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tii fuel tank gremlins at it again (updates)


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After receiving my new E30 in-tank pump and sending unit (THANKS BLUNT), I thought I would work on the dreaded tii fuel tank this afternoon for some R&R.

WELL - as long as I was working on the tank, I might as well pull the pickup to inspect the mesh screen I installed 2 years ago. TOTALLY STUPID THING TO DO! I went ahead and replaced the mesh screen then tried to re-install the twist-in pickup.

After 1.5 hours, I gave up and ate dinner. The design that uses the twist-in pickup must be the dumbest thing ever done on a 2002. The bolt-on one should hopefully be much easier to work with - BUT OHHHHH NOOOO, a PO installed a different tank in my car, so I have to deal with the crappy unit.

If I fiddle around with it, the pickup will lower just enough so the tangs will catch, but won't turn at all because the pickup isn't low enough. I even bent the tabs on the bottom of the pickup so that it won't bottom out inside the tank well.

It will go in fine if I remove the o-ring first. I even put some petroleum jelly on the ring and the underside of the pickup, but that didn't work.


Here you can see the stock sending unit


Bottom of pickup without the mesh screen.



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That's a fat looking O-ring. Sure you've got the right one?

Long story there Andy! I'll keep it short.

My old one had two cracks that caused fumes to seep into the pass. cabin and gas to leak into the trunk when the tank was filled all the way up.


Taking some measurements with a caliper, I ordered a couple sizes of o-rings from McMaster-Carr, but they were either too thick or the wrong durometer (too hard).

Gave up and ordered some from the local BMW dealer. That fixed my fumes and leakage issue back in March 2009. The Blue Book recommends using a little bit of petroleum jelly (aka Vasoline) on the new o-ring.


For those folks who cannot remember all the FAQ posts on tii fuel line hose sizes

Fuel return line


Supply line to stock electric pump


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Guest Anonymous

They are a pain. After seating it until it catches I've always used a blunt chisel/screwdriver and gently tapped it around at different points and that seemed to work. There are different length pickups and you may have a long one that just touches the bottom. I've got a spare new one 7 3/4" long if you need to borrow one.

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The bolt-in unit is the way to go, but changing tanks seems like the tail wagging the dog in this situation.

Try heating the o-ring in boiling water for a few minutes. The petroleum jelly helps with the rotation, the heat softens the ring a little. Also, I've fashioned a little tool from PVC pipe of the appropriate diameter with notches to help me "grip" the pick-up at the edges. Once you engage the tabs, this tool allows you to get some leverage for the twist.

Good luck.

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Thanks for the advice guys.

Bill - the original pickup contacted the bottom of the tank well (see top pic), so I bent the sharp tabs on the bottom so it doesn't touch anymore.

Grice - thanks for the tank offer. I do have the bolt-in style pickup and a new gasket, but will try to keep mine for the time being.

lilmo4 - can you post a pic of your PVC pipe tool? That sounds like a great idea! I've been using (2) screwdrivers (crossed) and sometimes just the bent top portion of a hack saw.

Someday, I'd like to remove, clean and coat my tank. At that time, maybe I'll change it to the tank with a bolt-in pickup.

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If you are going to use the e30 in-tank pump, you don't need a tii tank, a regular tank will work just fine. In fact, if you have the e30 pump from 318is, you only need the hole for the sending unit as the pump has the return line already built-in. Sorry Jim if this is a redundant info, you probably know this already.

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After a good dinner and night's rest, I ventured out into the garage, climbed into the trunk (!) and gave it another college try.

I have been trying to twist the pickup counterclockwise, so after about 15 minutes, I tried turning it clockwise while pressing down. BINGO!

Hope that I NEVER have to remove that stupid thing ever again.

The E30 pump and sending unit have been installed mechanically. I still have to get a wiring harness extension w/plugs.

Expanding on Bill Williams' FAQ article, I dabbed some Vasoline on the (2) o-rings and also marked the top of the pump flange "+" and "-" for reference.

I removed the tii expansion jar/bracket and E21 pump, then used a new length of BMW 8mm fuel hose from the new pump to the hard line under the car.

On to the pictures!

Twist-in pickup with capped supply line


My source of caps from Advanced Auto. The 3/8" one will just fit over the 12 mm tube.


New pump



New pump installed





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Jim, are you using e30 wring harness for the pump? I have been looking one for myself, please let me know if you know any source..

EDITED for clarification purposes. Didn't want anyone getting the wrong idea that I wasn't receiving proper customer support from BLUNT TECH. Every transaction and communication has been top notch.

Mr. BLUNT is working on this. Do you have any foreign car "yards" in the TRIAD area? I think you could cut out one from an E30 pretty easily. All the yards around here have been bought out for their scrap metal shipments to China.

I have to go up to PA on business Monday & Tuesday and see signs for some places off I-81, but they are closed by the time I go by.

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