1G DSM AWD Fuel pump replacement
The fuel pump in my 1991 Eagle Talon AWD failed recently. I got a new Walboro from VR-speed.com. The new unit came with a handy installation kit that contained the correct wiring harness, O ring, cap and strainer. I had to reuse the spacer from my old pump.
I began by disconnecting the battery cable. I did not want any sparks while opening the fuel tank inside the car. I removed the spare tire and then the paper cover on the left side. This uncovered a panel held in place by two Phillips screws. The screws came out easy enough but the glue that held the cover had a tenacious grip. I ended up bending the cover from all the prying needing to separate the glue. With he cover off, I slipped the wire through the hole and set it aside for re straightening.
Next I attempted to disconnect the fuel line from the fitting. I used the proper 14mm and 19mm line breaking wrenches but I was not able to get the line loose. I only succeeded in rounding off part of the hex on the metal line.
I found a handy guide on VFAQ.com and learned that I could take the line loose under the car. This connection came loose easily.
I was now worried about the six little 8mm nuts that hold the plate on top of the tank. However these came loose easily with some soaking in PB Blaster. I worked the nuts back and forth whenever I hit resistance and did not break any studs.
The gasket was stuck pretty good and I had to be very careful to work it over the studs as I separated the plate from the tank. Once the gasket was separated, I was able to twist and turn the pump holder to get it out of the hole with the hose still attached. My compliments to the de-signer of the access hole. It was just big enough to get the pump holder out.
With the holder out, I took the whole assembly to the shop. The Philips screw that holds the bottom pump clip refused to budge at first. I resorted to using vise grips to break it loose before I damaged the Phillips part. The negative wire had a Phillips screw that came out easily. The positive wire was held in place by a 7mm nut. I was surprised to learn I actually do own a 7mm wrench and took the nut off to free the wire.
I had to tug some to get the pump out of the tube but with some twisting, it came free. I then clamped the assembly in the vise to try to free the rubber line. I succeeded in rounding off the fitting more but not in getting it loose. I even tried heating it but it did not come loose.
The pump from VR Speed came with a very nice installation kit. The wiring harness was terminated with the proper ring connectors and the wires were the right length. I simply reused the spacer from my old pump and the new O ring and cap from the kit. I slipped the foam sleeve over the pump. I had a little trouble getting the filter to snap in place. I eventually used two small screwdrivers to press the tiny metal ring on the pin.
Once the pump was assembled on the holder, I replaced the bottom bracket. I then connected the two wires to the terminals on the holder. I did not use the included zip tie because it looked like it would put a side load on the pump and not add any benefit.
Later when I installed the pump in the tank however, I managed to hang the red wire on one of the studs and pinch it. I later used the zip tie to hold the wire out of the way during installation.
After a few tries, I eventually got the pump holder back in the tank with the gasket in the proper place. I snugged down the six little nuts and then crawled under the car and reconnected the line.
I used my bypass switch to test the pump. It made a loud whir the quieted down once the line filled with fuel. I was getting ready to button it all up when I noticed that the hose was leaking near the fitting. I had obviously damaged it when I heated it trying to get it off.
I crawled under the car and disconnected the line. I then removed the pump holder once again being extra careful with the gasket. I took the assembly back to the shop and tried again to re-move the hose. Now it had to come off. No amount of torque would free the fitting.
I finally resorted to heating the fitting until the hose melted and then had to continue until it was cherry red before it would separate. Even then, I had to reheat it once to get it all the way off.
I then used a triangle file to clean up the threads on the fitting and was able to get the fitting to screw on and off easily. I then began searching for another hose.
One of my friends was in the pull a part yard but he was not able to find an AWD. We were not sure if a FWD hose was the same but he could not find one easily accessible to measure.
Another friend stopped by O’reilies and brought over some fuel hose. However the hose she brought did not have a pressure rating so I was not comfortable using it for the high pressure of the EFI system. When we went to return the hose, I noticed they made hydraulic lines. I asked them if they could make me up a new hose. They said “Sure” and I waited for a new hose to be made. I was really surprised they had the right fittings in stock. Well, that turned out to be too good to be true.
When I got home, I found that the fittings he had used were English; not the 14mm x 1.5 needed for the Talon. Oh and no refunds for the custom made part.
My last ditch effort was to try to reuse the old hose. I cut off as little of the burned end as possible to keep the hose near the original length. I then cut the ferrule off the original fitting. I slid the hose over the fitting and used a worm drive clamp to secure it. I then mounted the holder in the tank again and then attached the shortened fuel line. The shorter hose was just long enough to work.
When I tested the pump this time, there were no leaks. I then put all the panels and spare tire back in place.
When I stared the car, it stumbled for a few minutes before settling down to a smooth idle. There was a severe stumble just of idle but that went away as it warmed up. I seem to remember that the engine always runs a bit rough when ever the battery cable is disconnected and the ECU resets.
I took it for a short drive and was very happy with the engine’s return to perkiness. It had felt rather week on the dying pump. Later, I took it for a longer drive and as the computer relearned things, it got smoother and more powerful. It handled 12 psi of boost easily.