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Change the Fuel Pump DIY, 2004 XC70

New MVS member — and now MVS Contributor — Allgonquin cranks a DIY out of the park with this very nice DIY writeup w/ photos on how to change the fuel pump on a 2004 Volvo XC70:

OK, I think this is my first post, bear with me. I researched this topic on the net before doing it myself, but didn’t find a really definitive DIY. So here is a shot at a step by step replacement of the fuel pump on my relatively new-to-me 2004 XC70. Symptoms were a strong fuel smell on the exterior of the car, more prevalent on the passenger side. Did the research, read about the recall, called Volvo, the extended warranty on my car expired in June, so I missed it. Volvo customer rep on phone said to take it in and, if diagnosed, they _might_ help me. Had a buddy who did the job on his 2004 XC90, his skills are roughly equivalent, so I decided to go for it. Good for me he had bought the special tool. So here goes.

Fuel Pump DIY, 2004 XC70

DO THIS JOB WITH AS LITTLE GAS IN THE CAR AS POSSIBLE. MY COMPUTER SAID 70 MILES RANGE, BUT THERE WAS STILL (surprisingly) A LOT OF GAS IN THE TANK.

Special tools needed: pump retaining ring tool. Ebay is a good source. 

OK, let’s start.

Disconnect the battery. Raise the rear seat bottoms. Pull the bolsters on each side. Pull the top towards the front of the car to free it, then pull the whole thing up.  Now we can start to remove the seat. We only need to take out the passenger (wide) side of the rear seat. Disconnect the seat wiring on each side of the car. Note the bolt head near that plug, you will need to take that out also. Now we are going to take out two more large bolts for the seat removal.   

Note all these bolts have paint marks from inspections in the factory.  The second photo shows a bolt which is actually mounted horizontally into the side structure of the car. It’s hard to tell the orientation on the photo, but it has a locating tab also. These bolts hold seatbelts which have to come out with the seat. Now undo the tiny bungees under the seat.


At this point you can remove the seat. It is not physically attached to the driver’s side portion of the rear seat. You just lift up the seat, and move the outer side a bit forward so you can pull it towards the outside of the car through the door. It is heavy and clumsy, and you might have to “work” it to get the big hinge pin out of the other seat section, but it will come out.

Now we’re going to lever up the plastic trim on the carpet and padding. Use a plastic trim tool or carefully use a screwdriver or putty knife or something. Just one pin and one male part of the trim.

Now we remove the black steel bar which I think is used as the base for the rear seat bottom to rest on. Two bolts – we only need to remove this to raise the padding and expose the pump cover.

OK, finally, we can fold up the carpet and padding, and expose the pump cover.

Pump cover exposed
pump cover

By the way, you expose the other cover on the driver’s side of the tank by popping the trim the same way on the driver’s side, but you don’t have to remove the seat or the seat mount bar. Here is what it looks like when you fold back the padding. I used some plastic clamps to keep it out of the way. Fold it back as much as possible to give you room to work when pulling the pump. Here is what my pump looked like. It was all wet with fuel, and lots of wet dirt and grit. No wonder the car stank… Note the retaining ring, two fuel lines, and electrical plug. Now you can do the best you can cleaning up the crud, and disconnect the fuel lines by pushing in the white plastic square button on the end fitting – they slid off easily for me. Clean some more after you remove those connections. And blast out the ends of the fuel lines with WD40 or something to clean any crud out of them. Now you can use the special tool and loosen the retaining ring. I used a 6″ x 1/2″ extension on the ratchet. Here is what it looks like without the ring. Clean it up some more.

Now or before this would be a good time to remove the tank cover on the driver’s side, and take out the level sensor, etc. The tricky part to this whole job is the fact that there are two suctions on the fuel pump. One on the pump itself, and then there is a ~2-3′ extension suction line to the other side of the tank, under the other cover. You take this retaining ring off the same way but there are no connections. The cover actually holds another level sensor, and it also “fixes” the other pump suction. Hard to describe, but you will see it when you pull the cover up on that side. Here is what you are pulling up (sitting upside down in the photo). At the end of the suction line is a plastic piece which fixes on the bottom of that piece. Obvious when you see it, but hard to describe. Now or before this would be a good time to remove the tank cover on the driver’s side, and take out the level sensor, etc. The tricky part to this whole job is the fact that there are two suctions on the fuel pump. One on the pump itself, and then there is a ~2-3′ extension suction line to the other side of the tank, under the other cover. You take this retaining ring off the same way but there are no connections. The cover actually holds another level sensor, and it also “fixes” the other pump suction. Hard to describe, but you will see it when you pull the cover up on that side. Here is what you are pulling up (sitting upside down in the photo). At the end of the suction line is a plastic piece which fixes on the bottom of that piece.

Obvious when you see it, but hard to describe. Now or before this would be a good time to remove the tank cover on the driver’s side, and take out the level sensor, etc. The tricky part to this whole job is the fact that there are two suctions on the fuel pump. One on the pump itself, and then there is a ~2-3′ extension suction line to the other side of the tank, under the other cover. You take this retaining ring off the same way but there are no connections. The cover actually holds another level sensor, and it also “fixes” the other pump suction. Hard to describe, but you will see it when you pull the cover up on that side. Here is what you are pulling up (sitting upside down in the photo). At the end of the suction line is a plastic piece which fixes on the bottom of that piece. Obvious when you see it, but hard to describe.

So… finally, you are ready to put in the new pump. Installation is the reverse of removal, as they say. It is rather finicky to get the new pump in, and as you are putting it in you draw the suction line over to the driver’s side. Careful of the level sensor on the pump. In my case the pump didn’t feel exactly like it was going all the way down, but I believe it is designed to more or less rest on the bottom of the tank and there are spring mounts which give it some gentle pressure to stay in place, so you have to press the tank cover down with a bit of force before starting to rethread the retaining ring. I used a new O ring for the pump side, but not the driver’s side cover.

Here is a photo of the new pump in place with the fuel lines connected but not the electrical. Do not forget to connect the very small electrical connection on the end of the suction line either!

New pump in place
the new pump in place with the fuel lines connected

Just be slow and methodical, and don’t force things, and you can do this job in 3-4 hours. Now go have a beer and congratulate yourself on saving $800 or so by doing it yourself compared to the dealer!

Let’s change the fuel pump on a 2004 XC70

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