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Even pendantic gits cut the hole. Its the difference between two hours and days of breaking, swearing, ordering. And the tank is 2/3s full? You've watched too many movies to think the car will roll and explode in a horrible ball of flames
 

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TWO HOURS? It doesn't even take 30 minutes to drop the tank.

If the tank is full you just disconnect the filler, stick a Carter P74xxx into the hole, and pump the excess into a gas can or another car. Takes about 30 minutes.
 

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Yep. Two hours. MAX. From start of job, carefully cutting the D hole, R+R the pump, till car is driving and you're drinking a beer, the rest of the beautiful day ahead.
No fiddlin' with car ramps, crawlin' around getting the exhaust out of the way, 20-year rusted J-hooks, mostly full 100 lbs of gas tank. No way in 30 minutes, even with a lift and tranny jack. Then R+R the pump, THEN put it all back together. You will be coughing up dirt and rust for a week. Have never tried that in 30+ of these jobs cuz I'm not a masochist. Save that for the Sport SN, CV, SCs where you absolutely must drop tank.
 

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I can't speak to your experiences, but I have never had a fuel pump take more than 90 minutes on an OG9-3. With one exception, I drop the tank. Done five since May of 2018. The pump on my 9-3 Aero took a similar amount of time, maybe a bit longer as I had to fidget with the lock on ring as I don't own that tool.
 

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I also never planned to cut to access the pump. However, when my pump died yesterday, I decided it just wasn't worth dealing with tank removal. That is not fun. The fuel lines can also be very delicate and easy to damage. Plenty of problems could arise from removing the tank, so I'll be cutting.

Having spent a fair bit of time working under vehicles, I feel that it's not worth it unless absolutely unavoidable. Why risk personal injury if you don't have to.

And the ice & water barrier sounds like an excellent sealing solution, but it could be hard to acquire a small piece, as it's sold in large, expensive rolls. I'm pondering a cover fashioned from a piece of aluminum sheet. Then secure it with short self drilling screws (with the tips then filed down). Waterproofed with a bead of silicone.
Geoff, Try finding a local roofing contractors. He may have a scrap of Grace Ice and Water Shield he will sell,or give you. Aluminum piece will work, however be very careful,of screw length, as you mentioned and don't use any power tools or grinders that may cause sparks on the hole.
 

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I just jack at the jack point with the floor jack and a 1" thick block of wood to avoid the rockers. Then I put the stands under the rear axle mount where the pivot bolt is. If you place the stand carefully, it fits against the front part /edge of the mount and the axle can still pivot.

I'd cut the hole if your tank is 2/3 full. 3/4 tank is going to weigh 100# in fuel. You'd need to pump it out. No way I'd drop a tank with all that gas in it.

As for the strap bolts, I live(d) in the rust belt too. I've had to loosen the strap bolts on a number of these. While they always look like they are gone, they always loosen up. I try to spray with PB Blast a couple times on a couple days before if I can, but they always come loose. Deep socket.

Don't miss the fact that you only have to loosen the nut - Once it's back a 1/4" you can pull it out the not-so-obvious slot in the hanger and it's free. Also, there's a nut shape on the stud side of the strap bolt to put a wrench on and hold the stud from turning. Don't try to loosen the nut with the strap itself taking the torque. Once the strap(s) is down you can more easily pull the nut all the way off the stud and replace it with a fresh 8mm Nylock type.
 

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When I cut the hole, I used a trick from 'ol Jake: I cut three sides, leaving the rear uncut. Bend the metal up. When done, bend the flap back down... then figure out how to secure it... maybe a couple screws and small metal bands, Seal with something.

I was thinking of using a cover from a 9-5 but it turns out they are a round plug in and the surface has to be flat. I don't think that works on our floor. I don't know if the C900 had a bolt down cover. I know other cars have bolt-down covers but I've never gotten around to exploring at the u-pull,
 

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I mean... But like.... How often do fuel pumps get replaced? Once in a car's life? It just hardly seems worth getting upset about.
 

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There's aftermarket ones, including some fairly reputable brands that have failed in a year. and with summer coming up, a reminder to ALWAYS keep at least a quarter tank. Most failures occur when the tank has run way down on a super hot day and that fuel may be boiling, then you turn the engine off and put cold gasoline in and it shocks the pump into failure on restart. If you're in this situation, KEEP the engine running, and slowly squeeze fresh gas in so the temperature change is gradual.
 
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