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Old 12-11-2019, 07:39 PM   #1
Deesbimmer
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M56 to M54 Fuel Tank/Pump Swap Help

Hey guys i have an m56. Its low miles still almost 69k and i plan to drive it hard. I plan to sell it once i pass 100k or so as i would love a manual or e90 but im not really in a rush as i enjoy the sulev so far.

ANY HELP with the mystical fuel tank ??


Ive done some research but cant find a successful swap were someone either retrofitted a new fuel pump onto the m56 tank or entirely swapped over the m54 fuel tank from a donor/junk yard which could be easy to find.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:28 PM   #2
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Define "drive it hard." Does this mean you want to modify the car? If so, how?

AFAIK the entire fuel delivery system is M56- or M54-specific. Meaning you'd have to swap over fuel lines, evap system, etc etc. E46s being as cheap as they are, if you want to modify the car, it's much cheaper and easier to simply sell the car and buy an M54-powered one.

Otherwise, there's still a lot you can do on a M56 car (suspension, appearance, etc). There are a couple of folks on here with very nicely-sorted M56 cars.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:41 PM   #3
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yeah the internal fuel pump design is silly but i have learned to respect the m56. the ccv and valve cover on the m56 are so much better than the m54. and the fuel delivery system is all stainless steel? i would just keep the m56 and work with it. install a manual transmission if you want. i'm sure some folks here have already solved the fuel pump issue.
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:50 PM   #4
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If you're not particularly attached to the car and are already eyeing a replacement, I'd just do that. It will cost you a lot more money to keep the car after the fuel pump breaks.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:59 AM   #5
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I guess the decision is to either drive it until the fuel pump goes and junk it or part with it once im happy with the miles i got out of it which like i said probably 100k id start putting it up for sale.

Runs great
Its already got megan racing coils, aftermarket radio and I did a handful of maintenance so far with more little addons coming like rtabs and custom headliner.

If someone has solved this fuel pump issue i would love to know how so i can decide if i want to deal with the headache or not. Maybe someone will buy it off me on here


* So many people are asking an arm and a leg for high mileage e36/e46 so i dont think il have trouble selling it around 100k miles for 2-3k. Correct me if im wrong anyone

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Old 12-12-2019, 12:43 PM   #6
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with low miles I would just drive it. just be sure to use quality gas and not some “thrifty” gas stations (with unknown quality and bad tank filters). also don’t run your gas tank very low/empty. these things can cause early failure. otherwise the pumps can last 175k-225k without issue.
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:13 PM   #7
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No one tried inline 5-bar fuel pump?
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:21 PM   #8
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Someone with skills need to cut open the SULEV tank and remove the Fuel Pump. It can't be a magical part; it must have a part number on it. Replace, weld tank back together.
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:33 PM   #9
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Someone with skills need to cut open the SULEV tank and remove the Fuel Pump. It can't be a magical part; it must have a part number on it. Replace, weld tank back together.
That is what I would attempt, an M56 fuel pump replacement retrofit and document/photograph it. The basic plan would be:
- Drain out all fuel and clear out all fumes
- Cut open the tank at the top where the fuel pump mounts
- Carefully remove the old pump and level sender assembly
- Replace just the electric pump, I think it runs at 75 PSI
- Install an access panel, like what the M54 has, and retrofit the pump and level sender assembly to fit
- Install everything and check for leaks
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:01 PM   #10
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I don't want to be any where close to you when you start welding on a gas tank. Maybe practice welding sticks of dynamite together lol.

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Old 12-12-2019, 04:10 PM   #11
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i guess that is bad news
ha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
One of the problems is that the pump is controlled via PWM and regulated to 5-bar (atmospheric reference, not vacuum).

Personally I think your best hope is to use an e46 M3 fuel pump, relay, and regulator with the vacuum line disconnected. e46 M3 setup is designed to push 5 bar, so it should be able feed the SULEV system properly.
i like this idea of retrofitting the m3 equipment.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:26 PM   #12
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I don't want to be any where close to you when you start welding on a gas tank. Maybe practice welding sticks of dynamite together lol.

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The thing is plastic so there won't be any welding in the traditional sense.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:33 PM   #13
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I don't want to be any where close to you when you start welding on a gas tank. Maybe practice welding sticks of dynamite together lol.
Just steam it out and there's no issue whatsoever. A good shop will know what to do.

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The thing is plastic so there won't be any welding in the traditional sense.
The M56 tank is stainless, no?
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:49 PM   #14
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I don't want to be any where close to you when you start welding on a gas tank.
You remove the fuel fumes by displacement, either with water or an inert gas. Pretty common when fixing a metal gas tank.
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:49 PM   #15
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The M56 tank is stainless, no?
The lines are, the tank is still plastic.

Actually I see the pdf claims the tank is stainless, but that sure looks like plastic

Sulev:


Non-SULEV

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Old 12-12-2019, 05:50 PM   #16
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The lines are, the tank is still plastic.

so /almost/ all of the fuel system is stainless. i’m still jealous. to me that’s the appeal of the m56 sulev design.. it should last longer with fewer fuel delivery problems ..

but then the system fails catastrophically with the internal pump. so if the tanks are basically the same shape, i don’t understand why someone hasn’t already done this. no need because of the extended warranty?
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:54 PM   #17
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So realOEM does call it metal, but god damn that picture really looks like plastic to me. Don't physically have a tank in front of me to tap.

In any case, a swap is probably feasible, just somewhat involved. You'd either need to add a pump with a built in regulator and filter to the non-SULEV tank (perhaps a Z4/X3/E9x pump/regulator/filter can be made to fit), or you need to figure out how to add a filter and regulator to the existing lines.
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:06 PM   #18
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In any case, a swap is probably feasible, just somewhat involved. You'd either need to add a pump with a built in regulator and filter to the non-SULEV tank (perhaps a Z4/X3/E9x pump/regulator/filter can be made to fit), or you need to figure out how to add a filter and regulator to the existing lines.

at 2:12 in that youtube video above it shows where you could install the regular fuel filter/regulator from an m54?

btw i did see the local independent here (not the guy in the video) remove the tank from a sulev e46.

i remember asking him “hey isn’t that the one with the terrible fuel pump inside” and he said he was replacing it. i’ll find out whether he bought the whole tank. i think he may have done this pump mod already.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:14 PM   #19
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Interesting thoughts! The tank does look plastic i thought only the fuel lines were stainless. Anyway if i choose to keep it and take on the project i do feel like the m3 fuel pump retrofit would be the easiest for me to complete. Dropping the whole tank for a m54 swap is possible too but the vacuum and fuel lines seem involved and something that i dont want to messup.

Get back to me what your independent guy ended up doing.
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Old 12-13-2019, 02:52 AM   #20
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Interesting thoughts! The tank does look plastic i thought only the fuel lines were stainless. Anyway if i choose to keep it and take on the project i do feel like the m3 fuel pump retrofit would be the easiest for me to complete. Dropping the whole tank for a m54 swap is possible too but the vacuum and fuel lines seem involved and something that i dont want to messup.

Get back to me what your independent guy ended up doing.
I think the minimum needed is retrofitting the pump/sender unit to be removable and replacing the electric pump. Keep everything else as-is.
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