How to: Replace Fuel pressure regulator 1995- 2001 Ford Explorer 2nd Gen | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: Replace Fuel pressure regulator 1995- 2001 Ford Explorer 2nd Gen


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September 29, 2008
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Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Eddie Bauer
I love cars... but I hate working on them.

It's not even so much that I don't like working on them it's that I don't know what I'm doing and I'm clumsy and oafy and just not good at working in tight spots.

That being said... I work for a living and cant' afford to always send my truck to the shop every time something’s wrong.

So here is my Noob to noob instructions on my project last night replacing the Fuel Pressure Regulator on my 96 Explorer Eddie Bauer 5.0.

I didn't take pics which I didn't think of until 3/4 of the job was already done so sorry about that I’ll try to explain everything as thoroughly as possible..

Fuel Pressure Regulator Replacement

1) After finding out my fuel pressure was low, I decided to try the easier fixes of fuel filter and fuel pressure regulator to boost the pressure before trying to replace the fuel pump (again). AutoZone $45 in stock

2) Taking a look at the regulator it seems about as easy as can be to install 2 bolts (7mm) holding it on a vacuum plug on top and too nozzles that plug into the fuel rail.

3) I picked up a Hayne's manual (AutoZone $20 in stock) to help with this and future fixes. The Manual says the FPR is "Easily" located in front of the firewall behind the block. While I will say it is "easy" to find it is by no means "EASY" to get into.

If you follow your air intake after the throttle body the intake moves to the right into the block if you kept going straight you'll see the top of the FPR in between the firewall and the intake. It's set down a few inches and there is an inch thick wiring bundle on top of it.

4) Now the first thing I think I should address is how to get at this part.

-The only way I was able to get into it was by going in from the driver’s side of the truck. I ended up crawling up and laying on the engine you only need a 7mm socket and an extension (an angle attachment would work well here also but I didn’t have one and was able to do the job without it)

-The wiring bundle is held in place by a “Christmas tree” plastic holder on a thin aluminum bracket coming off the block I pulled out the tree pushed the wire bundle back towards the firewall. I know this is bad but I couldn’t figure out how to remove the aluminum bracket so I just muscled it forward out of my way so I could get my chubby hands into the small space to get at the FPR.

5) Now that we know how to get into it let’s do the play by play. I started out by releasing the fuel pressure. On the passenger’s side floor just under the heater you’ll see the fuel pressure inertia switch. There is a grey wire harness plugged into the switch. Flip the plastic holder up and unplug the switch. Now try starting the car a few times and let the fuel already in the line cycle through. To be safe I opened the gas cap too to release any pressure back there.

6) Unplug the negative battery terminal so there is no juice running through the truck. There will be a small amount of fuel leakage (maybe a table spoon) but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

7) Remove the vacuum line on top of the FPR by pulling straight up. Yup its that easy.

8) The hardest part of removing the FPR is actually getting at the bolts and regulator itself. But get the 7mm socket on the front (towards the engine block) bolt and loosen BE CAREFUL NOT TO LOOSE THE BOLT IN THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT!!! (Magnetic tools and a magnet on wire to fish out any lost part s are recommended here!)

9) After the front bolt is removed move to the back bolt I found this one to be a little trickeier to get at because there is another wiring harness just high enough to be in the way of getting a ratchet in there cleanly. This is where a monkey knuckle type of attachment would be helpful.

10) once the second bolt is remove just pull the unit straight up off of the fuel rail. It’s that easy. (Be careful for any dirty and debris at 145k miles my engine bay is pretty dirty so I had used a rag to clean up the area a little 15 seconds of work to be safe)

11) Installation is the exact opposite of the removal. The Haynes manual suggested a little touch of oil to lubricate the O rings on the new regulator and the just plug it back into the rail , put the bolts back in (again be careful not to lose anything) plug in the vacuum hose on top (be sure to get it all the way on) and your done!

12) Bend the aluminum bracket back into the place and push the Christmas tree back into the bracket to hold the wiring bundle.

13) Plug the inertia switch back in on the passengers side floor (there is a red button on top of the switch I hit it just in case thit triggered the shut off). Re connect the negative battery terminal.

14) Start your truck.

Did it start?

No fires?

You did it!


Total time – 1 hr though I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out how the hell to get at the thing. And then another 10 minutes trying to pick up the dropped 7mm socket that fell out of my hand under the fuel rail.


I hope this helps at least one person with their project. ON a scale of 1-10 difficulty I give this a 4 and only because it was tight getting in there making it more difficult than it really was.

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AG33 Thanks for your post on how to change the FPR (Fuel Pressure Regulator) on the 1996 Explorer 5.0. Mine is a 1997; and your description sounds the same as mine looks. I especially appreciate that you note the size of the bolt head as 7mm, which will definitely save me a bunch of time.

This is so awesome I bought a 2000 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer for my first wife knowing I was going to divorce!!!,,,I wanted my kids to be safe when they were with there mom, my son ends up with it and now he wants to sell but it needs a few fixes! So dad to the rescue so I'm out there all weekend working on it an oh **** 300$$'s later an it still won't start. I've narrowed down to fuel pressure regulater but it's to late to get an lm tired an my wife wants me to hang out!!!,, So I looked up they problem an found this badass web site an now I'm going buy the Ford from him!! I had so much fun with this project an to work on a Ford again it was awesomely addictive and fun plus I've dropped some good money into it plus it is a V-8 raped ape runnin machine so thank you for allowing my to register with you guys ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Found and changed the regulator, which is tucked in behind the throttle body adapter elbow.

Also changed the injectors, installed a new PCV valve and grommet, the PCV wasn't down in its hole in the intake. The evap solenoid valve was also broken so it got replaced too.

Got it all back together, with new gaskets for the upper intake and elbow. Ran better but still had an instability at idle. I replaced the throttle position sensor and that quit.

What should have been a 5 minute job with a Phillips screwdriver required removing the throttle body and slotting the screws with a Dremel because the person or machine that installed the original managed to tighten the two screws nearly to the point of stripping the threads.

I had to buy two new socket head screws and run a tap in the holes.

To clarify, the older models had a return style fuel system and the FPR on the fuel rail (like yours) but at some point Ford switched to a return-less fuel system (1999?) and then the FPR is located in the fuel tank right above the fuel pump.

98 has the FPR on the tank I replaced mine a few years ago when my pump went