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Thread: DIY: fuel pump & sender replacement

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Today I replaced the fuel pump/fuel gauge sender assembly in my Mirage. Over the past year or so the gauge has become less and less accurate. It will show two 'bars'...roughly three gallons...when it is literally dead empty. I got tired of it, and have been looking for a used replacement ever since.

    My local Pick-and-Pull got a 2018 Mirage in last week. Very surprised to see such a late model car at this yard. This car seems to have led a short and tragic life. It had been hit hard in the front, and, though originally red, had been rattle-canned flat black for some reason. Not sure how many miles it had on it, but by the condition of the tires I'd guess well under 20k.

    Attachment 14617

    I was hoping to get the display radio and the suspension components as well, but someone beat me to the radio and the front suspension had visible accident damage. Oh, well. Tires were great if anyone needs them. Pick-and-Pull has the car listed as a CVT, but I was surprised to find that it was actually a manual. I managed to extricate the clutch cable to keep as spare. But it was the fuel pump/gauge assembly that I was really after, and I got it for $35. Better than $650 for new pump/sender assembly! Didn't really need to replace the pump itself, but figured at 120k miles it couldn't hurt.

    To get to the pump, you have to remove the lower rear seat cushion. This is done by reaching under the front of the cushion on each side and pulling up sharply. You will then see the cover for the fuel pump, retained by three Phillips screws.



    After removing it, you will see the top of the fuel pump assembly and all of it's connections. There is an inlet line, a return line, and two electrical connectors. Note their relative positions for reassembly. One electrical connector has a tab that needs to be pushed to release it. The other has a wire retainer that must be removed with a small screwdriver or knife. The fuel line is released by pushing the tabs on the orange retainer. The return line clamp is pretty self-explanatory.



    The hardest part of the whole job is getting the pump out of the tank. As you can see in the pic above, there is a locking ring that goes around the pump assembly. This must be rotated counterclockwise with a hammer and screwdriver. It is pretty tight, so you want a long screwdriver and a fairly large hammer. Be careful. The fuel tank is plastic, and one wrong move with the hammer and screwdriver might mean you punch a hole in it. I was wary about using a hammer around something as relatively delicate as the fuel pump and fuel gauge, but this seems to be how removal is intended.

    Once the locking ring is loose, the pump will want to eject itself from the tank. It is on spring-loaded 'stilts'. Remove by pulling it straight up, being mindful of the fuel gauge float which is off to one side. There will be about a quarter of a quart of fuel in the pump, so you will want to keep it as vertical as possible. Also note the large green o-ring the pump assembly sits on, and make sure it stays in position.



    When putting the new pump in, note the position of the connections. There is a large tab on the top of the pump which will sit between the lugs for the retaining ring. Try not to get the wiring harnesses caught under the flange of the pump assembly (like I did) when reinstalling it. Otherwise, installation is the reverse of removal.

    I removed the fuel gauge assembly from the pump to inspect it for damage. It just clips onto the side of the pump assembly with two small tabs. There is also what I assume is the low fuel warning sensor, which is also clipped in. I half expected to see obvious damage, but I didn't.

    According to the research I have done, the same pump/sender assembly is used on all years and models of the Mirage from 2014-up.




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    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Nice write up - thanks Cobrajet. Looks like you had a busy day.

    The only thing I would suggest is before lifting the seat to begin the work, open the fuel filler cap and relieve pressure on the tank. I know it is unlikely but there's no sense in allowing fuel to spray or splash out if the tank is under pressure. The possibility of the fuel tank becoming pressurized increases with temperature.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet View Post
    Today I replaced the fuel pump/fuel gauge sender assembly in my Mirage. Over the past year or so the gauge has become less and less accurate. It will show two 'bars'...roughly three gallons...when it is literally dead empty. I got tired of it, and have been looking for a used replacement ever since.
    Cobrajet, I'm curious to know that since you purchase your Mirage, what fuel have you been using. Would you say you bought the cheapest available or did you stick with Top Tier brands?

    The fuel level sender looks fine from here.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.7 mpg (US) ... 21.1 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.6 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggman View Post
    Nice write up - thanks Cobrajet. Looks like you had a busy day.

    The only thing I would suggest is before lifting the seat to begin the work, open the fuel filler cap and relieve pressure on the tank. I know it is unlikely but there's no sense in allowing fuel to spray or splash out if the tank is under pressure. The possibility of the fuel tank becoming pressurized increases with temperature.


    Cobrajet, I'm curious to know that since you purchase your Mirage, what fuel have you been using. Would you say you bought the cheapest available or did you stick with Top Tier brands?

    The fuel level sender looks fine from here.
    Good advice on the gas cap, especially if you are trying this in really hot weather. It was about 78 here today.

    When I was taking it apart what I was most worried about was residual pressure in the fuel line. I thought about pulling the fuse or relay for the fuel pump and trying to crank the motor to relieve the pressure, but I was worried about setting a CEL. I decided to just have some rags at the ready. Turns out there was just a dribble of fuel when I removed it, and there was no discernible pressure in the tank. I doubt pressure in the tank would have caused any real issues anyway as the hole in the top of the tank for the pump assembly is about the size of a dessert plate.

    This car has gotten nothing but Top Tier since new, either Arco, Chevron, or Mobil.

    I honestly do not really know what the issue is with the sender. As you say, it looks fine. I do know that the gauge was reading three bars when I took out out the old one and read two bars after I installed the new one.

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    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet View Post
    I decided to just have some rags at the ready.
    I think that's exactly what the service manual says to do. I was just reading through that section the other day for some other fuel pump & tank discussion.

    Man, what a great resource that is, the service manual. I'm so glad we have access to it. I think having access to it helps me decide when to try a task myself or take it in to the dealer because of the specialized tools needed to do a job.

    I'll apologize in advance for the topic hijack.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.7 mpg (US) ... 21.1 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.6 mpg (Imp)


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    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Never mind, this is a generic thread.


    Hey take a look at the sending unit pcb picture. Don't those little traces off to the right look like test points? Put an ohmmeter to them and tell us what readings you get.

    Please?

    And if you try to clean it up, I recommend a very light application of a pencil eraser to the contact area where the commutator runs, and the commutator itself if possible. Anything else and I would be worried about damage.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.7 mpg (US) ... 21.1 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.6 mpg (Imp)


  7. #6
    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggman View Post
    Man, what a great resource that is, the service manual. I'm so glad we have access to it.
    If I were a smart man I would have consulted the service manual before heading to the wrecking yard. I was actually expecting the pump to be installed with screws in the same manner as the access cover. I just happened to bring a large flat screwdriver and a hammer with me when I went.

    One of the things I love about this car is that it can almost be disassembled and reassembled with a socket set, some wrenches, a couple screwdrivers, pliers, and, of course....a hammer.

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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    I decided to disassemble the pump to gain access to the sock filter in the bottom of the housing. This is the only fuel filter on the car. It looked very, very clean after 120k, but I will wait for it to dry out and give it a better look. There were some particulates in the bottom of the pump housing where the filter sits, but not much.



    I was wrong about what the brown sensor attached to the fuel gauge sender wiring does. I thought it was a low fuel indicator sensor, but it is actually a...fuel tank temperature sensor. I think somebody here got a code for a fuel tank temperature sensor, and this sensor would be replaced with the fuel gauge sending unit.

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    Hey Cobrajet how's that connector by your left foot looking? I wonder if all these wire go through that connector...

    Gotta run.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.7 mpg (US) ... 21.1 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.6 mpg (Imp)


  10. #9
    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggman View Post
    Hey Cobrajet how's that connector by your left foot looking? I wonder if all these wire go through that connector...

    Gotta run.
    The one under the carpet? Not sure, but this car has had WeatherTechs since new and had the recall done as soon as I got the notice. I think all the dealership did was add the shield...no corrosion was noted.

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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    I copied your posts out of the what did you do to your mirage today thread. This is worthy of its own thread. Great write up!


    Custom Mirage products: Cruise control kit, Glove box light, MAF sensor housing, Rear sway bar, Upper grill block

    Current project: DIY Nitrous oxide setup for ~$100

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 47.2 mpg (US) ... 20.1 km/L ... 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.7 mpg (Imp)


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