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How to Change a Fuel Pump on a '99 Continental

by Dan Ferrell

Your 1999 Lincoln Continental comes equipped with an in-tank electric fuel pump, which makes changing a failed pump a little difficult. Still, you can replace it without removing the fuel tank completely. You can install the new Lincoln fuel pump in your garage with a few simple tools in a Saturday morning and save on expensive repair costs. In about two hours, you will have your Continental back in shape and on the road.

Remove the Failed Pump

Remove the negative (black) battery cable with a wrench, and loosen the fuel filler cap.

Locate the Schrader valve on the fuel supply manifold -- the steel tube where the fuel injectors connect, which resembles the one used in your Continental tires. Allow the engine to cool completely. Wrap a shop rag around the valve, and depress the small valve stem with a small standard screwdriver to relieve the fuel system pressure, catching the squirt of fuel with the rag.

Siphon the fuel from the tank with a hand siphon pump into an approved fuel container if the tank is more than 1/4 full. If your Continental model has an air suspension system, shut of the switch located on the side panel inside the trunk. If necessary, consult your owner's manual.

Raise the rear of your Continental with a floor jack, and place a jack stand on each side under the frame for support. Block each front wheel with a wood block.

Unscrew the metal retainer holding the fuel filler hose to the tank's flange using a ratchet and socket set.

Place a wooden block on the floor jack's saddle, and use the floor jack to support the tank. Unfasten the two straps that secure the tank to the vehicle with a ratchet, long ratchet extension and socket. Swing the straps out of the way.

Lower the fuel tank partially using the floor jack. Depress the two tabs on the side of the fuel line fittings with your fingers, and pull both lines off the fuel sending unit assembly on top of the fuel tank. Unplug the electrical connector from the assembly as well.

Lower the fuel tank a few inches more -- just enough to gain better access to the fuel-sending unit assembly. Clean the top of the assembly and surrounding area with a shop rag to prevent dirt and grease from falling into the tank. Unfasten the bolts securing the assembly to the tank with a Phillips screwdriver, and carefully lift the assembly out of the fuel tank along with the O-ring seal between the assembly and the tank opening.

Install the New Fuel Pump

Replace the fuel pump in the assembly using a standard screwdriver and needle-nose pliers to work off the retainers and hoses connected to the pump.

Place a new O-ring seal on a clean shop rag, and spray it with white lithium grease. Place the O-ring seal on the fuel tank opening with the greased side against the tank. The grease will help the seal stick to the opening as you install the fuel sending unit assembly.

Reinstall the fuel sending unit assembly into the fuel tank, tighten the retaining screws with the Phillips screwdriver, plug in the electrical connector and reconnect the fuel lines.

Raise the fuel tank to its original position using the floor jack, and secure it with the straps using the ratchet, long ratchet extension and socket.

Secure the metal retainer from the fuel filler hose to the tank's flange with the ratchet and socket.

Lower your Continental with the floor jack, and refill the tank with fuel using a small funnel. Check to ensure the tank is at least half full, and replace the fuel filler cap. Check for fuel leaks at the fuel lines on the tank, and turn on the air suspension system, if equipped.

Attach the negative (black) battery cable with the wrench. Turn the ignition switch on and off at least five times to pressurize the fuel system. Check again for fuel leaks. Start the engine, check for fuel leaks once more, then turn off the engine.

Warning

  • When working on the fuel system in your 1999 Lincoln Continental, park away from appliances with open flames such as dryers and water heaters. Fuel vapors escaping the fuel tank can ignite easily and cause a serious serious injury.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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