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· Registered
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I have just ( a week ago) replaced the fuel pump in my 97 petrol 4.6 HSE.
Previously on this forum I complained of torque loss in heavy towing and was in the process of researching cam change and other engine work that I had little desire to undertake at the moment. I checked the fuel pressure and it indicated OK.
Then (at the worst possible moment) the car refused to start for my wife. It has always started at a touch of the starter. Fortunately after an agonisingly long cranking period it fired up for her. For the next few starts before I could get to work on it starting became erratic.
I was surprised to find the fuel pump was combined ( sort of) with the pick up and fuel gauge sender.
I purchased an aftermarket unit for far less than I expected ( $135). I hate cheap rubbish but I wanted the car back on the road.
I was also surprised what an event the unit is. In keeping with all modern engineering it looked rather flimsy.

I found the removal of the fuel tank a very unpleasant task ( no wonder some contributors suggested cutting a hole in the floor). For a start I failed to have the tank sufficiently empty (40 lts remaining) which meant it was very heavy to deal with. The vehicle was just up on ramps and me on my back.
Is there a simple way to drain the fuel? I can only think of disconnecting the return line and start the engine.
I pressure washed underneath the car as best as possible to minimise detritus falling in my eyes and allowing me to see what was going on.
The retaining bolts were no problem but I was confused by the quick release breather tubes on top of the tank. I found the 1" hose screw clamp hard to access as was the filler tube.

Once the tank was out it was easy to remove the pump. In retrospect if I have to replace this pump I would be tempted to disassemble the sender unit and replace the actual pump only with a top quality unit ( Is Bosche still regarded as good quality). However, as the previous fuel sender unit is quite worn after 350k I was glad to replace with a new unit. The wear is visible in the tiny windings that the contact arm moves on that provides the resistance to the gauge.

I also noticed the rubber connection to the fuel filler was perished.

To my great disappointment I discovered that the new unit did not include the two compression 'olives' that provide the seal at the pump outlet and fuel return stubs that emerge from the unit. Although only costing cents my remote geographic location meant they were initially unobtainable for me.
As I needed the vehicle I replaced the steel fuel lines with rubber hose. This is a temporary fix only as I am not satisfied that hose clamps alone will stop the pressure line from blowing off the steel stubs without some type of barb to retain it.

Again I had much difficulty working blind over the top of the tank replacing the various connections. My advise is to familiarise yourself with all the connections and required tools before lifting the tank into position. Even the snap on electrical connection was problematic. I think I need one or two universal joints installed on my arms to help with getting my hands into tight positions and eyes on stalks.
Reconnecting the filler hose was also very tiring and hard on the fingers.

i have subsequently purchased new olives and compression nuts as well as a new filler hose.
I will brace myself to remove the tank again and redo my work. All work done with your hands above your head is difficult.

The good news is that the Range Rover has returned to instant starting and appears to have it's torque restored although I will not be able to confirm this till I put the boat behind it and get it on a steep grade.

Any hints on how to more easily perform this task would be greatly appreciated.
I hope this has been of some interest to those embarking on pump replacement ;)


· Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
1,455 Posts
Can you suggest away of pumping remaining fuel out of the tank before removal.
interestingly there was much more fuel in the tank than the gauge or Range Function on the trip computer indicated
Well, if the pump is actually still running, I would pull the fuel line off the engine, and attach a hose to a gerry can. Let it do the work. If it is DOA, you can always use a jiggler and siphon as much as possible.
I have done 2 fuel pumps on 2 different P38s and first time I used a floor jack with a square of plywood attached. Second time, I used a transmission jack. The arms and adjusters were great. If you have EAS, set it on high, if not, jack the body as high as it will go. You are right, the filler neck is a PITA!
Your finding a perished filler tube is an even more compelling reason to drop the tank rather than risking fire and explosion by cutting with a grinder. Think grinder sparks, and perished filler tube in the same train of thought. Not a good combo!
(Lots of chatter lately about 2000 mile Rangies and the rotten 16+ year old rubber bits........)
Glad you got it back on the road, and found a potentially dangerous condition before it found you!

· Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
1,663 Posts
I replaced my in-tank pump a while back. I am afraid to say I cut a hole in the floor so I am going to get flamed. It worked out well though and it is now easy to do in future. I intend to fabricate a proper hatch cover. Other L/R models have one - a design fault on the P38.

I note your comments about difficulty with the compression fittings. I have got the diesel but I think the pump and fuel lines are similiar.
I found the L/R ones have a 1.0mm thread pitch which is metric fine and difficult to get. The male bit is not available separately. It is part of the fuel line and is about £100 from a dealer. Engineering suppliers usually stock 1.5mm pitch. I had to salvage the old union instead of replacing with new. I also didn't get any olives with the pump.

You can get cheap hand syphon pumps to help empty the tank.
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