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Discussion Starter #1
Fuel Filter Replacement

Replacing the fuel filter is simple, but significant. This should be done every 30,000 miles. If you don't, you run the risk of burning out your electric fuel pump. This happens when the filter starts getting plugged and the back-pressure increases to the point where the pump fails. Besides, this should be done regularly to protect your fuel injectors and maintain "like new" performance.

This is a simple $7 project that the dealer will charge $30 or more to do. The filter is located under the car on the passenger's side, in front of the gas tank. First, relieve the fuel system pressure, by unplugging the inertia switch electrical connector. Mine is located behind the trunk liner on the passenger's side. Second, start the car and let it run until it stumbles. This should take no longer than 10 seconds. Third, reconnect the inertia switch electrical connector. Fourth, jack up the rear passenger side of the car. Fifth, use a small screwdriver to pry off the fuel line fitting retaining (hairpin) clips at both ends of the filter. Sixth, remove the filter from bracket and install a new one in the same direction. Seventh, push fuel line onto the filter's fittings, until the line is seated, and reattach hairpin clips. Finally, start the engine and check for leaks.
 

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No. The engine just stalls without fuel. Running without oil...now that's bad...kinda like that SRT-4 owner that did the "oil change"...

JR
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitely, reconnect the inertia switch electrical connector--sorry about that. It really doesn't run out of fuel. The inertia switch is there to cut off fuel to the engine, in case of a collision; i.e., so you don't "fire ball." You are removing the pressure from the system and you'll turn the ignition off when you hear the engine "stumbling." If you follow these steps, you'll see the engine fires right up afterwards.
 

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:eek: do i have to disconnect the wire from harness (fuel switch)? i don't see any switch. i'm planning to change the fuel filter. pls help
 

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There should be plastic connector that connects to the switch in the trunk. You might have to use a flat-head screwdriver to gently lift the tap to free the connector from the switch itself. The inertia switch is usually located in the trunk on the same side as the fuel filler door, behind the carpeted lining.
 

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:lol2: thanks, i already know that but do I have to disconnect the harness from the black thing? is ther a button to press or switch to click???
 

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Originally posted by FRAG24@Sep 26 2004, 09:50 PM
:lol2: thanks, i already know that but do I have to disconnect the harness from the black thing? is ther a button to press or switch to click???
I'm not sure what you mean...All you have to do is unplug the wire/connector from the inertia switch, start the car and let it run until the engine starts stumbling - i don't bother waiting for it to completely die because once the engine starts to stumble pretty strongly, the fuel line pressure is low enough then to avoid any spray, etc...Unplugging the switch does the same thing as the switch popping on its own to cut power to the fuel pump...

Hope this helps :p
 

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Just like to add a few things.... I always take the gas cap off before removing the fuel filter. It relieves any pressure in the tank that may cause some gas to spray when you disconnect the fuel line from the filter. I have never jacked the car up to replace the filter. Just laying on the garage floor in front of the passenger side real wheel made removal easy. Also, I put a plastic tray under the filter since a little gas will drain out of the fuel line and the old filter.

I'll bet if people did this $7 to $10, 10 to 15 minute maintenance item, injector and other fuel related problems would be cut by 2/3.
 

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No need to disconnect the inertia switch. I just start the car then go bang on the fender at the inertia switch. It will pop and the fuel pump shuts off. Or you can just remove the 20A fuel pump fuse in the engine compartment fuse box.
 

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I don't bother to mess with the inertia switch. I just vent the fuel pressure at the Schrader valve at the FPR. I use a phillips screwdriver and a few rags. Make sure to wear goggles at all times when you are doing the filter change. Even with no pressure, fuel will splash around when you are removing the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When I have replaced the fuel filter, as described at the beginning of this thread, not even a drop of gasoline has leaked. My advice is to go with the standard, recommended procedure.
 

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Originally posted by topgunovrtx@Sep 27 2004, 01:54 PM
When I have replaced the fuel filter, as described at the beginning of this thread, not even a drop of gasoline has leaked. My advice is to go with the standard, recommended procedure.
I don't quite understand how you managed to have no fuel in the fuel lines or filter. :headscratch: I have done the fuel filter change via the inertia switch method, and that doesn't clear the fuel lines any better than venting at the Schrader valve. It just alleviates the pressure--it can't pump the fuel out of the lines and filter. :headscratch:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The following is what I believe happens. Disconnecting the inertia switch stops the fuel pump from running. Therefore, when you run the engine until it stumbles, it uses up most of the remaining fuel in the lines and filter. Again, I have never even had a drop of gas leak out, when I change the filter.
 

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Well, that's not really what happens. The pump is in the gas tank. When you shut off the pump (via inertia switch or pulling the fuel pump fuse) the pressure drops to zero with a few cycles of the injectors. With no pressure, the engine dies. The fuel injectors will not spray fuel unless there is pressure on the fuel rail. Even if you ran the gas tank dry, the fuel pump is not capable of pumping air, so once the pickup tube gets above the fuel level in the tank, the pump ceases to pump, and the fuel sits idle in the lines and filter.

Personally, I think something weird is going on in your case. :freak2: I've done this procedure about half a dozen times on my two SLOs, and the fuel filter is always full of gas when you remove it. When I got the SHO, I figured I'd try the Schrader valve, and I got the same result. :headscratch:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What I'm saying is that gas leaking out is not a problem, when I remove the filter. I keep the filter horizontal, of course, as I'm removing it. I'm sure, if I tilted the filter a lot, gas would come out; but, who is going to do that? You are probably correct with what takes place, after the inertia switch is disconnected.
 

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Yeah, I'm not arguing that you didn't get lucky... I'm just saying there is still a lot of fuel in there, and anyone who is trying this for the first (or tenth) time shouldn't expect not to spill a drop of gasoline. Sometimes the fuel line drops down a bit when you remove the filter, and about a cup of gas comes dripping out. Sometimes you drop or tip the filter, and gas dumps out. In either case, if your head/eyes are a few inches from the pavement/floor, you should be wearing goggles unless you want gas in your eyes. :blink:
 

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I've changed the fuel filters on my Marauder, my T-bird SC, my buddy's Crown Vic, and both of my relatives Taurii...they all change out the same way and I've never de-pressurised any of them. I always change the fuel filter when I'm doing an oil change, and I do it last, so by the time I get to it, the pressure is already relieved. I DO get some residual spillage from the ends of the lines and the filter itself, though.
 
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