GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Fuel Filter

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CAUTION
Before removing any fuel system component, always relieve pressure from the system. This procedure is outlined in Fuel System . Never smoke when working around gasoline! Avoid all sources of sparks or ignition. Gasoline vapors are EXTREMELY volatile!

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




CAUTION
Filter replacement should not be attempted when the engine is HOT. Additionally, it is a good idea to place some absorbent rags under the fuel fittings to absorb any gasoline which will spill out when the lines are loosened.

Carbureted Engines

See Figure 1

All models have a fuel filter located within the carburetor body. The fuel filter has a check valve to prevent fuel spillage in the event of an accident. When the filter is replaced, make sure the new one is of the same type. All filters are of the paper element type. Replace the filter every 15,000 miles (24,000 km).

  1. Remove the air cleaner.
  2.  
  3. Place a few absorbent rags underneath the fuel line where it joins the carburetor.
  4.  
  5. Detach the fuel line connection at the fuel inlet filter nut. A backup wrench should be used to prevent the filter from loosening while trying to remove the line.
  6.  
  7. Carefully unscrew the fuel inlet filter nut from the carburetor. As the nut is removed, the filter will be pushed part way out by spring pressure.
  8.  
  9. Remove the filter and spring.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: The fuel filter on carbureted engines is located under the air cleaner, within the carburetor body

To install:
  1. Install the new spring and filter with the hole in the filter toward the nut.
  2.  
  3. Position a new gasket on the inlet fitting nut, then install the nut into the carburetor. Tighten to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Connect the fuel line, then tighten the connector to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm.) while holding the inlet nut with a backup wrench to prevent the filter nut from turning.
  6.  
  7. Install the air cleaner.
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  9. Start the engine and check for leaks.
  10.  

Fuel Injected Engines

See Figures 2 and 3

Most 1992-94 model vehicles are equipped with "Quick Connect" fuel fittings. For more information regarding these fittings, please refer to Fuel System in this information.

An inline filter can be found in the fuel feed line attached to the rear crossmember of the vehicle. To locate the filter, follow the fuel line back from the throttle body. Inline filters are often mounted to the frame rail underneath the vehicle. It may be necessary to raise and safely support the vehicle using jackstands in order to access the filter.



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Fig. Fig. 2: Place a rag under the filter to catch any fuel which may spill out, then unfasten the fuel lines, using a back-up wrench


CAUTION
Before disconnecting any component of the fuel system, refer to the fuel pressure release procedures found earlier in this section.

  1. Properly relieve the fuel system pressure as outlined earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. If necessary, raise and safely support the vehicle with jackstands.
  4.  

Always use a back-up wrench anytime the fuel filter is removed or installed.

  1. Using a backup wrench (where possible) to prevent overtorquing the lines or fittings, loosen and disconnect the fuel lines from the filter. Be sure to position a rag in order to catch any remaining fuel which may escape when the fittings are loosened. Remove and discard any fuel line O-rings.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Most fuel filters are retained by band clamps; you must loosen the retainers or completely remove the clamp and filter as an assembly

  1. For 1992-94 vehicles, grasp the filter and nylon fuel connection line fitting. Twist the "quick-connect" fitting 1 / 4 or a turn in each direction to loosen any dirt within the fitting. Use compressed air to blow out the dirt from the fittings at the end of the fuel filter.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, detach the quick-connect fitting by pushing inward toward the filter and grasping the plastic tab around the connector and pull apart. If additional assistance is required to disconnect the fitting, tool J 38778 or equivalent can be placed between the filter and the fitting release mechanism to carefully force the two apart. Be careful not to bend the special tool.
  4.  
  5. Remove the fuel filter from the retainer or mounting bolt. For most filters which are retained by band clamps, loosen the fastener(s) and remove the filter. For some filters, it may be necessary to completely remove the clamp and filter assembly.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Before installing a new filter, apply a few drops of clean engine oil to the male tube end of the filter. This will ensure proper attachment and prevent a fuel leak.
  2.  
  3. Position the filter and retaining bracket with the directional arrow facing away from the fuel tank, towards the throttle body.
  4.  

The filter has an arrow (fuel flow direction) on the side of the case, be sure to install it correctly in the system, the with arrow facing away from the fuel tank.

  1. Install and tighten the filter/bracket retainer(s), as applicable.
  2.  
  3. If equipped with "quick-connect" fittings, push the connectors together to cause the retaining tabs/fingers to snap into place. Pull on both ends of the connection to be sure they are secure.
  4.  
  5. Using new O-rings, connect the fuel lines to the filter, then tighten, using a backup wrench to prevent damage, to 20-22 ft. lbs. (27-30 Nm).
  6.  
  7. If raised, carefully lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Connect the negative battery cable and tighten the fuel filler cap, then start the engine and check for leaks.
  10.  

 
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