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Old 12-19-2010, 03:33 AM
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Default Fuel Door Latch DIY

This DIY is for Cleaning the Fuel Door Latch. The fuel door latch actually requires no lubrication.

TECHNICAL NOTES: If you do lubricate the latch it will attract dust/dirt/grime faster than a non-lubricated latch and you will have to clean it more often. The latch is not sealed, so when you spray lubricant into it, it simply runs down the cable on the other side.

DISCLAIMER: The author(s) assume that you (the reader) are reasonably capable with the automotive tools necessary to get the job accomplished, which means that you won’t glue your fingers together and are smart enough to know not to try to blame or post ranting about anyone else if something goes horribly wrong. AGREED?

These instructions were developed using the following NB...

1) 1998 2.0 liter, 5 speed

As always, just remember to offer a simple thank you and credit to the original author (D2Beetle) when you tell all of your BUG buddies!!

TIME NEEDED: <30 Minutes.

ITEMS NEEDED: MAF Cleaner. A eBahn Bentley DVD or Haynes manual.

TOOLS NEEDED: T-25, Small Needle Nose Pliers, Flat head screw driver.

SPECIAL TOOLS: None.

WARNINGS: If you choose to jack up your NB be sure you use jack stands.

CAUTIONS: Be careful with all plastic, it will be brittle. If something does not move look for the screw(s) that you missed? There will be lots of screws so do not loose any I put mine in Ziploc bag(s).

So let’s begin...
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Last edited by D2Beetle; 07-31-2011 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:40 AM
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Any tips advice?? Tink's fuel door doesnt "pop" open when I press the fuel door release. It takes 2 people to get it open. One person has to press the button while I stand outside to help pull the latch open. It would really stink to need gas when I am by myself, especially because I NEVER let my gas gauge get below a quarter of a tank... Any advice on fixing this would be so welcome!!
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:43 AM
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Step Zero: Remove the tire. Pic FDL DIY 001 shows you the the manual release in the trunk; right hand side of trunk. The roll of box tape has a purpose; it keeps the cable from flexing to much so the fuel door can be opened by the door switch.

Step One: The inner wheel well cover has to come off; there are 17 screws to be removed; FDL DIY 002 thru 004. All but number 15 are easy; #15 has a plastic nut on the other end [FDL DIY 004] and it is a PITA to get to. FDL DIY 005 shows you what the inner wheel cover looks like when it is removed.

FDL DIY 006 shows you what is hiding behind the inner wheel cover. This is the Fuel EVAP system. FDL DIY 007 shows you the fuel door body and where the fuel door latch is. There is now way to get to it from the underside as it is designed to be removed from the outside.
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Last edited by D2Beetle; 12-19-2010 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:15 PM
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Step Two: Open the fuel door and remove the one screw and the fuel door latch retaining clip; FDL DIY 008.

Step Three: This is the really difficult part; you must push up on the fuel door housing from underneath on the side noted by the dashed line in pic FDL DIY 009, while prying up with your finger(s) on the side where the screw is located. DO NOT USE a prying tool, as it will damage the fender body and the fuel door housing may not snap back into place.

Pics FDL DIY 010 thru 012 shows you what the fuel door housing looks like from various angles and some tire pressure technical data.
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Last edited by D2Beetle; 12-19-2010 at 05:08 PM..
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:21 PM
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Step Three: Cleaning the fuel door latch. As posted earlier, lubrication of the latch is not necessary, as the latch is like an ink pen. Using lubricants only attracts more dirt/grime; which in turn just interferes with its operation. I use MAF spray cleaner to clean it, so none of the plastic pieces are damaged in any way. I spray the latch, then pull and release the latch housing gently a couple of times and you are done. Repeat as many times as necessary. Pic FDL DIY 013 shows you the underside of the latch.

Pic FDL DIY 014 shows you the cable; pulling gently on the latch housing exposes the cable. when you use spray lubricants this is the end it comes out of.

Pic FDL DIY 015 shows the underside with the fuel door housing removed.
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Last edited by D2Beetle; 12-19-2010 at 03:29 PM..
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:34 PM
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Step Four: Now when putting something back together I usually just post... "You are Done! Follow these instructions in reverse order to reinstall."

Since you cannot get your hand in where it needs to be to put the latch back through housing I had to come up with an alternative ending.

You will need a piece of string; oh about 12" (30 CM) in length and a small needle nose pliers. Using a single slip knot tie your string around the latch as noted in pic FDL DIY 016. Then run the string through the latch hole in the housing as noted in pic FDL DIY 017. Now here is the tricky part; you have to gently lower the housing into place while pulling on the string. When the latch is accessible; as seen in pic FDL DIY 018. Grab it with the needle nose pliers and hold it while you pull on the string; the simple knot you made should slip and you can pull the string all the way out. Do not use to much force to hold the latch with the needle nose pliers or you will damage the latch.

Once you have removed the string pull the latch through the hole, hold it in place and push the latch retaining clip back onto the latch.

Now you are Done! Follow these instructions in reverse order to reinstall the rest of it.

Now this may not fix the problem for some of you and this is because your problem was probably not the latch, but the cable itself; this is where the roll of box comes into play. The size of the tape roll is situation specific, so you will have to try various sizes until you find the right one that fits your need.

To open the fuel door using the so called "manual release" method; grab the cable and either pull or push it gently away from the fuel door. My '98 is a pull and my sons '99 is a push I know I cannot explain it.
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Last edited by D2Beetle; 12-19-2010 at 03:53 PM..
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:41 PM
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Thumbs up Thanks D2B!

Thank you for this excellent DIY. My NBC came to me with the fuel door "tray" broken and the release not there (I assume it has come loose from it's mount and dropped away from it's correct position - I hope!). I have been putting off doing this, waiting on getting a used Bentley at the right price, but now...

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Old 12-19-2010, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyOtherRidesAVette View Post
Thank you for this excellent DIY. My NBC came to me with the fuel door "tray" broken and the release not there (I assume it has come loose from it's mount and dropped away from it's correct position - I hope!). I have been putting off doing this, waiting on getting a used Bentley at the right price, but now...

MORAV
It is only a thirty minute job; give it a try.
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D2Beetle View Post
It is only a thirty minute job; give it a try.
Do you know how to set up files in the "thread saver"? Save me thirty minutes of hunting so I can fix my fuel door!

MORAV
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyOtherRidesAVette View Post
Do you know how to set up files in the "thread saver"? Save me thirty minutes of hunting so I can fix my fuel door!

MORAV
Thread saver? Nope... Enlighten me.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D2Beetle View Post
Thread saver? Nope... Enlighten me.
Not on your Bug, silly! In the Forum! I click to save a thread under "thread tools", I have a drop down, as to where I want to save it, but there is only the one default, and I can't seem to find how to add other files.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyOtherRidesAVette View Post
Not on your Bug, silly! In the Forum!
LOL! Well... why the H3!! Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyOtherRidesAVette View Post
I click to save a thread under "thread tools", I have a drop down, as to where I want to save it, but there is only the one default, and I can't seem to find how to add other files.
OK, lets take a look at it... I looked at Thread Tools for this thread and a thread by kellyyysayss and I do have that option under Thread Tools for either one.

OK, you have to subscribe to the thread first, got it...

Last edited by D2Beetle; 12-19-2010 at 05:06 PM..
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:31 PM
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Yea! After years of having one that we lost the images for we have a nice comprehensive/illustrated how-to! Thanks!
Making it sticky!
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by marvins_dad View Post
Yea! After years of having one that we lost the images for we have a nice comprehensive/illustrated how-to! Thanks!
Making it sticky!
Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:34 PM
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For what it's worth, I think the "push" vs. "pull" difference in '98 vs. '99 mentioned above may be to change the failure mode from "can't open the door" to a much preferable "can't close the door" as is with my daughter's 2002.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdodger View Post
For what it's worth, I think the "push" vs. "pull" difference in '98 vs. '99 mentioned above may be to change the failure mode from "can't open the door" to a much preferable "can't close the door" as is with my daughter's 2002.
That is a distinct possibility.
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:09 PM
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Nice DIY!

Does this also provide the ability to replace the cable if necessary or does that have to be done with the other interior trim removal procedure I've seen?
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DaBugger View Post
Nice DIY!

Does this also provide the ability to replace the cable if necessary or does that have to be done with the other interior trim removal procedure I've seen?
Cable replacement is a separate DIY; which I have not done yet.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:24 AM
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Great post, however, I was fairly easily able to remove the fuel door and reinstall without removing the wheel well splash shield and without string on the trigger. I simply removed the clip, screw and gas cap, pushed in the trigger, and wiggled the whole assembly out. During reinstall I lined up the trigger close to the whole and used needle nose pliers to pull it back through.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:03 PM
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Just removed the entire cable assembly using this thread and "How To" Replace your fuel door cable. as a guide. As was stated previous, no need to remove the tire or wheel well cover. Also no need to remove the fuel filler well assembly if you just want access to the plunger assembly. Access can be attained by simply removing the tail light and once removed you can easily place the plunger into the hole via access from the tail light cavity. I found my cable did not slide at all within the plastic jacket so with pliers I grabbed the metal cable and worked it back and forth within the jacket. I also used a bit of powdered graphite on each end trying to work as much in as possible. Once it slid back and forth relatively freely I hooked it back up and I've got a working fuel release. Not sure how long it will last but at least now I know I can easily replace the cable if need be.

Last edited by DaBugger; 07-20-2011 at 11:15 PM..
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