Tech Tips

How many Ford sending units have you replaced? I have lost count, it's amazing how these go out. Doing them is a real pain, unless you do them the way I do, without pulling the tanks. I've done hundreds of senders on all types over the last twenty five years, some are easy, and some are a nightmare. One of them is the back tank on Ford Pickups and Broncos. The Bronco gives no choice but to drop the tank, the Pickup gives you the choice of dropping the tank, or jacking the bed for access. Flat rate for doing both units on a dual tank application is about 3.5-4.0 Hours. I have done them both in less than an hour by jacking the bed for access to them. Here's how.

It really isn't hard to jack the bed on these applications, first protect the bed from the bumper at the left hand corner by stuffing a heavy towel or whatever between them, there may or may not be interference. Also check the clearance between the bed and cab, sometimes the front top lip of the bed will be bent forward, and may contact the back of the cab, this could cause a problem. There are six bolts attaching the bed to the frame rails that need the nuts to be removed on the right side, and left loose on the left, this is the pivot point, leaving the nuts on the end of the bolts on this side prevents the bed from slipping off the frame. The filler necks are left alone since they are on the left. The one real snag to this operation will be if the truck has a fifth wheel hitch installed, bed liners present no problem since the bolts through the bed are captive and do not need holding from the top. Those equipped with a canopy may be a problem if they won't clear the cab, those with a camper mounted, forget it.

After you get the bed loose, you can jack it from one of the bed rails that runs the width of the bed, you will need a tall bottle jack or figure your own way of doing it (of course make sure you block it up good for safety sake!). You need to get it up at least eighteen inches off the frame to allow enough room to remove the rear sender. The front one is the easiest, after you get the bed up off the frame you will be amazed how fast they can be swapped out.

This is the front tank sender installed.

This is the rear unit installed. Most pickups will allow this way of doing the senders with some variation of getting the bed up off the frame in some way, you will need to look at how it may be possible before attempting it. The last one I did was on a GM 96 full size with a single saddle mounted tank on the left (needed a pump). The filler neck had to be released from the left side of the bed (three screws), pivot point was on the right, bed was jacked on the left. Did this pump and sender in fourty five minutes (Chilton time, 2.0 hours).