Cash for clunkers cheapest fuel pump fix

The fuel plump on my 1993 Dodge Ramcharger with a V8 5.2? Liter (318 CID) has bit the dust. I want to use the cash for clunkers program to get a new car. I want to know the lowest cost way to make it drivable. It seems a waste to buy a new pump only to have the Ramcharger scraped. It has fuel injection and a new pump cost about $150. Do I really need the high pressure pump (95 PSI?) or can a get a cheap in line pump of lower pressure (30 PSI or so) to get the truck to the dealer? Remember think cheap and short term fix.


$150 for $4500 seems like a good investment.

Hand-pump? There is a fuel pressure regulator in the fuel system, so, you don’t have to worry about that.

The fuel pressure spec for your truck is 31 PSI. Not 95 PSI. So you could install a 30 PSI fuel pump somewhere in the fuel line. However, with the orginal dead pump in the tank, it will restrict the volume of gas to the engine thru the new fuel pump. So it won’t work. The engine not only requires the proper fuel pressure, but also the proper volume of fuel.

Have you tried banging on the bottom of the tank with a rubber mallet? Sometimes this will bring a dead fuel pump back to life.


I am suprised,most people with vehicles that don’t run ask us if it is fuel or spark related,you are sure its fuel,and are sure its the pump,not the relay,not the wiring,not the filter,good job!

You may be a bit late, most dealers are out of cars at the moment. They have nothing to sell you. Get the truck to a dealer, make a deal and you may have to wait for your new car to come in to take delivery.

Thanks for the info. I pulled the pump and hooked to a 12 VDC power supply and it tripped the breaker of the supply. No sound from the pump so I can only guess that it is gone. I did not know of the mallet trick through, great idea. If I remove the old pump and use a inline I should have the volume (read flow) and be good to go. Tell me how crazy it is to use a 1 gallon fuel can and pressurize it with the air from the spare tire (35 PSI or so). It will be cheaper then a inline fuel pump. (I think…) I know, crazy, but some thing to think about.

If – as I suspect – replacing the fuel pump requires dropping the tank, and if you are SURE that the vehicle will be scraped, then the in-line pump makes sense. Not only is it cheaper, you won’t have to drop the fuel tank. Your replacement just has to last long enough to get the damn thing to the dealer. If you end up keeping the Dodge, I think I’d consider opting for a proper replacement.

Actually, I reckon that I’d go talk to the dealer, pick your new car, set everything up – then bring up the subject of the Ramcharger not running. Maybe the dealer will have some thoughts on the minimum work required on the Dodge to close the deal.

One time (by accident) I put a pump for a TBI system in a ASTRO with a sequencial F.I. (housing was the same,in tank pump)took me awhile to figure out what I did wrong,vehicle would not run,the SEQ, pump has higher output.

Getting to the “in tank” pump MAY BE a challenge. Some vehicles are easier than others. Check with dealer service deptment for access/removal/installation method.

Get pump from junk yard IF you are comfortable doing the replacement/swap.

They’re going to destroy the engine and junk the truck anyway. Why does it matter if it’s running when you trade it?

Have it towed to the dealer and trade it in.

Consult dealer first, but a tow truck to the dealer for trade in works typically. Don’t bother fixing.

I’m pretty sure it has to be running to qualify for the c4c rebate.

I’d get a replacement fuel pump from junkyard, from any Dodge with a 318 and that should be sufficient to get you to the c4c dealer. $20 for $4500 seems like a better investment.

Rule #7 in the “Cash For Clunkers”.

  1. You must be able to drive your trade-in to the dealer where you are buying the new car.

Depends on dealer and how they define “drive your trade-in”.

You have a completely different interpretation then I do.

I only know from asking a relative in the car sales industry.

quoted from the website-

How do I know if my car or truck is an eligible trade-in vehicle?

There are several requirements (but you also have to meet certain conditions for the car or truck you wish to buy). Your dealer can help you determine whether you have an eligible trade in vehicle.

Your trade-in vehicle must

have been manufactured less than 25 years before the date you trade it in
have a “new” combined city/highway fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less
be in drivable condition
be continuously insured and registered to the same owner for the full year preceding the trade-in
The trade-in vehicle must have been manufactured not earlier than 25 years before the date of trade in and, in the case of a category 3 vehicle, must also have been manufactured not later than model year 2001
Note that work trucks (i.e., very large pickup trucks and cargo vans) have different requirements.

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If it trips the breaker outside of the tank, that’s a pretty strong clue that the pump is no good. You’ve gone to all that work to get it out, just get a junk yard pump and put that in. If you don’t hurry up though, there will be no clunker cash left and no cars on the lot to buy for a while.