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Old 06-07-2007, 08:21 PM   #1
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Oil, Fuel Filter and Plugs Changed

I just got out of the shower and am drinking a beer after about 2 hours of work on the Focus tonight. 2005 ZX3 S MTX.

I am at about 34,000 miles now, switched to synthetic at 30,000 so I was due for an oil change. I also wanted to do the plugs and fuel filter at 30,000 but didn't have the time, so I dedicated this afternoon to getting the rest done.

Plugs were a snap. Autolite 104 Copper Core gapped at ~.60. I got some anti-seize specifically for spark plugs and applied it fairly liberally before installing them. Remember to get a long extension and a socket specifically designed for spark plug removal.

The fuel filter was a bit of a pain. First, unscrew the bolt holding the fuel filter case to the undercarriage of the car. Next begin to work on the PITA snaps that hold the fuel lines onto the filter. I spent in excess of 30 minutes trying to get these little buggers off. One was at a terrible angle, I had to use a tiny screwdriver, big screwdriver AND an allen wrench (90* angle). After some cursing and some breaks to play with the dog I got them unclipped. I had a gatorade bottle which I used to catch the bit of gas that drained from the filter once the lines were unhooked. This gas came in handy as I used it to sort of prime the new fuel filter before installing.

Once the old filter was out, I just removed it from it's housing, put the new one in, primed it, screwed it onto the undercarriage and hooked the lines back up. At this point, I started the car and let it run the air out of the system with a slight load on the throttle. I was a bit worried about this part, but it went very smoothly with just a few "burps" from the engine.

After that I changed the oil. Nothing special. Mobil 1 Full Synthetic and a Purolater filter designed for synthetic oils w/ an anti drain back valve. I switched to 5W-30 for this summer heat. I'll let you guys know how this goes.

I'm hoping that changing the fuel filter and plugs will help with the infamous Duratec stumbles that have been mentioned many times on this forum. Mine had gotten worse now that I'm running the AC. We'll see if this helps.

All in all I feel great, got a lot of good maintenance done today. This beer tastes even better than usual! Time to eat a late dinner and watch the first game of the finals.


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Old 06-07-2007, 08:24 PM   #2
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right on...good call with the coppers too....so where exactly is the fuel filter on our cars?........oh and enjoy your beer...you made me thirsty so im going for one now.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:30 PM   #3
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Fuel filter is forward of the fuel tank on the undercarriage.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:30 PM   #4
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It is near the rear passenger wheel tucked up by the gas tank. If you stick your head under there you can't miss it.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:39 PM   #5
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Cool, hope it fixes your problem. Also a good thing to do before you start the car after a fuel filter change is the put the key to the on position,but not turning on the car, for about a minute. This will get the fuel pumping and help prime the system.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:07 PM   #6
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i hope u gapped them at .060 and not .60 that would be bad
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:14 PM   #7
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you don't really need an antidrainback valve since the filter sits in the position it does
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:12 AM   #8
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haha, good catch on the gap, .6 would be pretty aggressive! car still gave me a little stumble this morning. i'm gonna clean the throttle body and see if that helps. any advice on good ways to do this?
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:23 AM   #9
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Beer Goooooooood
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:35 PM   #10
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Just wondering why everyone is using a hotter plug than stock? Stock=103 104=hotter
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