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Thread: Van won't run (fuel pump)

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    Van won't run (fuel pump)

    Hi, I am considering buying another 1987 toyota van 2.2L 2WD. The van is in great shape, however the only drawback is that the owner says it turns over but wont start. He claims it's due to a "Fuel Relay" and the dashboard needs to be taken out in order to change it out. He claims it costs about $130 total for the relay. Has anyone done this before/can tell me exactly how to do it? The van is about 250 miles from my house and i'd like to drive it home instead of getting it towed. Any help is appreciated greatly!

    Thank you,
    Elliot

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    The closest thing to a fuel pump relay on our vans is the "circuit opening relay". It's in the dash but not hard to access. By removing 4 screws you can remove the glove box. After that it's pretty accessible. There's also the "main EFI relay", but that's not all that hard to access either. For what it's worth, I've been working on these vans since they were new & I have never diagnosed a bad EFI relay or a bad circuit opening relay. I'm sure it happens, but I've never seen it. If there's no fuel pressure, it's much more likely to be a bad fuel pump (mounted inside the fuel tank).

    That being said, I wouldn't put much stock in what a seller says while trying to sell a vehicle. I've heard similar stories time after time. I run a repair business & people are constantly bringing me things with this same story. The only part that changes is the item they claim has failed. This type information is almost never reliable. I'm not saying not to buy the van, I'm just saying you should disregard everything he says & make your own determinations. I would also recommend showing up there with a flat bed trailer. Back before I got my own, I used to rent one for hauls like this. On average they cost around $100 per day to rent. Of course I'm assuming you have access to a suitable tow vehicle.

    As much fun as it is to start a dead vehicle in the seller's driveway (I love the reaction that gets ). You can still get the same looks when you drive it onto the flat-bed trailer . After many, many retrievals of "dead" vehicles, I found this only happens less than 1/2 the time, so it's much better to have a back-up plan.

    Regarding your question about the relay, use the search feature on the upper right corner of each forum page. Use the criteria "circuit opening relay" & the information you seek will magically appear . Tim

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    Thank you Tim! I bought the van and tinkered with it all day, changed the EFI Fuse/relay, the Circuit opening relay in the dash, etc. The van starts up and hums like a champ if you manually pour gas down the throat. We were about to change the fuel filter, but then the previous owner told us something interesting. He had just gotten the fuel tank dropped, all his fuel lines replaced, all vaccuum hoses replaced, fuel filter replaced, etc. However he said that the mechanic that did all of that didn't bother to change the fuel pump itself!
    We left the van with a well-known toyota mechanic in the area, still havent got the verdict as to what it was. My guess is that its a bad connection or some sort of electrical problem with the pump itself.

    Thank you so much for your help, as a 17 year old who doesnt know much about cars I would be so lost without this site!!!

    -Elliot

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    Probably didn't change the fuel pump because they are expensive, but the pump is almost guaranteed to be bad by now if it is the original. Amazing how long they do last though.

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    Red face Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderwagon View Post
    Probably didn't change the fuel pump because they are expensive, but the pump is almost guaranteed to be bad by now if it is the original. Amazing how long they do last though.

    thank you for the help guys!
    I towed it to a local toyota mechanic (who seemed very honest and seemed to know his stuff about these vans) and he immediately was suspicious of the fuel pump. He just replaced it and I recieved a call from him yesterday saying that the van is running like a top. Yay!!!!

    Thank you again, this website is a blessing!

    -Elliot

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    That's great! Glad to hear the van is running .

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderwagon View Post
    Probably didn't change the fuel pump because they are expensive...............
    Yes, Toyota pumps are very expensive (probably well over $400 by now). A possible alternative is aftermarket. I recently tried an aftermarket fuel pump from eBay. Normally I'm pretty strict about keeping my vans Toyota, but this one is a beater & I don't plan on driving it for very long. The pump (US Motor Works #USEP8023) cost $37.98 & had free shipping. It came quickly & included the pick-up filter & the outlet hose. Anyway, I was very impressed with the "perceived" quality & it looked/fit exactly like the original. So far it's been performing flawlessly over the past 6 months/6k miles. It was such an exceptional value I picked up a couple extras for spares. One curious thing I noticed is the application list for this pump is massively huge. It fits around 800 different makes, models & trim levels (including Dodge Sprinters) & is also used with diesel engines. Here's a link to the pump: http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Motor-Wor...d8c0c1&vxp=mtr. Tim

    PS: I just noticed these are about to sell out, so I just purchased a couple more for spares. Tim

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    Hi Tim,

    Now that it's years later, I am curious if the US Motor Works USEP8023 fuel pump is still performing well. It's time for me to replace the pump, filter and sending unit on my 87 4x4 and I'm trying to save as much money as possible while still getting parts that function reliably. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    I have been happy with it. As you know I had (have) a contaminated fuel system (lots of rust and particles floating around). The 1st one I put in failed after about 5k miles. It still pumped, but the check valve got stuck open (probably due to a rust flake trapped in it). I could still drive the van, but it was annoying while starting (took about 5 or more seconds of cranking to build fuel pressure). I cannot blame the pump for that as even OE probably would have failed in that environment. I replaced it with another one (same brand and part number) about 30k miles ago and upgraded to a better fuel filter DETAILS HERE. Since then it's been working flawlessly. Tim

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    Great thanks! Any recommendations for a sender unit?

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    Quote Originally Posted by isaiah44 View Post
    Great thanks! Any recommendations for a sender unit?
    Not really. I've always cleaned the old ones with good success. We talk about that and also alternatives to stock sending units in that thread (linked to above). That link will take you to page 2. To get the complete story on sending units start on page 1. Tim

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    Re: 1987 toyota van Fuel Relay

    Thanks for this thread. My van is not starting. It sat a lot this winter. Although, i drove it around all day last week and it ran fine ... when I tried to start it a few days later it cranked without firing. Without investigation, i just ordered this pump based on Tim mentioning that they were selling out. Then i read further into the thread and learned it was 3 years old.

    Good knowing they are still available and the price is still right ($48). I will likely order another, especially if mine proves to be bad.

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    Re: Van won't run (fuel pump)

    Has anyone ever cut an access panel in the body to replace the fuel pump without dropping the tank? My next question is do you have any measurements for the location of this access hole? Thanks

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    Re: Van won't run (fuel pump)

    I would not do that. You want good separation between interior of the van and the tank. Besides, it's not hard to drop the tank. I just did that a few weeks ago and it was a breeze. The hardest part is unthreading the pump output line where it goes from flexible to steel. For whatever reason Toyota used "interference fit" threads, so you need to struggle with wrenches and turn that nut one flat at a time. This last time I took a die (14m x 1.5) and chased the male threads. That was one of the best mods I've ever done. When putting the tank back in I spun that fitting right on with my fingers .

    If you drop the tank, a couple of pointers........take the fuel cap off and drain the tank before dropping it.

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