View Full Version : 2003 BMW SULEV


04-06-2015, 09:16 PM
Several weeks ago I purchased a front end wrecked 2003 BMW 325i (long story...just trying to help out a family member). It's a very clean car with 130k miles.

As I started looking around for parts I discovered that BMW installed two engines, an m54 six and an m56 six cylinder. The m56 was sold in only a few states (California, New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts). It has a sealed fuel system and has hydrocarbon emissions comparable to that of an electric vehicle. Cool huh?

Not really. Turns out the fuel system consists of special stainless steel fuel lines, vapor canister, etc...including a sealed stainless steel gas tank that holds the FUEL FILTER AND FUEL PUMP!!!

Apparently if you need to replace the filter or pump it requires that you replace the tank at a cost >$7000 for just the tank...

Are any of you guys familiar with the system and whether or not there is a working retrofit? My car runs, but you don't know what tomorrow brings...

I know that BMW offered a 15 year 150k warranty but my car has a salvage title so that's out the window...

Some guys have posted that they know BMW techs that are saying they are replacing the tanks with plastic units but no one seems to be able to verify. I found one person on a message board who claims to have done it but apparently he's dropped off the face of the interweb.

Someone gimmie some good news!


Bob K
04-06-2015, 09:42 PM
If it comes to needing a fuel pump, remove the tank and throw some dry ice into it and after it's melted and driven out all the air cut a hole in the top and weld in a patch made from a GM car tank with the opening for a GM fuel pump. It will have the stub lines and you can rig up fuel lines to tap into the lines of the car. If you don't like dry ice or exhaust from a running car engine, fill the tank with water before you cut into it. You may need to cobble the BMW sender and electric plug onto the GM pump.

Bob K

04-07-2015, 02:29 PM
Might be a dumb question but couldn't you put the tank and from the other engine car in this one?

SALVAGE: Also, take the VIN # to a BMW service dept (hopefully you know of one) and ask them to run the VIN to find out what Service Bulletins are out there for that car.

Buddy has done 30% collision work and about 70% Salvage sales for over 35 years. Hell, he's doing cars for the grand children of his original customers.

One guy, had them shop for Volvo cars. On a couple of them, nothing about salvage was showing at the dealer. After repair, the new owner was having all sorts of upgrades done. Even got a new radio on an XC90. Hell, worth the try. Beside, you don't need tank work at this point do you? I'd crush that sucker for $7K. Good luck.


04-07-2015, 09:42 PM
They say the electrical connections, fuel lines, basically everything is different. I want to say it does not have a return line in the system. I also read something about the standard engine having a 3 bar fuel pump and the SULEV engine having a 5 bar pump...

I did a quick search and Bosch makes a 5 bar 'in tank' pump...quite possibly the same unit that's there now.

I do have a parts car with plastic tank...the standard pump is gone but they're reasonably priced.


04-14-2015, 11:01 AM
That sucks Sam. Hopefully it doesn't cause you too big of issues. I'm with the other guys. If you need a pump I'd make one fit. Hopeing it doesn' freak out the computer.

My wifes 2004 subaru has california emissions on it which is different than the other 2004 subaru's. So I partly feel your pain. It has some special parts and anytime I order anything fuel system related I have to provide the vin to the dealer. It also has special catalytic convertors that fail around 120K. Which I've already replaced with aftermarket.

- Jeremy