Need Help with Rusty Screws around fuel pump

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by JV, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. JV

    JV Well-Known Member

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    So I have a fuel delivery problem with my 1985 Nissan Pickup- gas engine, 4 cyl Z24. I have located the electric fuel pump and happilly its outside the gas tank. Unhappilly it makes no noises when the key is turned right before cranking the engine and when I disconnect the fuel out line nothing happens when the engine is cranking. The fuel seems to be making it past the fuel filter as the inline to the pump was full of fuel. So I am thinking its the fuel pump. I have checked the fuses and none were blown. Changing the fuel pump seems pretty straightforward EXCEPT the screws holding a protective cover around the pump are completely rusted and I am not able to turn them. I don't have too much experience in convincing rusted screws to turn so I am looking for some guidance. I have heard heat works well but being rather near the pump and tank I am leary. I could spray penetrating oil for a day or two but don't see that working with this level of rust. Are there any other options? The protective cover itself is pretty rusted so if worse came to worse I could just hammer that off I believe but then I would have to jerry rig up another protective piece. All opinions and helpful advice are much appreciated.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Have you tested the current to the pump with a test light? Could be a broken wire. On the other side it could be a corroded ground, file a clean spot and ground it to a clean spot with a length of wire.
     

  3. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    I remember changing an in-tank fuel pump in the cold dead of winter... turned out to be the relay and not the pump. Not sure what I was thinking and why I didn't bother to check if the pump had power. As Ross says... make sure you have power to the fuel pump before you go replacing it.

    One trick for removing rusted screws is to hammer the end of the screwdriver while you slowly turn it.

    cheers
     
  4. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    Start off with penetrating oil or wd-40 or kerosine and motor oil. Don't have to leave it on long just coat everything to make it nice and messy for later work. ;)

    If you can get to the sides of the screw heads with vice-grips or needle-nose vice grips you can sometimes get them to break by gripping the sides of the head hard enough to indent the metal with the pliers and then moving the pliers back and forth till the screw threads break loose or the head breaks off.

    If it won't break loose with just the vice grips, then add a bit of impact. Take a hammer if its a straight shot or hammer and punch if an angle shot and hit the top of the screw or bolt. Just a few good solid blows, not hard enough to damage the screw or material its connecting, just enough to shock the rusted threads and the area under the head and break the rust bond. After impact add a bit more lube so your hands are nice and slick and then try the vice grips again.

    If still no go then get a file or angle grinder (at the local flea markets there are some cheap hand held angle grinders for around $10 to 15 bucks that work fine for this kind of stuff) and remove the head. That way you can save the shield and remove the threaded screw from the other side, again with vice grips. :)

    If you can't get a grinder or a file into the area you need to cut the screw head off, then a couple of other tools I have used to remove stuborn fastners are chisels and hacksaws or just hacksaw blades. I have taken and used a grinder to flatten the sides of the teeth even with the sides of the blade and had much better luck cutting screw heads off as it lets you get closer to the junction of head and surface and also makes a much narrower cut so takes less time to cut through. Put a few layers of duct tape around the part you want to use as a handle to protect your hand. You can use the blade to cut either pulling or pushing depending on which way the teeth are facing so if you are working in a confined area you may want to make one to cut pulling and one pushing.

    Any time when working around fuel especially with a grinder or hammer or anything that may cause a spark keep a fire extinguisher handy.

    HTH
     
  5. JV

    JV Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the good replies. I would like to check the current but really don't know how to do that. What type of tool do I need for that and how do I use it. Thanks
     
  6. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    I remember changing an in-tank fuel pump in the cold dead of winter... turned out to be the relay and not the pump. Not sure what I was thinking and why I didn't bother to check if the pump had power. As Ross says... make sure you have power to the fuel pump before you go replacing it.

    One trick for removing rusted screws is to hammer the end of the screwdriver while you slowly turn it.

    cheers
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    JV a test light for checkign automotive current is cheap. It's just a sharp prod with a light in the handle and a wire to an aligator clip. You put the clip to a shined up area on the frame (or run half a jumper cable back from the battery neutral post only and clip it to that) and then poke through the wire going into the pump. You should seal up that hole after with something like silicone. If the light comes on when the pump should be running (like when it's trying to start) you either have a bad pump or a bad ground from pump to the frame. If it doesn't come on, you have a broken wire, bad connection to the pump or a bad relay as Janon suggested. Do Nissans have a breaker switch to kill the pump in an accident like Fords? My Crown Vic will lose it's fuel every once and a long while and it's just the breaker tripping.