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I believe the fuel hat was somehow damaged when i replaced the fuel pump on my 2002 focus(build at the end of 01). I used a new seal that came with the replacement pump. I smell fuel when i filled with gas(coming from the access hatch i cut for the fuel pump). I also have an evap code and a stumble at idle when the evap is operating for the first few minutes of warmup. This makes me believe i have a vacuum leak at the seal of the tank. I checked all the hoses and replaced the evap solenoid, purge valve, and charcoal canister. I also tried a new tank cap seal with no luck. Now i'm thinking I should replace the fuel hat which i have not been able to find separately. I will likely replace with an entire new fuel assembly.

I was wondering if the newer 03-04 fuel assemblies with the spring loaded hats are a superior design and may help seal better. I know i need to cut the tabs in the tank to use this. Or should i just get an april 02 and earlier designed replacement to drop in.
 

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AFAIK from posts here the "early style" is not avail. & needs to be replaced with the later one when done.
 

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If you put a pump in the early style pump module then likely there are several things wrong with that, the replacement pumps only fit the later module and they fault quite easily in the early module. In fact, you can't put them together where they will work right, it's impossible. You may think it's right but it's not, will most likely cause issues further down the road.

'Hat', or top cover, cannot separate from pump module proper. Hat not the problem most likely anyway unless somehow you have cracked it. I have seen cracks in the boss where the fuel line plugs in, that could be your problem. The rubber seal below hat is generally the issue and you can find them for sale. You must be sure to screw the top ring all the way down, they tighten up to where you think they are tight but they haven't pinched the rubber yet to seal. Problem is worse during the summer, heat warps the tank opening to out of round and it can be big trouble just getting the ring started to not cross-thread it. Which could be your issue too. If you cut your metal hole with a cutting wheel, also very common to cut across the evap hose running on pass side of the tank. A nick in hose there at the back corner of hole will get you evap codes every time. I nicked mine and came up with a fix to positively seal it forever like a new hose without pulling it.
 
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