5VZ V6 4runner fuel filter write up with pics

Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
1,514
Location
Rochester, WA
Replacing the fuel filter on a 2001 4runner
Disclaimer
Be careful when doing your own car work and you are going to be playing with fuel, so don't be dumb. No smoking and put away the incandescent/halogen shop bulbs.

Tools/products I used:
14mm flarenut/tubenut wrench
19mm open end wrench
3/8" drive - 6" extension and 12mm socket
1/4" drive - 3" extension and 10mm socket
wire brush
pry tool
antiseize lubricant
spray penetrant lube of your choice, emphasis on penetrant for rust/corrosion.
nitrile gloves
drain pan
rags



You can locate your fuel filter by looking straight at the drivers side mirror if you were walking up to it on that side.
The fuel filter is located a foot or so back from the body and just on the other side of the frame under the drivers mirror.

Once you get under there you will probably run into one of these. No doubt some will find theirs missing.


The above is held on with three M8 bolts with 12mm heads and one of those plastic tree things, here is where I needed the screwdriver to pry out the tree...many tools would work here and some might not even need one.

Parts:
New OEM filter


Earlier in the day I soaked down the filter connections and mounting nuts.
Mine wasn't terrible compared to some of the pictures I've seen, but just soaking them down in a good penetrant oil does wonders.


Use the wire brush to brush away the rust and corrosion that you can get off.

Next open the hood and pull the cover off the relay box on the drivers inner fender and find the EFI relay and pull it out.


Move to the cab and crank the engine over for about 3 to 5 seconds, if it starts it will die shortly, turn off the key.

Pop the fuel door and move further on back to relieve the pressure in the tank.


Using a 14mm flare nut wrench and a 19mm open end, break free the fuel lines at the inlet and outlet of the filter.
If you position the wrenches between your open hand grip, squeeze the two wrenches together in your fist and you can generate a lot of force in close quarters that way.
Unscrew the filter nut until hand tight.

Place drain pan with rag in it under the filter.
Loosen the M6 (ten mm head) mounting bracket nuts till the filter can fall down a bit and loosen filter nuts till fuel exits both sides of the filter into the drain pan. I lost about a half a quart of gasoline.

Remove M6 nuts and pull filter off studs. Wipe out filter nuts with a clean rag.

Install new filter making sure the larger disc portion of the filter points toward the rear of the vehicle.

Position the filter below or just on the mounting studs and hand tighten the fuel lines on the filter (they are easy to cross thread with a wrench) Once the fuel lines are threaded, push up the filter and install the M6 locknuts. (I used antiseize on my studs due to rust formation.
The torque spec for the fuel lines is 18 ft/lbs.......You would need a 14mm Weatherhead fitting socket and torque wrench. I tightened them down till they stopped, essentially.



Tighten down the fuel cap, replace the EFI relay and start it.*
It's going to crank for what seems like a long time. Also, it may start and die.

Get it started and immediately get under and look for any fuel leak at all. When you are convinced you've got a leak free 4runner, install the plastic shield into it's place. (Antiseize was also applied to the M8 bolts that go into the frame)

Here is what my OE filter with 110,000 miles on it looked like. Mud gas ran out of it when I cut it open.


The difference was amazing. It feels as if I've gained fifteen horsepower.
It is truly amazing what you will put up with if introduced a little at a time. I didn't even know my s*** was slow. :)

Next one is going in at about a 160,000 miles.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
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Location
New Jersey
Good job.

I am not wild about dry-firing the injectors, however. I can't say with authority that it is bad, but I'd still rather not. I just parked the truck where I was going to do the work the night before and loosened the gas cap. The next morning there was no real pressure and I lost the same half-quart of gas. It got dumped into the tractor--that old girl will burn anything, and the filter is cleanable (still the 1966 original.)

Did all years have the plastic cover? My '99 did not have one and I have owned it since new. No one else has worked on the filter and I doubt it just disappeared without a trace.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
1,514
Location
Rochester, WA
Good job.

I am not wild about dry-firing the injectors, however. I can't say with authority that it is bad, but I'd still rather not. I just parked the truck where I was going to do the work the night before and loosened the gas cap. The next morning there was no real pressure and I lost the same half-quart of gas. It got dumped into the tractor--that old girl will burn anything, and the filter is cleanable (still the 1966 original.)

Did all years have the plastic cover? My '99 did not have one and I have owned it since new. No one else has worked on the filter and I doubt it just disappeared without a trace.
It's possible it didn't come with one. I've worked on three, all of them had it. They were all post 99' though.

AFAIK that was the procedure for the 22RE's straight from the FSM, so I can't imagine it being to terrible for the injectors. I would change it if I was presented evidence to the contrary though.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Messages
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Location
New Jersey
It's possible it didn't come with one. I've worked on three, all of them had it. They were all post 99' though.

AFAIK that was the procedure for the 22RE's straight from the FSM, so I can't imagine it being to terrible for the injectors. I would change it if I was presented evidence to the contrary though.
Here is what the 3G FSM says to do (page SF-3). Same effect either way and your way looks easier. I think the leave it overnight with cap off is a valid alternative, however.

8. FUEL SYSTEM
(a) When disconnecting the high pressure fuel line, a large
amount of gasoline will spill out, so observe these procedures:
(1) Disconnect the fuel pump connector.
(2) Start the engine. After the engine has stopped on
its own, turn the ignition switch OFF.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Here is what the 3G FSM says to do (page SF-3). Same effect either way and your way looks easier. I think the leave it overnight with cap off is a valid alternative, however.
I agree, as long as you don't shoot yourself in the eye, it's all good. :cheers:
 

Duane

IH8MUD Wookie
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708
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Medicine Hat
Hey Ray..you mentioned it felt like you gained 15 hp. Where is the fuel pump in these things? My 99 also has about 110,000 miles on it and I doubt the filter has been replaced yet.
 
Joined
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Hey Ray..you mentioned it felt like you gained 15 hp. Where is the fuel pump in these things? My 99 also has about 110,000 miles on it and I doubt the filter has been replaced yet.
The fuel pump is in the tank. The fuel pump connector is on top, I believe you can get to it from under the rear seat.

Mine starts easier now and is probably getting better fuel mileage.
I'm sad now that have put it off for so long.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
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Opelika, AL
Using a 14mm flare nut wrench and a 19mm open end, break free the fuel lines at the inlet and outlet of the filter.
If you position the wrenches between your open hand grip, squeeze the two wrenches together in your fist and you can generate a lot of force in close quarters that way.

I used Raydoubles method as mentioned above on the first line facing rearward but the forward facing one was more difficult so I used the method in pic below on that one only. I did have my 19mm wrench on it when I actually loosened it but couldn't juggle all that while taking a pic.

filter.jpg

Here is a pic of the dirty gas that came out of my 96 with 104k miles on it and can only assume original filter. The mud in the bottom flaked off the frame but you can still see how dirty just the gas was too.

dirty gas.jpg
filter.jpg
dirty gas.jpg
 
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Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
1,514
Location
Rochester, WA
I like the resourcefulness. :)

Anything like this is better than a set of vise grips or a pipe wrench.

Hopefully you see the same overall improvement I saw. :cheers:
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
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Location
Brooklyn, NY
Sorry for resurrecting this 5 years old thread. I did it yesterday and run across this write up just now.
I did pretty much everything as written, except I didn't touch EFI relay.
Is it absolutely necessary to remove/replace?
And what if I didn't?

Thanks
 
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