1988 ford f150

I have a 1988 ford f150, staright 6, manual, no air, 4X4. The truck shuts off at times while driving/running and at other times just will not start. Compression is good, engine has spark. I have found that if
i "tap" on the external fuel pump, located on the driver side frame, it will start back up . I bought a new external fuel pump but have not installed it as of yet. My question is: Is this the fuel pump since it starts after tapping it or is it possibly something else? I am lost and I am not a mechanic. Any help will be greatly appreciated. If I did not give enough information just let me know. Thanks!
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