2004 Silverado Fuel Filter

Earlier this year, at 30,000 miles, as my service manual states, I went to change the fuel filter on my truck, and discovered that it was not in the location where the filter has been on Chevy trucks since at least 1998, and
probably several years before that. Writing it off due to a long weekend, I sort of forgot about it till a couple of months ago, when I saw the filter that I had purchased, from the part number listed in the owners manual, and went to change it at one of my frequent oil changes, to again discover the filter was not there. So I scheduled an appointment at my dealership, where the service manager, almost laughed at me, knowing that I perform all of my own service. So I take it in, and the mechanic, being a hot shot, and stating that he had changed hundreds of these, grabbed some wrenches, a filter, and walked over to the truck as it was being lifted, only to discover the same thing I had, no fuel filter. After 2-1/2 hours, for service techs, and three supposed calls to GM, they tell me that 2003's had one, 04's and up don't. Have a nice day.
Well it seems funny that the owners manual calls for one, the mechanics all thought it has one, even the dealerships parts book has a number listed.
In short just wondering if anyone else's 2004 truck doesn't have a fuel filter. Better yet would like to know if the 03 owners and 05 owners have one.
The truck is 2004 1/2 ton extended cab Z-71 with 5.3 liter
Thanks
Andy
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The filter is part of tank module, I believe only the 2500 and 3500 have one externally.

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In 04 they changed to a lifetime fuel filter that is in the tank and not serviceable. They change the entire fuel delivery system. The fuel is no longer constantly recirculated. Although the actual fuel usage would be the same. I guess this means a lot less volume though the filter.

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