How to Install a Fuel Pump on a 1988 Mercury Sable

The 1988 Mercury Sable has an electric fuel pump located in the fuel tank, and replacing pump entails dropping the fuel tank itself. The nice thing about this pump is that it can be replaced independently. Many other Ford products have a much more expensive module, which incorporates the pump and fuel level sending unit into a single system. Be sure to mention the year, make, model and engine size when ordering your new pump. The pump pressure and volume changes with model and engine sizes.

Tools Used: Floor jack, Jack stands, Ratchet, Set of sockets, Common screwdriver, Hammer, Siphon hose, Gas can

Install a Fuel Pump

Depressurize the fuel system by pulling the fuel pump fuse in the fuse relay box on the driver's side fenderwell. Start the engine and allow it to run out of fuel. This will only take a second or two. Turn the key off. Raise the rear of the car and place jack stands under the axle housing. Lower the car onto the jack stands.

Loosen the top hose clamps on the filler and vent hose using a screwdriver. Disconnect the electrical fuel pump harness connector directly behind the fuel tank. Place the floor jack in the center of the fuel tank between the support straps, giving them room to be removed. Raise the jack enough to touch the bottom of the fuel tank.

Remove the two fuel tank support strap bolts using a socket. Pull the straps down and bend them a little toward the front of the car so they don't interfere with the tank extraction. Lower the fuel tank just enough to access the top of the tank and remove the fuel line quick disconnects by squeezing them and pulling them off.

Lower the tank a bit more. Grab the filler and vent hose, and work them off as the tank is being lowered. Siphon some of the fuel out of the tank by inserting the fuel hose in the top of the filler hose, now loose from its flange.

Lower the fuel tank to the ground and pull it from under the vehicle. Loosen the lock ring securing the fuel pump to the tank by placing the blade of the screwdriver on one of the vertical tabs on the ring. Tap the ring counterclockwise with the hammer to unlock it. Lift the fuel pump out of the tank.

Loosen the hose clamp on the plastic outlet hose by pinching it. Disconnect the two electrical connectors on the fuel pump. Pry the fuel strainer off the bottom of the fuel pump using a screwdriver. Take notice of the way the strainer is pointing so it can be installed in the same manner. You don't want it to interfere with the float for the fuel level gauge.

Lift the pump up and out of its cradle while paying attention to the way it sits in its cradle. Pull the pump out of the upper outlet hose and remove the pump. Install the new pump by inserting the outlet tube into the outlet hose first and squeezing the clamps and then swinging the bottom of the pump into its cradle in the same direction as it was removed.

Install the new fuel strainer by pushing it on the inlet side of the pump. Connect the two wires to the pump. Insert the fuel pump into the tank, making sure the fuel lines are facing the rear of the tank.

Push down on the lock ring and rotate it clockwise to engage the horizontal tabs on the lock ring with those on the tank opening. Use the screwdriver and hammer to tap the vertical tabs clockwise to fully engage the lock ring tabs. Raise the fuel tank enough to connect the fuel lines to the fuel pump fittings.

Continue to raise the tank while working the filler and vent hose on their respective fittings. Raise the tank all the way up until it touches the floor. Install the support straps and bolts and tighten with a socket. Tighten the top hose clamps with the screwdriver and plug in the fuel pump electrical harness connector. Lower the car to the ground.

Tips & Warnings

Installing a fuel pump is extremely hazardous because you're sitting there with an open fuel tank. Fumes are abundant everywhere. Do not smoke in the work area. Do not create sparks in the area. Fumes ignite easily.

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