10

Fuel Pump Replacement

By
ripcurl
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The Eight just died at 276xxxkm/172xxxmiles while driving to a meeting. Leaving me stranded at a gas station. Pushed it in and tried filling it up with gas, nothing, just cranked, and cranked. Checked the fuse, and sure enough it was blown. This is the first place you should start. Remove your passenger side fuse panel cover, and check this 15amp fuse. Its most likely blown.

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I already purchased a VDO pump previously knowing this maintenance items was coming up. Towed it home and replaced it over three nights, one hour a piece. The following are some observations of the re/re. If you are not small, and do not like crawling around in the trunk for an hour, then this is not for you.

Few things to note.
First : If you buy a cheaper version of a pump, and it ONLY has ONE PORT on the bottom, it is wrong. It will work for the first 1/3 of tank, then the car will stall. Get the pump with a TWO PORTS on the bottom/a large one and small one. Do your self a favor and buy the proper damn 240 dollar pump. I have read countless threads of, "well now my car dies at 2/3 tank everytime...When I was doing replacement my pump didnt seat correctly because it only has one port but I still installed it regardless of things not aligning properly, or before doing any research/asking a question or really applying any amount of common sense, is this my problem? I hope not because I really dont want to do it again because I suck at things"

Secondly : Doing this procedure is not for the faint of heart. There are lots of little tricks that if not done correctly, will leave you stranded everytime your at 2/3 or 1/2 tank of gas. Pay attention and dont rush.

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Here is the assembly we will be removing, essentially # 1 to 17 in the first diagram. And 1A and 1 in the second diagram. The fuel pump assembly is a gigantic akward piece if it were small and simple.

I'll be referencing part numbers from the first diagram.

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Open your trunk, remove the carpet, and the passenger side access panel, three philips. Remove this white cap(#8). You'll need some pliers upside-down. But to do so, cut off the rubberised handle for the first 1/2". Find the two holes, and put the pliers in it upside down. Get a crescent wrench and remove it. NOTE this cap is a REVERSE THREAD.

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Once the cap is removed, there is a spring(#7) that keeps this fuel level tube(#5) down. Remove the spring. Pull up on the leveler this with some pliers, this thing drains fuel slowly. Lift it out and wait a few second before spilling it all across your trunk. My harness just disconnected it self from pulling it up, just remember to re-connect it afterwards. Put the white cap(#8) back on lightly as means to prevent from dropping something in.

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Now remove the fuel lines, #10 is a 1 time use clamp the other #11 a 17mm, note the washers, keep in a safe place for reuse.
Now remove the LONG hold down bolt(#17), 13mm I believe. This bolt will stop and catch on things as you pull it up, remove it entirely. Now remove the final plastic ribbed ring(#18) that holds the entire assembly down. After it is removed, MARK the alignment of your pump assembly for reinstallation.

Pulling it out is tricky. Pull straight up, it will resist but wiggle it a bit, and once it is about 40mm remove the large tank gasket. Rotate the whole thing counter clockwise about to 10 o'clock and tilt towards you. There is a good video out there of this, youtube 405-052-002-001z . It will get caught on a lot of things, but came out easy, just dont force it.

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Here is the entire fuel pump assembly in all its glory. Some engineer was smoking when they dreamt this thing up. The actual fuel pump in the bottom, see picture 4.

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To get to it takes a little finagling. The top half needs to be separated.
Disconnect the one fuel line thats making the U-Turn.
Next, the top needs to come off. it wants to rotate counter clockwise. But there is a tab obstructing it. See photo 1, I used a hot exacto blade, and melt/cut the plastic tab away. This allowed it to rotate. I lubed up the area with some power blaster as it felt glued together without lubrication.
Once it is free, you can pull the top back, and grab the fuel pump housing, and remove it from the lower bowl.

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Removing the pump is pretty self explanatory, two small 6 or 7mm nuts hold on the terminals, and a one time use clamp. Re/re. Here it is disconnected and ready for some quick cleaning. I hit the screen with some brake cleaner and a scrub brush.

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Make sure you clock your fuel pump correctly upon re-installation. The two ports on the bottom need to seat correctly. I am surprised at how many people fuck this up. It seems self explanatory, but in reading online, more often than not, people dont clock it right. I mean if you dont, the top retaining tabs wont clip in, and the car will not run past 2/3 of a tank. Button it all back up and get back to your trunk.

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Reinstalling is pretty straight forward, KEEP YOUR LARGE TANK WASHER OUT until later. Enter in on an angle, rotate clockwise, and get it to 40mm above the tank. Here is the hard part, and where 90% of people and shops fail. The below images highlight the pick up tube that needs to insert correctly. This is why at the start you want to mark your assembly position relative to the tank, so that when you have to drop the last 40mm, you have a much higher chance of aligning/engaging this tube.
You are doing this blind obviously, and crammed into the trunk and probably cursing a lot by now.
How do you know its in? Well, leave the large tank washer out, if the tube is inserted correctly, the whole assembly will be 100% flush/level with the tank, like bullet straight. Once you get to this point, just try rotating the assemble in place, if you feel resistance, you are good. if it rotates clockwise, then try again.
Once you get it, now is the time to install the large tank washer. Lube it up with some oil, and lift the assembly ever so slightly and stuff the washer in. The washer is double lipped, so make sure all those lips are in all around. Once it is in, get the ribbed hold down washer and your are pretty much home free from here.

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When I was trying to align my pick up tube, I got to the 40mm point looking for the tube... tried for 10 minutes, and no luck. I stopped. Considered using a camera to enter the driver side tank leveler to watch this activity. Thought, fuck this sucks. Crawled back in, and literally just touched the assembly, and it dropped in all on its own. I couldnt believe it.
I still drove around with a jerry can of fuel just in case it wasnt aligned, or a washer broke or something, but it was all good.

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Note, when reinstalling the long 13mm hold down bolt, DO NOT over tighten this baby. If you do, it'll break the plastic down in the assembley, and then you are really fucked.

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This is where that large hold down bolt engages at the bottom of the tank. Tighten too much and this piece at the bottom breaks.
This washer can also cause problems with the running out of gas at 2/3 tank. I took the chance and reused mine, plenty of people have without issue, and some needed to replace it. Unfortunately you cannot buy this gasket separately, and you need to buy the KIT which is 350 bucks. No thanks.

If you have gotten this far, you have saved at least 1,500 bucks(some have had it quoted this in USD!!!!) Now is a good time to replace your fuel filter as well. Enjoy the next 270,000kms!

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HA! It surprisingly wasnt that bad, maybe three hours total over three nights. But I kind of think I got lucky with the pick up tube engagement. Guys have mentioned taking it to three different shops, and no avail. But it could have been a broken at the base, which then cost mucho dinero. I am sure the engineers sat without supervision on this element of the car. They probably said, well the transmissions going to crap out before the pump needs to be replaced, and no ones going to spend 6500 to replace a transmission on a 180,000km car, so who cares what this thing looks like! - ripcurl November 20th 2016
Blake, after all your observations and learning the ins and outs, do you think that it was possible for Audi to make this more complicated? I mean, do you think they held design reviews to discuss the complexity level, to ensure they've over-complicated it enough? Why is it so damn complicated just because it's a more expensive car? I would have taken one look at that and told the tow truck driver to bring it to Aim Recycling. Aluminum is $0.55/lb and that's a heavy car! - q20v November 19th 2016

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