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In tank lifter pump - Airtex replacment pile-o-crap.

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  • In tank lifter pump - Airtex replacment pile-o-crap.

    Went to fit this to the tank today. Fitted in fine and all looked good until I tried to slot the fuel lever sender in. It simply doesn't sit on the base as the sender hits the fuel feed pipe. Either the pipe is welded in wonky of the hole and studs are out of alignment. I tried to file a bit of the side of the sender unit to clear, but even doing this didn't work and would have to cut in to too much to be safe.
    I couldn't find this pump in the UK with the correct electrical connection and bought on from a US retailer. Anyway, seems garbage and a waste of money. The old one is rusted and no use.
    Anyone got a genuine frame they don't need ?

    PS. Is Airtex a junk parts brand in the US ? I've never heard of them before on this side of the pond.
    This space is a sanctimonious shit free zone.

  • #2
    I have never heard of Airtex.

    My last few in-tank pumps have been made by VDO...and I have had terrible luck with them....probably because I run fuel with a lot of ethanol.


    • #3
      This is the one.
      I had a spare pump, but the frame top was rusted away so went with this, mostly just to get a new frame, but that's junk if the sender won't slot inside.
      This space is a sanctimonious shit free zone.


      • #4
        I didn't know Airtex made an assembly for our cars. Airtex is one of those aftermarket brands sold at auto parts stores. A few years back, they were selling Walbro made pumps in Airtex boxes.

        88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
        85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ


        • #5
          I just installed an airtex in tank pump a couple of months ago. Had the car up in running in 20 minutes. I remember running into the pump not fitting. I don't recall exactly what it was but i know it was related to the fuel level sensor. Like i had to install it after the pump was in
          sigpic 95 M3 & 88 M3


          • #6
            I just used a chevy vega pump from auto parts store. It is virtually identical in size/shape to OE. Can't remember if it was a spectra or airtex but it works fine. I think it was like 30 bucks.

            We did do a late body tank swap on the racecar and use 2 ETA pumps (OEM) one to feed the other then the other to feed the main. Perhaps an ETA assembly could work if you wanted the full assembly and pump? Mines an 87 M3 so probably could have done that but decided to just swap the pump only and used the old chevy vega one. Worked perfect.

            Edit: just re-read and see that your pump chassis is shot. Are you sure it can't be wire brushed and cleaned up? You can add a new wire with eyelet and small nut and bolt for ground. Positive I believe goes up through a fitted sleeve, if that's ruined you may be in trouble. Is the new one you bought have the pipe soldered on? You can sometimes put heat to it and rotate it a bit. Add some more solder in if you are worried.


            • #7
              The chassis simply doesn't allow the sender unit to sit flush, the feed pipe is simply too close to the cut out for the sender, even after removing material from the side of the sender.
              I thought the chassis part would be fine and the pump a cheap item. The original one is shot and too rusty and a split in the plastic for the wire feed up to the electrical plug.
              Think I'll stick it back in the box and revisit later, unless anyone has an original chassis they want to sell ?
              This space is a sanctimonious shit free zone.


              • #8
                We may have one or two 87 chassis at the shop, I'll ask Zach if he can find them.
                Question: Did you install the chassis first THEN install the sender after? Or did you try to drop everything in at once.....


                • #9
                  Chassis was fitted first and initially thought the sender was bottoming out as I dropped it in. Removed the chassis and tried it again and saw it hit the fuel feed pipe.
                  This space is a sanctimonious shit free zone.


                  • #10
                    Sorry the chassis we have are no good from previous modifications.

                    Can you provide some pictures of the problem? If it's not terrible you can CAREFULLY bend the pipe in a vise or potentially slide a very small tube bender on it (like brake pipe style) and gently bend. Pictures will help.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for taking time to check for me.
                      I think I'll just buy another complete unit. If the sender doesn't fit and the manufacture is that bad as stock, then its just a bad sign and don't want to get into having to squish fuel pipes to make it work. lesson learnt, this unit is junk
                      This space is a sanctimonious shit free zone.


                      • #12
                        You may want to price out the ETA lift pump. It may work in your application and could be cheaper than the M variant. Then again it might not.. I only suggest because we use 2 ETA lift pumps in our m20 track car.

                        Although pigtails used were 87 and older iirc, can't remember.