[E46] Alternative to OEM fuel pump?

Discussion in 'Engine maintenance, upgrades and modifications' started by Rigsby, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. 19 Jun 2011 at 6:46 PM #1
    Rigsby

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    Ok so I confirmed today that my fuel pump is the source of a grating noise coming from the rear of the car. Removed the back seat and when the pump primes you can hear it grating, in comes and goes during driving. I have read various reports that the OEM pump isn’t really up to the job anyway and can start to deteriorate around 30k miles (from Turner Motorsport site), mine has done just over 50k.
    So I’d prefer to fit an uprated pump that will flow better, anyone any experience with this?
    Horsepower Freaks in the US use a Walbro 255 pump with a sleeve to bring the diameter up to the same as the OEM pump so it’s a direct replacement with very minor mods required, see link:
    http://www.horsepowerfreaks.com/partdetails/HPF/Fuel/Fuel_Pump_Install_Kits/E46_M3_Walbro_In_Tank/16889
    I used their videos to remove the fuel pump and check the dimensions to make sure I get a pump that’s not only man enough, but will also fit with minimal mods.
    The OEM pump dimensions are:
    43mm outside diameter, and 100mm case length
    The Walbro 255 pump is 40mm outside diameter and 120mm long (probably includes connections so roughly the same length).
    The OEM pump from BMW comes with the carrier and fuel level sender etc so with be anywhere between £200-£300, Turner MS list it as $350. The Walbro pump by itself is £60-£70 so it’s a no brainer really, uprated pump it is then! :thumbsup:
    HRC performance pumps also do equivalent pumps to Walbro with the same case sizes and there is a seller on ebay selling them even cheaper, £52 for a 255 litres per hour and £60 for a 290 litres per hour (even better than the HPF Walbro pump which is 255 LPH). I’m thinking of getting the HRC Performance 290LPH to make sure it isn’t running too near its limits, although a 255 has been proven to be ample by HPF, but for the extra £8 thought it can’t hurt. Reading on some forums, the HRC pumps are quieter than Walbro due to a better bearing and the case resists corrosion better than Walbro as well.
    Any comments/advise before I buy would be very welcome!! :D
    Cheers
     
  2. 4 Jul 2011 at 9:09 PM #2
    Rigsby

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    Well decided to go for the HRC Performance GS342 255LPH fuel pump for £52 and I've got to say it's probably the best £52 I've spent on the M3. I fitted it about 2 weeks ago and thought I'd give it some time before reporting back to make sure the engines had time to re-adapt after clearing all engine adaptations with INPA. Well 2 weeks later and about 500miles (holidays!) and I would say the new fuel pump has drastically reduced hesitations on acceleration from stand still (to the point where I would say it's near perfect now) and there is much more midrange torque around 3000rpm. In 6th on the motorway, acceleration is noticeably improved which means overtaking is more relaxed.

    If you're having any issues with hesitation or what could feel like slight misfires under acceleration then I'd recommend you look into replacing the fuel pump with one of these, can’t go wrong for £52!

    Link to ebay listing
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250843226365
     
  3. 4 Jul 2011 at 9:31 PM #3
    shimmy

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    Great info, I was thinking about swapping out my pump and regulator

    Did you check your regulator at the same time and how did you determine the 255 was man enough eventually?
     
  4. 4 Jul 2011 at 9:34 PM #4
    paul46

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    nice write up
     
  5. 4 Jul 2011 at 9:56 PM #5
    Rigsby

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    Not exactly sure how to check the regulator but intend to change the filter sometime in the near future so could do it then. Chose the 255 because that’s the same rating as the Walbro pump that Horse Power Freaks use, see the link above.

    It’s dead easy to do but make sure you request the foam sleeve as the HRC pump is slightly smaller so the sleeve brings the diameter of the pump back up to OEM. I took some pics of how I fitted it in the OEM carrier but can't find where I've put them. Will post up If I locate them.
     
  6. 4 Jul 2011 at 11:28 PM #6
    gilly

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    Rigsby,
    Did you ask for a sleeve when you bought the pump?
    What i mean is did you put it in a note that you had purchased the pump for an E46 M3 so needed a sleeve?
    Just a little confused have purchased the pump but dont know what i need in order for it to fit.
     
  7. 5 Jul 2011 at 8:49 AM #7
    Rigsby

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    yep just message them and say it's for an E46 M3 and need the sleeve. They deliver next day so you should have it tomorrow.
     
  8. 5 Jul 2011 at 10:34 AM #8
    mk17

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    Great DIY

    Really good instructional videos. I did however think that the guys choice of tools and treatment of the sender unit at times seemed a little at odds with his recommendation to treat with care!

    Do you need to clear all the engine adaptations for this?

    I dont have the connecting kit or software. Can the car re-adapt without clearing first?
     
  9. 5 Jul 2011 at 12:10 PM #9
    Rigsby

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    The engine will re-adapt anyway, clearing the adaptations just speeds up the process. I initially drove the car without clearing the adaptations and could feel the difference straight away, then did the reset when I was happy everything was ok, I also checked for any error codes just in case and everything was clear.

    I'll do a guide when I get a chance
     
  10. 5 Jul 2011 at 6:44 PM #10
    gilly

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    Thanks for that Buddy, have messaged them about the sleeve, just waiting for delivery now :thumbsup::D
     
  11. 5 Jul 2011 at 8:15 PM #11
    Rigsby

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    Ok so here’s a guide to installing the HRC 255 pump in the OEM cradle & carrier as promised.

    Firstly, I recommend you watch the videos on the Horse Power Freaks link above just before you carry this out so everything’s fresh in your mind.

    The only differences in installing the HRC pump to the HPF/Walbro pump is as follows:

    1) You will need 2 large cable ties (about 250-300mm long)

    2) I preferred to replace the small crimp connector on the OEM negative power wire with another of the same size as on the + wire rather than use the supplied power connector plug. It’s less work and the finished wiring is neater. You’ll need a large flat female crimp connector (with full insulating cover), available from Maplins etc.

    3) The HRC pump is shorter and smaller in diameter so the foam sleeve supplied with the pump slips over the pump to bring it up to the OEM pump diameter. But because there is no ridge around this sleeve (like on the OEM pump case) to locate in the pump carrier clips and hold the pump firmly in place, you will need to use the 2 cable ties hooked over the top of the rear carrier arm (that attaches to the rubber support mounts), then pulled tight around the lower half of the pump/foam sleeve. This holds the pump tightly in place. I wouldn't advise tightening the cable ties until you have the pump and carrier fitted back in the plastic cradle as the filter sock needs to sit as low as possible, almost touching the bottom of the cradle, so you can adjust the position of the pump and tighten the cable ties once you're happy.

    The fuel hose fits straight onto the pump and just use the supplied hose clip to tighten.

    Make sure you pay extra attention when connecting the +/- connections to the pump that they are the right way round and that the insulating cover over the new crimp connector is pushed well down to make sure that there is no short circuit/arcing across them as they are quite close together and there is no plastic partition separating them like on the OEM pump.

    Once everything is re-installed, the ECU will need to re-adapt to the new fuel pumps flow rates which it will do automatically over time, but if you have the INPA software I would recommend you clear the engine adaptations memory to help speed up this process.

    The OEM fuel pump setup
    [​IMG]

    My install:

    The parts that come in the kit.
    You won’t need: The black rubber end cover (top right) as it doesn't fit once the pump is in the carrier, the length of rubber fuel hose, one of the hose clips and the power connector (if you do it my way).
    [​IMG]

    The completed install
    [​IMG]

    The power connections (note the clear plastic cover over the new crimp connector)
    [​IMG]

    The filter sock position (this is important!) and also note where the cable ties hook over the rear support arm to stop them sliding down
    [​IMG]

    Close-up of the cable ties
    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps:thumbsup:
     
  12. 20 Jul 2011 at 9:03 PM #12
    gilly

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    Used your guide Rigsby, was spot on.:thumbsup:
    I used the new Pump connector supplied, just cut the spade connectors off the +ve and -ve and soldered the original wire to the new wire, used heat shrink insulation for a nice tidy job.
    Car feels different but don't really know if this is in my head because I know the new pump has been fitted.:D
    For Information the Fuel Pump is located behind the drivers seat :cool:
     
  13. 21 Jul 2011 at 8:54 AM #13
    Rigsby

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    Nice one gilly, glad you got it fitted ok. I think I noticed a big difference because my pump had actually started to fail, was making a vibrating/grinding noise.

    Was your pump noisy?
     
  14. 21 Jul 2011 at 6:33 PM #14
    yojimbo

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    Thanks for posting up gents. I'm watching this thread with interest as at £52 it's in the same league as spark plugs for preventative maintenance.

    I've used Walbro on other cars but have never been amazed by the quality and the HRC I'm not familiar with. In the past for the M3 I looked into a Bosch replacement but couldn't track down the part. Did either of you look into this?

    Do the old pumps give any clues? I'm also wondering if the old pump's can be reconditioned?

    Cheers,
    James
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  15. 22 Jul 2011 at 9:55 AM #15
    Rigsby

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    Hi yojimbo, I read a thread on CSL register by Cantfind1 http://www.cslregister.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5440 about pump replacements, the HPF kit was talked about and the Bosch 044 pump was also mentioned but it wasn't a direct replacement and wasn't cheap. Here is what was recommended on that thread when using the Bosch pump:

    Bosch 044 Pump £120.00
    Adjustable Fuel Reg £100.00
    Sytec Filtre Pre Pump £60.00
    Rubber Hose & Fittings £25.00

    Don’t ask me why you need all that stuff additional to the pump but I didn’t bother with the Bosch after that…

    The OEM pump is made by VDO but apart from that there are no other identifying marks, the fuel level sender says VDO Siemens. I don't see how you could easily recondition this pump as the steel case is formed over the plastic ends and would need to be opened-up somehow probably requiring a new case. I'm not saying it can't be done, just not worth doing when an HRC pump is only £52.

    Like you I hadn't heard of HRC before (or even Walbro) before researching for this but if you do a google search you find there are several threads about them, one in particular was a thread on a Subaru.net (http://bbs.scoobynet.com/group-buys-439/886362-hrc-performance-fuel-pump-group-buy.html) forum with a group buy for these pumps with a lot of info about them. It is said that the Walbro bearings aren't particularly good and can be noisy, also Walbro only has a 1 year warranty where as HRC is 2 years.

    I'm still really happy with the results and have completely cured an annoying hesitation when setting off from a stand still, on a regular basis the engine power would die for a split second and then power would slowly come back on tap killing my confidence when pulling onto a roundabout in heavy traffic etc. This has never happened since fitting the HRC pump and midrange torque is greatly improved. Cold start kangarooing is pretty much gone as well and only lasts a second or 2 on the odd occasion whereas before it was more common and lasted around a minute sometimes.

    Hope this helps you make up your mind
     
  16. 22 Jul 2011 at 2:47 PM #16
    yojimbo

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    Thanks again for taking the time to write down what you've learnt. I can see why I was having no luck finding a Bosch replacement now as the M3 uses VDO!

    You've certainly given me enough "direction" to continue researching.

    From previous car's I've seen the pump voltage can drop through having a poor earth so this might be my first check.

    I might end up following the same path as yourself with HRC but as there's no immediate issue I'll continue to explore replacement options.

    James
     
  17. 22 Jul 2011 at 9:27 PM #17
    gilly

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    Sorry didn't reply sooner buddy, was stuck at work :)
    Pump wasn't noisy, just had a lot of hesitation/kangarooing when the car was cold. New Pump seems to have cured this :peace:
     
  18. 4 Sep 2011 at 2:34 PM #18
    JackRabbit

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    I changed my fuel pump on Friday for the HRC Performance 290LPH, but now the car takes a couple of turns of the ignition before starting. Once running it seems fine. Any thoughts?
     
  19. 4 Sep 2011 at 5:50 PM #19
    M3boy

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    Nice one. With an InspII due very soon I think Ill get my indy to do this too :)
     
  20. 5 Sep 2011 at 1:41 PM #20
    Rigsby

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    No problems here matey, still running perfectly.

    Does it always take longer to start or is it just when it's been sat for a few hours? i.e. does it start ok straight after turning the engine off?

    I notice you used the more powerful 290LPH pump instead of the 255LPH that I used, I wonder if it's over fueling slightly on start-up causing the mixture to be too rich?
     

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