the wife has 45K on her Explorer now, so I figure it's due for a fuel filter. I bought a replacement at kragan, but not sure how to replace it. Is it difficult, or do I need any special tools or know-how?
Sometimes, the quick release tool is anything but quick. Those connectors can be stubborn. Patience is key. I've had good success by pushing the tool into the connector, then while holding it in place, pushing in on the fuel lines. This makes sure the tool has engaged the release so the line can be pulled past the "collar" on the fuel filter.
Remember to de-pressurize the fuel system first to reduce some of the fuel spray. Even then, the fuel filter will still be full of fuel. Once you remove the fuel line from one side of the filter, take a golf tee and push in the filter stub. This will cut back on getting fuel all over when you remove the filter.
Good idea on the golf tee, I'll remember that next time I change a fuel filter!
On the Gen 3 Explorers the fuel filter is behind a metal shield plate on the frame cross member just forward of the gas tank. Look at the forward side of the cross member on the passenger side and you'll see it. There's a second plastic shield behind the metal plate you'll have to take off too.
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