E46Fanatics - View Single Post - DIY - FUEL FILTER CHANGE (with photos)
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:24 PM   #145
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 24
My Ride: '04 330i
Just did this today as part of the Inspection II kit from ECS. Most things have been covered but I wanted to just pull together some tips that worked for me which are spread across a few threads. I did not pull any fuses or "purge" the system by running/starting the engine until it wouldn't run etc... and spilled very little gas.

I did this just jacking up the left side and putting it on a jack stand. I removed the shield completely, I didn't find the front two nuts that hard to get to. The key to getting them is to have enough room to get both your hands in there. For me this meant ditching the creeper and just laying on the ground which gave me the 2 or 3 extra inches of room to lay more on my side and get in there with both hands.

Once the shield was out of the way and the clamp holding the filter was removed I loosened all the hose clamps and worked them up the hoses until they were completely past the nipple underneath so that they wouldn't bind when I was trying to remove the hoses.

On the front (engine side) of the filter I loosened the clamp closest to the filter, and on the rear I loosened the clamps closest to the hard fuel lines.

I used a pair of hose pinching pliers very similar to these which made gripping and twisting the hoses quite easy.

Make sure you have the plastic caps from the new filter handy. I removed the vacuum line and fuel hose from the front of the filter first, immediately capping the nipple from the filter with one of the plastic caps so that the filter didn't drain yet. The hose pinching pliers allowed me to pinch off the fuel line from the car while I got my pan into position at which point I let the fuel line from the car drain into a pan. Hardly anything came out even though I hadn't run it dry. Couple ounces at the most.

Before working on the rear of the filter I positioned the drain pan and then removed the cap from the front of the filter to drain most of the fuel before removing the lines at the rear of the filter. When the draining slowed I put the cap back on the front nipple so that it wouldn't continue to trickle.

Then I disconnected each of the rear hoses one at a time leaving the hose connected to the filter. As I disconnected each hose I capped the hard fuel line with my finger immediately as the hose slid off and then slid my finger off while capping with one of the plastic caps from the new filter.

After swapping the fuel hose stubs from the rear of the old filter to the new one I installed the new filter front end first. Then moved to the rear hoses.

Uncap one of the rear hard lines and cover with your finger, then slide your finger out of the way as you push the fuel hose over the hard line. Tighten clamp and repeat for second fuel line.

Doing it this way I spilled VERY little gas on me or the floor. No fuse pulling and running engine dry etc....

Last edited by james971; 11-22-2011 at 10:34 PM.
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