How to Change a Fuel Pump on a 1988 Ford Mustang

Unlike other Ford rear-wheel-drive vehicles, 1988 Mustangs with the 5.0-liter high-output engine and the 3.8-liter V-6 engine are equipped with a single high-pressure fuel pump, located in the fuel tank. This fuel pump is designed to supply the volume and pressure of fuel needed for the fuel-injection system to function properly. Basic hand tools are required to change the fuel pump and the average home mechanic can complete this project in an afternoon.

Tools Used: Wrench set, Socket set, Wheel chocks, Floor jack, Jack stands, Screwdriver set, Hammer, Chisel

Change a Fuel Pump

Disconnect the negative battery cable and relieve the fuel pressure by depressing the valve in the fuel pressure test port, located on the passenger side of the fuel rail. Remove as much of the gasoline as possible from the fuel tank, using a siphon hose designed for use with gasoline. Never try to siphon gasoline by using suction from your mouth. The vapors are harmful.

Place wheel chocks behind the front wheels and raise the rear wheels off the ground using a floor jack positioned on the center differential. Position jack stands under the rear axle tubes and lower the caronto the jack stands.

Disconnect the fuel supply and return lines located on the passenger and driver side of the frame by removing the plastic retaining clips and pulling the line apart. If the retaining clips that are removed from the fuel lines are damaged, replacements are available at your local auto parts store.

Use the floor jack to support the fuel tank and unbolt the fuel tank straps and rubber filler neck coupler. Lower the fuel tank to the ground. It may be necessary to use a pry bar to separate the fuel tank from the filler neck coupler.

Clean the debris and dirt from the fuel pump flange, located on top of the fuel tank. Use a hammer and chisel to spin the retaining ring counterclockwise to remove the retainer. Lift the pump assembly from the tank.

Install the new pump into the pump assembly according to the instructions supplied with the new pump. Lower the assembly into the tank and secure it in place by tapping the retaining ring in a clock-wise direction using the hammer and chisel.

Apply a thin coating of silicon grease to the inside of the rubber filler neck coupler. Slide the tank under the car and use the floor jack to raise it into position. Bolt the tank straps into place. Remove the floor jack.

Attach the fuel lines from the tank to the supply and return lines on the frame. Use new plastic retainers to secure the fuel lines. Plug the electrical connector back in. Tighten the filler neck clamp.

Raise the Mustang off the jack stands and slowly lower the car to the ground. Reconnect the battery cable. Turn the ignition key to the "run" position and back to the "off" position three times to prime the fuel system. Start the engine and check for fuel leaks.

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