Fuel Filter Removal Tool

I had the distinct pleasure of changing the fuel filter on my 1995 Ford Explorer and of course it began by not being able to get it off!!! There are no clamps to it, but instead you are left to stare at a bell
shaped metal fitting over the ends of the filter which give no clue as to how they come off, no clamp,clip,screw threads, gum, no nuthin. So you give the book a look, the web a look and google groups a look with the search words " remove fuel filter" "ford explorer" and so on and so forth. Armed with all this new found info of which I saved in a little file I slowly got the picture "I thought" as to how this filter and fitting removal works. A good hour or so after crawling under the vehicle I am a raving lunatic swearing I'll find the engineer that did this to me and PINCH his head off his body!!! Of all the info I gathered it failed to put emphasis on one particular fact in the process of disconnecting the hose from the filter which I WILL emphasize. To get the filter off you need a special tool to do it. The two I came across were metal and shaped a bit like a auto battery cable end clamp spreader/cleaner. This device is smaller and spreads in a scissor fashion to allow it to slip over the fuel filter pipe end and between the filter body and the fitting end. It then closes over the filter pipe and the 'hands" or "leaves" slide along the pipe away from the filter body and into the end of the bell shaped fitting till it bottoms out. At this point you can do two things, one of which is a mistake you will regret and the other will dissconnect the hose from the filter. The way to dissconnect the hose is to leave the tool alone (don't move it,don't touch it) after it is inserted and pull the hose or fitting away from the filter body which will come off easily and much faster that any other connection type. The thing that is the great mistake I made was after the tool is inserted to push it (the tool) and the hose away from the body of the filter at the same time, this wont work. The tool must remain at the same position after it is inserted and the hose must do the moving which makes a great deal of sense because the filter "pipe" outlet has a raised lip that the tool butts up against while inserted and stops it from moving any further anyways. The only thing that can possibly move after the tool has done it's job after being inserted is the FUEL LINE and THATS WHAT WE WANT. A few other pointers, let the car sit over night, this will cool it down and relieve fuel pressure at the filter and to make sure, find the fuel pressure check valve about the center of the engine compartment to the left next to the intake manifold which looks like a bicycle tire inflation valve and with a rag under it to catch any fuel depress the end of it. Use a catch pan for fuel coming out of the filter and lines. Wear sfety glasses and move your face out from under the filter while doing this. Also when re-connecting the fuel line to your new filter make sure you hear a snap as it clamps down for a positive connection. I hope this helps someone as I sure needed a little more detail in this process and a lot less aggravation.
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Qwerty wrote: snip a little / / / /

Thanks. I stumbled through this in a similar mood a few years back. :) Still, I'll save this in case I go any further down Senility Lane before I have to do it again.
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I love it, I love it, I love it... and I do mean that in an extremely facetious way....
Those things that can be broken by the unknowing, unwitting, unwary or inexperienced can be expensive.... to the point of altering ones monthly budget. To this end, we have the "manual". Now, I realize that, to many, purchasing and reading a "manual" is about the same as expecting a man to ask for street directions. Still, this strange, elusive "manual" thingie can be a wealth of information.
I've been involved in auto repair for nearly 40 years and, while this may sound like blasphemy, I still resort to reading the manual when faced with an operation or system I am unfamiliar with. The kicker... after this many years, I have discovered that this is the only expeditious route. Without knowledge, we are at the mercy of the whims of fate and a DIYers attempts to save a few bucks and gain the satisfaction of mastering a new skill can lead to frustration and added expense.
Congratulations on your accomplishment and thank you for recounting your experience.... If it saves even one soul from a mistake, it was well worth the effort...

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I hope it can clear up this one little aspect of working on ones car and hope those of us who take the time to write this down and give direction and help, take the time to give ALL the steps and place emphasis on the things that tripped us up. Gotta remember some poor slob years from now is gonna climb out from under their car and with their greasy hands at the keyboard find your words written in these news groups!
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Qwerty wrote:

Also when re-connecting the fuel line to your new

One must remember that the engineers at Ford (or most other manufacturers, for that matter) do NOT care how hard or inconvenient it is to fix or replace an item. The only thing they care about is how easy it is for a part to go together at the assembly line. This fuel filter is so easy to put back together that a monkey could be trained to do it and that's all they care about. No clamps to strip out and it takes less time than the previous fuel filters that took the two plastic horseshoe clips. Having a broken part on the assembly line costs a lot more to fix than paying a few more cents for a fool-proof part. That's my $.02 anyway.
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BESIDES WHICH... the plastic clips >>>could be<<< installed backwards, thus making them useless.
Yep, hard to do but out of ten times expect the DIY to.....
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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Qwerty wrote:

Spring lock couplings... all the majors use them on fuel and ac lines.
Never fear, if you are not making mistakes you are not learning.
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Qwerty wrote:

Or you could just get a good service manual and read it first :).
The quick connect fittings work great if you know what you are doing and have the correct tool.
John
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