Replace your Range Rover P38 fuel pump

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A new fuel pump will help with reliability : credit: © Dave Barker
Replacing a P38's fuel pump needs plenty of working space under the vehicle. Dave Barker shows how the pros go about the job

NEED TO KNOW

Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: 1 out of 5 stars
Models: Discovery 3 and 4, Range Rover Sport.
Tools needed: General workshop tools, 13 and 17 mm spanners and sockets and long extension, plus hose clip pliers, long nose pliers and pry bars. This job requires the fuel tank to be removed from underneath, and the safe way to do this is by using a vehicle lift.
Parts used: Pump fuel tank with sender, WFX1014000, from around £208 for an OE part to £444 for a genuine Land Rover part; fuel pump gasket seal, WGQ500020, between £3.50 and £17.20.
Work safely:
• Wear protective gloves or barrier cream to protect the skin from oils and sharp edges of components.
• When working under a vehicle check the supports or vehicle lift are correctly rated and in
serviceable condition.
• Ensure the vehicle is stable before working underneath.
• Ensure good ventilation to disperse any petrol fumes.
• Take care to avoid sparks in the presence of petrol or petrol vapour. Remove and store fuel safely.
Contact:  Maddison 4x4, Water House Farm, Station Road, Topcliffe near Thirsk, YO7 3SG.
maddison4x4.com / 01845 587407

This is not a tricky job but fittings may be seized

This 2001 model year V8 had become difficult to start especially, when left overnight, but once started, it would run without problem. A faulty fuel pump was diagnosed. The P38A has an in-tank fuel pump but, unlike the earlier model of Range Rover, there is no access hole to get to the fuel tank through the rear floor. So it’s necessary to drop the complete fuel tank from the vehicle before replacing the fuel pump. This needs to be done with the vehicle raised, and needs some form of jack to support the weight of the tank as it is released and lowered from the underside of the chassis. It’s also best done when the fuel tank is as empty as possible to reduce the weight and the risk of petrol spillage.

Replacing the fuel pump is not a difficult job, as such. The only real problem is that, with the fuel tank being under the vehicle, all the fittings and hose clips have been exposed to the elements for years and are likely to be corroded and seized making undoing them difficult.

The price of replacement fuel pumps varies, with OE branded pumps retailing at just over £200, and a genuine Land Rover part costing in excess of £400, though I’ve seen them online for under £70. So, lots of options and prices to choose from.

Battery: It’s important to first disconnect the battery earth lead, given the potential danger from petrol spillage and petrol fumes circulating during this work.

Location: The P38A Range Rover’s plastic fuel tank is slung under the vehicle and secured in position in a steel cradle to the floor pan.

Often seized: Before lowering the fuel tank, the fuel filler hose clip is released and the hose pulled off the tank filler neck with the help of a pry bar.

Support for the Tank: In this case, the transmission jack was used to securely support the tank and keep it stable before releasing the fixings.

Nuts to remove: The tank is secured in position at the front by two nuts on captive bolts which are fitted into the floor pan. These were now removed.

Final fasteners: Again checking the tank is securely supported on the transmission jack the two bolts and the single nut at the rear of the tank were released.

Unhooked: With the fixings removed and the weight of the tank supported on the transmission jack the tank bracket was unhooked from the front fixing bolts.

Disconnecting: Before the fuel tank was lowered, the feed pipe running from the tank to the engine was disconnected – this is a quick release connection.

Removing the breather: With the fuel tank having now been slightly lowered, the smaller tank breather pipe near the filler neck could be reached and disconnected.

Unplugged: The fuel tank was then lowered a little further so the top of the tank could be accessed and the fuel pump electrical multi-plug could be disconnected.

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Pump breather: Before the tank can be lowered further, this breather pipe was removed from the top of the pump, by undoing the clip and pulling off.

Removing the tank: The tank is now fully disconnected from the vehicle so it was then fully lowered down and removed from under the Range Rover.

Clean up first: All dirt and dust was cleaned off the tank before starting to remove the pump, firstly disconnecting this push-in fuel supply pipe.

Loosen the ring: The pump is secured into the tank by a screwed retaining ring. A special tool can be used to unscrew it, or it can be gently tapped loose.

Released: With the retaining ring now removed the fuel pump was gently lifted out from its tight seal and freed from the top of the tank.

And out: The fuel pump assembly was lifted out of the tank with care, as its still full of petrol which then needs to be safely drained out.

Reassembling with new pump: The pump is not intended to be repaired, so the new unit comes as a complete assembly, ready to pop straight in.

New seal: A new sealing gasket was now fitted over the bottom of the new fuel pump and slid up to the top of pump before its fitted into the tank.

Fit seal: Before the pump was fully fitted into position in the tank the sealing gasket is eased into place into the sealing ring in the neck of the tank.

Located and secured: The pump was then aligned with the location marks and fully seated before the retaining ring was refitted and hand screwed tight.

Locked in place: The retaining ring was then fully tightened, securing the new pump into the tank. The plastic plug was removed from the outlet connection.

Easy does it: The fuel tank assembly complete with the new fuel pump was now slowly jacked up and back into position under the Range Rover.

Reconnecting: As the fuel tank moves up, the fuel feed pipe, tank breather pipe, pump multi-plug, and finally the filler hose and breather, were all reconnected.

Fully home: The tank was then fitted fully into position, the securing cradle hooked into place and re-secured with its bolts and nuts and, finally, the battery reconnected.