Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Feeling Disconnected

I have been feeling lost, frustrated and a little helpless with this whole fuel pump issue. It seems I have tried everything logical and yet it still wasn't working. This whole thing has begun to feel like one of those situations that is just plain out of my control and I just needed to trust that eventually things would just work themselves out. That isn't easy for me to do. However, I know I have done everything that I could do and more and it was time to just step back and let someone else figure it out.

That's why I was so surprised when Troy called this afternoon with a diagnosis. It was something so simple...yet something I would never had thought to check.  

The new Fuel Sending Unit I had purchased from the Fiero Store was the culprit. The internal connections were bad. The external pig tail that that connects to the Fiero's engine bay wiring harness was fine, but the internal three pin connection that connects that pig tail to the fuel pump, ground and fuel level sensor was faulty.

The sending unit came pre-assembled and aside from checking that all the plugs were connected, like the one below, I didn't inspect it any further. This plug has three wires which are terminated with female metal terminals. The plug attaches to the metal pins you can see on the yellow connector on the bottom of the fuel sending unit. There are tines inside each one of the metal terminals that act like a spring to keep tension, and therefore solid connection, on the metal pins. The tines in these terminals were flattened.

After Troy had bypassed the relay and checked the power to the fuel pump directly, he noticed some irregularities in the power and at times the pump was not getting power at all. Checking that the connection outside the tank were all good, he determined it had to be something with the fuel sending unit. Troy was able to figure out a way to get KARR up high enough on his center-post lift to be able to drop the fuel tank.

Troy is removing the wire terminals so he can examine them closer and then replace them.

With the metal terminal removed you can see how the tine was bent almost flat. This was actually the best of the three. I have a picture at the bottom of this post of what these terminals should look like.

Here is another picture of one of the terminals and its flattened tine.

This is what a good terminal with a proper tine looks like. Troy replaced all three of the terminals with flattened tines. He also removed the connector which attached to the pig tail on the fuel pump so the fuel pump is now hardwired inline.

KARR is back home. Troy was able to find the source of the leak I had detected on the AC compressor. What I thought was coolant is actually oil from the compressor which has a blown seal. The oil has a green dye that is used to detect leaks. This is why it appeared like coolant to me. Troy has a new AC compressor on order and will install it when it arrives. In the meantime, KARR can run like the hothead he is.

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