Saw this thread and figured I would contribute a little bit myself.
Originally Posted by 75thrangertaco
dodge has been doing it since the 90s, all the manufacturers are trending toward this, it sux but what can you do.its called planned obsolecense. this lowers the service life of the entire fuel system from the pump to the injectors. therfore they sell more parts, also imagine the savings toyota had not having to buy a one dollar fuel filter for the millions of cars and trucks they make every year,not to mention having to pay workers to install them on the line.as far as the filter being part of the pump.. most cases thats crap. its usualy a screen that mounts to the bottom of the unit and its pretty coarse.its only ment to keep the larger particles out of the pump.i have taken apart several pump moduals, although not from a taco. i have never found any other filter inside other than the one stated above.as far as the fuel cooling the pump. this is verry true and i try not to let it get below 1/8th tank. remember your pump sits in the lowest part of the tank called the sump section.this is also your reserve.like when your truck reads empty you still have a little fuel left and its more than enough to cover the pump. you just dont want to run out, as the impellers inside the pump itself are usualy plastic composite.they burn up and you lose pressure and volume.sorry about the long post lol
I have to put out my opinion (which is just like yours, an opinion) That your theory on why the manufacturers do the things they do is so they can sell more parts, is more a conspiracy theory, and not based on fact. The engineers are there to follow EPA and government standards, while trying to make a vehicle that will last, and cost the manufacturer less money to produce. Simple economics of a business. They are not out to "plan" a part to fail in a certain amount of time. That is my opinion, and it is based on over 20 years of working in the industry, as well as for different manufacturers.
As for why almost ALL manufacturers (not just Dodge, Ford, Toyota, GM) have gone to the internal fuel filter, it is for several reasons, one of them being longevity. Your fuel filter should not need to be serviced if it is the internal design. This means it helps the owner in MOST driving conditions and situations to save money. No fuel filter changes needed every 30k miles means a savings of nearly $600 over the lifetime of a vehicle, assuming the vehicle reaches 200k miles, which is not unheard of anymore in today's automobiles. This alone disproves the "planned obsolescence" to get more money idea.
Why put it in the tank? Today's fuels are typically much cleaner, and the federal standards for fuel stations have become more strict than ever. This means that in a TYPICAL life of a vehicle, the fuel system does not get much "trash" in it anymore. Also the fuel pumps have a much tighter tolerance and in order to retain their efficiency, need to be sure that the fuel is "pre-filtered" before the pump gets it. Trash in pump equals failed pumps in the future. Therefore the need to have a better pre-filter.
Originally Posted by Old Soul
I read somewhere here on the forum for preventive future maintenance requirements- to refill your gas on 2nd gen tacos before the fuel level gets to low because the fuel pump is in the tank and uses the gas to keep itself cool. this would obviously be more important during the summer time..
While I always say you should never allow your fuel level to get below a quarter tank for purely personal reasons such as if you refuel at 1/4 tank then you never risk "pushing it" and running out of gas, or not able to find a good station before it is too late. Not to mention no matter where you live, there are always storms and power outages. Don't want to have a near empty tank after a freak storm knocks out power to all the local gas stations. Although the semi-recent law requiring fueling stations to have backup generators does reduce the risk.
The fuel pump cools itself by flowing fuel through the motor housing. This alone is sufficient enough to keep it running cool. The pump does gain some cooling from being immersed in the fuel, but it is not required. Manufacturer's tolerances take all of this into account.
As a side note, I simply state that all the information I give is based on my years of experience in the industry itself. My opinions
are not based on conjecture or any "theory" that I hear from any sources. They are based on what I personally have observed in my career.