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Fuel Filter Mistake

Jared Beckmann

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'97 XLT
I was changing my first fuel filter today. I thought I covered all my bases and asked all the right people all the right questions. Apparently, I was wrong. I was told I would need no special tools to take off the fuel filter, just pop off the clamps and pull. Obviously, that is not the case and instead of just pulling I was really stupid and pryed with wrenches. Now I have the fuel lines on both sides of the filter with the internal metal tabs bent. I have the fuel line removing tool and a right angle needle nose pliers. Niether will work. I have this idea, but want some feedback before I attempt it. I was thinking of cutting either side of the fuel filter then cutting the left over pieces out of the line. Is this completely idiotic? Is it a big risk cutting metal with fuel in it? The Explorer is a '97 XLT V8. The filter is about the size of a pop can cut in half and has rings on either end that the "tabs" are caught up on. Any help is appreciated and feel free to insult my intelligence at anytime.
 


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410Fortune

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All auto parts stores sell the new metal ring clips to go uinside your fittings.
Do not cut eh lines.
The lines are nylon inside of the metal sheath. the fittings are a tripple flare fitting and the nylon is pressed over them, you will never get the fittings or new fittings back over the nylon line, it will leak. There is more then 50psi in that line.
 




DeRocha

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Welcome to the site.. Unfortuntely your really needed to view the Fuel filter removal thread before attempting to remove it. This thread has lots of pics and an internal view of how the fittings are held together. Do not even think of cutting anything.. :eek:

I understand you pried on the fittings and you can see some of the internal Garter springs, but have you actually removed any line yet? When replacing my fuel pump several years ago I ran into a problem where the tool didn't work. I ended up prying VERY hard and pulled the fitting out of the fuel line mangling the garter springs in the process. IMO the garter springs are many times weaker than the fitting so you should be ok to just yank it very hard and finish removing it the way you started. Then just pick up some new garter springs at the auto store as mentioned by 410Fortune.
 




trucku

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Today I had the same problem. I was unable to unlock the fuel line on my 2002 . the fuel line tool was to thin. I tried like crazy. I then relized that the tool fit fine but it was not thick enough to unclip the fitting. I happened to have a plastic piece of tubing about a 1/16th thick that fit around the outside diameter of the tool. I just sliced it so I can get it around tool. Let me tell you it took less than a second to remove that damn filter. It clicked and the filter practically fell off. So that extra tube that I covered the tool with made up the total thickness needed to release the clips.
 




jimbo74

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what tool size did you use? there are ones for differnt things......
 




trucku

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hmm..let me look...it was 3/8th..the light blue one.Again it fits the filter fine..it just was not thick enought to push the metal tabs far enough to clear that lip on the filter tubing. That was the reason the tool was not working. This was for the fitting for the line that goes to the engine. The 2 fittings from the tank and return line had quick clips that you need no tool for.
 




MikeF150

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trucku - I wish I had found your message 3 hours ago.... that's how long I have been trying to get that front hose off the filter on my wife's 2002 XLT !!! I tried both the plastic and scissors tools and could not for the life of me get the hose off.... :confused:

I'll try your method first thing in the AM.... I was also glad to hear the two lins from the tank side are just quick disconnects... :p
 




trucku

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MikeF150
I am telling you it sucked trying to remove that thing. The tool you buy from the damn store is just not thick enough to push the clips past the lip. I was so pissed when it came off in seconds after like 5 hours of trying and walking to a damn Ford service center to find out they had no line disconnect tools. Hey do you have a manual? It shows you how to use a small screwdriver to disconnect the quick clips. You then have to push them up to unlock them. Good Luck.
 




MikeF150

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trucku... I pulled the below from the factory workshop manual CD I have (buddy works at a Ford dealer & got me one awhile back).... needless to say, I didn't bother referencing the manual since once I found the filter (!!!), it didn't seem it would be too difficult to remove.... :eek:

Anyways, here are the instructions on removing the "Locking R-Clip" on the two lines going back to the tank from the filter. Hopefully this will help someone in the future!! :)

1. Relieve the fuel pressure. For additional information, refer to Fuel System Pressure Release in this section.
2. Push tab and unlock from the R-clip.
clip_image001.jpg

3. Push the clip into the fitting.
clip_image002.jpg

4. Separate the fitting from the tube.
clip_image003.jpg

5. To connect, reverse the disconnect procedure.
 




trucku

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MikeF150
Wonder why they didn't do the quick connect on the line to the engine.
So you got the filter off ok?
Good pics that will definately help.
For those who don't know how to release the fuel system pressure, you need to start the truck and while its running remove the fuel pump relay. The truck will then stall. You must crank it a couple of times more to make sure all the fuel pressure is gone.
The relay is located in the engine compartment fuse and relay box next to left fender wall. For my 2002xls It is the set of black relays closest to the fender wall and the second one from the furthest left. Its a row of three relays. some vehicles wont have all the relays, but it still is the second from the left. Count the empty relay space too. It is the relay in the middle of that group of three.
 




exgmman

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And, you can leave the truck parked overnight to relieve the pressure....It slowly dissappears on it's own after sitting a long time.
Safety glasses are an absolute must while changing the fuel filter...Gas in the eyes hurts like a bastard!!
 




trucku

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good point. I wore my glasses and got spashed twice when manuvering the filter after diconnecting one side. Put down a heavy towel to catch all of the gas that will drain out.
 




MikeF150

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trucku said:
MikeF150
Wonder why they didn't do the quick connect on the line to the engine.
So you got the filter off ok?
.


Not yet...am about to go and tackle it this AM... one thing about releiving the fuel pressure - I just take off the cap off the schraeder valve on the fuel rail (blue plastic cap) located on the front of the engine driver's side.... and the use a small screw driver to push in the valve - holding a rag underneath to absorb the small amount of gas that comes out... this method always worked on my F150 as well....

Well.. off to go change the filter... I'd love to hear the reasoning by Ford engineers as to why the filter location and the hose connections were done this way... :rolleyes: :D :D
 




trucku

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My explorer drained gas like it was bleeding to death.

I think the Ford guys might have had a parts quota. I think sometimes simple is just to simple for them. Bet none of them drive a Ford.
 




MikeF150

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This is getting the better of me... :fire: After another 2 hours trying to get the front (engine) hose off, I still could not get to come off.... I even went out looking for plastic tubing to put around the plastic disconnect tool.... Autozone had nothing (useless people there anyways) and with the Home Depot parking lot full to the gills, I decided to just bite the bullet and will go to the Ford dealer tomorrow and buy the proper (hopefully) disconnect tool.

I'll post pics of the Ford tool...

I'm starting to think that Ford decided to market the fuel filter as a "maintenance free" item after they tried to replace one... :rolleyes:
 




trucku

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Sorry to hear that man.

Hm. I just happened to have the pump part of a large bottle of lotion. I have a 20 month old, so I buy lotion often. Its one of those big pink bottles. the pump assembly has the right diameter to fit the tool. It doesn't take a lot of pressure to unclip..maybe you could have gotten away with electrical/duct tape wrapped around tool.

Again sorry to hear that.

Good luck.
V
 




MikeF150

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Finally (!) got the connection off.... used the metal scissors 3/8" and it took some muscle to pry it into the metal clips on the hose... what a PIA!!!!

Although I was beginning to think that maybe this was all going to be in vain and the filter would be clean, after cutting it in half after getting it out, it was quite dirty.... would definitely recommend changing it every 30K....

Anyways.. thanks for everyone's help on this.... thanks again trucku!! :) :burnout:
 




trucku

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Alright MikeF150 !!!! :thumbsup:
 




jazz_master221

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thanks for the tips

did the search and the problem i had was i almost gave up till i grabbed a small pair of vise grips and pulled the stupid thing off using that and the 3/8 metal tool
the filter was almost plugged i coould barely blow through it ...
 


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