Fuel Pump Recommendations

Can someone recommend an after market fuel pump for my 1979 Toyota Celica? Today the car quit right in my driveway. I pulled the fuel filter, and BONE dry!

I replaced it two years ago with a NAPA brand. The OEM original lasted over 200k miles. The NAPA one lasted just over 10,000 miles!
I’ve heard stories about the NAPA ones behaving like that. OEM is not available. It’s not the cost as it is difficult to install (you have to turn the pump a certain way to get it into the tank, as the pump sits in a baffled off area in the tank). Fortunately, you don’t have to drop the tank. There is an access panel in the trunk :slight_smile:

I’m going to ask some questions, instead . . .

Is there a bunch of crud in the tank?

How about the sock . . . ?!

I know store brand parts a roll of the dice :game_die:

But 10K is pretty short

Is there a fuse for the fuel pump?

If so, is it good?

Have you verified proper power and ground at the pump?

I imagine somewhere in the circuit there’s a fuel pump relay . . .

Toyota didn’t make the fuel pump for your car.

It was provided by a supplier who won the bid to supply the fuel pumps for Toyota.

So get the cheapest fuel pump you can, and cross your fingers.

At least you don’t have to drop the tank.


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Not if it’s over 10 years. The new gas formulations and sitting have been a deadly combination for my older cars. So my first question is, how long did it take for the first 200k and then the subsequent 10k since the pump was replaced?

Debris is a huge concern for older tanks. Should have a new sock for the new pump. Once open, it should be easy to see condition of the tank. I wish I had a portal to replace the pump!

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I checked for contaminants in the tank when I put the replacement pump in. The sock was changed with a new Bosch brand when pump was installed. Yes I do have a relay, but it checks out ok. (I applied 12VDC directly to the pump- no sound at all.

The 200,000 miles were over 39 years. The last 10,000 miles were over a course of the last two years.

I worry about the 10% ethanol playing havoc with carburetors, etc., but I expected more than 10,000 miles out of this pump. Luckily I didn’t need a tow. For now on, I’ll carry a spare, in-line fuel pump that I could install in line with the filter!

What does that mean . . . ?

Have you verified that it is in fact doing its job?

[quote=“tom418, post:5, topic:164356”]
I applied 12VDC directly to the pump- no sound at all.

What about ground . . . is that side of the circuit okay?

The fuel pump relay is normally CLOSED. When the coil gets energized (through a low oil pressure switch) it OPENS. I measured resistance across the two contacts (R and SO) according to page 5-3 of the FSM, and there was continuity when the coil is not energized, and open circuit when the relay coil IS enegized- excatly as what should happen.

Ground is good at the pump. Also, as I said previously when I apply +12vdc to the hot side of pump, and black lead from my 6 amp battery charger, the pump is silent.

I understand what you’re saying, and there’s now no doubt the old fuel pump is dead . . .

As far as measuring resistances at the relay . . . here’s my approach. I generally don’t concentrate on resistance, as far as a relay is concerned. I concentrate on if there is voltage when and where there is supposed to be. That is my proof of the relay working . . . or not

I’m not doubting you

it’s just that you never clear as day said there’s 12V at the pump when the key is in the start position

OK Guys, I screwed up.
When I attempted to power the pump with my battery charger, I thought the pump was dead. Actually, I had a break in my cable that I had run from the charger to the pump contacts.

I DID hear the pump working, using a different set of wires.
BUT: The pump is not putting out any output. I disconnected the fuel line that runs from the pump to the firewall mounted fuel filter, and there’s no gas coming out.

So, the pump could be running, but the sock may be clogged?
NOTE: A few weeks ago, I changed out the fuel filter as it appeared to be dirty. There were a LOT of deposits on it (24,000 mi since last replaced. The FSM says change it out every 30,000 miles).
Like you said, db4690: Could contaminants in the tank be the problem? Would getting a new sock (about 10 bucks) solve the problem, or should I change the pump again? I could test the pump once I pull it, but it’s so hard to position it when inserting that I would hate to do this twice again. (it doesn’t just “Drop” in- there’s a lot of twisting just a certain way to get it around the tank baffles)

If I don’t change the pump, could I get by with the less than two year old gasket (these are not available separately without buying a pump)

Keep in mind that even a partially clogged fuel filter can kill a fuel pump. That is why many pumps have a written notice in the package about replacing the filter at the same time or warranty may be voided.
As for how long a filter will last that depends upon the amount of tank contaminants and how much debris may be picked up at the gas station pump. No filter anywhere stops everything.

A salesman at a dealer where I worked drove off in a new Subaru demonstrator with 400 miles on it. He soon came walking back after leaving the car on the side of the road 4 blocks away. Once towed in I found the fuel filter plugged up solid to the point where the engine quit running.
This same thing happened on another car with only 1500 miles on it so miles means nothing.

As for your question about gasket reuse I would say yes if it is stil pliable. I’ve reused them with no issues in certain circumstances.

Any chance of cutting out the floor pan a bit to gain more access to the pump? Someone years ago figured out a pattern on a Lincoln so I printed it off and used it on my car which has no access panel and must have the exhaust, driveshaft, and tank dropped to access the pump. Now changing the pump if needed is a 10 minute job with the simple removal of a homemade cover.

The floor pan access hole is not the problem. It’s getting the angle right when re-inserting the new pump. What would help is if the hole on top of the tank were bigger!
I did replace the “sock” with a new one (made by Bosch) when I installed this NAPA pump two years ago. Fuel filter has less than 500 miles on it.

Getting back to my original question: If I were to replace the pump, I’m told that NAPA pumps are made by Carter, and thy’re not reliable. I googled NAPA fuel pumps and came across a Jeep message board. Posters say stay away from NAPA- they last little over a year, like mine did. What other brands are good ? Airtex? Bosch does not make one for my car.


As far as installing a back-up inline pump, I guess this would not work, as if the sock at the in-tank pump gets clogged, no fuel can flow through the lines, eh?

Airtex might be a little better than Carter . . . but Carter isn’t some loser fly-by-night company, either

Bosch generally makes good parts, but some of their stuff isn’t always the best for certain applications. To be specific, I wouldn’t buy Bosch spark plugs or oxygen sensors for Japanese cars.

I try not to act on my own assumptions because I have been burned before. So I’ll ask, how much gas is in the tank? Are you sure? Rule out gage problem.

Does this pump have pickup tube? Could it have come loose? Or a pinhole?

As db pointed out, sock may be plugged.

It may not be failed pump. There’s other possibilities not ruled out yet…

It would seem to me if the floor pan hole were bigger the pump could be inserted straight into the tank and save the aggravation of going in at an angle.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Carter contracted out to GM (and maybe Delphi) to provide pumps to GM and other car makers? If Carter provides 10 million pumps a year there are bound to be a few production hiccups along the way.
As for Airtex, I’ve used them with no problems.

As for complaints, there will be complaints about every product under the sun no matter who makes it or how well it’s made. As I’ve often said, the full story is seldom ever known and some of those complaints are easy to see through. And I am NOT saying that you are one of those.

OK4450, what makes it hard to get the pump in is not the size of the hole in the trunk bottom, but the fact that there is baffling in the tank very close to the hole on top of the tank…
Tomorrow I will try to run the pump and this time, instead of looking for fuel to come out of the hose near the firewall (fuel filter inlet), I’ll check for fuel coming out of the pump assembly outlet (result will probably be the same).

I’m beginning to think TwinTurbo may be on to something- that the sock could be clogged. The pump sounded good (no loud noises, just steady sound). Once I pull the pump, if all goes well, I’ll check for output and pressure (my vacuum gauge supposedly measures fuel pump pressure besides vacuum)

TwinTurbo: I had just filled up the tank yesterday, and only drove 20 miles or so since. I think (and hope) that the sock is plugged. I will test on Saturday.

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TwinTurbo: Perhaps BOTH of your suggestions came true?!?!?
I pulled the pump out of the tank this morning. Before doing that, I ran the pump in the tank, and checked for output directly from the tank. Nothing.
After pulling the pump, I noticed two things: 1) Sock was very dirty, clogged. 2) The small hose on relief valve (brown part in photo was disconnected! I’m HOPING that it got disconnected when I pulled the pump, and not when I was driving for the past two years.
So, I ran the pump, minis the sock in a clean pail of water. Pump output was normal. It sprayed lawn mower gas on my garage floor.
So, I’m out one sock. I get to save some money (vs. buying anew pump), and more important, I have more confidence in the Carter-manufactured pump.

I’m hoping that I can get a new sock locally. It’s a five dollar part, and I’d hate to spend more money for shipping than the sock costs.! I’m cheap. Fuel Pump|353x471Fuel Pump

Well, that’s good news! Can you shine a flashlight and see inside the tank? Look where sock sits, probably a depression there and see if any silt collecting…

You could use a little bit of jb weld on that pickup tube to make sure it stays seated. Clean both parts, put some around the tube, thin layer and twist it back in. Jb weld is impervious to gas/oil when cured.


I’m going to drain the tank before installing the pump assembly, to check for crud on the bottom. And I’ll try JB Weld. I’ve never had to use it, but I’ve heard it’s strong stuff. Pump came out a lot easier this morning, and I temporarily re-installed it-much easier. Practice makes perfect, I guess.
Thanks for the help!