DIY: Replacing the Fuel Pump - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 06-24-2010, 07:28 AM
Jim Spence's Avatar
Jim Spence Jim Spence is offline
Tyler's Paw Paw
Location: South Charleston, WV
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 942
Mein Auto: 1993 325i
DIY: Replacing the Fuel Pump

I apologize for not having pictures. I wish I'd thought of it when I did this. hg=16&fg=15

Buy a fuel pump, a new rubber ring (p/n 16111179637), and two small hose clamps. You'll also need two golf pencils, some paper towels, a few rags, a Phillips screwdriver and a small Shop Vac.

-- run as much fuel out of your car as possible – some people recommend pulling the fuse that controls the fuel pump and cranking the car to get as much fuel out of the lines as you can, but if you follow these directions I don't believe that's necessary

-- make sure that your car is parked outside, and all the doors/sunroof are open

-- disconnect your battery

-- pull out the back seat and set it aside

-- take a Phillips screwdriver and remove the three screws that are holding the round cover on the right hand side of the car (when facing forward - it'll be the left hand side as you sit in your car facing backwards)

-- disconnect the electrical plug from the top of the fuel pump and push it aside

-- take a Shop Vac and remove as much dirt and dust that has accumulated around the top of the fuel pump as possible; wipe up what you can't vacuum with a paper towel

-- get a handful of paper towels and pack them around the two hoses that you now see coming out of the fuel pump

-- remove the two hoses, and put a golf pencil into each one, sealing it off to keep as much fuel as possible from spilling out

-- remove the large, black plastic lock ring that seals around the fuel pump, and set it aside

-- slide the fuel pump out, wrap it in a rag, and remove it from the car – use caution when pulling out the fuel pump as the rubber ring that seals it may drop off and fall into the tank

-- pull out the rubber ring that seals the fuel pump in the tank (it may remain attached to the fuel pump when you pull it out)

-- take a paper towel and wipe around the edge of the opening in the tank, removing any bits of rubber ring/dirt left behind

-- take the new rubber ring and carefully place it into the opening – it is very difficult to put the ring around the fuel pump and then slide this into the opening; you may crimp the rubber ring and not know it – just be careful that you don't drop it into the tank

-- slide the new fuel pump into the opening, making sure that it's tight against the rubber ring

-- replace the lock ring; this should be hand tight only – you can always (and should) check your work a week or so later to assure that everything is still tight

-- replace the two hoses, using the new small hose clamps

-- reconnect the electrical plug

-- wipe up as much of the fuel that you've spilled as possible

-- replace both the round cover over the fuel pump and your back seat – reconnect your battery

-- it may take a few seconds longer for your car to start, since you've drained some of the fuel from the system

That's it. This should take less than an hour and is one of the easiest DIYs you'll ever do. Replacing the fuel level sensor on the other side of the tank is identical to this, so you get two DIYs for the price of one.

Conforti chip, aFe CAI, Bilstein struts/shocks, H&R springs, Mason Engineering strut brace, Borla exhaust, BSW/Sony audio, TMS cross drilled rotors/Hawk HPS high performance street pads, BMW style 43 16" wheels with Bridgestone Potenza P960 tires and if you've read this entire signature just to see what I've done to my car then you need some serious professional help.

If you can't afford to do it right, you definitely can't afford to do it wrong.

Last edited by Jim Spence; 06-30-2010 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:12 PM
TRaV MaNN's Avatar
TRaV MaNN TRaV MaNN is offline
Somebody stop me....
Location: Slackramento, CA
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,696
Mein Auto: EW/// 86
Pictures would have been nice, but you did a good job describing the steps so they aren't really needed.

Great writeup
You can’t spend all your time worrying about where your next Twinkie is going to come from, so follow rule #32 and Enjoy The Little Things.

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:05 AM
laurenarce laurenarce is offline
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Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 318i
If you're having problems removing the fuel pump or fuel level sender unit locking ring, we sell a tool for loosening the ring. You can find it at our website at
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