This is the real deal on a '97 Lumina with a 3.1, not the
misinformation commonly found by googling, like you can replace the
fuel pump by opening a trunk access panel.
Smelled gas after fill up on a 3000 mile trip a week ago.
Didn't see dripping.
Got home and son crawled under and found wet rusty seam.
New tank $95. Comes with fuel pump snap ring, o-ring.
New strainer sock $12 bucks, new fuel filter $12.
Also bought filler and overflow hoses because the old ones were stiff.
Those are 1 1/2" and 3/4" ID. Parts store doesn't carry them so we
had to find right ID substitutes and cut. $30.
If I knew the parts guy was cutting a 20 buck hose for the overflow, I
would have said Stop! and reused the old one.
That was the only snag in the job.
Son did the work, I was tool fetcher and helper, so I can't describe
exactly. He's a professional auto/truck mechanic.
Siphon gas out first. We had about 4 gallons in there, and no siphon
handy. No big deal except it was harder to salvage the gas later.
Jacked rear up high, on stands, and also lumber under both rear
wheels, and blocked front wheels. It was solid.
Tank is under rear seat. Not under the trunk.
3 fuel quick connectors in front, 2 in back for vapor lines.
One wiring disconnect up there. All hard to reach.
My son is real good and did all those disconnects blind before
dropping the straps. I have trouble with them right in front of me.
Remove in-the way heat shield from exhaust. 3 small bolts.
Tank straps aren't hinged. 4 pointed bolts into clips.
Get a jack with wood under the tank so you can remove the filler and
overflow hoses without breaking/bending the filler tube, and remove
Move the tank as necessary to get those hoses off, drop tank and pull
We reused old pump. Nothing wrong with it, and they cost about 2
Tap around the snap ring to loosen rust and blow it off tank.
Use snap ring pliers to remove that.
We had to gently pry around to pop the pump out. Careful, it's a
Filter sock is press-on-off. Work it patiently so you don't screw up
Use silicone lube on pump new o-ring so it pops in. Be patient with
new snap ring so it goes under all tabs. Had to tap to get under one
Take anti-rattle pads off old tank and put in same location on new
Wipe off the preservative and use double sided tape to stick them on.
There were 5.
Use jack to position new tank and reconnect everything.
The humps on the new tank weren't exactly the same as the old, so
we had less hose on the filler tube, but enough.
Had to jack up the tank a bit to compress the anti-rattle pads to get
the threads started on one strap bolt.
New straps are $22 a set We used the old ones, which had only surface
rust. A parts guy had new ones waiting if we needed them.
All the old fasteners came out easily with just a shot of PB, and we
anti-seized them before refastening. That was a big surprise to me.
Son noticed the car has original muffler and cat. 171k miles.
This job took about 5 hours working at a steady "careful" pace.
No way I would do it myself. Much worse than I thought.
Many connections to deal with.
I replaced my '76 Caprice tank and it was a piece of cake.
This one is a PITA so unless you're patient, flexible and have the
time, you might just pay a pro to do it on a rack.