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96 outback 5 speed 2.2
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I replaced my fuel pump a few months ago and quickly discovered that I start running out of gas when my fuel gauge falls below 1/4 tank. I have yet to actually run out of gas because I immediately get to a gas station, fill up, and it runs fine again. The gauge seems to function fine, and when I do fill the tank from the point at which it starts sputtering, I'm only able to put in about 8.5 gallons. This leads me to believe that for some reason the replacement pump I put in (from Advance Auto Parts) doesn't draw fuel from the bottom of the tank - that it only reaches about 3/4 the way to the bottom of the tank. Another potential cause that I've considered is an issue with the pump that moves fuel form one side of the tank to the other - though I no nothing about this part/process. Has anybody else had this issue? Or any ideas/suggestions? The car runs just fine, and the gauge seems to work accurately, I just have to fill up often because the effective capacity of the tank is about 8.5 gallons. I'd really like get this figured out right now while I have some extra time.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,386 Posts
jet pump problem most likely(it transfers fuel from the left side of the sadddle tank to the right where the pump resides) - or something causing the floats/gauge to 'over report'???
 

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^^^^ what 1 Lucky Texan said.

Did you replace the complete fuel pump assembly including the fuel level sensor, the complete pump assembly but not the level sensor (used the old one again), or did you replace only the pump electric motor itself reusing everything else?

A damaged (cracked, leaking) transfer pump hose (between one of the three fittings on the pump assembly and the sub-sensor fuel pickup in the other side of the tank), or a damaged venturi pump on the pump assembly, could lead to the right (passenger) side of the fuel tank, where the electric fuel pump is located, being emptied, but the other (driver) side of the tank still holding a considerable amount of fuel. The fact that when the car begins to hesitated because of lack of fuel, and only about 8 gallons can be put back in, certainly suggests a problem in the left to right side transfer mechanism not working.
 

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96 outback 5 speed 2.2
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I replaced only the electric pump motor itself, reusing everything else. I see no damage to the lines running between the two sides of the tank, but I suppose a small leak would be hard to spot. I did notice that when I pulled the pump assembly out of the tank this morning, the motor wasn't sitting flush in the bracket. . . it was kinda hanging by the fuel line on the top. I used some zip ties to try to secure the pump to the bracket so it wouldn't get dislodged when I put it back in the tank, but now I'm unable to get the assembly to settle all the way into the tank. It's sitting about a half inch too high, and not quite parallel with the mounting surface. . . frustrating! I'm wondering if the dimensions of the pump need to be pretty exact, and the aftermarket pump I got from Advance is slightly out of spec? Anyway. . . thanks for the feedback. I'm hoping to get it figured out somehow, I'll let you guys know.
 

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96 outback 5 speed 2.2
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So I was finally able to get the assembly back into the tank by rotating the motor slightly within the bracket, and thus the intake filter/mesh bag thing. Took it out for a drive today and it's working normally again! I was able to drive till near empty, then fill up and it took nearly 11 gallons (which cost me less than $20!). That's more than I've been able to put in since replacing the pump months ago. So I think I must have forced it a bit when I initially replaced the assembly, knocking the motor out of it's bracket, and repositioning the actual intake location so that it wasn't drawing fuel from the bottom of the tank. I think the jet pump was still functioning properly. Hope this might help someone in the future.
 
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