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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 03-29-2016, 11:25 PM   #1
mattthecoxcomb
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 73
My Ride: 2005 325i
DIY fuel rail removal problems

Greetings all,

I recently replaced the CCV on my 2005 325i and chose to do so by removing the intake manifold. I know this is not required for the task but there doesn't seem to be consensus on the interwebs as to whether the job is any easier/takes less time when leaving the manifold on or not. Also, having not torn into my car at such depth before, I thought for me personally it would be easier if I could visualize what I was doing. I also replaced all associated CCV hoses, the intake manifold gaskets, and dip stick o-ring. It went pretty smoothly except for the fuel rail/injectors--which I now realize could possibly have been left in place on the manifold if I'd simply disconnected the fuel line quick release near the firewall.

Anyway, several of the upper o-rings detached from the fuel injectors when I pulled them from the fuel rail so I replaced them. I now know that I accidentally used the WRONG SIZED O-RINGS (confirmed with part numbers). When I finished the job and went to start the car, I first turned the key to location 2 to pressurize the fuel rail. Well predictably gasoline shot out the fuel rail cups and all over the intake manifold, the intake side of the crankcase and everything else below, eventually onto my garage floor.

How serious is this, besides the immediate fire hazard (which I believe has passed due to evaporation now that it's been about 5 hours)? Unfortunately it seemed like a fairly large volume of gas. I believe the starter still works (I cranked it twice before I realized what was going on). But I am concerned about damage to the fuel rail wire harness and anything electrical below the manifold (e.g. starter motor, wire harness, sensors, etc.). What, should I be worried about? What can I do to mitigate damage at this point? My plan was to go to the stealer tomorrow and purchase the proper o-rings, reinstall the injectors, and try firing it up again hoping for the best. Is there anything else I should do?

I realize this is a total noob mistake and accept ridicule accordingly. In advance, any thoughts and suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:56 PM   #2
iowna330xi
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chi-town, IL.
Posts: 649
My Ride: is not yet fast.
Don't come after me if I gave you bad advice, but I would just let it dry with the hood open. Happened to me taking my fuel rail out but not as much fuel. Had to wear my mask just to reassemble my car. P.s. If your manifold is still off remember to put clean towels in your intake to prevent water vapor from entering.

Last edited by iowna330xi; 03-29-2016 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:49 AM   #3
mattthecoxcomb
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 73
My Ride: 2005 325i
iowna330xi, absolutely not coming after you or any one for advice. Thanks for the quick reply! I think it's fairly common to spill fuel when taking out the fuel rail--I did it too. This was probably 5 times that amount and with the starter cranking for probably 10 seconds! I'm shocked pouring gasoline over a running electrical engine didn't spark an instant fire. I'm eaving the hood open overnight for sure--my whole house reeks! The manifold was on when I tried to start it and I haven't taken it off. Do you think I should? I don't think much gasoline actually got into the manifold or the cylinder head because the injectors were well seated in the intake manifold so all the fuel just ran from the rail over top of them like standing under a shower head.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:35 AM   #4
iowna330xi
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Location: Chi-town, IL.
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In that case, just let your car dry for a bit. Believe it or not, some people use gas as a cleaner on their engine!
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:23 AM   #5
svvg
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 6
My Ride: E46 M3 SMG
I had exactly the same problem. Just used brake cleaner m, let it dry properly, and had no problems.

Bmw charged me 58 for the top and bottom (12 in total) O-rings!!!
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ccv, diy fail, fuel injector replacement, fuel injectors, intake manifold removal

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