The 1997 Ford F-150 came with a wide array of body and driveline options to fit just about any buyer's needs. Engine options included a base 4.2-liter V-6 with 200 horsepower, a 4.6-liter V-8 with 220 horsepower and a 5.4-liter V-8 with 230 horsepower. All three engines used an in-line fuel filter to help keep rust and other contaminants from entering the sensitive areas of the fuel system – the fuel rail, injectors and combustion chambers. This filter can become clogged over time and lose its effectiveness, so Ford recommended changing it ever 15,000 miles.
Items you will need
- Memory saver
- Box-end wrench set
- Drain pan
- Ford fuel line tool
Open the hood. Pull the locking tab on the under-hood fuse box lid to unlock it and pivot the lid to open it. Pull the fuel pump fuse – the 20-amp fuse on the far passenger-side, front corner of the fuse box – out by hand. Start the engine and allow it to idle until it stalls. Crank the engine for about five seconds to purge the fuel lines of any residual pressure. Turn off the ignition and remove the key.
Install a memory saver onto the vehicle in accordance to its manufacturer’s instructions. Loosen the negative battery cable clamp bolt with a box-end wrench and pull the negative cable from the battery. Position the cable aside to prevent accidental reconnection.
Position yourself under the driver’s side of the bed and find the fuel filter – the metal canister – on the inside of the driver-side frame rail. Open the end of the rearmost security clip – the metal clip securing the connection between the fuel line and filter – by sliding the upper and lower jaws in opposite directions and slowly releasing the jaws. Slide the clip toward the fuel filter to remove the forked end of the clip from inside the end of the fuel line, then remove the clip. Remove the front security clip in the same manner.
Set a drain pan directly under the fuel filter. Close the Ford fuel line tool around the fuel filter inlet tube, so that the nose of the tool faces the fuel line. Slide the tool toward the line until the nose slides into the end of the line, and pull the fuel line from the fuel filter. Disconnect the fuel line from the fuel filter outlet tube in the same manner.
Push upward on the top side of the fuel filter bracket to loosen its grip on the fuel filter, and slide the filter out of the bracket. Slide the new fuel filter into the bracket with the “Flow” arrow pointing toward the front of the truck, until the lip on the end of the filter seats into the slot on the front end of the bracket.
Press the fuel lines onto their respective ends of the fuel filter until each line clicks into place. Pull the lines away from the filter to make sure they seated fully. Insert the forked end of the security clip into the end of the rear fuel line and guide the jaws over the indentation in the fuel line. Press the jaws shut to lock the upper and lower jaws together. Install the front security clip in the same manner.
Reconnect the negative battery cable and tighten the clamp bolt until it is snug, then remove the memory saver from the vehicle. Reinstall the fuel pump fuse and close the under-hood fuse box lid. Turn the ignition to the “Run” position until you hear the fuel pump stop running, then turn the ignition off. Repeat this cycling of the ignition three times to prime the fuel system, then start the engine and check for fuel leaks.
Take any old fuel to a used automotive fluid recycler that is certified to accept used gasoline.
- Do not smoke or keep open flames anywhere near your work area, as gasoline and its vapors are highly flammable.
- Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images