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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 08-03-2006, 11:45 AM   #21
markusmark
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Call Fuse 54

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander FAT
What's fuse 54?
It's fuse for the fuel pump.
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:12 PM   #22
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How do you know when to change this? And what are the drawbacks if I dont do this?
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikster View Post
How do you know when to change this? And what are the drawbacks if I dont do this?
A fuel filter is changed every Inspection II. If you don't ever change your fuel filter then bad stuff will make it's way into your engine, or it will clog and starve your engine of fuel. Then you'll pay $4000 diagnosing why your engine blew up when it is really just a clogged fuel filter for $20.

If in doubt, change it anyway. It can't hurt.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:17 PM   #24
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One more hint: If you plan to replace the fuel hoses, then be sure to have some sort of stopper or plug ready (actually, two; the golf tees didn't work on the stiff lines) to block the fuel lines coming from the tank, because the lines are metal and can't be pinched like the hoses. I was not planning to replace the hose, but had some spare hose at hand, just in case. Then, the filter was just not coming off the old fuel hoses, so I decided to just cut them off. I had asked the dealer how much fuel would leak out and I was told it was definitely just whatever the lines between the tank and the fuel filter hold. So, I had a 0.5 liter water bottle handy and was patiently waiting for the "few drops" to come out. I thought there'd be some sort of check valve in the lines... Well, I completely filled my 500 ml bottle, and the stuff was still gushing out! Had just filled up earlier the day, too. 16 gallons, here we come!!! To say the least, I was a bit surprised. However, I must say that I had earlier depressurized the fuel rail (doing my S/C install), maybe that makes a difference, I don't know. Just be ready. Pretty stupid if you have to keep one thumb on the fuel line, while using the other hand, your head and both feet to grab a hold of some other container. I actually was able to kick a storage shelf until an aluminum turkey pan dropped out, which I could reach... OMG, certainly my silliest DIY-blunder so far...
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:25 PM   #25
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Just finished with this and thought I'd chip in with a couple more tid bits.

You can see that there are two hoses on the "in" side. One is labeled "in" and the other "rtn". The blue line should go in the "rtn" and the black in the "in". I don't think you can hook it up the other way very easily and still attach the "out" side hoses but just in case...

Also, if you want to stop the leaking (in my case, the rtn line leaked like crazy) just use the caps that came with you new filter. They fit right over the line (with the hose removed) and occlude it nicely.

Lastly, if you want to replace the hoses it looks like you have to buy a length of hose and cut the three segments to match. I took mine off and cleaned them with gas. No obvious signs of wear so I just reused mine. I'm going to replace them with the next filter change in about 30K miles.

Last edited by Jon325iT; 09-20-2007 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:00 AM   #26
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Great write up guys. thanks for the tips.

What size hose was purchased? Are they bmw specific or?
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:39 AM   #27
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Im sure you can go to your nearest auto parts store and find the right size. I did this yesterday hoses looked fine so I just used 3 new clamps. Hardest part was taking the off the hoses from the old filter and probably leaked a 1/4 of a liter of gasoline.

Tip: Before you remove the old fuel filter you may want to mark on the new filter F for front R for rear and B for bottom (or mark an arrow or I for inside)to avoid possibly installing it the wrong way.


5 VACUUM HOSE BLACK 3,3X1,75 part # 51731257971 (per pelicanparts.com)
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:42 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jonny05 View Post
Im sure you can go to your nearest auto parts store and find the right size. I did this yesterday hoses looked fine so I just used 3 new clamps. Hardest part was taking the off the hoses from the old filter and probably leaked a 1/4 of a liter of gasoline.

Tip: Before you remove the old fuel filter you may want to mark on the new filter F for front R for rear and B for bottom (or mark an arrow or I for inside)to avoid possibly installing it the wrong way.


5 VACUUM HOSE BLACK 3,3X1,75 part # 51731257971 (per pelicanparts.com)
jonny

Did you use regular screwdriver type clamps? Were you able to clamp down the lines? I have bought some of those red $3 clamps and I am thinking of maybe using them. Are there rubber hoses on both sides of the filter?

I believe I did read somewhere that the older 46 models (mine is 98 production) only have one hose in and one hose out. Anybody care to confirm that?
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:18 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Alekm View Post
jonny

Did you use regular screwdriver type clamps? Were you able to clamp down the lines? I have bought some of those red $3 clamps and I am thinking of maybe using them. Are there rubber hoses on both sides of the filter?

I believe I did read somewhere that the older 46 models (mine is 98 production) only have one hose in and one hose out. Anybody care to confirm that?
I bought the clamps from Tischer bmw which are both I believe. There are rubber hoses on both sides 3 are the same size.

Best thing to do is go underneath and check it if you are unsure but according to Pelicanparts one in and one out for your model.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:42 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Jon325iT View Post
Just finished with this and thought I'd chip in with a couple more tid bits.

You can see that there are two hoses on the "in" side. One is labeled "in" and the other "rtn". The blue line should go in the "rtn" and the black in the "in". I don't think you can hook it up the other way very easily and still attach the "out" side hoses but just in case...

Also, if you want to stop the leaking (in my case, the rtn line leaked like crazy) just use the caps that came with you new filter. They fit right over the line (with the hose removed) and occlude it nicely.

Lastly, if you want to replace the hoses it looks like you have to buy a length of hose and cut the three segments to match. I took mine off and cleaned them with gas. No obvious signs of wear so I just reused mine. I'm going to replace them with the next filter change in about 30K miles.
Great tips. That is exactly what I did too! I ended up having to cut my connecting fuel hoses because they just would not come off the fuel lines. Put new connecting hoses on, lubed inside with some oil and they slipped right onto the fuel lines.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:33 AM   #31
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thanks for the info I changed my filter this morning. apart from geting my head sparayed with fuel it all went well. I thought my o2 sensors needed replacing because the car was running like a dog but after taking the old filter off and trying to blow through it i found it was completly blocked up.

the cars running 150% better now thanks.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #32
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Getting the head sprayed with fuel seems pretty common, including myself.
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:10 PM   #33
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OK, I just did this on my 2000 323I with a build month of May 2000 and 85K miles. All of the information and insights from this and other forums/web sites was very helpful. I don't normally work on my cars, but I really don't like to pay the $160/hr. BMW shop fee here in South Florida so I've become a DIYer for PM. I did run into one major issue that I will discuss in item 5 below. Here are some things I ran into and how I overcame them as a novice. I'm sure many of you will and can do better.

1) My filter has only one inlet and outlet so that made it a bit easier than those with multiple hoses. I do not know if mine had been changed before, but the one that was there was a Bosch. I replaced it with a Wicks(sp) filter I bought at the local parts store. Maybe not the best, but I'll be changing it again in 15,000 miles so I'll put a Bosch on then.

2) The filter was further into the center of the car than what I had imagined from the info I'd read. Even the Bentley manual did not give a good description of the location. It is about 1.5 feet in from the left edge of the car, slightly aft of the forward jack point on the left side under the driver. I took the protective shield completely off as it didn't look like it would bend without breaking. Be advised that on my car there was a protective shield over something that is very close to the left underside of the car. This is not the fuel filter.

3) I purchased some replacement hose clamps (2) at the local BMW dealership ($1.73/ea), but I did not replace the hose sections. Everything looked very good and very clean before I got started. It was not a problem at all to loosen or tighten the hose clamps using a flat-head screwdriver. Getting the bracket off was quite easy as well. I found that turning the filter made it easier to get it off the hoses.

4) Even though I had pulled the circuit breaker for the fuel pump (#54) and turned the engine over as much as possible there was still a fair amount of residual pressure in the line. DO NOT forget to wear eye protection and have kitty litter ready to put down to collect fuel. I had my pan to collect the fuel, but the pressure did spray it around a bit. Once the fuel started coming out in a stream I left everything in place (filter still partially inserted in to the hoses) and let the fuel and pressure bleed off. While I was waiting I remembered I hadn't opened the gas cap so I did that, but I don't know if it made any difference. Once the fuel was just dripping out I then completely removed the hoses. This caused a very short burst of air and fuel to come out, but it wasn't much. All in all I got maybe two or three cups of fuel on the ground and in the catch pan. I got more out of the filter once I had it off and in a bucket. That fuel was dirty and had shiny specs of something floating in it. The dirty fuel came from the input side.

5) Installing the filter and hose clamps was easy and as I said I was able to use a flat-head screwdriver to tighten the clamps. The real problem arose while trying to get the filter bracket back around the new filter and onto the car. The old and new filters have a hard rubber "sleeve" around the middle where the bracket and car body is going to touch it. I assume this is to protect the filter from rubbing against the bracket and the underside of the car. The new "sleeve" isn't pliable so the bracket would not easily wrap around the filter and onto the threaded post on the bottom of the car.

To make a long story short I wasn't able to get enough force on the bracket to put it over the threaded post let alone keep it in place long enough for me to get the nut on. I did get it on once, but as soon as I released pressure it slid back down the post. This made me nervous, as I didn't want to strip the threads. After a very frustrating hour or so I decided I had to do something similar to what I'd done to get my disposal in place under my sink - I used the floor jack to push the filter up and keep it in place while I put the nut on. (My car was on jacks in the front.) I placed a piece of wood on the floor jack and positioned it so the wood only pushed up on the filter and bracket and not the car. It's amazing what a little leverage will do! This worked well and in no time I had the bracket securely in place.

The rest of the process was as others have described. Based on the fuel I got out of the output side I'd say it was doing its job. Thus, I probably didn't need to change it, but it was a good experience none-the-less. It may be just wishful thinking, but I sensed smoother and more responsive acceleration after changing the filter. I hope this posting helps someone even if it was a bit long winded.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:09 AM   #34
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An addendum for fuel filter DIY... I used this link and...

http://bimmerinfo.com/diy/fuel-filter/

If you have the later car with the fuel clamps that can't be tightened with a socket or with a screwdriver...the key tool is a 5.5mm ignition wrench. I used a craftsman from a small set sold in a vinyl pouch. The clamps only have 2 flats, not six. Once I figured that out the only problem was what size. I guess any 5.5mm open end wrench would work fine.
Also, I couldn't figure out how to get the shield off without going really far into the interior, (didn't bother trying) it appears to be screwed in from the driver foot area, really odd. The only way is to bend it out of the way. BTW my fuel pump makes less noise now on startup. My car has 68k miles.

Oh PS, my 2 local dealers say they do NOT do a fuel pump at inspection 2, unless you ask & pay for it, it's not included with the maintenance program. This DIY took roughly 1 hour including getting the ramps out, etc. from start to finish. I need a shower now!
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:17 AM   #35
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I just replaced my fuel filter, and had some more tips.

I depressurized the fuel system by pulling fuse 54 and running and revving the car until it died. This resulted in very little fuel spillage, what was spilled was just what was in the old filter. As I emptied the old filter, all the gas had black stuff in it, along with small particulate matter, like sand. The hose clamps are a bit difficult to close when they are covered in fuel, but you must use a pair of pliers. After everything was buttoned up, I let the car sit with the key in position 2 for a few seconds to build up the fuel pressure, but I still had to crank it twice. My service engine soon light was on, and the engine was running very roughly and had a significant loss of power. After driving around for about five min., everything was fine. The light went out and the engine was running smoother than before. Also, it seemed as if the engine was a bit peppier than before as a result of the new filter. I have just over 65K miles, so anyone in that mileage might want to replace theirs as well.

I should start posting anytime I do any sort of maintenance, it makes it so much easier to remember when I did it last!!

I think I have done this again since 65K, it is really a great DIY.

Be careful though.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:43 PM   #36
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Fuel sprayed out like a garden hose from the first hose (the one towards the front of the car) I took off. This is with me pulling the fuse and cranking a few times as well as taking the gas cap off. Good thing I had safety glasses on because I had a gas sprayed all over my face! I'd recommend wrapping a rag around the first hose clamp to dampen the fuel spray.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:04 AM   #37
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What about diesel fuel filters- are the main principle the same? i have heard that after removing the old one i should fill the new filter with diesel fuel before installing it on the car- have someone done that?
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:16 PM   #38
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Just did mine for the first time using this DIY and the one on the link... Took me 40 mins or so to do! Next time it will take no more than 30 mins for sure!!! It appears that my hoses (or pieces of hoses) will need to be replaced very soon... I did not feel like driving to the auto parts store but I will be changing them very shortly!

Again... the procedure for the change is very straight forward and full of common sense (you cant do something until you have completed something else!).

I hate those lil clamps... Its stupid that you can only unscrew them with a flat head screwdriver but you cant put them back using the same flathead... You must use a plier!!! I PLAN ON CHANGING ALL CLAMPS TO NORMAL FLATHEAD SCREWDRIVER ONES WHEN I REPLACE MY HOSES because it is really annoying knowing that your job is done but it takes longer to tighten them clamps again than it did to change the filter! LOL

Anyways... THANKS AGAIN TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED to this DIY. It was VERY HELPFUL!

Migz
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:36 AM   #39
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did you guys buy the fuel filter at the dealer? How much is it?
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:02 PM   #40
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Ordered mine from Autohaus, they sell the Mahle filter. The one I took off my car was Kayser, but Mahle works just fine. It was $42. I'm sure its a lot more expensive at the dealer.
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