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Old 05-19-2020, 02:56 PM
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Unreliable cold starts; very long crank

Wife's car gave the symptom of fuel pump died: crank with zero sign of ignition.

She said she also didn't hear the fuel pump whine at key on.

Fuel pump original with 185,000 miles and I had a spare ready to install so I went to put it it only to discover the new pump was apparently damaged in shipping. Worse, I put the old on my bench power supply it spun right up.

So: car was out of service about two months while I was not able to even look at it, I finally bought a knock off pump from Amazon (same brand with 12 mo. warranty I have in my car).

I installed a few days ago and not too surprised that things weren't quite right.

It took on the order of 100 seconds of crank to get the car to start. The first attempts had no sign of life at all.

I hooked up a fuel pressure gauge before I tried to start but unfortunately the gauge was defective and fuel leaked into the dial. I did get a reading of 40 psi but of course not reliable reading but non zero.

At the time the charging up from 6v from being left for eight weeks battery had under 10v so I considered low v may have been the reason for 40 psi.

So I hooked up my car to give power to the starter and did quite a number of 10 second cranks and by the 4th attempt I finally got the first sign of life a couple cylinders fired.

It took maybe a dozen very long cranks before it finally chchchugged into life. It ran ok other than stuttered a bit on heavy throttle.

I left the car running to charge the battery and work out kinks. Then over the next hour used the car to drive to HF to exchange the faulty fuel gauge bringing my son with to sit in the car because I didn't dare shut it off.

Got back home and other than a minor incident of spraying gas out a joint that needed some Teflon tape I got the gauge hooked up and the needle was right at 50-52#. Oddly bouncing between the two values im guessing at the frequency of the injectors closing and causing water hammer.

Anyhow once I got the car back where I could leave it parked in case of non start I shut it off and was able to restart without a problem.

Fast forward a day or two: cold start was a little slow took twice as long as normal but the engine turned quick not a warn starter high current low voltage thing.

I moved the car to the street where I would have to move in three days.

On the third day when I went to start it was a very hard start like starting a carburated car in WI winter. 10-12 seconds but some sign of life 6-7 seconds in.

I didn't think ahead enough to hook up the fuel pressure gauge at startup but once started it ran fine no hesitation on heavy throttle etc.

I did notice after I got it running that the short term fuel trims are quite high indicating lean condition. Lends to low fuel pressure could be a problem but when I've hooked up the gauge it's been 50-52.

So I'm suspecting fuel pressure regulator which I can get from fcpeuro for $25 or included with a filter for $65 but I couldn't find other threads on xo with similar symptoms that resolved from FPR replacement. The closest I found was a 7 year old thread that was comically long (35 pages) that tuned out to be a kinked hose from the FPR to the fuel rail (something I will definitely check on since the last thing I worked on on that car was installing some mini cats to fix a post cat error from the 20 year old cats wearing out and not being 100% efficient).

Code:
FYI worked like a charm. I installed a pair of right angle O2 adapters that just slow the feedback from post cat exhaust and it eliminated the constant post cat O2 inefficient errors. $15 to stave off a $500+ two cat replacement!
So next test will be to monitor fuel pressure during the next cold start (2-4 days sitting). I'm quite sure it will be a long hard start I'll bring my jump start 50A charger with to assist with 1/4 of the starting current or maybe just use the bolt power which can supply the entire 200+.

I will report back. Oh also I will check the hoses and make sure I didn't manage to put a kink in the line from the FPR to the rail when I did the post cat O2 upgrade.

Has anybody had an FPR fail where it only didn't work correctly when cold but worked fine once running?

Coincidentally the fuel tank is below the level where it's sucking from the left side but I will check to confirm the tank levels are ok (right side full) before I start. The right side was full when I put in the replacement pump so siphon jet not part of the equation other than depending if the FPR needs back pressure to work the pressure relief valve in the tank could have failed and that will just circle fuel back to the right tank without sucking any from the left.

While fresh on my mind I think I'll go over where I moved the car for storage while fixing this problem and do the pressure gauge start to answer that question. (if pressure is low until starting). It will be just very strange if the case. It's electric pump should not make a difference once RPM higher unless the pump makes enough overhead pressure at 14v running vs 11-12v while starting.

Anyhow. Any feedback from previous example of similar long crank runs fine will be very helpful.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:03 PM
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Try priming the pump several times before trying to start it. Key on, wait 5 seconds, key off, repeat 3 or 4 times before starting. This will identify a FPR losing pressure instead of holding it a a minimum of 35 or 40 PSI over several days. Pretty sure your FPR is part of your fuel filter on the M54.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:08 PM
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FPR is attached to and Included with the filter but can be purchased separately. I've not seen the filter separate though so undecided on whether or not to be the guinea pig on FPR only replacement but with the size of the filter that should be good for half a million miles if the car was closer to 100 vs 200,000 I wouldn't even wonder i would just buy the FPR.

I did the multi prime trick before attempting to start as well as the pause bewteen attempts involved turning the key to 0 between attempts after replacing the pump.

I'm going to hook up the pressure gauge before I attempt to start and likely that will be within the next hour or so. I will report the results.

I don't know if the check valve is in the pump or the FPR or both so hoping to get some useful feedback from the pressure test and visual inspection of the supply hose from FPR to rail.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:42 PM
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Take a careful look at the fuel diagram. Engine/fuel pump running pressure, the 50 -52 PSI, is determined by the relief valve for the syphon system and depends upon the fuel pump being able to provide enough flow to satisfy the syphon jets. The 40 PSI is the pressure regulator setting which determined the rail pressure a system without a syphon jet but with the syphon jet system it now acts only to hold the 40 PSI on the rail when the fuel fuel pump has shut off. Also I don't think you can assume the fuel pressure regulator on the fuel filter you have in the vehicle has a regulator that is replaceable.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:29 PM
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https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...supply/276zVMO
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:54 PM
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Thanks for finding that TIS page. I'm going to update my master thread on the fuel system with some of the details from that.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:59 PM
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Here's the filter I used in my 2001 3.0i:
https://www.amazon.com/MAHLE-Origina.../dp/B0080E4PQS
Mahle KL 96

In the 4th photo on that page you can see the regulator, and the spring clip that holds it in place. I'm pretty sure I remember removing the clip and the regulator just to look at things when I replaced mine a few years ago.

But I can also believe that the individual filters and regulators might come matching only eachother. So if you have a Mann filter+regulator, maybe a Mahle regulator would not fit the Mann filter.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:13 PM
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@80s: I don't think what you said is accurate with the relief valve for the siphon jet. I've watched the pump while running and fuel only flows from the siphon jet outlets normally. My understanding is that the pump provides perhaps 60psi, the pressure regulator moderates that to 50 and relieves the extra pressure and volume back to the siphon jets at approximately 15-20 psi .

I do not know if the check valve is at the pump or the pressure regulator.

The FPR shows as compatible with my model when attempting to buy either Amazon or fcp euro as well as a recent thread on xoutpost showed somebody changing the FPR piqued my curiosity.

If I could have bought an FPR solo for $10-15 locally I'd have shot the parts bb gun at it yesterday but they were actually more expensive than the filter with FPR at fcpeuro.

I'm hoping to gather more data tonight with a pressure monitored start tonight and that hopefully will pin down the exact culprit.

Unfortunately I didn't have the pressure gauge with me to hook up when I parked it so won't have the pressure pre start but I will leave it on after testing to see if it will hold pressure when off.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:54 PM
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Funny our posts crossed in the mail so to speak. I typed mine as your food yours I saw your post an hour later.

Interesting you found the "filter only" and for the brand I was thinking of getting but it's only $5 savings so what I decided to do is this; determine the brand on wife's car, and mine, order the separate fpr if I can confirm its a swappable part and if I get no joy from fpr only swap, move the new FPR to my car and get a complete assembly for wife's.

Basically I would like to "jump on the grenade" so to speak because most often the filter should not need to be replaced. That said I might just take the unit off and dump it out and make the call based on how gross the funk they comes out of the input side of the filter.


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Old 05-19-2020, 08:38 PM
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Interesting...they changed fuel filter designs between 2001 and 2003.


Circa 2001 ish


vs

2003 ish


I just did the KL167 on my X the other day. GOTTA make sure to keep the lines in the right position.

ALSO!!!!...it's super easy to release the quick-connect clips. No special tool needed or anything.
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