How difficult is it to remove/replace a Ford/Thunderbird fuel filter? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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How difficult is it to remove/replace a Ford/Thunderbird fuel filter?

I've tried to remove my fuel filter before knowing that I need a special tool.

I've read stories on the Web saying it's easy with the KD 3321 tool

Other stories say it's a b*tch even with the tool, and you can't do it unless you disconnect the fuel line under the hood to depressurize the line. Is this true??

Please help! Thanks!


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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 05:07 AM
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It is not that hard unless yours is badly rusted. I always just remove the filter from under the car behind the passenger front tire. I usually let the car sit overnight and put a pan under it to catch the spilled fuel.

I use one of these quick disconnect tools on the quick connect fitting and a wrench on the other. You can pick them up at most autoparts stores. Put the correct size around the line and push the narrow end against the fitting.


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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 05:24 AM
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Those quick disconnect tools ought to do the trick if its still a pain in the butt the clip in inside the ring is prolly rusted bad and broken you might need a pointy tool to stick in there and pull the clip out ...hopefully this link works unfortunately it said chevy but no cause thats whats in my fuel fitting http://autoparts.pricegrabber.com/fu...751480557.html oh and the price is waaay off go to o'riellys they carry them .... dorman number should be like 800-025

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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 05:33 AM
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Do not unhook the lines under the hood to relieve the pressure in the fuel system. That's entirely unnecessary.

Instead, find the inertia switch in the trunk and remove its connector (cuts power to pump), then crank the engine to relieve the pressure. You can then remove the filter.

Before inserting the disconnect tool, spray penetrating oil into the connector to flush out any debris, rust, salt, etc. This will make it easier to disengage the connection.


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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 05:35 AM
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Plus what that guy just said ....:-)

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 12:35 AM
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the new filter will come with a new plastic U-clip so the old one can be discarded, if it breaks don't panic lol, the other end with the quick connect fitting I find easiest to remove with the X type fuel filter tool. Usually found around the $7 range.


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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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I have the tools, and did the pressure relief procedure, but I've had no luck getting the fuel filter off the output side.

I'm thinking I damaged the locking fingers when I first tried to pull it off (before knowing that I need a special tool).
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Murder View Post
the new filter will come with a new plastic U-clip so the old one can be discarded, if it breaks don't panic lol, the other end with the quick connect fitting I find easiest to remove with the X type fuel filter tool. Usually found around the $7 range.


You where able to get your filter off with that metal filter tool? I had better luck with the plastic ones, I couldn't get the metal scissor took in there at all
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 09:13 PM
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They can be stubborn sometimes. I like the metal sissors because I can get levage on it. Try a different position. Are you sure its going straight in? If its cocked to one side it will not release

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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 09:13 PM
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The size is 3/8" or something, which happens to be a whole size smaller than the smallest size on my metal scissors-style quick disconnect tool. I went up to AutoZone and bought a cheap plastic kit with the correct size.

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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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The metal X-type tool I have doesn't fit. The 3/8" plastic tool fits, but I'm not convinced it goes in deep enough to fully release the locking fingers.

The metal X-type tool has a deeper shaft, but is 1/4" & 5/16" -- not 3/8".

If the fingers are damaged, can they be replaced?

Or, can new connecter be spliced onto the steel-braided line?
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 09:59 PM
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Spray alittle pb in there. Put a wrench behind the plastic disconnect tool for levage. Use a line wrench of the appropete size to reach both sides. That tool should sit flusjh with the fitting.

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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 10:24 PM
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Don't feel bad, I have every flavor of the disconnect tool and the only way to get them apart is practice. I HATE them.

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadrunnner View Post
Spray alittle pb in there. Put a wrench behind the plastic disconnect tool for levage.
Yes. I've sprayed it with PB, and used wrenches for leverage, but no luck.
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 11:10 PM
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Those are DISPOSABLE CLIPS people!
You should get new ones with the filter.. actually you should buy extra.. they're hanging on a hook in Autozone.


Note the barb on one finger, that's the key!


This brought back memories of 20 years ago when I first worked on an FI. I bought two different sets of 'special tools' before I realized the directions were stupid, and my 'engineering mind' kicked in. and I cut the suckers. I havent even TRIED to use a release tool since and I've done a lot on fuel line disconnecting

I later figured out I can often get them off undamaged just using my longest fingernail, Save that, needlenose, or a small screwdriver, at that catch barb and push a little and the clip comes right out especially if you're pulling on the tab. Actually I just use anything small enough to push the barb in

Now say that doesnt work for some reason... believe me it will the second or third time.. get small sharp nose dikes or old cuticle cutters pull out on the tab a little and cut the sucker off and push the clip legs on through.

By the way you DO install the new clips before pushing the connection together .. whoever wrote the directions got that part right.
So..
Disable fuel pump
Start Engine, run fuel out.
Put pan under filter
spray clean connections with PB or WD40 {about all that 40 is really good for}
Of course you pulled the cover and filter is hanging loose
Twist lines just enough to get to back of tab cone
push barb in while pulling on tab with fingernail

** Worst case: wedge dime just under tab and push further under while depressing the barb.
I recall there were two barbs on some of my first. Needlenose plier called for in that case

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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pettyfog View Post
Those are DISPOSABLE CLIPS people!
You should get new ones with the filter..
I'm talking about the output connection. The clip you're talking about is the input connection on my vehicle. Two different connections. The input connection appears to be a nylon line. The output connection is a steel line.

Thanks!
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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-02-2011, 11:52 PM
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You shouldn't have to relieve any pressure other than loosening the gas cap. That will be enough pressure relief that barely much fuel will come out usually on most cars. The metal tool works better for these easier to hold onto. You need the deep right diameter tool. Best thing to do if its stubborn is push the tool in hard maybe even turn it a bit and pull the filter away while pushing the tool in at the same time.

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post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
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I'm talking about the output connection. The clip you're talking about is the input connection on my vehicle. Two different connections. The input connection appears to be a nylon line. The output connection is a steel line.

Thanks!
wow.. so I got this straight.. from 1984 through 1993, Ford used the flex lines on their vehicles, TC's Mustangs and XR4's.. and my 93's, which I just did last week.. and then in 94 changed one side to springlock?

Prolly just to make me look stoopid. I see.


Wait a minute.. surely I changed the filter on my 95 taurus at least once in 150,000 miles.. hmm.

Is this it?
http://www.tamor.org/forums/attachme...1&d=1231294515

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post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 01:44 AM
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My 92 is a spring lock system that requires the disconnect tool, Ive changed the fuel twice in 2months. I had a 94 that was the same way. They are all the same

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post #21 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 01:53 AM
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You shouldn't have to relieve any pressure other than loosening the gas cap. That will be enough pressure relief that barely much fuel will come out usually on most cars. The metal tool works better for these easier to hold onto. You need the deep right diameter tool. Best thing to do if its stubborn is push the tool in hard maybe even turn it a bit and pull the filter away while pushing the tool in at the same time.
Incorrect, the fuel pump pressurizes the system through the line. After the car has been sitting push the shrader valve on the fuel rail, if there is any pressure it will shoot fuel like a fountain. I usually put a bunched up rag over it.

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post #22 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 01:56 AM
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Then the answer must be that non-v8 use clips, v8 use springlock.
huh!

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post #23 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 02:10 AM
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Clip on one side and spring lock on the other

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post #24 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 03:41 AM
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Incorrect, the fuel pump pressurizes the system through the line. After the car has been sitting push the shrader valve on the fuel rail, if there is any pressure it will shoot fuel like a fountain. I usually put a bunched up rag over it.
That is one method to use, but I have to disagree that removing just the gas cap is not another viable method as I have done it numerous times on many different vehicles. Only a small amount will come out this way usually. There are some types of cars that a bit more fuel will shoot out this way but it's nothing alarming really. A catch pan and few rags is all you need. Sure you may lose a bit more fuel but it's not much and you get to smell the fuel if your into that sorta thing while your down there.

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post #25 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:47 AM
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That is one method to use, but I have to disagree that removing just the gas cap is not another viable method as I have done it numerous times on many different vehicles. Only a small amount will come out this way usually. There are some types of cars that a bit more fuel will shoot out this way but it's nothing alarming really. A catch pan and few rags is all you need. Sure you may lose a bit more fuel but it's not much and you get to smell the fuel if your into that sorta thing while your down there.
That works great on carbed vehicles.

NOT so good on my 2000 Malibu or the 91 Cougar (doesn't work AT ALL on EITHER.)

BOTH run about 30-50 PSI on the fuel line, and until it's depressurized, it's pressurized.

Remember, that fuel cap is on the OTHER side of the fuel pump, and the fuel pump's vanes / valves / rotors / whatever are blocking the fuel from going back into the tank.

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post #26 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:51 AM
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Then the answer must be that non-v8 use clips, v8 use springlock.
huh!
Dunno, the 1993 TBird V6 I got my steel fuel lines from used the spring lock on the front, my 1991 uses the plastic clip in the nylon header, but the 94 TBird 4.6 I was under yesterday used the springlock.

It also uses braided stainless hose from the filter up, my 91 uses nylon up.

Just data points - as an example, my 2000 Malibu uses a metal lower radiator bracket, whereas all the ones I hear about on the forums on the Internet are plastic.

Don't know when, why, or how the production changed, don't really CARE personally

RwP
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post #27 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 02:58 PM
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You where able to get your filter off with that metal filter tool? I had better luck with the plastic ones, I couldn't get the metal scissor took in there at all
Yep. As a mechanic a good used metal scissor disconnect tool is always my weapon of choice on many of the ford fuel filters with the spring locks.

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post #28 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 05:56 PM
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My 96 3.8 has plastic clips on both sides which makes it easy for me to remove the filter. The only problem i had was removing the cover because the bolts were rusted. I put new bolts in after i got the cover off.
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post #29 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 09:05 AM
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Some of you guys should really make sure you know what you're talking about before you post in a thread. There is a ton of misinformation in here now, and it probably confused the guy who needs help.


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post #30 of 58 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 09:32 AM
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Elaborate, please. Tell us what misinformation there is and unconfuse us all.

-Brandon
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