Allright, I finally got a chance to remove my fuel tank with the help of my very knowledgeable and very helpful Uncle. I tried to take as many pics as possible, but seem to miss getting any of the fuel tank being lowered by a small floor jack and thin 1x8 type board.
I have to say, the Haynes Manual was pretty spot on except for one small oversight. And funnily enough, the "quick" disconnects definitely took the most time. Especially the fuel pump/gauge electrical connector. More on that later.
I calculated the drive to my Uncles across the state, and rolled into his driveway after my fuel "Dummy" Light had been on for several miles. This only left a couple of gallons in my Fuel Tank and seemed very suitable enough for my experience. If you wish to siphon the tank completely dry that is of course an option and I leave that choice to you. I only lost a small amount of fuel through the fuel lines, just enough that you don't want it on the floor, so have a bucket or suitable container standing by for any over spill.
So lets get started shall we?
BEGIN BY PURGING ALL PRESSURE FROM YOUR FUEL SYSTEM
There are Three Steps:
(1) First remove the Gas Cap.
(2) Then disconnect the Fuel Pump Relay inside the Fuse/Relay box Under the Hood.
(3) Next Start your Engine and let it run until it dies. It may not start at all, but mine did crank up and run for just a few seconds then died just like the manual said.
NOW YOUR FUEL SYSTEM SHOULD BE PURGED OF ALL PRESSURE
Disconnect the Negative Terminal of your Battery
Now that the Fuel System is Purged and the Electrical System disconnected we can start removing the fuel tank.
Here is your gas tank rock guard cover. Behind it lies the gas tank...
It is held in place by only 4 nuts and is easily removed since it is lightweight but endurable plastic.
Here you can see the filler hose clamp screw through the cleverly placed access hole placed by the Toyota Engineers. Up and to the left you can also see the vacuum line quick disconnect, still embraced by it's yellow cover plate.
Loosen the Filler Hose Clamp by inserting your Phillips screw driver though this access hole.
Next unlike the instructions in the Haynes Manual, save yourself some time and go ahead and unsnap the yellow cover plate off of the vacuum line quick-disconnect BEFORE depressing the blue tabs and disconnecting the line with more force than you think would be necessary.
This is your Fuel Lines Quick Disconnects Cover Plate
Located just above and in front of your fuel tank.
Snap this off so you can get to the quick disconnect tabs.
Depress the Blue Tabs on each side of the lines and PULL
Leaving you with fuel lines like this. This is where I leaked good amount of Fuel. Have a bucket or suitable container ready to catch any fuel that runs out of the fuel lines. This seems to be the fuel that was trapped in the line forward of your tank, between the tank and the engine.
After this my Uncle was able to help, and things starting going fast. Before I realised it, the Tank was out and on the ground and I hadn't taking any more pics. I hope my words can paint a nice enough picture for ya...
Next we placed a small floor jack and about a 4 foot plank on top to support the fuel tank up against the bottom of the tank.
With slight pressure on the tank from the Jack, I disconnected the tank strap Pins by removing the retaining ring and hammering the pin out with a screwdriver and hammer. Then we removed the nut holding he strap on the other side. Repeat the process for the back strap and then the Tank is ready to lower slightly.
Lower the Tank slightly until you can get to the vacuum pump Quick Disconnect Line. This one was pretty stubborn, but keep at it and it will come off eventually.
Now Lower the Fuel tank just enough to get your hand over the top and get to the Electrical Connector. There is one Tab on the passenger side that only presses in with Great Effort and pressure. With only one hand, it was hard for me or my Uncle to press in enough to detent the tab and have any hand muscle/inertia left to force the connector up and off the pump. However, from the Driver's Side of the Tank My Uncle was able to somehow get it off. I know he had tried using a small screwdriver to assist him in applying pressure he may have used it the final time too.
Now you can lower the Gas Tank all the way down slowly while watching the fuel and vacuum lines for any snags.
Since its some sort of Plastic, the Tank is pretty light and manageable compared to other older tanks I have handled.
Slide the tank out from underneath the truck and begin removing the fuel pump retainer ring by disconnecting the fuel lines like so:
Remove these fuel lines by sliding/un-snapping the yellow holding clamps then pull up on the fuel lines to disconnect.
The blank hole is where the Electrical Connector that hangs on the frame of the truck was Disconnected.
My Retainer Ring was already cracked so we used a hammer and screwdriver to start to unloosen the ring. The little curly brackets are what keeps it from loosening and make it hard to take off. Just press in on the each curly tab as it approaches a stop and keep going around the ring and pressing in each tab in succession as you loosen the ring and eventually while one person presses down on the spring loaded pump the ring will unscrew the rest of the way off. (No Special Tool Required)
My Uncle held the pump down and in place once the Ring was off so that I could clean off all the dirt and debris from the top of the fuel pump, so no dirt or dust would fall into the tank once the pump was allowed to spring up.
Once it was relatively clean, we eased it up and replaced the fuel pump gasket while we were into it.
Then I replaced the Fuel Pump Retainer Ring with the New one.
Now the Haynes book says to stop turning the ring on, when the three lines on the cap are between two arrow markings on the tank. However after several tries, it was our experience that the retainer ring was too loose, since the fuel pump could still be pressed down and spring back up. We didn't want any more fuel leaks, so we kept going just enough until the fuel pump wouldn't spring up any more...which was turned out to be an extra half turn around. Hopefully this will prove OK. No leaks yet and everything operates as normal.
Reconnect the Fuel Lines and Yellow Retainers
Then we slid the Tank back under the truck and on the jack and board.
Everything was pretty much in reversal from here...jack it up enough to connect the Electrical connector and vacuum line to the vacuum pump. Then jack it into place by the markings on tank and frame.
Start the Tank Strap Nuts onto their bolts, just enough to hold them...this leaves enough play in your straps to slide the Pins in and complete with Retainer Ring. Once the strap pins are in, tighten the Strap Nuts all the way Tight.
Reconnect the Fuel Line quick connects and Reinstall Cover.
Connect filler vacuum line and yellow cover.
Connect Filler Hose and Tighten Clamp.
Replace Fuel Pump Relay
Reconnect Negative Battery Terminal
Reinstall Gas Cap
Crank Engine and MOC Fuel Tank by filling up and watching for leaks.
All in all it only took me and my Uncle about 6 hours. Hopefully you can have better luck and quicker time.
$70.00 dollars in parts and 6 Hrs of my time VS $400.00 dollars for the Dealership to do it.
I think I made the right choice. And you will too!
NOTE: According to the Haynes Manual there is supposed to be some big dark cover over the whole retainer ring/fuel lines/ and electrical connector to protect them. Mine was strangely missing. And given that the old retainer ring looked to be baked and one "spoke" was actually black as to have been burnt...I can only conclude that sunlight came through the space between the bed and cab just enough to "Bake" the front edge of the Fuel Pump Retainer Ring until it cracked in two. Look in between your drivers side cab and bed (Ext Cab Model at least) and make sure that Cover is there on top of your tank and that you CAN'T see your Retainer Ring. If your cover is missing too, this may be a problem, I can't say for sure, just my suspicion.