86 IROC fuel pump replacement

Greetings All! Here's the deal...the battery on my 1986 IROC (305 TPI) crapped out. After replacing the battery (after about 4 weeks) the car won't start.
I confirmed spark, but then noticed that I couldn't hear the fuel pump engaging when turning the ignition on. I have confirmed 12V all the way back to the fuel pump, so I am 95% sure that the pump is bad. I also replaced the pump relay just to make sure and of course that changed nothing. My questions:
1. Is there anything else I should look at before replacing the pump?
2. I'm no master mechanic, but I have the tools, the Chevy shop manual, and the time...any tips or tricks to make the pump replacement go smoothly?
I will be working in my garage with no lift, just jack stands.
Thanks for any and all input, Robb
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I had this done to mine.. and after thinking about it.. had it done at the shop.. the rear end has to come down, suspension.. and the tank has to be dropped to get to the tank... so if you want to tackle that without a lift, more power to you.
-Geno 1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L auto w/T-tops (aka "Tazmaro") 1988 Blue Firebird Formula 5.0L auto w/T-tops 1985 Brown Firebird 5.7L (360) 5-speed NO T-tops
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KITTvsKARR wrote:

Believe me, I too am thinking long and hard about this...that's why I posted here to see if anyone had any input. Anyone? Anyone?
Robb
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It's not as hard as you think it'd be. You will have to drop the rearend and the catback exhaust. If you're going to drop the tank, make sure you siphon out enough gas or have a friend there to help you lower the tank. If it's not bad enough that you have a tank full of gas, it's sloshing around in there. I don't recommend siphoning by mouth. Did that once and never again. I have used a length of vacuum line and then used a shop vac to get the siphon going. Worked really well. Doing it without a lift shouldn't be a problem as long as you have a good floor jack with high lift.
If you're fairly handy, it'll probably take you longer than a day to drop the tank and put it back together. I would have done mine myself but I was in a hurry to get my car back. Needed it for work.
-Bruce
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Great, thanks for the reply. I was somewhat concerned that the gas tank might be too big to get out without putting the car on a lift. I've heard the tanks are fairly tall. Thanks again, Robb
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Well.. the tank is about 14" tall.... But I agree with Bruce.. get yourself one of those crank style cyphoners and get as much gas out of the tank as possible.. MUCH lighter <g> The higher you can get the car the better as well. Just watch the placements of everything and study your book throughly before putting the wrench on. Good luck.
-Geno 1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L auto w/T-tops (aka "Tazmaro") 1988 Blue Firebird Formula 5.0L auto w/T-tops 1985 Brown Firebird 5.7L (360) 5-speed NO T-tops
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The issue isn't really how tall they are, it's that the filler neck is metal and isn't very forgiving when it comes to bending. I've pulled the tank from a junk yard car before and it wasn't too bad. There are others that have cut a hole in the trunk and accessed the pump via that hole. Here are a couple people's experience with replacing their pump.
http://thirdgen.org/techbb2/showthread.php?s=&threadid04964&highlight=fuel+pump+replacement
Here's another:
http://thirdgen.org/techbb2/showthread.php?s=&threadid (3636
-Bruce
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Yeah... my dad and I tried it on the Tazmaro when I got it without knowing anything about the car... and couldn't get it out..we ended up having to cut the filler tube and then tried to crimp a rubber hose over the top.. leaked everytime I filled up until the 2nd pump went out.. had the shop do it and got a new tank.
-Geno 1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L auto w/T-tops (aka "Tazmaro") 1988 Blue Firebird Formula 5.0L auto w/T-tops 1985 Brown Firebird 5.7L (360) 5-speed NO T-tops
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Thanks for all the input, guys.
Well, I got the tank off today...not fun, but not too bad. I struggled for 20 minutes to get the tank out, but after raising the car another 6 inches or so the tank finally came out. The new pump (Carter) didn't really have the correct wires in the package, so I had to plug into the existing ground wire. No biggie, I guess. I did have yet another question. Would it be OK to plug in the new pump to see if it starts up when the ignition is turned on? I would like to make sure the pump starts up before putting all this stuff back together, but I'm not sure if it would be bad for the pump to start up dry. Of course it would only be on for a second. Any idea?
Thanks, Robb
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Do not run the pump dry. If you have to, put the pump in a coffee can full of gas. The pump is cooled by the gas it's submerged in. If you run it dry, you could burn up the motor or cause unnecessary premature wear. It is a good idea to make sure that it will run prior to putting everything back together.
-Bruce
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Well, I thought I would wrap up this thread by telling everyone that the job is done and the car fired right up. All in all it was worth the time as I saved about $500 doing the job myself. It wasn't too bad, and if I ever have to do it again I could probably finish it in an afternoon.
Thanks for all the input, Robb
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Congrats on a job well done.. and you didn't even have to cut a hole in the trunk like some do. Hope it keeps running for quite some time.
-Geno 1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L auto w/T-tops (aka "Tazmaro") 1988 Blue Firebird Formula 5.0L auto w/T-tops 1985 Brown Firebird 5.7L (360) 5-speed NO T-tops
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