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Fuel pump issue....from a friend i am trying to help.

This is a discussion on Fuel pump issue....from a friend i am trying to help. within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I have a '99 30th Anniversary Trans Am that I bought new in 1999. It has been stored in a ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Light pewter metallic
    2000 Camaro SS vert

    Fuel pump issue....from a friend i am trying to help.

    I have a '99 30th Anniversary Trans Am that I bought new in 1999. It has been stored in a garage since about 2008; just prior to storage the entire fuel pump assembly was replaced by the dealer and it ran fine; it has about 100 miles on that pump, if that. The car has about 19,927 miles on it right now.

    When I stored the car it barely had any gas in it (maybe a gallon, if that) along with some Sta-bil. It hasn't been started since then (I know, I know...).

    Anyway about two weeks ago I poured some seafoam into the tank and tried to add about 2 gallons of gas but it wouldn't accept any. I pressed the green evap/purge valve and didn't really notice any pressure release, but after that I was able to pour about 2.5 gallons into the car. I put a battery charger on it and a few days later tried to start it...nothing. It turned over, but it didn't start. I messed with the relays then but that was it. Still wouldn't start.

    Today I looked more into it. I cleaned and swapped all the relays around, checked and cleaned the fuses and connections and every connector I could get to. I then cleaned and treated the connectors behind the driver's rear wheel. Still won't start, and nothing shoots out of the schrader valve at ANY time. There wasn't even any residual pressure in there from the last time it ran years ago. I didn't have my multimeter with me so I wasn't able to check voltage or ground at the connectors behind the rear wheel. But...SOMETHING is pulling current through the fuel pump relay.

    I assumed the pump was dead...I can't hear it whine when it's supposed to prime although I DO hear a click from around the gas tank. What could this "click" be AT the gas tank itself? I hear nothing else back there.

    BUT...when I jump the relay contacts 30 and 87 feeding 12v direct to the fuel pump, the jumper wire gets hot to the touch and sparks when the jumper wire first touches the contacts. That means the fuel pump is drawing current. But, still NOTHING comes out of the schrader valve when depressed. I disconnected the rubber fuel line going to the fuel filter from the tank, and clean thin yellow gas came out from both that line and the fuel filter. I was able to remove the schrader valve and blow easily with my mouth through the line and filter toward the back of the car. There was no restriction there. But, when I jump the fuel pump relay contacts even with the rubber line from the tank wide open at the filter, the pump draws current but NOTHING comes out of that line from the tank. Not a drop.

    It's acting as if the pump is dead...but again, if the pump is dead why is it drawing current?

    Could it actually be that I just don't have enough gas in the tank to prime the pump? It probably has just a bit over 2.5 gallons in the tank. It is fresh ethanol-free gas mixed with a small amount of old old old old gas from 2008. It has a can of seafoam in it and two cans of techron at the moment.

    I just don't see how a pump with 100 miles on it can be suddenly dead from sitting when the gas seems to be clean and free-flowing. Remember, the car sat for 8 or so years, and I couldn't put any gas in it at first the other day. I still think that if the pump was dead it wouldn't be drawing any current...but it's drawing enough to make my admittedly thin gauge jumper wire hot to the touch. But, NO gas comes out of the fuel line whatsoever.

    Should I try putting another 2.5 or so gallons in the tank? I know Racetronix requires 10 gallons in the tank just to prime a new pump, but I can't find a reason for that.

    Could it be that for sitting for so long with so little gas in the tank, the pump just needs more gas in the tank to prime it properly so that it can actually start to pump fuel into the lines?

    Do these pumps NOT pump or prime at all if there is too little initial gas in the tank?

    WHY would the pump be drawing current if it's dead?

  2. #2
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Ugy Lower Corner of AL

    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/ mods, 00 FBVert

    Try these 2 things first before cracking into the tank.

    1 -Replace fuel filter. Gas sits in the lines and filter and will turn to crap when sitting for that long. Hold off on replacing it until you finish with the next step.

    2 - While you have the filter line disconnected -disconnect the line also at the fuel rail, Have some one put a bottle on that end and with an air hose blow in the line. This will let you know if you have a clog or trash in the line. If the person on the end with the bottle doesn't feel/hear or it's very weak, anything coming thru the line most likely it's clogged. If it's good now try this. It's a little tricky and can be messy, have a drain pan or a large mouth bottle to catch any gas. One person again at the bottle but this time it's before the filter but coming off the pump. Turn key on and see if it tries to prime the system. If it does, then you know it's the filter. If it doesn't then you'll need to go into the tank and trouble shoot. Sitting that long even with Sta-bil gas goes bad.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator pajeff02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Mansfield, PA

    Black & Blue
    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    You can hear the fuel pump run in these cars when the ignition is energized. Since you don't hear it run and no fuel is coming out, sounds like it may be DOA. The wires spark because the circuit through the pump motor is still being completed when you install the jumper wires, it just isn't spinning the motor. Sounds like it is time to pull the pump again. Did you trap door the floor last time?

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