Toyota Corolla 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Fuel Filters

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There are two basic types of fuel filters used by these vehicles: The cartridge type (disposable element) which is removed from a reusable housing or the fully disposable (throwaway) composite element/housing type. A third type can be found in the fuel tank on some late model carbureted vehicles and all fuel injected vehicles. The third type is a disposable "sock'' type filter used to prevent debris which may be located in the tank from entering the fuel system.

The fuel filter should be replaced a minimum of every 25,000-30,000 miles, but sooner if it seems dirty or clogged. The removal and installation procedures differ slightly for certain years.


CAUTION
DO NOT smoke or have open flame near the car when working on the fuel system

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Cartridge Type Filter Element

See Figure 1

The cartridge type filter is located in the fuel line. To replace the element, proceed as follows:

  1. Loosen and remove the nut on the filter bowl.
  2.  
  3. Withdraw the bowl, element spring, element, and gasket.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the cartridge type fuel filter mounting

  1. Wash the parts in solvent and examine them for damage.
  2.  
  3. Install a new filter element and bowl gasket.
  4.  
  5. Install the components in the reverse order of their removal. Do not fully tighten the bail nut.
  6.  
  7. Seat the bowl by turning it slightly. Tighten the bail nut fully and check for leaks.
  8.  

The above service should be performed if the clear glass bowl fills up with gasoline or at normal routine maintenance intervals.

Be sure to specify engine and model when buying the element replacement kit. The kits come in several different sizes

Throwaway Type Filter Assembly

The throwaway (disposable filter element/housing) fuel filter is located in the fuel line. The filter may be located by tracing the fuel line backwards from the engine or forward from the fuel tank. On most vehicles covered by this information, the filter will be found in the engine compartment, often on the left strut tower.

No service is possible on these filters except replacement. The filter must be completely removed from the fuel line in order to replace it.

1971-74 GASOLINE ENGINES

See Figure 2

  1. Unfasten the fuel intake hose. Use a wrench to loosen the attachment nut and another wrench on the opposite side to keep the filter body from turning (except 1973-74 vehicles).
  2.  
  3. On 2T-C engines, slip the flexible fuel line off the neck on the other side of the filter. On 1973-74 vehicles, remove the fuel lines from both sides of the filter by loosening the clamp and slipping the rubber hose off.
  4.  
  5. If equipped, unfasten the attaching screws from the filter bracket and remove the filter from the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Install a completely new fuel filter assembly in the reverse order of removal.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Common throwaway type (disposable element/housing) fuel filter

1975 AND LATER GASOLINE ENGINES

See Figures 3, 4 and 5

  1. If applicable on fuel injected engines, unbolt and remove the protective shield.
  2.  

Before disengaging any fuel line connections, place a drain pan under the fitting to catch any escaping fuel

  1. On carbureted vehicles, loosen and remove the hose clamps from the inlet and outlet hoses. If spring clamps are used, squeeze the tabs to release the clamps. The clamps should be repositioned further back on the hoses, past the filter inlet and outlet necks. Work the hoses off of the filter necks.
  2.  

Most fuel injected engines use fuel fittings instead of clamped hoses. Because the fuel injection system operates under pressure, wrap a shop rag around the fitting before attempting to disconnect it. With the shop rag in place, SLOWLY loosen the fitting and allow the pressure bleed off

  1. On fuel injected vehicles, carefully loosen and remove the fuel line fittings and/or union bolts from the filter.
  2.  
  3. Snap the filter out of its bracket and replace it with a new one. The filters on some later model vehicles may be secured to the retaining bracket using a bolt or clamp.
  4.  

The arrow on the fuel filter must always point toward the carburetor

  1. Installation of the remaining components is in the reverse order of removal.
  2.  

When tightening the fuel line bolts to the filter on fuel injected engines, you must use a torque wrench and a crow's foot adapter. The tightening torque is very important as under or over tightening may cause fuel leakage. Insure that there is no fuel line interference and that there is sufficient clearance between it and any other parts

  1. On fuel injected engines, coat the flare nut, union nut and bolt threads with clean engine oil. Connect and hand-tighten the fuel lines, then use a torque wrench to tighten the fitting/union bolts to specification. Tighten the inlet bolt to 23-33 ft. lbs. (7-45 Nm), then tighten the fuel delivery pipe to 18-25 ft. lbs. (24-34 Nm). If supplied with the replacement filter, be sure to replace any O-rings or gaskets.
  2.  
  3. Run the engine for a few minutes and check the filter for any leaks.
  4.  
  5. If applicable, install the protective shield.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Loosen the fuel line clamp and position it back on the hose, past the raised portion of the filter nipple



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Fig. Fig. 4: Position a rag to catch any escaping fuel, then disconnect the lines from the filter



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the filter from the retaining bracket and from the vehicle (note that the arrow points at the fuel line running to the engine)

1C-L DIESEL ENGINE

See Figure 6

  1. Disconnect the fuel level warning switch connector at the lower end of the filter.
  2.  
  3. Drain water and fuel from the filter. For details, please refer to the procedure found later in this section.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the two mounting bolts and remove the filter/bracket assembly.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Whenever the fuel filter is drained or replaced, the filter must be filled with fuel using the priming pump BEFORE attempting to start the engine

  1. Remove the water level warning switch from the filter housing and then unscrew the filter from the housing. An oil filter strap wrench may come in handy when removing the filter.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Install the water level warning switch using a new O-ring.
  2.  
  3. Coat the filter gasket lightly with diesel fuel and then screw it in hand-tight. DO NOT use a wrench to tighten the fuel filter.
  4.  
  5. Mount the filter assembly, tighten the bolts and connect the warning switch.
  6.  
  7. Using the priming pump on top of the filter, fill the filter with fuel and check for leaks.
  8.  

In-Tank Filter
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Drain the gasoline from the fuel tank.
  4.  
  5. Remove the fuel tank from the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the fuel pump bracket retaining bolts and remove the fuel pump bracket.
  8.  
  9. Remove the retaining clip from the fuel filter hose and remove the fuel filter.
  10.  
  11. Install a new fuel filter and reverse the removal procedure to complete the installation procedure.
  12.  

Draining the Diesel Fuel Filter

See Figure 7


CAUTION
When the fuel filter warning light or buzzer comes on, the water in the fuel filter must be drained immediately

  1. Raise the hood and position a small pan or jar underneath the drain plug to catch the water which is about to be released.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Turn the drain plug counterclockwise in order to drain water from, the filter

  1. Reach under the fuel filter and turn the drain plug counterclockwise about 2-2 1 / 2 turns.
  2.  

Loosening the drain plug more than the suggested amount will cause water to ooze from around the threads of the plug

  1. Depress the priming pump on top of the filter housing until fuel is the only substance being forced out.
  2.  
  3. Retighten the drain plug by hand only, do not use a wrench.
  4.  

 
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