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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing the Fuel Filter

Mike Holloway

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$10 to $40

Talent:

*

Tools:

8mm, 10mm, and 13mm socket wrench with 6-inch extension, 8mm, 17mm open end wrench, flat face and Phillips head screwdriver, floor jack, jack stands

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 450SL (1975-80)

Parts Required:

Fuel filter

Hot Tip:

Clamp fuel line

Performance Gain:

Engine operation optimized

Complementary Modification:

Replace fuel pump

The fuel filter's job is to filter debris and even remove water from the fuel prior to the petrol being pumped into the combustion chamber. Fuel can become contaminated with rust, corrosion and water. These contaminates negatively impact engine performance in a big way. If the car has spark but won't start, then the culprit is more than likely a fuel problem. Rough idle, stumbling and stalling on hills are other symptoms of fuel-delivery issues.

Potential for fire is always a concern when working on fuel systems. Disconnect the battery's negative cable to minimize possibilities of sparks. Work in a well-ventilated area away from open flame. Let the car cool down before beginning. Fully heated catalytic converters can ignite fuel vapors.

Always keep a Class B fire extinguisher within arm's reach. Capture gas in an appropriate container. Relieve pressure from the fuel system before removing the existing fuel pump. Pinching off the suction hose will minimize the amount of spilled fuel. Special U-style clamps are made for this purpose, although DIY mechanics often improvise with small C-clamps or locking pliers using something to protect the fuel line from the pliers' jaws. The OEM sliding-style hose clamps are realistically one-use only. Spring-type clamps are DIY-friendly and are normally packaged with the new fuel pump. In a pinch, worm-gear clamps have decades of proven effectiveness, providing they aren't over or under tightened.

Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery prior to any work. Consult the Pelican article on safely removing your battery, if you need pointers in this regard. Make sure the work area is well ventilated.

The fuel filter is located under the car on the right side below the fuel filling inlet near the fuel tank, which means you'll need to safely jack up the rear of your car. Refer to our article on the proper way of jacking up your car and placing it on jack stands. In addition, whenever you're working under your car, always wear safety glasses.

Using a 13mm socket, loosen and remove the (2) bolts that hold the plastic protective shield.
Figure 1

Using a 13mm socket, loosen and remove the (2) bolts that hold the plastic protective shield.

Using an 8mm socket, loosen and remove the two nuts that secure the clamp for the fuel pump.
Figure 2

Using an 8mm socket, loosen and remove the two nuts that secure the clamp for the fuel pump.

Using a flat face screwdriver, loosen the clamp for the hose that feeds the fuel pump.
Figure 3

Using a flat face screwdriver, loosen the clamp for the hose that feeds the fuel pump. If the fuel line is not clamped, place a proper receptacle to catch any fuel in the lines.

Using an 8mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the two nuts that secure the electrical terminals on the fuel pump.
Figure 4

Using an 8mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the two nuts that secure the electrical terminals on the fuel pump.

Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the nut towards the rear that secures the fuel delivery system.
Figure 5

Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the nut towards the rear that secures the fuel delivery system.

Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the nut towards the front that secures the fuel delivery system.
Figure 6

Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the nut towards the front that secures the fuel delivery system.

Using a 17mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the fuel line from the rear of the fuel pump.
Figure 7

Using a 17mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the fuel line from the rear of the fuel pump. Make sure that a proper fuel receptacle is in place to catch any fuel that may leak from the pump.

Using a flat face screwdriver loosen the hose clamp which secures the fuel suction dampener.
Figure 8

Using a flat face screwdriver loosen the hose clamp which secures the fuel suction dampener. Make sure that a proper fuel receptacle is in place to catch any fuel that may leak from the fuel suction dampener.

The fuel delivery system can now be removed.
Figure 9

The fuel delivery system can now be removed. Using a 17mm open-end wrench loosen and remove the fuel line that feeds the fuel filter.

Using a 17mm open-end wrench and a 13mm socket, loosen and remove the fuel lines coming from the filter.
Figure 10

Using a 17mm open-end wrench and a 13mm socket, loosen and remove the fuel lines coming from the filter.

The filter is now free and can be replaced.
Figure 11

The filter is now free and can be replaced. Replacement is the reverse of removal.

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