Procedure was performed on a 96 Ram truck 1500
. Should be the same for all 2nd Gen Rams.
First let me say that there are quite a few guys who prefer to lift the bed off the truck to access the fuel tank.
That is fine, I personally think there is more labor involved doing that than just dropping the tank - Alot more bolts to break free, thats for sure.
Maybe so, maybe not ,,, In any case, dropping the tank is not half the ordeal some guys think it is. Anyone with moderate skills can get it done in an hour, easily.
But if you want to lift the bed, go for it, and just skip past the tank dropping sections - Keep in mind, if you need a new fuel pump and you notice your tank straps are all rusted out, and/or you suspect your fuel line is corroded and needs replacing, this will be the time to do both, with the tank out.
OEM straps are $50 from NAPA, don't settle for cheap generic straps ,,, And fuel line is about $80 from a Dodge dealer.
You could fabricate your own for half the price, but it would be a 2 piece, I prefer 1 for fuel.
First thing that you'll need to do is get the truck jacked up so as the rear wheels are 2 or 3 inches off the ground.
Chock the front wheels, front & back, and jack her up from the differential, after first breaking lose the nuts on the tire.
Set your stands at any hard points so that the truck is fairly level - You'll need a jack for the tank, so if you only got one, the jacks will do just fine.
I have at least 4 jacks, so I put most of the weight on the stands, but kept some on the jack as well.
I'm a safety freak when it comes to working under vehicles, I also put the tire taken off under the frame rail in the middle, for added safety if worse came to worse.
Through the wheel well, you can easily access the fittings and hoses that'll need to be undone.
Pic below shows everything undone, I also took the filler neck out to get it out of the way.
The fuel line has a plastic quick connect fitting, press in on the tabs and it'll slide right off, usually leaving the fitting on the regulator.
Loosen the bands on the hoses and take them off the fuel neck side, disconnect the electrical connection, and theres a little hose that will slide right out of that other thing.
Theres only 2 bolts you'll have to contend with on these straps, not 4.
The other sides have a T slot, can't really see them until the tank is dropped.
Heres one of the strap bolts, can take some doing to break them lose if they haven't been turned in a while.
You can loosen them up, but you'll need a jack under the tank before you take them out.
I'll state the obvious, the less fuel you have in the tank, the better.
Its not necessary to pump it dry or anything, and coming down its not too bad with 5 gallons or so. Just be aware of gravity, and the fact that the sloshing fuel will rush from one end to the other as its coming down - On the + side, theres really no where for the tank to go but down.
I cut a 1x4 board that fits between the straps, and used that under the jack.
Once the jack is in place and ready to take the weight of the tank, remove the strap nuts.
Be aware, once the 2nd strap is unhooked, the heat/debris shield now has nothing supporting it, so have a hand on that lest it drops on your face.
Set the shield out of the way, and the tank is ready to drop.
Now that the tank is not strapped in, you can jiggle it around a bit. Jiggle it so you can see how the front strap is tied into the T slot on the frame rail, you will probably need a light to see it.
They are easy to get out, but you really have to see what you are doing.
So take the straps out, and the tank is ready to drop.
You'll probably have to guide the still attached hose from the tank past the frame rail as it drops ,,, Other than that, theres nothing holding it up but the jack.
Lower it down all the way, slide the jack and board out from underneath it, and pull the tank out from under the truck.
Freshly dropped tank - Now is the time to make some marks on the tank to orient yourself so the new pump will be in the exact position.
The fuel pump assembly is held on by a large, threaded lock ring.
You might be able to turn it by hand, if not you'll need a strap wrench, I sure did.
Once the lock ring is off, the pump assembly will lift right out of the tank - Be prepared for spilling gas accumulated in the assembly - You'll have to **** the assembly at an angle to get the float arm out.
Lock ring off
Pump assembly sitting by the tank - I covered the hole with plastic and put the lock ring on it, to avoid any contaminates from floating in - And also plugged the rubber hoses with plastic bags, to avoid vapors.
Old pump, and OEM replacement on the right, about $250
Close up of the float and sender unit for your gas gauge - If your gauge doesn't work, this is the likely culprit
If you think there is any contamination in your tank, this is the time to do something about it.
I didn't suspect there was any in mine, nonetheless I wanted to clean it out.
I pumped out the gas and put in in another vehicle of mine, let it air dry over night, then swabbed it out good with clean rags.
Could also take it up to one of those do it yourself car washing places with the power washers, and power wash the tanks innards.
Obviously, make sure it is good and dry before installing the new pump.
You now have complete access to check your lines in this normally inaccessible part of the vehicle, so be sure to have a look while the tank is out and evaluate if your fuel/brake lines needs replacing - Much easier and more professional with the tank out.
Installing the new unit - Put the rubber seal in the hole, and lube it up with a little lithium grease.
The pump will slide right on, and it takes very little pressure to get it inside the ring. Line it up with the marks you made, if you didn't make any, the fittings are all generally pointing straight to the right, with maybe a little tilt towards the rear.
The lines will give you a little wiggle room, but not much.
Put the locknut back on - I had to turn the electrical connector a bit to get the nut on.
Hand tighten it, I also used a strap wrench to cinch it in a little more.
Time to put the tank back in.
Job is alot easier with 2 jacks - It can be done with 1, but be prepared for a PITA and some swearing, especially if theres fuel in the tank.
2 jacks makes it so much easier.
Slide the tank under the vehicle in the general position it will need to go up in.
Lift up one end of the tank and put a board and jack under, then the same for the other end ,,, Of course, making sure you are not on the area where the straps will go.
Jack up one side then the other, keeping her level as can be - Once again, you'll need to guide the hoses past the frame rail on the way up, or they'll snag.
It can be hard to gauge where exactly the tank should be, easiest way to tell is get on your back and get under the truck a ways, and line up the strap bolts with the recessed areas of the tank where the straps will go.
So once its all the way up in position, time to put the straps in.
Jiggle the tank a bit towards the passenger side, you can now access the Tslot for the front strap - Shine a light up there and make sure it locks in correctly.
Rear strap is easier, as the Tslot is lower and much more accessible.
Once both straps are locked in on the drivers side, you need to start thinking about some multi tasking here, unless you have someone to help you.
Getting the shield back in can be tricky by yourself, you need something to support it on the other end while you get the front strap on.
The board I had on the other jack was perfect for this, I rested the far end of the shield on this while I got the front strap on the bolt and put the nut on.
Once you do that, shift over and do the same for the rear strap.
Its a tight fit, and can take some thumb pressure to get the strap holes and bolts to line up ,,, But once you do, tighten the bolts up, and your good to go.
Tank on the way up
Straps in place in the Tslots, ready to be bolted up
Reattach the fuel line, electrical connector, fuel neck, hoses.
Put your tire back on, thats it.
May seem like a laborious process, its really not too bad.
I did it single handed, I doubt if I had 2.5 hours into dropping it, putting the new pump in, and putting it back up.