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2007 Chrysler Town and country
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son-in-law drives a 2007 Town & Country that needs a new fuel pump. Both of us are inept at anything mechanical, so we rely on my brother in such cases. He is a self-taught mechanic with 50 years experience, and a Napa parts person with a few years experience.

He wants to make the swap by cutting the floor above the gas tank. He's confident about cutting the floor. After watching several videos, making the swap seems easy to even me. My brother thinks he knows how to patch the hole in the floor. We do not have access to a car lift.

Is this safe? Any advice on cutting the floor? Any ideas on patching the hole in the floor? Thank you in advance for any replies you can make.
 

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2005 Town & Country 251k miles
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It is recommended to clean the outside of the tank prior to punching the locking ring loose to prevent dirt from entering the tank. It is also recommended to clean the inside of the tank prior to installing a new pump. Both of these procedures are more difficult or perhaps not possible if the tank is in place. Cutting the floor then patching it sounds sketchy.
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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My understanding is that there is NO NEED to get out the Sawzall... :oops:



Just elevate the rear wheels (ramps or jack stands) and you can drop the tank enough to reach in and replace the pump.

Am I right or wrong?
 
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My understanding is that there is NO NEED to get out the Sawzall... :oops:



Just elevate the rear wheels (ramps or jack stands) and you can drop the tank enough to reach in and replace the pump.

Am I right or wrong?
Good luck let us know how it goes


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Drivin' Maniac
2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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Good luck let us know how it goes
Are you saying that I was wrong? Our fuel pump still works after 168,000 miles, so I haven't done that repair yet.

<<JINX>>
 

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I guess if you cut a big enough hole, you could bring the whole tank up through. :)

A shop can do the job in an hour using their hoist and lowering the tank down with a jack, so they can do a proper job of replacing the pump assembly, treat some rust, clean out the acorns, etc. The pump assembly has an "O" ring retainer that has to be beat at horizontally. There's wires and tubes that need some care, so take a couple pictures.

Going at it from the top would be a hack job for sure. Some vehicles are designed to get access from the top (removable plate covers), and there's a reason for that. They break often. :)
 
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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
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Some vehicles are designed to get access from the top (removable plate covers), and there's a reason for that. They break often.
Actually, it seems like the vehicles with no easy access are the ones that fail most. Like older Chevy pickups and Blazers. They seemed to eat fuel pumps for some reason, and a lot of the replacements are garbage too.
 

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The access plates seem to be on vehicles that have the saddle type gas tank over the drive shaft with two fuel pumps in the tank. Think Hyundai Santa Fe AWD. They tend to be a problem.
 

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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
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The access plates seem to be on vehicles that have the saddle type gas tank over the drive shaft with two fuel pumps in the tank. Think Hyundai Santa Fe AWD. They tend to be a problem.
Never dealt with one, and I hope I never have to.:)
 

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Are you saying that I was wrong? Our fuel pump still works after 168,000 miles, so I haven't done that repair yet.

<<JINX>>
I have done the repair that way. I actually had to replace my tank after it was damaged by somebody else who I paid replace the fuel pump. I raised the back of the van enough to slide the tank out from underneath. I lowered the tank down using a floor jack then slid it off the jack onto the ground. I had the luxury of being able to run almost all of the fuel out of the tank so it was easier to deal with. If the pump is not working one will have to deal with the weight of whatever fuel is in the tank sloshing around. There is no easy way to get fuel out of the tank that I know of.

I don't know how many repairs I have done involving lowering or removing fuel tanks on a lift so I was very familiar with what needs to be done. This was the first one I have done on the ground in my driveway.

One tip I can offer: Make sure to disconnect the rigid plastic vapor line that goes through the frame to the filler neck. It is easy to overlook as it is slightly hidden. If you lower the tank with it still hooked up you will probably break it off at the rollover valve. The rollover valves are molded into the tank and are not serviceable separately.

Yep, that's the reason I had to replace my tank. I discovered the problem when the pump kept cutting off as I attempted to add fuel. It was also the last time I will let somebody else do anything on my vehicles that I could do myself. I never have in the past. I was just feeling lazy and trusted somebody else to do the job. Lesson learned.
 

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Any vehicle I've seen with an access hole to the fuel pump has a moulded mounded annular adaptor around the hole, otherwise it creates a weak spot. If your sawzall a hole then the weld must be perfect and done on both sides. Just a patch over the top is not good enough repeated minor vibration flexing would be an invitation to break the patch.
 

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I will say replacing the fuel pump and dropping the tank is never fun. I just did it on a 1993 caravan 2 months ago and not a terrible job.
The rubber doughnut sealing the fill spout to the tank was split and needed replaced, The bolts holding the straps in needed replaced, A wire needed some attention. Well worth it to drop the tank and fix these items while you can.

With that said, I have done the same on a 1996 Ford Explorer, lift the rear seat out and cut a hole in the floor. Replace the pump and throw the seat back in ... nobody knows nothing. Worked fine for my purposes at that time. Seriously I was living in a rv park at that time, If I raised the vehicle on jackstands to remove the tank, they would have evicted me.

My daily driver 1991 chebby pickup to replace the fuel pump you need to lift off the bed.
I bought it with 415K miles on it, someone before me cut a hole in the bed to replace fuel pump. Probably been replaced at least 3 times by now.
I am only making a removable cover for it and not welding it back up.

So yeah, do what works for you. Is certainly a hack to do it this way ... but if it floats your boat then get er did.
 

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Never done but, if you install a OE fuel pump, it should last you another 15-20 years or more, no reason to leave an access cover.

Don't know if you risk cutting a fuel line or wires.

Just do it the proper way, it shouldn't be that hard if you start with an empty fuel tank.
 

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I replaced the fuel pump assembly in both our 1996 and 2002. Not smart to cut a hole. Not only do you risk cutting into the tank, tubes or wiring which are tight against the floor, I'm not sure you could get off the lock nut from above. You need to tap it around from the side with hammer and drift. Run the gas as low as you can first, or siphon it to another vehicle. It is hard lowering it with 100 lb of fuel sloshing around. Empty it weighs maybe 15 lb. You can replace the assembly by lowering and tilting it on the R side, but best to remove it so you can work on it in the clear, especially the first time. Instructions tell you to wash it out inside while out, but I didn't since pristine inside both. Be careful to release all fuel and vapor connections, which use quick releases (google the trick to release).

The 1996 (Gen 3) was harder because it has a plastic lock nut. Hitting on the raised fingers can just break them off, but I got it off with hammer and punch. By reassembly, I bought the special tool (KD Tools, $17 used ebay), which is a flat wrench with slots which fit the plastic fingers. The 2002 has a metal lock ring, so beat at will, but advised to use a brass drift for no sparks. I drove the rear up and ramps and propped up the front a bit. Worst-case, you could use the van's jack and prop it up on the frame on a lattice of 4x4" (I cut old fence posts) at each corner. Country boys used to dig a trench to drive a vehicle over to work on. No need for that in the early cars which had ample ground clearance for muddy roads.
 

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My son-in-law drives a 2007 Town & Country that needs a new fuel pump. Both of us are inept at anything mechanical, so we rely on my brother in such cases. He is a self-taught mechanic with 50 years experience, and a Napa parts person with a few years experience.

He wants to make the swap by cutting the floor above the gas tank. He's confident about cutting the floor. After watching several videos, making the swap seems easy to even me. My brother thinks he knows how to patch the hole in the floor. We do not have access to a car lift.

Is this safe? Any advice on cutting the floor? Any ideas on patching the hole in the floor? Thank you in advance for any replies you can make.
No - cutting through the floor is not a good idea. Why on Earth would you want to weaken the structure of the body of the van by cutting through the floor? Then you'd have rust, noise, fumes, and other problems to deal with.

You do not need access to a lift. You need 4 jack stands and a floor jack. I did my work in a warehouse/garage on a level floor - but you could do the work on a driveway. I dropped the tank on an old F-250 doing the exact same thing.

How much gas is in the tank? If it's near full, you need to jack up the minivan, remove the fuel filler hose, then run a siphon hose through the turn-over valve. Siphon out the gas, then clean the outside of the tank with a hose. Let dry.

When it's dry, read up on what hoses and wires to remove, then place a wooden block against the bottom of the tank before positioning a floor jack underneath. Remove the bolts that hold on the tank. Once all bolts are removed, lower the tank and pull out from under the van.

Clean out top of outside of tank. Use a brass drift to remove the bayonet ring, then remove the rubber gasket, and then pull the fuel pump out. Be ready to siphon out any remaining gas. Let inside of tank air dry. Get some fuel tank cleaner from Advance Auto (they recommend youi clean out the tank before installing a new fuel pump). I did it and it's very easy to do. Clean out tank and rinse cleaning solution out of tank. Let air dry.

Mount new fuel pump and o-ring and bayonet ring - attach hoses and wiring and then put back on wooden block on jack - and lift up into position. Attach bolts and straps, re-attach hoses and wires and fuel inlet hose and clamps. Inspect your work before adding gasoline to the tank.
 

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I would just do it the conventional way. I've done it before. It's a bit of a pain, but if done properly, the pump should be good for many years and many miles. Start by spraying penetrant on every nut, bolt and connection. Be patient. It's easiest to work with a tank that is as empty as possible. Good luck.
 

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Not trying to sugar coat a hack ... A hack is a hack.
I see a few getting concerned about starting a fire or explosion while cutting. Today's cars are made with 22 gauge or something stupid thin.
When I cut the hole in the 1996 Explorer, I used my cordless drill for a hole then my Wiss tin snips to cut the hole. There was no chance for sparks or explosion or cutting lines etc...
Not everybody loves our Dodge caravans as much as we do 😞

Not a sad story, we just call this life.
About 10 years ago I became disabled and not able to work. I had some friends helping me I got by after I lost my house. Wife & I was staying in a travel trailer in a rv park.
My 1 ton work van transmission went out. We needed a car badly and was able to scrape up $500 and bought this.
Tire Car Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle



It ran great but was totaled. I turned it into this.

Wheel Car Automotive parking light Tire Vehicle


This really pissed off the rv park owner. I had my van with a bad transmission parked and then was working on the Explorer.
They sent out a special letter to all tenants, anyone caught working on their cars will be evicted. It was for me.
So when that car was delivered home one day on a flatbed with a bad fuel pump. I guarantee you, I would have been homeless if I jacked it up and removed the tank to replace the fuel pump.
So pulling the back seat and using my tin snips to cut the access hole, nobody knew I was working on it. I had a good reason to cut the hole. I already cut the roof off ... who cares.

This was the end of the exploder.
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tire


Just saying I agree cutting metal will weaken structure. Cutting a access hole in the floor for a fuel pump probably not a issue.
Here is my biggest issue cutting a hole in my truck bed ... I bought it this way. This year you have to remove the bed to get to the fuel pump. Pretty sure I would have done the same thing myself. No complaints here.
But you can see the leafs & twigs create a new set of problems.
Wood Rectangle Line Flooring Gas


End of story, you will not die because you did it ... no it is not correct way to do it ... If it floats your boat then go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all for all your replies. The work has not been done yet. Between my brother and my son-in-law, we have 4 jack stands and at least 1 floor jack. They are typical jack stands. I presume they will hold the van high enough to get the work done. My brother is 68 and I think he doesn't want to crawl and lay on the ground (thus his desire to cut a hole.) My son-in -law says he can do that. The fuel tank has only about 6 gallons. I like the idea of siphoning the gas to another vehicle.
 

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I say there is no right or wrong here. There is no positive proof it will kill you, same time no proof it will hurt you.
We all think this is a cheesy fix ... same time it does work.. My photos above shows a car accident. Obvious the small hole cut in the floor did not affect the structure. I lived.

Sometimes we just have to ignore others fixes.
Crazy times we are into, Years ago during the war we created doodle bugs to get us through.
Will be interesting to see if we will do the same now.

Today we are faced with shortages of supplies proof me wrong.
 
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