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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 09-19-2008, 02:43 PM
lsfeder lsfeder is offline
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Location: Panama City, Panama
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 420
Mein Auto: 540i M , 560SEL
Gas Gauge stuck... FIX (W/ Pics)

Hey everyone.
First I want to thank everyone for their input so far with this problem I have been having. I resolved it today, and figured I may as well post a DIY for others to have in case.

This morning I woke up and an idea popped into me head that I should have thought of earlier, access the OBC from the gauge cluster (Test N 06). This test gives you immediate readouts on both floater levels and the total level of fuel. So I entered the test mode after unlocking the computer and walla... floater #2 on the right hand side was reading out a constant 0 even when driving aggressively. (I floored it and braked hard a few times to really get the fuel to slosh around the tank). I knew then that the used floater we had transplanted was also dead.
So off to the stealership I went to buy part # 16 14 6 752 370 (150 dollars )
For those of you who dont know, this floater attaches to the fuel pump of the vehicle (so in effect the power to the fuel pump comes from this floater). So without further ado, I present to you all my first DIY to BimmerFest.

1. Make sure you have protective gloves!! Your hands will be submerged in fuel!! Also, make sure surrounding area has no contamination as it could wind up in your fuel tank and reek havoc on your fuel system!!
2. Unhook rear seat (it pops out if you yank it hard and up)
3. Identify the 2 floater units covered by the plastic protective sheild.
4. I unhooked the right hand side as this was the faulted unit
5. Unplug wiring harness
6. With a flat head screw driver, tap the metal shield in a counter clock wise position to loosen cap.
7. Have a hose plug ready as you will be unplugging a main fuel line from the top of the floater and it WILL SPRAY FUEL!!
8. Loosen mounting screw holding rubber fuel line in place, and squeeze line tightly
9. Remove line and quickly plug it (I used a metal rod)
10. Twist head of the floater counter clockwise till the unit comes loose, then pull up. The rubber gasket needs to be removed as well as the new part comes with a new one.
11. Carefully pull floater out of tank, you may have to yank it a bit to release it (the fuel pump will come off with the unit)
12. Let the fuel from the pump drain back into the tank before moving it out of the car
13. Disconnect the fuel pump from the floater (there are 2 electric wires supplying power to the pump) My floater had so much gunk on it, no wonder it failed.
14. Clip new floater to the fuel pump
15. Install new rubber gasket into the floater gap
16. Install new floater and pump back into the fuel tank (make sure it clicks before proceeding!!)
17. Re attach metal holder and with flat head screw driver and hammer tap clockwise to tighten.
18. Attach wiring harness
19. Wash surrounding area with water and cloth. There will be fuel spilled, so make sure you water it down and clean it off well!
20. Cover unit with plastic shield.
21. Attach seat (plugs back in with a nice thump)
22. I used this opportunity to clean my leather seat with some armor all leather cleaner
23. Enjoy your functioning fuel gauge!

Sticky? I think so









Last edited by lsfeder; 09-19-2008 at 04:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2008, 02:47 PM
lsfeder lsfeder is offline
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Location: Panama City, Panama
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 420
Mein Auto: 540i M , 560SEL
pics should be working now

Last edited by lsfeder; 09-19-2008 at 05:31 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2008, 04:09 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,745
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Wow, In Panama city it is $150 for you!!!

Up here in the US, it is $50:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...09&hg=16&fg=15

Or drive WITHOUT a functioning fuel gauge, like my 1981 Honda Accord I used to own that had a broken fuel gauge... Just remember to add gasoline every 250-300 miles...haha!

Last edited by cn90; 09-19-2008 at 04:18 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2008, 04:24 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Location: Calgary
 
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Posts: 4,457
Mein Auto: 2003 530iA
Nice writeup. Thanks for sharing
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2008, 04:27 PM
lsfeder lsfeder is offline
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Location: Panama City, Panama
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 420
Mein Auto: 540i M , 560SEL
I know... I check that site and noticed the price. I was like WTF?!
But what can you do? Like you said deal with a broken gauge or eat the price.
Tastes good ;-)
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2008, 07:07 PM
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TemporarySanity TemporarySanity is offline
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Location: Linden,MI
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,562
Mein Auto: 02 530, 02 540, 07 525
It looks like there is a puddle of gas on the insulation in the last pic!! Won't the car reek of gas now?
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2008, 10:43 PM
lsfeder lsfeder is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Panama City, Panama
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 420
Mein Auto: 540i M , 560SEL
You have no idea how bad it was working on the car... high octane fumes.
Thank god I have a garage to park in, so I am leaving the car totally open to air out.
But yea, its a messy job with lots of fuel stank.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2014, 07:42 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I was researching how to clean the fuel gauge sending unit for someone when I realized the bestlinks reference went stale, so, I'm going to declare this the canonical thread to update moving forward.

Since the ImageShack pictures are hard to get, I'll also append them here, so that it's easier for others (and they also won't go stale over time).

- DIY to clean your fuel gauge sending unit (1) & a detailed Techron "soap for gasoline" thread (1)

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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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