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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 05-10-2014, 12:56 AM   #1
Bim3Por911
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DIY Fuel Filter Question

I have an early (9/99 build) e46 with the M52TU (2.8 liter engine). It has the simple and cheap fuel filter with NO internal regulator on the front end and only two ports, one in the front and one in the back.

The Bentley Manual shows the arrows on the filter pointing forward towards the engine. When I pulled the cover and looked at my filter I saw that the arrows pointed rearward. Is this possible? Has anyone seen a filter installed with arrows pointing aft? I've seen some posts that say the engine won't run if the filter is in backwards. I've never seen one with the fuel flowing through the filter back toward the tank.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:17 AM   #2
Brandon002
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The arrow should always go in the direction of fuel flow... I have never seen one installed backwards so I can't say if the engine will run or not. I would assume it would, maybe a bit on the crappy side though.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
Bim3Por911
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I've had the car three years and it's never had driveability issues. I'll go with the Bentley Manual and install it with the arrows facing towards the nose. I can't imagine the filter would be mounted on the return side of the system. The Bentley Book shows the discharge end of the filter closest to the fuel pressure regulator module. Worst thing that can happen is that I have to repeat the job.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:30 PM   #4
TheMagicalHindu
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The ends are different... It's literally impossible to put it in backwards. Are you sure you have the right fuel filter?
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:31 PM   #5
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The arrow should point towards the engine. It's the direction of the flow of fuel... Make sure you remove the right fuse before you start too or else you will have fuel everywhere. I can't remember which one off the top of my head
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:21 PM   #6
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sure it's possible, there are monkeys with tools butchering cars everywhere

learn here, fix your car yourself, the right way
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:27 AM   #7
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sure it's possible, there are monkeys with tools butchering cars everywhere



learn here, fix your car yourself, the right way

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Old 05-12-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
Bim3Por911
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Well, when I was looking at the filter I was turned around. The arrows were pointing forward. The job is pretty easy. All I needed was an 8 mm or 5/16 deep socket and a 6 mm socket. The filter had been previously done and had the Euro style non-perforated radiator clamps on the hose. I had done the job once before on a car with the M54 engine but didn't remember it too well. Next time will be easier.

It's not Poke-a-Yoke, it is possible to put the early style filter that goes with the M52TU engine in backwards. The ends are similar. The discharge though is stamped "Auf" and that is for fuel going toward the injector rail.
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