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BMW E39 Fuel Pump Sender Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Fuel Pump Sender Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

5 hours5 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Phillips, flathead screwdriver, small pick or cutting pliers

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Fuel level sender, fuel pump, assembly seals

Hot Tip:

Apply a little grease on the fuel assembly seals to make installation easier

Performance Gain:

Better performance

Complementary Modification:

Replace fuel filter

In order for your car to run you must have all three functioning systems working; basic engine mechanical, ignition system and fuel supply system. Your fuel supply system is made up of the fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel rail and fuel injectors. The fuel pump generates the fuel pressure in the rail that is forced out of the injectors when the DME control unit opens them. If your fuel pump goes bad you will either lose performance or in extreme cases cause a no start condition. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to remove your fuel pump.

On the BMW E39 the fuel pump is mounted in the fuel tank. You do not have to drop the fuel tank to access the fuel pump. Remove the rear seat to uncover the two access panels that cover the fuel pump and sending unit assembly. The procedure is the same for the six and eight cylinder engines.

Fuel Level Sending Unit Removal:

Under the rear seat on the left side cut the perforation in the sound insulating material (green arrows).
Figure 1

Under the rear seat on the left side cut the perforation in the sound insulating material (green arrows).

Peel back the sound insulating material.
Figure 2

Peel back the sound insulating material.

Pull out the rubber insulating grommet, remove it from its mount and move it out of the way.
Figure 3

Pull out the rubber insulating grommet, remove it from its mount and move it out of the way.

Remove the three Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) that hold the inspection plate to the body of the car.
Figure 4

Remove the three Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) that hold the inspection plate to the body of the car.

Lift the inspection panel (green arrow) out of the way to expose the top of the fuel level sender.
Figure 5

Lift the inspection panel (green arrow) out of the way to expose the top of the fuel level sender.

On the top of the fuel level sender squeeze the locking tabs on each side of the fuel level sender electrical connector and unplug it by pulling it in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 6

On the top of the fuel level sender squeeze the locking tabs on each side of the fuel level sender electrical connector and unplug it by pulling it in the direction of the blue arrow.

Loosen the clamp that holds the return line to the fuel level sender assembly.
Figure 7

Loosen the clamp that holds the return line to the fuel level sender assembly. I use a pick to spread apart the band clamp to loosen it but you can simply cut it off with cutting pliers and replace it with an adjustable hose clamp.

Remove the fuel line return hose.
Figure 8

Remove the fuel line return hose. You can use a pair of pliers and twist back and forth on the fuel line hose while moving the pliers in the direction of the blue arrow.

Use a brass hammer and chisel to tap the sending unit mounting ring by tapping it in the counter clockwise direction.
Figure 9

Use a brass hammer and chisel to tap the sending unit mounting ring by tapping it in the counter clockwise direction. Wear eye protection during hammering.

Spin the mounting ring until it is completely loose and remove it from the top of the sending unit.
Figure 10

Spin the mounting ring until it is completely loose and remove it from the top of the sending unit.

Use a flat head screwdriver or pick to lever out the sending unit from the opening in the fuel tank.
Figure 11

Use a flat head screwdriver or pick to lever out the sending unit from the opening in the fuel tank.

Lift the assembly out of the access hole through the body of the car.
Figure 12

Lift the assembly out of the access hole through the body of the car.

Pull the assembly completely out of the fuel tank.
Figure 13

Pull the assembly completely out of the fuel tank. The fuel transfer lines will still be connected. Squeeze the two locking tabs (green arrows) on the fuel transfer lines and unplug the unit by pulling it in the direction of the blue arrow. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Connect the fuel transfer hoses to the sending unit. Feed the float of the sending unit and the sending unit into the opening in the tank being careful not to get the float hung up on anything inside the tank. Position the fuel sending unit seal in the tank opening then fit the sending unit in the tank. Install and tighten the mounting ring. Attach the return hose and plug in the electrical connector. Install the inspection cover, rubber grommet and the sound insulating material and put the seat back in. Turn on the ignition key and verify the fuel level is indicated on the gauge.

Removal Fuel Pump:
Cut the perforation on the right side of the fuel tank under the rear seat.
Figure 14

Cut the perforation on the right side of the fuel tank under the rear seat.

Peel up on the sound insulating material to loosen it.
Figure 15

Peel up on the sound insulating material to loosen it.

Remove the rubber grommet from the inspection cover and move both pieces out of the way.
Figure 16

Remove the rubber grommet from the inspection cover and move both pieces out of the way.

Remove the three Phillip head screws (green arrows) that mount the inspection cover to the body of the car and move it out of the way.
Figure 17

Remove the three Phillip head screws (green arrows) that mount the inspection cover to the body of the car and move it out of the way.

Unplug the fuel pump electrical connector (green arrow) by sliding the slide lock in the direction of the blue arrow and then lifting up on the connector.
Figure 18

Unplug the fuel pump electrical connector (green arrow) by sliding the slide lock in the direction of the blue arrow and then lifting up on the connector.

Loosen the band clamp for the fuel line supply hose from the fuel pump and sending unit assembly.
Figure 19

Loosen the band clamp for the fuel line supply hose from the fuel pump and sending unit assembly. I use a pick and rock it back and forth to loosen the pinch of the band clamp. You can simply cut the hose clamp off with cutting pliers and replace it with an adjustable hose clamp.

Use pliers to twist back and forth on the fuel line hose while moving it in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 20

Use pliers to twist back and forth on the fuel line hose while moving it in the direction of the blue arrow.

Use a brass hammer and chisel to tap off the mounting ring by tapping in the counterclockwise direction.
Figure 21

Use a brass hammer and chisel to tap off the mounting ring by tapping in the counterclockwise direction. Wear eye protection during hammering.

Use a flathead screwdriver or pick to lever up on the fuel pump/sending unit assembly.
Figure 22

Use a flathead screwdriver or pick to lever up on the fuel pump/sending unit assembly.

Lift the sending portion unit out of the fuel tank.
Figure 23

Lift the sending portion unit out of the fuel tank.

Reach down inside the tank opening to unplug the two electrical connectors (yellow arrows) from the terminals on the fuel pump (green arrows).
Figure 24

Reach down inside the tank opening to unplug the two electrical connectors (yellow arrows) from the terminals on the fuel pump (green arrows). Be sure to wear gloves to protect yourself from the fuel.

Reach down inside the tank and squeeze the two locking tabs on the black plastic fuel pump mounting bracket and pull up on the assembly.
Figure 25

Reach down inside the tank and squeeze the two locking tabs on the black plastic fuel pump mounting bracket and pull up on the assembly.

Remove the band clamp that holds the fuel pump hose onto the fuel pump and remove the whole assembly.
Figure 26

Remove the band clamp that holds the fuel pump hose onto the fuel pump and remove the whole assembly. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the fuel pump hose and tighten the new clamp on the hose. Fit the fuel pump by squeezing the black plastic locking tabs on the bracket and fit it inside the holder inside the tank just as you pulled it out. Attach the two electrical terminals to the fuel pump. Position the fuel sending unit seal and install the fuel sending unit in the tank. Fit the mounting ring and tighten it down. Attach the fuel pump hose and the electrical connector. Install the inspection cover and the rubber grommet. Position the sound insulation material and the seat. Verify the engine starts and that there are no fuel system leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Chunky Comments: Can I use the e36 96'model325 fuelpump sender on the e39 525i,2001model and if not what is the difference tnxs
September 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Christian Comments: When working on the fuel pump and sending unit, do you disconnect the battery positive and negative, or just the negative?
December 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Just the negative. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:06:21 AM