice to cut both tubes in the tank, just the one without the spring/float on it. You may be surprised at how little debris there is in the bottom of the tank when you drop it, I certainly was. Now if there is something different about the 97 pump vs. the 99 one I used, I am sure somebody will let us both know.

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Old 05-03-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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Sounds like similar symptoms to the ones I had on my 93 YJ 4.0. A new fuel pump seems to have corrected my problems. I don't know about your 97, but mine also has a fuel filter outside the tank attached to the fuel lines that run along the frame. It can be replaced without dropping the fuel tank. If you have one and haven't replaced it you might try that first since it is much easier than dropping the tank.

My suggestion would be for you to buy the Hayes or Chilton manual for your model and see what it says. You may also find service manuals online somewhere if you look hard enough. If yours is like mine, you can check the fuel pressure using a fuel pressure gauge (can be purchased at Harbor Freight and other places) attached to the fitting on the fuel rail. If you aren't getting enough pressure at the rail you will have intermittent problems like you are experiencing.

Good luck and be sure and post back and let us know what fixes it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:54 PM   #4
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Any word on what happened? I filled my tank all the way up..started to cut out eventually died. started up a few days later enough for me to barely get home before it died on the street so I pushed it into the garage, I've been shotgunning parts at it...just dropped the tank..took a tequila break before I check the grounds and voltage at the fuel pump. hope to hear from ya..
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:39 AM   #5
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I appreciate the help. Have not dropped the tank yet. I have kept the fuel at 1/2 tank or more, hoping if there were any water or grunge, that it may work itself out. I drove it 20 highway miles to Daytona on Tuesday to have all the fluids changed/checked. It did fine. This weekend i am planning on carrying an extra 5gal of gas in a can and run it until it reads 1/4 tank (where it acted up before) and see what happens. It it acts up again, I will drop the tank and have a look at the "lifetime' filter, pump and sending unit. Will do the 'fuel capacity mods' at the same time. The prospect of being able to put $80 worth of gas in it makes me excited!!! I kind of feel poor, only being able to put $60 of gas in it now.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:51 AM   #6
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My 97 did pretty much the same thing, exactly actually. I have this pice of advice, Next time it acts up. If it does not start, look at the gauge. With mine, It started fine when the gauge went up. If it stayed down, it would not start. It turned out to be my computer. I was actually happy about that because I had a full tank. I really didn't want to drop it in my driveway.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desmodrew View Post
I appreciate the help. Have not dropped the tank yet. I have kept the fuel at 1/2 tank or more, hoping if there were any water or grunge, that it may work itself out. I drove it 20 highway miles to Daytona on Tuesday to have all the fluids changed/checked. It did fine. This weekend i am planning on carrying an extra 5gal of gas in a can and run it until it reads 1/4 tank (where it acted up before) and see what happens. It it acts up again, I will drop the tank and have a look at the "lifetime' filter, pump and sending unit. Will do the 'fuel capacity mods' at the same time. The prospect of being able to put $80 worth of gas in it makes me excited!!! I kind of feel poor, only being able to put $60 of gas in it now.
Did you check the fuel pressure at the rail? The gas is being picked up from the bottom of the tank so it shouldn't much matter if you have a half tank or a quarter tank (that part sounds like coincidence to me).
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
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if it helps, I finally got my Greeny up and running at 4 am last night, bad connection from the fuel pump to the ground inside the tank, I swapped out the connection on the wire, crimped it in place and she runs cherry now! In the end I didn't have to buy a damn thing..but she needed a tune-up I suppose That's what I'm telling myself anyways. Good luck and thanks everybody that shot ideas at me.

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