I followed the tutorial and the entire DIY went totally trouble free...which is actually kinda unusual. Tips for purging fuel line and charging the fuel filter in the end worked great. There was very small amount spill from the big front tube. Most of the gas was from the old filter itself, and nothing came out of the twin tubes from the back. I concurred with the writer that the hardest part was getting the big front tube off. The other steps were not too bad. Again, great tutorial. Thanks alot!
using the caps from the new filter was a great tip, thanks!
i didn't pull fuse 54, but there wasn't ass much spillage as i thought there would be. the front hose spilled the most. then on the rear hoses, i plugged them with the caps that came on the new filter and that resulted in very little fuel leakage. ended up taking me 1.5 hours (i took a lot of breaks, it was ridiculously hot outside today :thumbdwn disconnecting the hoses took the longest, those things just didn't want to come off. but all in all, a fairly easy DIY. thanks everyone!
I wouldn't consider doing this without replacing the 3 sections of rubber fuel line, the clamps AND the short stretch of rubber vacuum tubing between the vacuum line and the front of the filter. My filter, at 88k, was factory original. The clamps were pretty obviously not designed to be reused, since they'd been intentionally deformed so that no hex socket would fit, and the flathead screwdriver slots were rounded off or missing entirely. Auto Zone sells the same Kayser filter with a built-in regulator as the one that came with my car, and at $56 it was cheaper than anything I found online. Note the first one had a manufacturing defect on one of the nipples, though -- check yours.
Get new clamps (6 of them) before you start-don't bother with BMW clamps, just get #4 clamps from any old auto parts store. Get a foot of fuel line hose. And get a 6" stretch of vacuum tubing to replace the 2-3" piece that is almost certainly useless on your old filter.
Note that removing the fuse will most often not accomplish much -- your car may not start at all with the fuse pulled. Worth a shot, but if your car doesn't start, replace the filter anyway. Spillage isn't unmanageable.
About the spillage: if you're on your back and can't get away from the fumes or the splashing very quickly (there is barely enough room to get your head past the filter to see what you're doing, unless you elevate both the front and rear of your car -- and I have a small head), wear a mask and put some goggles on. Also, don't wear gloves made of fabric or leather. You'll just marinate your hands in gas. Catch the spillage in something other than a towel. It will take days for the gas smell to come out of the towel -- and don't even think about using your clothes washer to try to get it out while it is still wet with fuel. Your wife will make you pay for a hotel until the smell is out of the house! The best way to catch it would be a large pan - like a baking sheet with a lip around the edges -- auto zone sells these, too. If you don't spill much, it will probably be evaporated before you finish the job.
About the shield, don't bend it out of the way. There are 2 studs sticking out of the frame just above the front subframe, each with 8mm nuts that can easily be removed. Without doing this, you will probably not notice that you've dislodged a piece of foam that prevents the lines going to the engine from rattling around, or that you've freed the fuel line from it's retaining clips while prying the old filter away -- and if your vacuum tube is all rotten like mine was, you'll need the room without the shield in place to clean up the old line and reconnect the filter with new tubing.
That's my 3 cents. Most frustrating filter change I've ever done -- the one-use clamps are shear idiocy, and the shield connected at 5 points, absolute overkill. The crappy vacuum tube is typical for BMW (see all the other posts about vacuum leaks if you've owned your BMW for less than a few hours and haven't heard of these things). In the end, while the location is especially inconvenient if you don't have a lift, it's better than putting it in the engine bay (like my old volvo -- though it was nice replacing a $11 filter with 1 simple tool while standing comfortably next to the car) or under the back seat.
I replaced my fuel filter today. Here is my contribution to the body of knowledge.
1. Getting the old fuel hoses off is a royal pain. It's not worth it. Slice the hose with a razor blade and replace it with new hose. About 1 foot of 5/16 fuel hose is plenty for the three pieces of hose to connect to the fuel lines. Likewise, get new hose clamps as well, much easier to deal with new hardware.
2. The blue fuel line coming from the rear is the return. Fuel spilled freely from it and would not stop. I cut short piece of fuel hose, put it on the return line and clamped it with a small vice grip. That worked well.
3. If you attach the blue fuel line to the "in" nipple on the filter, the car will not start. Ask me how I know.
4. Be careful with the small hose going to the front of the filter, it is brittle and can easily be damaged.
I just did mine today after work. Here's my 2 cents:
1) Took me about an hour and half. Not a real easy job but not super hard either. Because of the filter's location you have to raise the vehicle quite a bit and even then access is tedious. This job would be so much easier if done on a lift.
2) I did not have to remove a fuse because I let the car sit over night. By then the pressure had leaked down.
3) I used a golf tee to quickly plug the inboard gas line from the tank that flows freely. Gas spillage was minimal.
4) Put my lawn mower gas can with funnel under to catch what did come out. Probably 8 ounces or so.
5) I completely removed the shield. It took a 8 mm socket to remove all 5 bolts. It was not that hard to locate and remove the front two bolts.
6) I removed the foam piece. It put the small plastic line into the hold down next to the gas line and put a rubber bumper on it at a specific location so it could not vibrate or wear.
I had a "first crank" no start that I fixed by replacing the BMW clamps I had re-used twice with new "fuel injection" clamps.
I think the reason they are shaped the way they are is so we dont re-use them! =)
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