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Discussion Starter #1
Apologies for a lengthy post, but I'm covering several tank-related items herein.

First, a brief history of the problem. A good while back, a local Ford "specialist" shop went nuts replacing lots of different things in an attempt to extinguish the MIL lamp. They eventually threw their hands in the air and gave up, even adding insult to injury by jesting that I should put black electrical tape over the lamp -- this, after having charged me a LOT of unnecessary dough and fixing NOTHING.
Shortly thereafter, I fixed the prob by merely cleaning the MAF well, which proves they were: 1) completely incompetent, or 2) out to scam me royally -- even though you'd think an intentional and effective scam would end up eventually fixing the original prob so as to prevent the customer from realizing he'd been taken, or 3) both 1 & 2.
:zraped:

Anyway, one thing they unnecessarily replaced was the fuel pump. This one has made a grinding/rattling sound for a very long time when the fuel level is low (the original one never made a peep during its 32k miles). Yes, I know one shouldn't run a car on low fuel, but sometimes it happens. It has recently gotten noisier, scary noisy at times. There has, however, been no noticeable loss in performance. Still, I want to do something about this, NOW.
I might suspect a clogged filter could be causing grief for the pump, but it was noisy after I replaced the filter some time ago, so that isn't the culprit.

Is there a particular brand/model of pump which is known be just as reliable as the OEM one, at greatly reduced cost? Have any of you had probs with Performance Electric pumps? The description sounds promising and the pump + screen kit is only $46.79 from RockAuto: http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1400525
A new lock ring gasket isn't pictured but who knows it could be included, nevertheless -- if not, can I likely use the old one if I'm careful about removing the lock ring or must I replace that, too?
Motorcraft pump is only available as a complete unit with sender @ over $300 :crazy: , so I'm hoping an aftermarket will do the trick.
Is the turbine type noisier, albeit more reliable, than the roller-vane type? I've read that the turbines produce an audible whine. Must I buy a genuine Motorcraft pump to get the same blissful silence (even on low fuel) as when I first got the car back in 1996?
In case you're wondering, my Bird has carried me 74k miles (garage-kept and obviously not driven much), and this noisy pump is her second one.

Also, my Actron CP9185 scanner (in Ford mode) reports a P1443 DTC. Does the tank-mounted evap emission valve commonly go bad? Should I replace that while I have the tank off, just for good measure, or should I forget about it and concentrate elsewhere as per the service manual:
Possible causes:
-- Obstructed, open or cracked hoses between EVAP canister purge valve and intake manifold.
-- Damaged EVAP canister purge valve.
-- Damaged PF sensor.
Lastly, I checked the gallery and Google, but no joy, so could somebody link some photos of the correct tank shield/strap mounted arrangement for a '96 LX 4.6L? The passenger side of my tank has a large shield under it and that side of the tank is very secure, but the driver side is virtually unprotected and I can quite easily move it up and down with my finger, especially when the fuel level is low. Somehow I don't think it's supposed to flop around like that, repeatedly slamming down against the exhaust part of the shield. :facepalm:
This, btw, is not what's causing the grinding/rattle sound -- I pushed this side of the tank away from the exhaust shield and the noise persisted; it's louder on the passenger side as well.

There are two straps on my tank, as there should be, but the exhaust shield section has holes in a vertical rail that look like something should be attached to them on the driver's side.
I can't tell from my service manual how the entire shield is supposed to look in place -- this is why I'd like to see actual pics rather than illustrations. I'm betting with all the mods you guys have done to exhaust systems, there are bound to be some nice photos of this area floating around cyberspace.

The reason I suspect there may be a missing section of shield is because the morons at the Ford shop not only unnecessarily replaced the fuel pump, but they left the frame center support member loosely bolted to only one side, pointed forward and down! If that thing had hung on large debris or road kill or some such during an interstate trip, I could have been in big trouble! :redmad:
I hope the frame didn't suffer any severe stress before I noticed that.
I wouldn't be surprised if those idiots failed to replace things like shield sections.

TIA for any help.
 

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Evap problem is probably dry rotted hoses, they are located under the passenger side front bumper area and can be accessed by removing the inner fender splash shield. As far as fuel pumps go I'm a fan of walbro fuel pumps, supercoupeperformance.com has kits with instructions on the website for the install.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I'll check the hoses first.

I viewed the instructions as linked, but those pics didn't show me all of what I need to see.

If I can't get pics of that area from you folks, perhaps I can crawl under my car, take some shots and post them for you to see if all the parts are present.
 

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PostSlut
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where you at in Texas?
As there might be someone close to you with a bird/cougar that you could take a look at and compare.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Houston area. I could probably try checking the salvage yards, as there are plenty around here. OTOH, I'd have to be lucky to find one with everything intact under there. There may be some used car dealerships in the area with this particular year, but I'd have to put up with a sales pitch, which I tend to avoid like the plague.
 

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PostSlut
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Make a post in the Houston section under the Texas chapter....see if one of the other members might be able to assist in letting you look at their car....I would let you take a look at mine, but it won't do any good, as pretty much everything on my car is not stock anymore..
 

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IIRC, these cars have walbro brand fuel pumps stock. When I was installing my walbro 255, the one I removed had the W on it also. I would go with walbro.
-Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, I found a pic in the gallery. It's of a '97, which happens to be the same color as my Bird. My '96 tank shield looks the same, so I'll assume it didn't change between 96 and 97:

http://forums.tccoa.com/vbpicgallery.php?do=big&p=2114

I still think the driver's side of the tank shouldn't be loose, when the strap on that side is bolted down tight. I can't imagine why anyone would design a tank that continually flops around, obviously worse on rough roads, hitting the body/shield/body, just begging for a hole to be rubbed in the thing, or at least becoming a source of rattle.

Perhaps the shop left off some sort of filler-bumper which should go between the top of the tank and the body??
 
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