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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-25-2010, 01:29 AM
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When I spill gasoline and it flows into holes at 3 & 9 o'clock ... where does it go?

I spill a lot of gas (both at the pump and when pouring it in from a can).

I see it drains down these two little holes at 3 and 9 o'clock.

At first, I thought it was draining down into the tank ... but then someone told me it might be going into (ruining?) the charcoal cannister.

Do you know where the gas goes once it enters these two little holes?

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  #2  
Old 09-25-2010, 02:47 AM
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See step #7. Picture with the red arrow, and the picture with the red circle.
It points to an overfill drain line, that goes around the wheel well, and spill the overflow into the ground.

mw






BMW E39 Siren Replacement


Prepared by VietSB - 01.03.02



1. Purchase one of the following from BMW:
- P/N 65 75 8 383 153 (new-style "plain roadrunner beep" siren - $74 from PacificBMW.com)
- P/N 65 75 8 368 267 (old-style "wolf whistle" siren)

2. Remove passenger-side rear tire.
3. Remove (3) plastic body fasteners towards the rear of the fender liner. Use pliers to carefully pull out the center pin which releases the fastener. Note: Not all fasteners are shown in the picture.


4. Remove (2) 10mm plastic nuts in the middle of fender liner, next to the shock.
5. Remove (3) 8mm bolts in the front underside of the fender liner.
6. Remove the fender liner working from the back to the front. Use careful navigation and some strategic tugging.
7. Pay careful attention to the black plastic hose (Pic #1) clipped to the fender liner and leading to the fuel filler overflow. It should detach on its own from the fuel filler area above (Pic #2).


8. The original siren will be in the rear of the wheel well (Pic #1). Unplug the wiring harness and remove the (2) 10mm plastic nuts that hold the mounting bracket in place (Pic #2). This will release the siren from the car.


9. Remove the 10mm nut holding the bracket to the back of the siren.


10. Install the bracket onto the new siren. It is keyed so the bracket can only be installed one way.
11. Reverse the steps to install the new siren and reassemble the car. Don't over-torque and strip the plastic nuts.
12. Before installing the fender liner, I unclipped the black plastic hose from the side of the liner and connected it back up to the fuel filler overflow hole (Step 7-Pic #2). After I had the fender liner 80% in place, I carefully clipped the plastic hose back to the liner, and used a flashlight to be sure it was still attached to the fuel filler hole.
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Last edited by MatWiz; 09-25-2010 at 02:49 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2011, 03:07 PM
Joe@Bavarian Joe@Bavarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
[LEFT]See step #7. Picture with the red arrow, and the picture with the red circle.
It points to an overfill drain line, that goes around the wheel well, and spill the overflow into the ground.

mw
On the ground? I think the EPA would have a problem with that...

It drains back in to the tank.
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2010, 06:26 AM
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Huhhh? Where?
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2010, 06:57 AM
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onto the ground, there is a tube that goes behind the right rear wheel. look under the car and youll see it. in this video starting @50sec

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  #6  
Old 09-25-2010, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
onto the ground, there is a tube that goes behind the right rear wheel.
OK, the video was clear:
"What was that?" "Oh, it's the fuel drain for the fuel filler..."

But, I'm not so sure. I could see the pipe they removed but I spill a LOT of gas into those little holes (don't ask why) and I've never seen or smelled gas on the ground thereafter.

So, I hear what they said, but I'm not (yet) convinced which one of these it is:

a) Air vent for filling the fuel tank (in which case, it goes back into the tank)
b) Overflow drain into the ground (which was implied in the video)
c) Overflow into charcoal cannister (in which case fuel is burned off as vacuum sucks it out - but liquid fuel might ruin the charcoal cannister which is intended to trap vapors)

I'll post the relevant Realoem diagrams; but looking at them seems inconclusive without some further hints putting the puzzle together ...
- E39 525i Fuel tank
- E39 525i EXP.TANK/ACTIVATED CARBON CONTAINER
- E39 525i Fuel pipe and mounting parts

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  #7  
Old 09-25-2010, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Huhhh? Where?
What do you mean "Huhhh? where?" ???

There are 2 big pictures in step 7. You don't see them?

mw
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:45 AM
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It's an outlet pipe part #22 on the fuel tank diagram and it goes outside. Now let's elaborate some more...
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2010, 01:03 PM
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Um....I'm not going to bet my paycheck on this as I am not positive, but I'd like to offer another explanation. I just repainted my car for some rust spots in that area and had to remove the inner wheel liner exactly as Orkin does in his video. It was my belief at the time that the plastic hose that is referred to at the 50 second point of the video may actually go to the battery vent tube and not the fuel filler. Like I said, if I was 100% positive I would say so- I'm not sure, but just remember thinking that this was how the battery fumes actually vented to the atmosphere. I'm not convinced that the holes BB refers to really go to the ground as opposed to the tank and are just alignment holes for the flap inside the filler neck. I am not sure how the extra gas gets into the charcoal canister, but I don't believe gas going into these holes hits the pavement.
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2010, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Um....I'm not going to bet my paycheck on this as I am not positive, but I'd like to offer another explanation. I just repainted my car for some rust spots in that area and had to remove the inner wheel liner exactly as Orkin does in his video. It was my belief at the time that the plastic hose that is referred to at the 50 second point of the video may actually go to the battery vent tube and not the fuel filler. Like I said, if I was 100% positive I would say so- I'm not sure, but just remember thinking that this was how the battery fumes actually vented to the atmosphere. I'm not convinced that the holes BB refers to really go to the ground as opposed to the tank and are just alignment holes for the flap inside the filler neck. I am not sure how the extra gas gets into the charcoal canister, but I don't believe gas going into these holes hits the pavement.
I would totally buy to this IF the part wasn't in the "fuel tank" section of the realoem, but mind you it's a very well educated guess
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Um....I'm not going to bet my paycheck on this as I am not positive, but I'd like to offer another explanation. I just repainted my car for some rust spots in that area and had to remove the inner wheel liner exactly as Orkin does in his video. It was my belief at the time that the plastic hose that is referred to at the 50 second point of the video may actually go to the battery vent tube and not the fuel filler. Like I said, if I was 100% positive I would say so- I'm not sure, but just remember thinking that this was how the battery fumes actually vented to the atmosphere. I'm not convinced that the holes BB refers to really go to the ground as opposed to the tank and are just alignment holes for the flap inside the filler neck. I am not sure how the extra gas gets into the charcoal canister, but I don't believe gas going into these holes hits the pavement.
Did you SEE the 2 pictures in step number 7 ????

mw
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2010, 01:32 PM
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Sorry. It's still not clear to me where those two "holes" connect.

The function is either:
1. Air vent (for filling the tank)
2. Fuel overflow (for spilling on the ground)
3. Fuel overflow (for spilling into the charcoal cannister)

I made an attempt at locating (blue and red colorized hoses) the two hoses in the realoem diagrams below. But I might easily be wrong as it's not obvious to me.

Can someone concur WHERE the two holes/hoses are in the diagrams below?




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  #13  
Old 09-25-2010, 07:11 AM
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Those images were very instructive. I didn't know where my alarm was nor could I visualize the rear shock removal.

Awesome thanks!
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:07 PM
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I believe they are vents to allow the pressure to escape as gas is added. Any gas that entered just drains back to the tank.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
All the overflow in the engine is re-circulated back into the charcoal canister.
Is that where the fuel that isn't squirted into the intake manifold goes? Back into the charcoal canister?

If so, isn't that a LOT of liquid fuel going back into the canister?

How does it get all the way back to the driver side rear wheel well from the engine fuel rail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by windsmith View Post
Those two 'drains' that Bluebee drew arrows to appear to be BEHIND the fuel cap, no?
Below the fuel cap, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by windsmith View Post
If they are sealed under the cap, then I'm fairly certain that they simply 'drain' into the tank.
That's why I asked the question of where they go.

I was unsure (and still am unsure).

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
Any gas that entered just drains back to the tank.
I understand. I've heard both:
a) They go to the charcoal canister
b) They go back into the tank

Do we have any proof of which one it is?

Last edited by bluebee; 11-28-2011 at 11:04 PM.
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  #16  
Old 11-28-2011, 12:01 AM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Is that where the fuel that isn't squirted into the intake manifold goes? Back into the charcoal canister?

If so, isn't that a LOT of liquid fuel going back into the canister?

How does it get all the way back to the driver side rear wheel well from the engine fuel rail?
Fuel that isn't injected is returned to the fuel tank through the return fuel line (number 5 on the fuel feed diagram). I think the return fuel actually goes through the fuel tank suction jet pump. It does not go to the charcoal canister.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:49 PM
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I took a few photos of my 2001 530i that may shed some light on the subject, but do not answer the question.

First I can confirm that there is a hard plastic hose that exits the fender liner, and this hose follows the fender liner as far as I can see. The first two photos show this hose.





Second, I'm in the unfortunate situation to say that the rear hole black plastic insert in the filler does not connect to anything. The plastic insert in my car is broken, and it is clear in the photo that the only thing behind it is the metal part of the filler. I can see some sort of wire behind the forward hole in the black plastic insert which is apparently the device that secures the black plastic insert in the filler.

Finally, if you look closely at the rubber part on the outside of the filler, you'll see that this is actually is folded over to seal around the raised part of the body that the filler goes through. I think this is part of the filler tube gasket that seals the filler tube to the body. This gasket is the part to which the tube that exits behind the wheel is attached according to VietSB's DIY. On the exterior, there is a small hole at the bottom of the folded gasket. I confirmed that this is connected to the hose that exits behind the wheel by blowing compressed air through the hole and feeling the air exit the tube. I assume that this is to drain water that accumulates in the filler recess when you was the car.



This doesn't answer Bluebee's question about where the gas goes when you overfill the tank.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:18 AM
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We have liquid fuel that goes thru tubes & lines.
We have vapor that goes to the canister and evap purge valve
We have VENT tubes/hoses that carry vapor and air (not liquid).

Just as your homes drain pipes have VENT pipes...the vent pipes allows air to escape up and out of your home, while the drain pipes carries away waste water to your sewer lines or septic system. The VENT pipes are only for air to escape...the same type of set-up is used in our cars. There are hoses/lines/pipes that are either for air, vapor, or liquid.

When dealing with a closed system like our fuel tanks and injection lines...we must consider that filling the tanks will require some type of venting...there must be some type of overflow drain tubes that will carry excess fuel as well as allowing air pressure to escape. And our cars also have a system of recovering unburnt fuel which is mostly in the form of vapor...the canister collects this fuel vapor, and the evap purge valve expels this vapor into the exhaust manifold to be burnt instead of wasting it away to the atmosphere.
FUEL TANK (exert from familycardotcom)

Most automobiles have a single tank located in the rear of the vehicle. Fuel tanks today have internal baffles to prevent the fuel from sloshing back and forth. All tanks have a fuel filler pipe, a fuel outlet line to the engine and a vent system. All fuel tanks must be vented. Before 1970, fuel tanks were vented to the atmosphere, emitting hydrocarbon emissions. Since 1970 all tanks are vented through a charcoal canister, into the engine to be burned before being released to the atmosphere. This is called evaporative emission control and will be discussed further in the emission control section.

If the fuel supply system is not clear as how it functions...then reading up on the topic using the online BMW TIS and finding the PDFs on e38.org & e38.org/e39 will go a long way in grasping knowledge...even googling the topic...may prove to be very illuminating.

You can see in this TIS doc, that there is a VENT hose (air). The 2 holes seen when refueling...are probably 99% assuredly spillage/drain holes that allow excess fuel that leaks from refueling or fuel that may get spit back up while refueling to drain back down into the fuel filler neck...and back down into the tank: http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/01/37/30

We must also remember that there IS a hose that sticks out from that side of the vehicle that is #12 (the battery vent tube)...again "VENT" tubes carry air/gaseous vapors. I don't have the sedan...so are you 100% sure that the tip of the hose encircled in red is NOT the battery vent tube (#12 in the diagram)?:



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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 11-28-2011 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:32 AM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
...so are you 100% sure that the tip of the hose encircled in red is NOT the battery vent tube (#12 in the diagram)?...
Yes, I am certain that the hose is connected to the small hole at the bottom of the filler tube gasket. I blew compressed air through the hole and it came out the tube below the fender well.

The gasket is outside of the fuel and vapor recovery system. The hole is at the bottom (6 o'clock) position in the gasket. It's very small and likely to be covered with dirt. Take a good light and inspect the gasket at this position. I used a can of compressed air with a small straw attached (computer duster) because I didn't want to put a lot of pressurized air through the system if I was mistaken.

Check the diagrams, you'll see this hose is attached to the back of the filler gasket.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
Yes, I am certain that the hose is connected to the small hole at the bottom of the filler tube gasket.... The hole is at the bottom (6 o'clock) position in the gasket. ... Check the diagrams, you'll see this hose is attached to the back of the filler gasket.
Then that would probably be the #2 vent hose which is identified by you & the TIS (see the link I inserted in reply #22 to the TIS...which is identified in the 2nd image) You can see it running from the bottom of the filler neck, then into a hole in the fender, then down & out of the bottom like in the pic you posted.
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Then that would probably be the #2 vent hose which is identified by you & the TIS (see the link I inserted in reply #22 to the TIS...which is identified in the 2nd image) You can see it running from the bottom of the filler neck, then into a hole in the fender, then down & out of the bottom like in the pic you posted.
I think it's a drain for the filler neck recess in the body, not a vent for the fuel system. I've circled the place on the TIS diagram where I think it connects.



The hole is clearly visible in Bluebee's immaculately clean gasket. I've annotated the photo below.

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Old 11-29-2011, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
our cars also have a system of recovering unburnt fuel which is mostly in the form of vapor...the canister collects this fuel vapor, and the evap purge valve expels this vapor into the exhaust manifold to be burnt instead of wasting it away to the atmosphere.
This is a wonderful team effort where we try to figure out HOW the fuel system vents, drains, vapor recovery lines, etc. work.

One minor question as I read (and reread multiple times) the responses above, didn't you mean "intake" manifold above?

I think you did simply because the charcoal canister hose seems to go to the purge valve which has a hose which seems to go to the intake manifold (not the exhaust manifold). Right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
This is a nice diagram showing the OTHER SIDE of the fuel filler hole!

Here it is in 800x600 pixel screenshot format to make it easier for others to see:
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  #23  
Old 11-28-2011, 04:52 AM
uncmozo uncmozo is online now
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I don't like to add confusion to an already confusing thread, but is it possible the tube coming through the fender liner is the water drain for the moonroof? I know there is a drain on the right and left sides of the moonroof.

Jerry
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2002 530i 5 speed - 160,000 miles
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  #24  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:42 AM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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I've annotated Jim's photos for some parts. I'm not sure if I've appropriately identified the vent pipe in the first photo.

In the second photo, I'm not sure if I've identified the fuel tank breather line correctly.




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  #25  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:52 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
I've annotated Jim's photos
Wow. I didn't even realize there 'was' an "Expansion Tank" in the driver side rear wheel well!

I see the expansion tank now, in the diagrams in post #6 above as:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
I'm not sure if I've appropriately identified the vent pipe in the first photo. In the second photo, I'm not sure if I've identified the fuel tank breather line correctly.
Using your annotated photo as a start, I just found the attached TIS 11.09.20.3 for the E38 & E39 New Evaporative Charcoal Canister Purge Line.

I don't profess to understand it though ... so may I ask if it answers these two questions you had?
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