How to Replace the Fuel Pump on a 1986 Chevrolet Camaro

The 1986 Camaro has a combination fuel pump and fuel level sending unit located in a single frame inside the fuel tank. The nice thing about this setup is that the fuel pump can be replaced independently of the fuel level sending unit. Replacing the fuel pump is not that difficult, although the tank can be heavy depending on the amount of fuel it contains.

Tools Used: Floor jack, Jack stands, Ratchet, Set of sockets, Flat-head screwdriver, Hammer, Fuel container, Drain hose

Replace the Fuel Pump

Park your 1986 Camaro on level ground. Lift the hood and prop it open. Remove the fuel pump fuse from the fuse and relay box on the driver's side fenderwell. Start the engine and allow it to run until it stalls. Reinstall the fuel pump fuse. Turn the ignition key off.

Raise the rear of the car with the floor jack and place the jack stands under the frame. Lower the car onto the jack stands and remove the floor jack. Loosen the hose clamps on the filler hose and the smaller vent hose extending down from the gas cap, using a screwdriver. Pry the filler hose loose at the top. Insert the drain hose and empty the tank into the fuel container down to at least half the tank.

Unplug the fuel pump wiring harness at the rear of the tank. Place the floor jack under the fuel tank between the tank support straps. Remove the nuts securing the tank support straps using a socket. Pull the straps down and push them back toward the front of the car to get them out of the way. Lower the fuel tank slowly, making sure to pull the fuel filler and vent hose off as the tank is lowered. Drop the tank just enough to access the quick disconnects on the fuel lines above the tank. Remove the fuel and vent lines from the top of the tank.

Lower the tank to the ground and pull it from under the vehicle. Remove the retaining ring securing the fuel pump to the fuel tank. The ring is a flat circular metal ring with little square tabs around the outside of the ring. There are also several vertical tabs around the ring. The flat tabs intersect the flat tabs located around the tank opening. The vertical tabs are used to remove or unlock the rings. Place a screwdriver on the blade on the base of the one of the vertical tabs. With a hammer, tap the screwdriver to rotate the ring counterclockwise to unlock it from the tabs on the tank opening.

Lift the fuel pump out of the tank carefully so you don't damage the fuel level sending unit arm and float. Snap the fuel hose clamp loose using a flat-head screwdriver. Pull the two electrical wires off the fuel pump. Remove the fuel strainer by prying it off with the screwdriver, but look at the way it is facing so the new strainer can be installed in the same position. Lift the bottom of the fuel pump up slightly to clear the lower part of the bracket. Tilt the bottom out and pull down to release the pump.

Install the new pump by pushing it into the upper hose and tilting it inward. Pull it down slightly to seat it in the bracket. Install the fuel strainer in the same direction as removed. Squeeze the hose clamp to tighten it on the hose. Install the two wires to the fuel pump terminals.

Install the new O-ring on the tank opening and insert the fuel pump. Make sure the fuel hose fittings are facing in the same direction as when they were removed. Push the lock ring down and rotate it clockwise until the tabs begin to intersect the tank tabs. Use the screwdriver and hammer to tap the lock ring clockwise until the tabs on the lock ring are fully engaged under the tank tabs.

Place the fuel tank on the floor jack and push the tank under the car. Raise the tank enough to install the fuel lines on the top of the tank by pushing them together. Guide the fuel filler and vent hose onto their respective fittings as you raise the tank into position.

Bend the straps around the bottom of the tank, insert the bolts and tighten them with the socket. Remove the floor jack. Tighten the hose clamps using the screwdriver. Plug the fuel pump harness connector in. Raise the car enough to remove the jack stands and lower the car to the ground.

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