How to Change the Fuel Pump on a 1999 Ford Escort ZX2

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In 1997, Ford completely redesigned the Escort for the third time. This redesign, however, eliminated the high-performance GT trim level. The following year, Ford made good on its mistake by releasing a new high-performance model, known as the Escort ZX2. The 1999 Escort ZX2 has a tank-mounted fuel pump that delivers fuel from the tank to the injectors. When this pump fails, there is no need to drop the gas tank to get to it, as there is an access panel under the rear seat.

Things You'll Need

  • Combination wrench set
  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Hooked O-ring puller
  • Fuel pump ring remover
  • Torque wrench
  • Socket set

Depressurizing the Fuel System

  • Open the Escort’s hood and find the battery junction box on the driver’s side of the engine compartment. Press the unlocking tab on the battery junction box lid and remove the lid.

  • Remove the fuel pump fuse, which is on the far right of the box, second fuse from the front.

  • Start the Escort and allow it to idle until it stalls, eliminating all pressure in the fuel system.

Removing and Installing the Fuel Pump

  • Loosen the pinch bolt on the negative battery cable end, using a combination wrench, and remove the negative battery cable from the battery. Position the cable aside to prevent accidental reconnection.

  • Look at the front of the rear seat cushion and find the two plastic tabs. Press these tabs toward the cushion to unlock it and lift the cushion to remove it. Set the cushion in a safe area away from your workspace.

  • Find the fuel pump access door, the metal panel with two wires running through it, in the floorboard where the seat cushion was. Disconnect the wiring harnesses on the two wires by prying upward on the locking tab on each harness with a small flat-head screwdriver and separating each harness from the ZX2’s harness.

  • Remove the four screws securing the fuel pump access panel with a Phillips screwdriver and remove the door. Press the rubber grommets and fuel pump wires through the holes in the access panel to free them.

  • Press the fuel line toward its inlet on the fuel pump and pry upward on the plastic clip securing the fuel line, using a small flat-head screwdriver, to remove it. Pull the fuel line from the fuel pump.

  • Use a fuel pump ring remover and a ratchet to remove the locking ring on the fuel pump. Pull the cap off the fuel pump module.

  • Find the two small plastic locking tabs securing the fuel pump assembly. Squeeze the locking tabs together and pull the fuel pump module from the tank. Remove the old O-ring, if it stayed on the gas tank, with a hooked O-ring puller.

  • Guide the new fuel pump into the tank and press it downward until you hear the tabs click into place.

  • Press the new O-ring, which comes with the new fuel pump, into its groove on the underside of the fuel pump cap. Lower the fuel pump cap onto the fuel pump and hand-thread the locking ring. Tighten the locking ring with a fuel pump ring remover and a ratchet. Tighten the ring only until it is snug, as you do not want to bend the fuel pump cap.

  • Press the fuel line into its inlet on the top of the fuel pump and press a new plastic clip, which comes with a new fuel pump, into the slot on the end of the fuel line to lock it into place. Tug the fuel line lightly to assure it is locked in place.

  • Guide the fuel pump wires through their holes in the access door and press the grommets on the wires into the holes in the door until they seat into place. Set the access door back into place on the floorboard and tighten its retaining screws with a Phillips screwdriver.

  • Reconnect the negative battery cable and tighten the cable end’s pinch bolt to 6 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and socket.

  • Press the rear of the seat cushion under the rear seat-back cushion, making certain the seat belts do not get trapped under the seat cushion. Press the front of the cushion downward to lock it into place.

Pressurizing the Fuel System

  • Reinstall the fuel pump fuse into its receptacle in the battery junction box. Close the battery junction box’s lid.

  • Turn the ignition to the “Run” position and leave it there for about five seconds. Turn the ignition to the “Off” position. Repeat this step two times.

  • Start the engine and verify that it starts. If it does not start, recheck the installation of the fuel pump.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never smoke or have an open flame near your work area, as gasoline and its fumes ignite easily.

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Resources

  • Ford Professional Technician Services: 1999 Ford Escort Fuel Pump Replacement
  • Mitchell1 OnDemand 2: 1999 Ford Escort ZX2 Battery Junction Block Legend
  • Edmunds.com: Ford Escort History

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