How to replace the fuel filter?

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I have a 2001 GMC safari van and am about to replace the fuel filter. I am not familiar with auto mechanics but I am quite handy (and short of funds to have this done at a garage).
If I disconnect the battery and use some pliers to do the job will it go ok or is this device constructed in such a complicated way that parts will fall out when the nuts are loosened? I dont mind if some gasoline sprays all over the place.
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I bet you won't like it if the fuel sprays in your face though. Relieve the fuel pressure first.
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Look under the hood at the fuel rail. See if you see a spot that has a cap on it like you see on a air valve to a tire. This is where you would connect a manual fuel gauge to test for pressure. It is spring loaded like the air valve on the tire. Turn off the vehicle, and press the spring on this connection down. The fuel will squirt out until the pressure is down to zero. You can buy a fuel pressure gauge that will screw into the manifold that has a bleed line off the gauge. If you have access bleed the pressure into a gas can. My mechanic always opens my gas cap. (not sure why but he does). Uses the required tool to remove spring connection fittings if your filter is equipped with them or loosen the flare nuts if equipped to remove the filter from the line. Once new filter is in place, close gas cap and remove any manifold you may have installed on the fuel rail. Turn key over but do not start the vehicle. Do this three times to ensure fuel has reach the injectors then try to start the vehicle. Check for leaks.
Sarge
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Don't do this, unplug the fuel pump/sender and run the vehicle until it stalls. Restart a couple of times to make sure as much pressure is bled as possible.
Steve
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On 9 Feb 2005 16:33:50 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Usually these things are just canisters in-line with the fuel line. Inside is a filtering media. The only complication is usually the special connectors that *might* be fitted to each end of the canister to seal it with the pressurized fuel line. You "MIGHT" need a special tool available at any auto parts store to take off this connector without damaging it.
When you go to buy the replacement filter, ask for any *special tool* that might be required to replace it with. I see them being sold all the time, and they are quite inexpensive.
Lg
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You will mind if it's under high pressure, and some cars have pressures over 100 psi at the fuel injector rail.
Start the van and pull the fuel pump fuse. The engine will die quickly and then you can work on the filter. Whatever pressure is in the line then won't be much.
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His 2001 safari van doesn't.

What if the fuel pump fuse also powers the fuel injectors and/or the PCM?
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Agreed, unplug the fuel pump/sender at the tank.
Steve
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wrote:

Maybe unplug the fuel pump????
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That will work if you can get to the plug easily enough.
My reply was meant to remind that pulling the fuel pump fuse technique does not always work -if- that fuse also supplies power to the injectors and/or the PCM. i.e., killing everything at once won't deplete the pressure in the system.
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On my Merc Sable ( fancy Taurus ) it says to unplug fuel inertia switch and run engine until it stalls. Later, after filter change, plug back in, turn key on but don't try to start. Do this 3 or 4 times, and then try to start engine.
This is on a FORD. I don't know if OP's vehicle has a fuel inertia switch. Would be nice if it did, but he can just unplug wires going to fuel pump? Cable harness?
Lg
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wrote:

GM doesn't use that item thank god. The GM system has redundancy. If the fuel pump relay dumps, it will still start once oil pressure comes up. If you know where the inertia switch is on a "found on road dead", you can smack that area on the outside of the car with the palm of your hand and disable the car. Most people don't know about the bloody thing, so they end up calling a wrecker for a tow to the shop. More than a few tow truck operators don't know about it ether. If the inertia switch goes bad your not going to get the vehicle started. and there have been more than a few times I have had customers tell me they hit a bad pot hole or a bump and the car just shut down. Great idea ford. Whitelightning
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On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 02:03:25 GMT, "Whitelightning"

It is to keep gasoline from burning you alive in a crash. So I don't think it is a -bad- idea as long as you know where it is, what it does, and how to Reset it. On my car, BIG red switch to Reset it. In trunk near rear wheel well. Can't imagine anybody not noticing this monstrosity, especially with its neon-red dayglo color ;-)
Also, front crash sensors, one on each side of radiator. IOW, don't bump into ANYTHING with this car, including a shopping cart, or you might not get home except in a taxi.
Lg
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Well way back in 1971 Chevy came out with a new car called the Vega. A great piece of automotive engineering that was unfortunately about 20 years a head of the times. No steel sleeves in the aluminum block, silicon injected into mold as aluminum begins to solidify, silicon goes to surfaces. Special hone process to smooth silicon in cylinders, chrome molly rings (one of the first production cars to use them). and a strict oil change recommendation. So you have chrome moly rings riding on thin layer of oil on a thin layer of silicone. If you loose oil pressure, the rings scrap the silicone off and score the cylinder walls. So GM tied the oil pressure sending unit to the fuel pump circuit(Yup, another first for american iron, in tank electric fuel pump). Nice side affect, if car is in accident, and fuel line busted, engine stalls, oil pressure goes away, fuel pump shuts off. This system worked so well on the accident side, that GM continued to use it on vehicles with electric fuel pumps. (I have a fond spot, make that a severe love affair with Vegas)
You and I as gear heads know about the inertia switch. Grandpa and Grandma Smith haven't a clue, and I fear often get taken to the cleaners over that inertia, as do many other ford owners who like 70% of car owners would be hard pressed to tell you where the oil dip stick is on their vehicle.
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On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 02:53:01 GMT, "Whitelightning"

Tell me this is Satire. Every Vega I've ever seen was so shot-through with RUST it looked like it came from a salvage yard. The body work on those Vegas left much to be desired.

Today's engines are being sold as "maintenance free" to the public, but you and I know _better_. In some ways, they are easier to work on; less moving parts and gizmos, in some ways they are harder to work on; computer modules with secret algorithms and special factory programming. It all washes out in the end. You take care of your car, IT will take care of you. Ignore your car, it will let you down, sooner if not later. Some people have money to burn; I'm not one of em.
Lg
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Vega was one of the cars that Chevy tried using recycled steel on, same as ford did during the same years, only they used it on trucks, ever seen an early 70's ford truck with an intact roof? Chrysler tried the stuff on their luxury cars , remember how fast New Yorkers and Newports rusted? But back then you could find Vegas for $300 with a bad motor. Pick up a turbo 350 tranny and a small block 350 for another $300 and for under a grand when you were all done have a very very fast car that could embarrass the hell out of mustangs, cameros that cost much more, and they handled pretty damn good as well, brakes were a bit lacking tho.. If you were handy, you could set up a clutch set up that worked and run a 4 speed, and then you could force the car through turns. Imagine the joy of a 2,200 lb car with a 4 speed and a 300+ real ponies hp engine, at age 18, in Germany where there were no speed limits on the autobahn. even more fun was out running german cars on twisty mountain roads because you could just walk away from them coming out of the turns going up the grades. But the best was being told you could no longer compete against the corvettes by the club board in the slolam races they set up in parking lots on different bases once a month, because you were embarrassing the club every time you won. Ahh the good ole days. Whitelightning
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On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 04:19:20 GMT, "Whitelightning"

Whatever turns your tires, Whitelightning. Is OK with me. Just an observation of mine, that the bodies of those things seemed to go bad way too soon relative to the power train. I guess I notice things like that since I live up in the rust belt. Body integrity is an issue up here, more so probably than elsewhere. =Every= Vega I ever saw looked like it was not only shot at, but hit.

Everything rusts up here. But some go faster than others, and those Vegas were horrible. So were some Buicks I've owned in the past. Not picking on that car in particular. I was even unlucky enough to own a Pinto at one point in my life. Best not to remember that though.

I used to buy cars for anywhere between $20 and $300 and fix em up. The money I put into fixing them up paid itself back many times over. Then again, some where in such bad shape, I would have to pop-rivet aluminum panels on them to keep the weather out and gophers from building nests in the door panels.

Can't do that anymore though. These days there are speed limits on the autobahn. Not to mention too much traffic to get up to speed.

The best thing about the good ole days was the price of gasoline. 25 cents / gallon. Can't think of much else though.
Lg
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The best fix for those scored cylinder walls was a 350 or 400 inch small block swapped in place. Talk about a major sleeper. Sometimes I wish I still owned one. Bob
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I was more fond of small journal forged steel crank 283's and 327's. There is a 76 GT camback wagon in the garage with a 283 on an engine stand. It will be my 10th V-8 Vega, I plan to keep this one till hell freezes over. The Cosworth Vega has become a major collectors item. I always wanted one of those. But not to beat the original 2.4ltr. Paterson magazines took one, bored it and sleeved it, sent the cylinder head to Dugan industries in LA for a rework, mounted a set of hooker headers and a Clifford research 4 bbl manifold with a Holly 550 CFM spread bore carb and got a respectable 270 hp out of it. Remember this was back in 1975. They then replaced the carb and manifold with a twin Weber DOHC side draft set up, more lift on the cam, and boosted the hp 305., all normally aspirated, no turbos, no blowers, and no nitro oxide. I always preferred the wagons. They looked better to me, and the chassis was three times stiffer and they just launched better. The 76 in the garage is the first one I have owned with the modified three link set up with track arm going to the tranny tail shaft. I know how to make the old four link set up launch without wheel hopping (the first one I built wheel hopped so bad you could put 2ltr coke bottle in front of the wheels and I could jump them, really rough on the spider gears) so this one is going to be a learning experience. I need the front cowl, and bottom fairing for a 73 or older, I hate the slope nose look of the later models, I don't care if they are more aero, I want that mini camero look of the 71-73. Whitelightning
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Uh-oh... ...you had one too?
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