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Old 04-16-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
focallocal
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2005-2011 Cabin Filter Tutorial

I posted this on another forum, but I primarily reside here. So here goes, never really saw anyone post this up, so hopefully it helps everyone this allergy season!

Disclaimer: I am not at all responsible for what happens to your vehicle when following this guide. It worked perfectly for me, and will work for you, but things happen. Take your time and everything will be fine, but don't blame me if you screw up!

Supplies needed:
Pry bars http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=66840
Form-a-Gasket (or black RTV) http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=90024
Hammer
Flathead screwdriver and/or gasket scraper (optional, will make job easier) http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=98507
Wire Clippers or other plier-type cutting tool (optional, will make job easier)
Pliers
Relatively matching color rustoleum spray paint and fine grit sandpaper (optional)
Masking Tape
Dremel tool or small rotary tool equivalent with brass or steel brushes http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40457

Parts needed:
Cabin filter housing from 2000-2004 Focus from Ford or junkyard (be sure to get the two 10mm nuts as well or get your own) - Ford part no: YS4Z-19N619-EA

This is the housing you want:

Pollen filter - Ford Part no: FP-38


Ok, first off, we all know (should) about where the filter housing would be located. It is underneath the passenger cowl below the windshield. Removing this is slightly different than the 2000-04 Focus. There are no screws. There are only a couple of clips on the front side (inside the engine bay), and a strip of plastic on the backside.

To remove this, put your windshield wipers in the middle of your windshield and turn off the ignition. Raise the hood.

*Sorry no pics for this part, but there are tutorials all over the net with pictures. If I need to post them later I can.*

First, pop the clips in the engine bay. You might need a small flathead screwdriver to ease the process. Sometimes they can be difficult to pop out. Take your time and do not break them, or you will be replacing the cowl.

Next, pull up slowly but evenly and firmly on the back of the cowl that connects with the windshield. This will pull the plastic strip from its track groove. Note: the older foci did not have this groove, and therefore experienced the notorious passenger floorboard leak. The cowl was redesigned, and we no longer have to worry about that on newer foci.

This is the strip below the windshield.




Now that the cowl is off, you should see this:



At this point, you will be asking yourself what you have gotten yourself into. Trust me, its not that bad. Be patient, gentle, and take breaks. Your back will start to hurt. Be sure to dedicate 4+ hours to this job. It might not take that long, but count on it.

Spread a towel over the engine and right front fender like so:



The first thing you will need to do is remove the screen on top of the cheap, plastic, soon-to-be-not-so-permanent housing. If you have any crap from over the years on top, you will want to vacuum it off so it doesn't end up in your blower motor. Take the handle of your screwdriver, place it over one of the ten plastic glue spots on the top of the screen. Push firmly with ever increasing pressure until it pops off. Repeat for the other nine spots until you can remove the screen. The locations of the glue spots are shown here:




No turning back now! Now you need to remove the metal locking washers on the two bolts on each side of the glued-in housing. If you have the 10mm nuts from the housing you pulled from the junkyard, great. If not, get two 10mm nuts. If you can't or don't want to, you can re-use the locking washers, but I don't recommend it. Note: the next instruction will destroy the locking washers, so if you still need them, take a less destructive approach.

Take your pliers and grab the locking washers on each bolt. Squeeze and yank them off the bolts. Toss those $0.01 washers.

Now for the hard part. You can take two approaches here. If you want to keep your original plastic housing in tact, you have a long, frustrating day ahead of you. If you're like me, and have big hands, and tight spaces don't agree with you, you will probably have to tear it apart. First thing to do here is start on the left side corner closest to you, get your optional cutting plier tool, and snip the plastic down to where the glue contacts the bottom of the housing.



From here, use your gasket scraper or flathead screwdriver placed right at the point where the housing bends at 90 degrees, and smack it lightly with the hammer to crack the plastic. Now that you've cracked the plastic down the front, and cut the corner, you can now pull on the plastic until it snaps, giving you room to probe inside the housing. Take this opportunity to go ahead and tape up the intake inlet with masking tape to prevent anything from falling inside.
Break here:



*Sorry, no pics here either. Was by myself. If it needs more explaining, feel free to ask!*

At this point, we're getting in deep. Now this is where you need to be careful. Pull out your clips and try to cut the corner flat piece of plastic at the front, the one that is below where you cut before that is still glued to the metal of the car. Now when you start to pull up the plastic, it has a place to split instead of trying to pry up the entire housing at once. Use your scraper, and place it between the bottom plastic surface and the foam cement glue holding it in place. Go from inside the housing to the outside. Lightly tap with a hammer just enough to insert it between them and separate the seal. This will be impossible at the back, so don't try it. Only do the left and right sides, and as much as you can on the front. Remember, we're not trying to pry it up at this point.

I usually get the left side separated first because its position is the most ideal for beginning to pry. It also sets up the next steps best. If you need more room, you can try to break off the left side of the housing now as well. Do not let any plastic fall into the blower motor.

So guess what we're going to use now? Ha, the pry bar. I recommend getting at least three sizes, as the big one is hard to maneuver at first. Be very careful here. I chose to use pry bars as chisels almost, due to the fact that they are dull and will minimize the chance of punching a whole in the sheet metal of the car. They also have a 45 degree angle, which helps tremendously.

Start at the left corner and insert the small pry bar under the lip of the glued on housing. Start to hammer lightly to the right, following the path of the glue along the length of the front of the housing. This should give you enough space to insert the medium or large pry bar under the housing, and finish the entire length of the front. Try to leave the plastic in the front in one piece, as it will help you with removal later. Pry up to completely detach the front from the glue. This will take a bit of rotation from the bar, as you have limited room to pry up. This is ok, as it will prevent you from bending the sheet metal below it. Do the same for the left and right sides of the housing.

Now everything is nearly detached from the metal except the rear part of the housing. Repeat what you did for the front, using the small pry bar to get underneath the housing and separate the glue. It may be easier at this point to grab the housing and pull everything that is loose out. It will take some muscle, and will probably break, but it will give you much more room to move.

All in all, this step consists of patience, gradually working your way around the housing and pulling it to separate it from the glue. Breaking it is ok, you have a new housing to replace it. So tear it to pieces if you have to!

Have a beer, your halfway there!

If you've made it this far, you'll see that there is still a significant amount of foam cement left. We have to get rid of this to make a good seal. Bring out the dremel, and put the stainless steel brush attachment on. You shouldn't need more than two, and you might want to try to chisel as much off as you can with the pry bars and gasket scraper, as there will be plenty you must dremel off of the back. Make sure the masking tape is secure and sealed, and your towel is covering as much of your engine bay as possible. You're gonna make a mess...

After dremeling the foam, you should be left with something similar to this:



Eww...So get out your sandpaper, and smooth it out as much as possible. Dremel with brass brushes to protect the paint, and whatever you can't get perfectly smooth with the dremel, use high grit sandpaper. The part you need perfectly smooth is about 1/2" out from the inlet all the way around.

If concerned with cosmetics, vacuum out all the debris and wipe down the surface. Get a can of optional rustoleum gloss enamel from your neighborhood Chinamart, and ensuring your towel is in place, as well as a cover for your windshield and everything else (masking tape works wonders here), put a light coat of paint on top of the paint gap left by the glue. Wait an hour or so, then apply another coat. Let cure over night. Then remove your masking tape from the inlet. Here is what mine looked like after completion:



You're almost done! Now we just need to install the housing, which is the best part because it looks awesome and you can marvel at what you've overcome. The housing (picture provided under parts list) simply fits over the two bolts in the sheet metal. If the housing was pulled from a junkyard, depending on how old the car was and how stuck in the housing was, the seal on the bottom may be rotted. If needed, create a seal using the Form-a-gasket sealant. Use your 10mm nuts taken from junkyard housings with a universal joint and 10mm socket, or a stubby ratchet should work fine. Remove the worthless plastic screen that sits in the housing, tighten it down, and install your filter.

Congrats, you've done the unthinkable!


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Old 04-17-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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Nice. What does it look like with the filter housing installed?
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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Knew I forgot something!



With grate removed:



And with filter installed:

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Old 04-17-2011, 08:19 PM   #4
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Wow! Got that 'made for it' fit and finish. You did a nice job. I will see if my local auto recycle center has that part. Wish I would have had this before mice got in there. Still spitting out grass seed if I turn the blower to high.
Nice writeup btw!
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:23 PM   #5
focallocal
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Eww...mice? Major suckage. I know I pulled out a mini bird's nest once...I always wondered where all those feathers came from!
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:23 PM   #6
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I was not able to find a local sourced filter that fit as well as focallocal's in the outer box with out being very loose or sagging toward the inside of the car. The FRAM CA8205 fits in the inner box perfectly but is too tall for the outer box with the curved guides in the back. Also, it needed something to hold it down. I used the front flap from the outer box to clip it down and used the rear curved guides to make the clip anchors on the sides of the outer box.

Thanks for the detailed instructions for installation of the box focallocal.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
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Very Nice, But I have to ask, why do people see the need for cabin filters. I mean its nice, but I've lived for Years 40+ without any of my vehicles having one. Just another filter to replace. Like I said, though, very nice job and write up.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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My car doesn't have a caf on it
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #9
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i hate replacing them and happy mine doesn't have one. the 2013 Escape calls for an hour and a half just to remove and replace the cabin air filter...
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Jay 918 View Post
i hate replacing them and happy mine doesn't have one. the 2013 Escape calls for an hour and a half just to remove and replace the cabin air filter...
Yeah, that's what I mean. Unless you have SEVERE allergies, or something similar where you need to wear a mask outside, I say this is just another way to nickel more money out of us. I think if my car ever has one, I'll be looking for a way to delete it. Pull and add some screen, call it a day!
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