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Thread: E36 Fuel Tank Removal + expansion tank Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    United Kingdom
    My Cars
    Martini BMW E36

    E36 Fuel Tank Removal + expansion tank Help!

    What is this awful complicated design? All I wanted to do is drop the fuel tank to weld the reinforcement plates, plus clean it all up and give it a lick of paint.
    So I figured I will be able to take the fuel tank without removing the exhaust and drive shaft and I was right. Only problem is I disconnected everything successfully apart from a bunch of tubes running from the expansion tank (filler cap), via top secret passage that can not be accessed from any side, to the top of the reservoir via some proprietary hose clamps.
    I read the manual and out of all the pics and info this step is listed as "oh yeah just disconnected this and that and you are good to go". I did some searching and I'm finding constant results of people breaking the plastic necks etc. At this point I'm thinking to just put a blanket and do the welding around the obstacle as I have space to manuever and of course actually reach the top, now that it's half way out. Still I want to know why are there so many god damn pipes running around and has anyone done expansion tank delete? This is a drift/fun car so I'm not worried about street legality, which is the reason why I'm not running a charcoal canister (that blue pipe hanging underneath) so I'd like to know if there is ways to block/trim some of these hoses. At least I managed to get behind the fuel tank and remove the old brake lines. Any info and DIY advice? I don't want to open a can of worms as I'm short on time and was originally planning to keep the OEM fuel tank as it is. I know this plastic shit is brittle which is why I'm glad I changed my mind mid way and opened this topic to get a clear understanding of things.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Denver, Colorado
    My Cars
    99 328i, a few more
    pictures are private,

    but if its the hoses I think of I just cut them and spliced them back together with hose barbs and clamps on reinstall

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    My Cars
    '97 M3
    The tank is not hard once the drive shaft, exhaust and enrage cables are out. Undo the pressure and return hoses from the top, undo the fuel sender and pump connectors, undo the straps, lower the tank a bit and tilt the aft end down, cut the origin clamps off carefully to not break the barbs off the tank and lower the tank out of the car. Use gear clamps when assembling.
    Last edited by chikinhed; 09-14-2019 at 08:41 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    My Cars
    1998 BMW M3 Coupe
    The bentley instructions are pretty simple, drain tank, discon battery, pinch off hoses, remove them, remove straps, drop tank. Of course all the other stuff is already out...That seems reasonable, wondering if it's okay to drop it with 1/4 tank of gas in it. I ran it down in case I decided to do this, and for several reasons I want it out. With my amateur welding skills I think I'd be fine, but I want to clean up the rust on some areas I can't really get to, and when I put it all together it would just be easier I think.
    Kodi Lucky Patcher nox
    Last edited by iklaki; 10-27-2019 at 04:20 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    oneida, ny, usa
    My Cars
    325ic,328is,03 325i
    Your better off just emptying the tank. Its a bich to get back in sometimes because the tank has to be in the perfect spot to get the straps bolted on.

    For the original question at top.
    The best way to do it is the easiest.. And thats dropping the exhaust, the driveshaft. Thats why the manual says to do it that way.
    The little vent hoses on the top sides of the tank are absolutely ridiculously hard to get back on and impossible to but clamps back on while thw tank is up in close enough for the hosea to even reach whee they plug on.
    What I did was i cut all the lines in an easily accessible location up by the brake lines conglomerate by the driver aide rtab . Mark them to what they go to. Then reconnect them there later on with some barb fittings while keeping everything else attached to the tank.
    The gas lines you wont have to cut, but you will want to pay attention to thwm while putting the tank in. Helper in the car positioning stuff helps alot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Canberra, Australia
    My Cars
    1993 BMW 325i Coupe
    Quote Originally Posted by iklaki View Post
    wondering if it's okay to drop it with 1/4 tank of gas in it.
    If your tank is still hooked up and pump is still wired, you can just jump the pump to make it pump out all remaining fuel.

    E36 1993 325i Coupe - Gt3582 turbo build COMPLETE!
    DomsE36Garage Youtube Channel

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