Fuel Filter Removal - 1997 Escort

All,
Found the location of the fuel filter on said car. Knowing this, how is a grown man supposed to get his hand down in front of the firewall on the driver's side to remove it?
From the top, I barely can get my hand down to remove the fuel filter from the clamp. Would I be better off attempting this removal from beneath the car? It seems awfully high to be reaching from the bottom?
Lastly, after reading several posts here... it seems that I should head back to my local auto parts store to buy the special tool before attempting to remove the fuel lines from the fuel filter.
I miss the days of when fuel filters were easily accessible from beneath the car clamped along the frame rail. :-)
Regards,
Greg remove "rider" to respond directly
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Or, better yet, when they were screwed into the carb, or were in-line under the hood with 2 hose clamps. Now THOSE were easily accessible!
SC Tom
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If you disconnect the two hoses running over/near the brake booster, you should have enough room to get your hand in to loosen the clamp and remove/break the plastic clip that holds the fuel line to the filter.
You don't need any special tools to remove the clips, just a thin screwdriver or needle nose pliers. Make sure your replacement filter has new plastic clips. Motorcraft fuel filters have them.
Your hands will get scratched up a bit, but you should be able to change the filter in under 30 minutes. After installing the new filter and hooking everything back together, turn the key to ON for 3 seconds, then to OFF. Repeat 5 times to pressurize the fuel system so you don't kill your battery cranking the engine waiting for it to pressurize. The engine will then start on the first try.
Bob
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On Fri, 11 Jan 2008 03:19:43 GMT, "Bob Bailin"

Thanks Bob for the tip about removing the hoses. I was in the process of doing that but I felt there still wasn't enough of room for my hand and arm. I'll take a closer look.
Greg remove "rider" to respond directly
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I always changed my wife's through the bottom. It's always a hassle. Hank
wrote:

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