1st Gen R53 Cooper S R53 Fuel Filter Housing Pressure Regulator Failure? 2-3k Hesitation & Hard Start

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by minsanity, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    #1 minsanity, Aug 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2018
    Hey Guys, can anyone confirm if this part is a fuel pressure regulator by the filter housing? Or some check valve? I know Bimmers have pressure regulators in their filter housings.
    Screenshot_2016-08-19-22-39-02_1_zpssnsiejf2.jpg

    Has anyone seen this fail?
    I'm hunting a 2-3k hesitation & hard start problem...
    History:
    02 R53 w/ 55k mi on the clock
    @45k mi, changed the ff:
    OE Fuel filter, rail side fuel pressure regulator w/ vac tube, injector O-rings, plugs, leads, coolant temp sensor, Crank Pulley to ATI, OE belt & tensioner.
    @50k mi, swapped the fuel pump

    Symptoms: Occurred suddenly....
    On a 120mi drive last week, car suddenly loses power & hesitates at 2-3k. And now struggles to start. Swapped new OE NGK plugs, no improvement on hard start. All 4 wires have good spark. These are how the 10k mi plugs looked....pretty normal...
    P_20160811_102610_zpsgtpvqrjr.jpg
    Batt is constantly hooked to a trickle charger. Crank is good. Pump primes but I've lately heard a few ticks on the filter side upon priming. Maybe 5-6 ticks or taps.
    Hooked a pressure gauge by the rail...8psi...not 52!!!!
    P_20160811_093437_zpsi98ghokr.jpg
    Removed pump & filter assembly for external inspection. The 5k mi old VDO pump works! No cracked nor split hoses!
    P_20160813_115314_zpsjq7pnot4.jpg
    BPV spring is fine.
    Put everything back in, pump primes, I hear the same ticking or tapping sound by the fuel filter side upon priming. Car struggles to start & needs foot on the pedal. Once it starts, idles smooth. No CELs. Once turned off & restarted, same struggle as expected from just 8psi of fuel pressure.
    I extracted the pictured part from a very old Euro-spec 01 R50 filter assembly. One where you need to replace the entire assembly to change the filter...yikes....


    Swapped it in, slight improvement in starting but still struggles.

    I've searched & have not seen any documented R53 filter side fuel pressure regulator failure.....Am I the 1st, again?
    Remember, not long ago, we hunted this down together....
    http://www.motoringalliance.com/forums/cooper-s/14839-morning-hard-starts-now-1-3k-rpm-hesitation-yoyo-hiccup.html
    The 1st documented split fuel pump hose.

    Need your thoughts & help to solve another puzzle....again, guys.
    Thanks much, M/A.:)

    FIX UPDATE: 8/26

    Drove GPig yesterday & it stalled on me 5 times. Had to be pushed aside. Had to proceed with the surgery as parts arrived.
    Removed my old pump....
    Swapped my buddy's spare 06/2016 production date VDO pump in....
    P_20160826_195618_zpsoovx4hj4.jpg
    New left, old right.
    Car still won't start. NOT THE PUMP!!!!!
    So, I placed the old pump back in.

    Removed the clicking Filter Assembly, pic'd on the right, w/ a new OE 1....on the left....

    Boom!!!! Car instantly started. Puffed a bit & had a bit of misfire & P0300. Cleared & restarted fine. No more clicking from the filter assembly. Took it for a spin, car pulls w/o hesitation. Old guy is back!!!!
    This 4.55bar Fuel Pressure Regulator that you can't buy separately was the culprit....
    P_20160826_201842_zpsduah1xwo.jpg

    One for the archives. Hope this would help those aging gen1s hunt down fuel distribution issues.:)
     
  2. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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  3. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    Was really tempted, Dave. I looked at Colin's....but that pump I have is just 5k mi old & still works fine.....at least, it seems to.:)
    So no one here has seen the failure I'm suspecting?
    Is the DW direct fit & DIYable?
    Thanks, Dave!
     
  4. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

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    Have you checked the vacuum line that connects to the regulator by the fuel rail??
    The tiny vac line gets hard and cracks with age....
    There is also a micro-filter inline at the rail.
     
  5. Canusrufis

    Canusrufis RMW Powered R53
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    why did you swap the original fuel pump? other than b/c. A new pump doesn't mean it functions correctly.
     
  6. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Yes it is a direct fit and total DIY. Just give Colin a ring and he will help you out. Info is on his site or shoot him a PM from MA.
     
  7. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    Yup, checked that vac line immediately after removing the IC. Good. That's pretty new together w/ the rail fuel pressure regulator. Do you have a pic of the micro filter? Where is that located? Thanks, Zip.

    The stock pump died on me at around 50k mi.:(

    Thanks, Dave. A friend has a new spare pump. I can try to swap that in 1st.


    So, no one has ever heard or seen fuel filter housing pressure regulator failure? I suspected that coz of both the ticking upon priming & the slight improvement upon swapping an old, lower rated & probably faulty R50 one.....How much better? It can restart w/o foot on the pedal after the car has been turned off. The stock 1? Restarts are always the same struggle & puffing as the 1st try. I went ahead & ordered the filter housing assembly from ECS. Let's see & hope this gets sorted. Another 1 for the archives.

    Any more ideas, guys? Does a bad gas cap give the same symptoms? Thanks!!!!

    Seems like this grumpy but so loved R53 is living up to its name, GP......for, guess what.....Guinea Pig. Haha.:)
     
  8. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

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    The micro-filter looks like a flat disc from what I recall...looks more like a plat disc of filter paper in the holder...
    Naww...the cap would not cause issues unless the entire evap system is totally messed up, and you have a huge vacuum.
     
  9. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again, Zip. Good to know about the cap. Was thinking it might....like if the filter housing gasket weren't properly seated, the car won't start....
     
  10. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    My Nippons of way more miles clocked have never seen issues the R53 has had.....Wished these were more reliable....The things you do for love....hahaha.
     
  11. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    #11 minsanity, Aug 20, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
    So, the old dried up R50 filter side fuel pressure regulator has now been inside the tank undisturbed for a week. That old used rusty part has been sitting in storage for more than a decade....haha.
    Had to prime a few times, tap the pedal to get it started. Warmed it up, turned it off, restarted without priming but easier with.
    Left the car for about an hour, it started w/ priming in 1 take. The R50 part seems to work better now that it has been immersed, fuel lubed & exercised.....Looking bright it might be the faulty part. Still observing & allowing faith to go to work here.:)
     
  12. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH Well-Known Member

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    My guess is 99% of folks replace it as a full unit (pump and regulator) cause parts are not too available and folks you are to bathe in fuel....
    The fact that a gummy old regulator seems to work after it soaked....I guess is hope...
     
  13. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    #13 minsanity, Aug 20, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
    That part isn't available separate from the filter housing assembly, not the pump. Just trying to pinpoint where the symptoms are coming from... to help those who might see the same troubles from our aging lil cars.
    No one wants to blindly just throw parts in & keep hoping they'd hit the nail.:)
     
  14. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    How true. I really dislike just indiscriminately changing parts in hopes that things will improve.
     
  15. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    I've yet to tackle timing chain cover gasket leak. Tedious job for such a minor thing. This wasn't in the list of common leaks for gen1s. It's not really bad. Just a drop per day or 2.
     
  16. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    Update:
    Drove GPig yesterday & it stalled on me 5 times. Had to be pushed aside. Had to proceed with the surgery as parts arrived.
    Removed my old pump....
    Swapped my buddy's spare 06/2016 production date VDO pump in....
    P_20160826_195618_zpsoovx4hj4.jpg
    New left, old right.
    Car still won't start. NOT THE PUMP!!!!!
    So, I placed the old pump back in.

    Removed the clicking Filter Assembly, pic'd on the right, w/ a new OE 1....on the left....
    P_20160826_201842_zpsduah1xwo.jpg
    Boom!!!! Car instantly started. Puffed a bit & had a bit of misfire & P0300. Cleared & restarted fine. No more clicking from the filter assembly. Took it for a spin, car pulls w/o hesitation. Old guy is back!!!!
    This 4.55bar Fuel Pressure Regulator that you can't buy separately was the culprit....
    P_20160826_202306_zpsjmmtdmgn (1).jpg

    One for the archives. Hope this would help those aging gen1s hunt down fuel distribution issues.:)
    A blessed weekend, all.:)
     
  17. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Nice work !!
     
  18. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, @00Mini sir!
     
  19. minsanity

    minsanity Well-Known Member

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    Updated 1st post for everyone.☺
     
  20. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Nice sleuthing job....:Thumbsup:
     

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