Fuel Filter

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A fairy common filter which is also in use on the same era Lotus Esprit. A point of note is the filter should be fitted with a seal which is not identified in the Elan manual, but is in the Esprit.

Filter Location

The filter is located in a compartment below the hood stowage area. It is situated towards the left hand side of the bay.

Fuel filter.jpg

The filter can be found behind the metalic panel.

Fuel filter 31.jpg

How to replace the fuel filter

Warning.png WARNING - Explosive hazard

Isolate the battery before any work to the fuel system.

Remember to depressurize the fuel system.

  • Lift out the carpet inside your hood stowage cover.
  • Take the battery inspection cover and wedge it lengthways between the rear edge of the roof and the front edge of the stowage cover.
  • That will give you plenty of room to work (and is a really handy tip if you've ever got any other work to do in that area).
  • Undo all the screws and remove the plastic tray. ( The screws, sometimes called Scrivets, appear to be made from plastic, but they are in fact made of chocolate. If the screws round off, a wood chisel is the perfect tool for removing the heads).
  • Then, from the driver's side, you'll be able to see the inspection hatch. It's an aluminium plate that's mounted vertically on the RHS of the fuel tank. Remove the 4 screws and voila, there's your fuel filter.

How to remove the filter

  • Start the engine and then pull the inertia switch.
  • The engine should stall and depressurize the fuel lines.
  • Remove the battery.
  • Release the filter from its clamp with a 10mm socket on a 1/4" drive ratchet. This gives enough clearance to move the actual filter fore and aft to get at the fittings.
  • With a 21mm (adjustable) open end spanner on the filter, and a 16mm on the fitting, loosen off the fittings slightly (beware of pressurised residual fuel - have a rag handy!)
    • In theory the outer (threaded) part of the fitting will rotate, with the inner bit staying still - Like on a brake pipe.
    • In reality, the 2 bits may be rusted solid (mine were, anyway) - hence as you unscrew the fitting, the plastic fuel line 'winds up' and squashes itself flat - weakening it and maybe giving it somewhere to split when under pressure
Info non-talk.png What to do if the fuel line is damaged

After a bit of head scratching, you may come to the decision that if you cut the pipe, you can refit the fittings later - if you think that - THINK AGAIN They are a difficult to re-fit - there just isn't enough room to get at it properly. Okay, here's what you do -

Go and buy 60cm of rubber high-pressure injection fuel pipe (8mm bore) from your local motor factors - don't forget a couple of jubilee clips (size 000) Then…

  • Cut the plastic hose about 10mm from the fitting on the INLET side of the filter (rear of the car).
  • Catch any fuel which runs out.
  • Unscrew the filter from the front (outlet) fitting - leaving that fitting attached to the plastic pipe which runs forward to the engine.
  • Remove the filter, with the rear fitting still attached, from the access hole - it will still have quite a bit of petrol in it so be careful. Drain it away carefully, then unscrew the fitting from the filter.
  • Carefully cut the plastic pipe off the 8mm tail on the fitting, don't press too hard with the knife - you need to be able to re-seal it later!

You now have that sinking feeling when you realise that you can't get it all back together unless your hands are 3 cm wide and double-jointed - with the ability to exert vast amounts of longitudinal pressure on the pipe joint.

  • Remove the 4 screws which hold the cover plate on top of the fuel tank - it is the one with the wires going through it to the sender unit underneath. The screws are actually set screws (bolts) going into rubber scrivets. Pull it to one side, feeding the wire through it as you go to give clearance.
  • By waggling the cut end of the plastic fuel line you will see the other end of it on top of the sender unit - carefully cut the plastic pipe on the spigot on top of the tank - it is only plastic, so go careful with Mr. Stanley!
  • Pull the pipe out and chuck it away - it's (s)crap.
  • Fit the pipe to the fuel tank end and tighten up the jubilee clip - feed the pipe round the top of the tank and down to where the filter lives.
  • Replace the 2 rubber 'o' rings on the fittings (Rover part, not mentioned in the Elan manual, but is in the Esprit manual which uses the same filter and seals.) and screw the inlet fitting (the loose one!) onto the inlet side of the filter - tighten up with the same 2 spanners you took the old one off with.
  • Screw the filter onto the outlet fitting - dangling somewhere next to the tank - and tighten up with spanners. Push it forward a bit to get to the rear fitting.
  • Push the loose end of your nice new rubber hose onto the fitting - don't forget the jubilee clip. Do it up.
  • Wiggle the new filter back into its locating bracket and replace the bolt.
  • Replace the battery
  • Reset the isolator
  • Turn ignition key as to prime the fuel lines, but do not start the engine.
  • Check the new filter for leaks
  • Start the engine, check for leaks
  • Put the bay back together.

It might sound a bit strange, but if you do it this way, and have the parts you need at hand - it is literally a 10 minute job! Remove the fuel filter

Shopping list

  • Fuel filter - Fram G3727 (Lotus A910E6929F £13.63 ? See Here for alternatives)
  • 2 x 'O' rings (Lotus A082L6169F £0.57 ea) - Alternative MG/Rover part # EDP9976
  • 60cm 8mm bore Injection fuel hose
  • 2 x jubilee clips (size 0000)

Tools required

  • 21mm open-end spanner (wrench)
  • 16mm open-end spanner (wrench)
  • Cross-head screwdriver
  • 10mm socket on 1/4" drive
  • Stanley knife
  • 7mm socket for jubilee clips