I took the fuel pickup/sender unit over to R&W the weekend before last to see how it would fit – and it didn’t. The whole top plate has too big a diameter, and it’s supposed to be screwed down to the tank. My tank, by contrast, expects the pickup/sender to be held in place by a cam-style locking ring.
Back to the drawing board.
I did some more research last week, and somehow came at it from a different angle – I don’t know whether it was just a different search phrase, or I clicked on a different link somewhere, or what, but I managed to find something that *looked* like it might work! But rather than assume it would, as I had done (to my chagrin) the first time, I decided to see if Customer Support might be able to help. Since a floating “Need help? Contact Customer Support!” window was drifting by, I snagged it and connected with June.
I explained that I had found what I thought I needed, and asked if she might be able to provide some dimensions on the part so I could see if it might fit. I gave her the part number so she could find it, and also the part number of the tank I had bought from them so she could find *that*.
June did her magic and gave me a part number for a fuel pump. I checked it out and it was *just* the pump – no pickup or fuel-level sender or anything else. So we went back and forth a few more times, and she said that the unit I had found (which includes the fuel level sender, the two fuel line connections [feed and return], the air vent connection, and the connector for an electric fuel pump) would fit the tank, but they didn’t carry it for a ’97 Chevy P30 Step Van.
Then I had a thought – would the unit I found fit the tank for a different year Step Van? I did a little more digging, and found that it was guaranteed to fit the 40-gallon tank for a ’91 P30. Then I went back to the tank I had actually bought, and found that *it* would fit ’87 – ’97 P30s. So instead of building a fuel delivery system for a ’97 P30, I’m now building one for a ’91 model. Same tank, same basic pickup system. -sigh-
I think what happened between ’91 and ’97 is that Chevy went from TBI to MPI, which requires a higher fuel pressure (I think). Anyway, it meant that the pickup wasn’t *used* in 1997, not that it didn’t *fit*. I just had to find the right combination of parts and model years to get something usable.
[Note to self: Make a permanent note somewhere that the fuel system is “from” a ’91 Chevy P30 Step Van. It will make life *ever* so much easier if/when the pump has to be replaced!]
I ordered the pickup, a pair of tank-mounting straps, and a couple of other things, and will take it all to Robert when I get it.
In other news, Robert was bending some tube for the back roll bar when I last visited him. Here are the pictures I took:
And that’s it for right now. More to come – LOTS more to come! Stay tuned…