Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, I just got done replacing the fuel filter in my daughter's '03 Focus SE, part of our 'fleet' of two, the second an '03 ZTW. This is the first task on this vehicle I have really hated; - WAIT, the brake cables are another juicy story for another time; - they suck too, big time!

Now I know why they charge .6 of an hour to put one of these filter puppies on! I had the shop replace it on my son's '03 ZTW while they did the timing belt, water pump and a few other things related to the belt(s). As an after thought, I threw in a fuel filter and asked them to install it as well.

After struggling with this thing for over an hour, I finally got the clip released that connects the inlet side to the filter. What a pain. No room for your hands, no leverage to release the clip (you can reach around the back of the fitting and almost push the clip out, but not quite. I finally used a 90 degree awl to get under the clip (seems to me it is in backwards, but what do I know!) and pull it out far enough to release it.

There I was, prostrate on the ground, laying in our gravel driveway on cardboard (don't ask why) cursing a blue streak and praying at the same time! Even with the car on a 4 ton axle stand immediately in front of the rear wheel I couldn't get enough room to get under the car to do this with both hands. Of course you need a flashlight because it's darker than ape crap under there, but you also need three hands to do this job too.

Filter was marked MotorCraft and covered in undercoating from the aftermarket coating put on when the car was new. So this tells me it never was replaced in 197,000 Kms.

Why the engineers couldn't have routed the filter on the inside of the frame rail is beyond me. Time for a beer!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,409 Posts
Funny story. Thanks for sharing. I know your pain.

I have a 2004 and mine is likely setup the same as yours. One side of the filter has a hard-line attached to it; the other side has a flex-able line. Once the filter mount bracket is removed, you are still stuck working in cramped quarters because the filter is connected to a hard-line (the one that goes to the fuel tank).

I was taught here at FF that those fuel fittings/connectors are a "push-down the locking tab" to release.... not a "pry-up or remove the locking tab" to release.

When doing mine, I was pushing the tabs down with bare fingers so hard that I whined and screamed like a little girl during the process. Thank goodness I did not break something; my finger tips or a fuel line. Got the feeling back in my finger/thumb tips a few days later. Because my finger tips were not pushing down the small tab very well, I made a tiny pad to help get the tab pushed down better.

Geez! It is only a fuel filter! You and I are apparently BOTH horrible mechanics. I'm better with women and TV remotes though. Well, maybe just TV remotes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
.... Geez! It is only a fuel filter! You and I are apparently BOTH horrible mechanics....
I'll take that as a compliment!

For me, the simple route seems to make more sense. Why make something difficult or complicated when it can be done in such a way as to be simple and straightforward. Complicating matters is that at my advanced age, patience and tolerance are in short supply. Oddly, my Dad was the mechanic; - I was his unwilling apprentice, learning the hard way, even today it seems.

Having done this today however, I'm of the opinion that the placement of, and the hardware used was left to a committee rather than one thoughtful engineer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,484 Posts
My 2003 focus must be completely different than your guys', changing the fuel filter is a piece of cake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
753 Posts
05 zx3 here. Mines under the body near the back. I remove the mount bracket if possible and for the clips, well they meet their demise and new ones installed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,167 Posts
Ah, com'on, five minute job and reusing the clips over and over............one tool, long 8 mm. socket with extension and rachet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,409 Posts
My 2003 focus must be completely different than your guys', changing the fuel filter is a piece of cake.
Maybe the filter setup, mount, fuel lines are different on my and OP; we both had some difficulty and both were doing it on a wagon?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
first time was a surprise for me. I agree they could have located it in a better spot. My G/F escort someone needs to be punched in the dick for putting it on the fire wall with little access.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,167 Posts
Wagon and sedan are the same at least on the earlier ones. Got one of each.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Ah, com'on, five minute job and reusing the clips over and over............one tool, long 8 mm. socket with extension and rachet.
Well, now you're just hurting me feelings! [:)]
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
44,595 Posts
amc is in Texas, his cars look like new underneath compared to ours....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
amc is in Texas, his cars look like new underneath compared to ours....
Howdy Sailor,

Ya I know, and he doesn't even have a garage, he just lays under the car in the yard! Oh snap!

I've talked to AMC a few times.

Best AC guy on the planet.

How are you doing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,167 Posts
All right, and you?

I've often said that in WWII I would've been one of the guys working on B-17s out in the snow..........yeah, I'm that stupid.............
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
All right, and you?

I've often said that in WWII I would've been one of the guys working on B-17s out in the snow..........yeah, I'm that stupid.............
No, you are not!

You just live in a climate where they don't throw salt on the roads, it's way too dry at times and the temperature is just right for doing mechanics out in the open with God and everybody else watching! [:D]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,484 Posts
I feel sorry for you guys that can't do engine swaps outdoors in February.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I feel sorry for you guys that can't do engine swaps outdoors in February.
And the temperature for you would be.....?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
44,595 Posts
Nice & warm out there in the Winter.

The few times I got through the LA area I didn't mind killing a little time in one of the Ontario truckstops.

Downside of the nice weather for mechanics CAN be working outdoors. I saw plenty of shops with outside bays in my Trucking travels. It's great in good temps/calm & dry, not that way all the time across the south.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,167 Posts
Yeah buddy, they don't lower your work output requirements just because it's 105 outside today..............the Texas Republican work ethic, everybody else does it while the boss sits in the a/c'ed office.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top