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Pelican Technical Article:

Fuel Pump Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

10mm socket, fuel pump collar tool, brass punch, rubber mallet

Applicable Models:

R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2007-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2007-08)
R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)
R57 MINI Cooper Convertible (2009-11)
R57 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2009-11)

Parts Required:

Fuel pump, fuel pump-sealing O-ring

Hot Tip:

Clean top of fuel tank before removing pump

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty fuel pump

Complementary Modification:

Replace fuel filter

The fuel supply system in a MINI R56 consists of:

  • Fuel tank
  • Fuel filler with associated breathing and venting pipes
  • High-pressure fuel pump assembly with fuel filter and fuel level senders

The fuel tank is two-lobed. There are two fuel level senders, one in each lobe on the left and right sides underneath the rear seat cushion. The right fuel tank lobe holds the fuel level sender and fuel filter, while the left tank lobe holds the fuel pump.

In tank fuel pumps have many benefits. The fuel is submerged in fuel keeping it cool, preventing vapor lock and electrical issues. The fuel pump delivers a constant flow of gasoline to the fuel rail at a regulated pressure and volume. The fuel pump draws fuel from the fuel tank and pushes it through the fuel filter, mounted outside of the fuel tank.

A faulty fuel pump can cause poor engine performance and hard starting problems. When it fails completely, you may be left with an engine that doesn't start. If you suspect your fuel pump has failed, you can confirm the fuel pump has received the correct voltage when commanded ON by the fuel pump relay using a digital volt ohmmeter (DVOM). If the correct voltage is present, but the pump does not activate, it is likely faulty. Use the DVOM in conjunction with a wiring diagram to determine the correct terminals for testing. You can access terminals under the rear seat cushion, below the access panel. See our tech article on fuel pump testing.

Replacing the fuel pump on a MINI can be done without removing the fuel tank. There are access panels under the rear seat cushion that allow servicing. It is best to replace your fuel pump with the fuel tank drained. This reduces the amount of possible spilled fuel and fuel vapors. When replacing, work in a well-ventilated area. Working outdoors is a good choice. Do not use incandescent work lights or power tools. Fuel and fuel vapors are highly combustible. To relieve fuel pressure, remove the fuel pressure test cap and activate the Schrader valve. See our tech article on fuel pump testing.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Drain your fuel tank. Run the vehicle for about 20 seconds. This equalizes the amount of fuel in the siphon unit.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. See our tech article on battery replacing and reconnecting notes.

Remove the fuel cap. Then slide an anti-static siphon hose down the fuel filler neck. Once the hose has bottomed out, pump fuel out of the fuel tank into a suitable storage container. If you are unsure of the amount of fuel in your tank, you can monitor the fuel level via the fuel level sender units. As the fuel level drops, the fuel level sender resistance drops. You can measure this across the terminals at both sender units with a digital volt / ohmmeter (DVOM). You will need a wiring diagram from a repair manual.

Working in the rear of the vehicle interior, grab the corner of the rear seat cushion and pull it up to detach the locking tabs. Remove the seat cushion from the vehicle. See our tech article on seats removing.

The fuel pump /sending unit is located in the left (green arrow) side of the fuel tank.
Figure 1

The fuel pump /sending unit is located in the left (green arrow) side of the fuel tank. The sending unit / fuel filter / siphon unit are located on the right (red arrow) side.

Once you have removed the rear seat, remove the four 10mm nuts from the access panel (red arrows).
Figure 2

Once you have removed the rear seat, remove the four 10mm nuts from the access panel (red arrows). Remove the access panel lid from the body by lifting it up. Be sure to replace the panel gasket if it is damaged (inset).

Working at the fuel pump housing, remove the electrical connector (red arrow) by sliding the lock as you pull the connector up.
Figure 3

Working at the fuel pump housing, remove the electrical connector (red arrow) by sliding the lock as you pull the connector up.

Next, clean any dirt or debris from the fuel pump area (red arrows).
Figure 4

Next, clean any dirt or debris from the fuel pump area (red arrows).

Then unscrew the fuel pump module threaded collar.
Figure 5

Then unscrew the fuel pump module threaded collar. There is a MINI special tool (number 16 1 022) made to do this. The tool has notches that match the teeth on the collar. However, if you do not have this tool you can use a brass punch (red arrow) and a rubber mallet. Using the brash punch and a rubber mallet, tap the threaded collar on one of the ridges counter-clockwise to loosen. Once loose, unscrew the remainder of the way by hand. If the collar is damaged during this process, you will need to replace it with a new part. Remove the collar (inset).

Gently lever the fuel pump module out of the fuel tank.
Figure 6

Gently lever the fuel pump module out of the fuel tank.

Slowly lift the fuel pump module up slightly out of the tank enough to remove the sealing O-ring.
Figure 7

Slowly lift the fuel pump module up slightly out of the tank enough to remove the sealing O-ring.

Working at the top of the fuel pump module, remove the fuel siphon hose and pressure line.
Figure 8

Working at the top of the fuel pump module, remove the fuel siphon hose and pressure line. Start by pressing the tab (green arrow) on the pressure line and holding while pulling the line straight off. Then pull the siphon hose (red arrow) straight up to remove it.

Slowly lift the fuel pump module up enough to detach the electrical connectors on the level sender (red arrows).
Figure 9

Slowly lift the fuel pump module up enough to detach the electrical connectors on the level sender (red arrows). Pull them straight off to remove them.

Lift the module up a bit more.
Figure 10

Lift the module up a bit more. Then unclip the retainers (red arrows) and slide the level sender off the module. Let it rest inside fuel tank.

Lift the fuel pump module up to remove it (red arrow).
Figure 11

Lift the fuel pump module up to remove it (red arrow). Be sure no electrical connections are still attached. If you're replacing the fuel filter or siphon assembly, cut a piece of mechanic's wire to about eight feet. Wrap one end of the wire around the siphon and fuel line. This wire will help you pull it back through the fuel tank when reinstalling it. When installing, replace the fuel pump assembly sealing O-ring. Be sure that the O-ring is properly installed in the fuel tank before installing the fuel pump. Align the tab with the fuel tank and press the fuel pump module into the tank. Hand tighten the threaded collar. Then use the MINI special tool 16 1 022 to tighten the threaded collar. Or tap the threaded collar tight (clockwise) with a brass punch and a rubber mallet. Connect the electrical connector. Fill the fuel tank with about two gallons of fuel before attempting to start the vehicle. Once you are sure that the fuel pump is operating normally, fill the remainder of the fuel tank and check for leaks. Once done, reassemble the interior.


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