DeLorean Fuel Filter Replacement

4/06/2005

Swear Meter Rating of 7: Black Gasoline "Tan", Mid-level discomfort

I got my fuel system kit from Special T Auto and it included a fuel filter. I had NO idea where this thing went.  I had a diagram but it didn't help.  I spent many hours on the ground with a digital camera taking pics of the underside of the car to find it. Basically you have to have the car raised a bit, and with your head near the transmission look outward towards the drivers side and upwards on the frame.  Thar she blows. I redid my fuel system a long time before but never got around to replacing this thing for that reason. It finally hit me to do it while my pulleys were being serviced and the car was otherwise un-driveable.

First and foremost, disconnect the battery. Electricity + Gasoline = Danger.

First off you're going to have to get your car's butt off the ground at least 8-10 inches. Think safety here, it's dangerous enough already. Next you need to remove your Trailing Arm Shields.  You're going to break off one of the crap-tacular little studs at least, but just expect it going in. You can replace them with a number of things, I stepped up and got Rob Grady's stainless steel ones. Very well made and they won't break the next time you're under there. Move the shield aside and get ready for fun. I recommend gloves and goggles for this one!

The premise is simple: The fuel comes in from a hard line (1) to the angle piece (3) which is affixed with the nut (2), so gas goes through the filter (4) (attached to the frame with up to two bolts (5)) up through the banjo fitting (6) and finally out to the engine (7).

My nut (2) was ON THERE. I hit it with PB Blaster for a day or two and whacked it continuously with a wrench for fun. Getting leverage on this spot is a pain in the butt, since it somewhat hangs down freely and the last thing you want to do is damage that hard line. After much swearing here's what I did:  I put the round handle of a socket wrench between the filter and the frame so it was firm, then used my wrench and cranked down good. It finally gave way much to my delight. It was all downhill from there. The nut unscrews and slides back on the hard line - it holds a conical shaped tip in the angle piece. Once you get it off you'll notice gas might be beginning to drip on you, so lightly screw the fitting back together.

Next up is the little bolt (5). This guy much to my surprise is actually a nyloc nut going through the frame. You need a wrench and a small socket wrench with a small extension for this: One to hold the bolt and the other to undo the nut.  Once the bracket is loose now you can re-remove the nut, but not before getting some kind of small bucket to catch the nasty gas. The pics show a shallow pan - it spattered all over the place so learn from me and get a bucket.

So anyway now's the time to drain what gas may be coming your way. There's gonna be some gas in the hard line, which you can poke at to make sure it drains out when you want it to, not in your face when you're working on something else. The filter will now begin to drain out the opposite direction.  You may want to help it along by gently shaking it. The gas that came out of mine was BLACK. It actually got all over me pretty good and sort of stained me for a day. Notice I'm not wearing gloves... do as I say not as I do.

Next thing to do is remove the soft line at the top with the banjo fitting. This is difficult too but nothing quite like what I went through with the first nut.  If you're lacking on upper body strength this might be a challenge.  I had to use 2 wrenches in sort of a scissor motion to release the fitting. Took me a few tries but I eventually got it to budge. Take note of the washers when you remove it.  It should be washer-banjo bolt - washer - filter.

My banjo bolt was pretty nasty looking so I cleaned it up with some solvents and a little elbow grease. You're supposed to use new copper washers too, mine came with the kit.

The old elbow piece unscrews from the bottom of the fuel filter. Assuming you've bought the right kind, it ought to be an easy fit into the new one. I wrapped some teflon tape around the fitting that goes into the filter for a better seal. You'll also need to unscrew the bolt that holds the bracket around the filter and swap it out. The seal is probably gripped pretty tight. Make sure you're not putting it back in upside-down. You'll want to sort of test-fit it under the car to make sure that the elbow joint will line up correctly with the hard line.

Installation is roughly the reverse of the above. Attach the soft line fitting first, but consider the needs of the hard line as well. Finger-tight then test-fit. Once everything's in a good spot crank down that top fitting pretty good. Then you can attach the bracket to the frame, but not too tight. Next mate the hard line to the elbow joint, then tighten up that bracket to the frame.

Reconnect the battery and energize the fuel pump a few times as it's going to have a empty space in the fuel system.  It will take a few tries to start the car but if you've done it correctly you'll hear the satisfying vroom of your engine. Check for leaks! A fine aerosol of gas is about the most dangerous thing you can have under your car.

I'll get the exact sizes of the tools I used and post them a little later.