Want to save a hundred dollars? Then replace the fuel filter yourself!

Anton Utkin

Fifteen years ago, we could do fine without fuel filters, only the Volga and truck drivers were tormented with the chronically clogged and leaking collapsible "lawn" FTO. A disposable filter first appeared on our VAZ “eight” - its capricious Solex carburetor can choke on even the smallest mote. Today, the benefits of fuel filters are undeniable - the cleaner the gasoline, the less often you will have to flush the carburetor.

Almost all filters for carburetor engines of both domestic cars and foreign cars are made of plastic. They are lightweight, do not need additional fastening - just hang on the hoses. The diameter of the nozzles is 8 mm, which corresponds to the international standard - these are the hoses that are provided for fuel pipelines. Hence - the remarkable versatility of plastic filters, only occasionally you may need a copy with a "cunning" arrangement of nozzles (see photo). For most carburetor foreign cars, a straight-through “eight-figured” filter for 10 rubles, for example, BIG or Ecofil, is perfect - their high quality has been checked by our expertise (see ЗР, 1998, No. 11).

However, the carburetor is living out its life, and even the conservative AvtoVAZ plans to reduce the share of cars equipped with it to a few percent in a couple of years. On modern machines equipped with a fuel injection system, the filter is noticeably larger in volume than the “carburetor” one and is made in a metal case, since it operates under pressure up to 3 atm (see photo). Due to its considerable mass, it is attached to the body with a special bracket covering the body like a clamp. It is connected to the fuel lines, most often, by threaded fittings, which drastically reduces the possibility of interchangeability, because the coincidence in thread of different filter models is a matter of chance. However, in recent years, designers have made sure that the reinforced 8-mm hose, squeezed onto the nozzle with a worm clamp, holds pressure no less reliably, therefore cars of the latest models are equipped, as a rule, with straight-through filters (their nozzles are located on the same axis), similar in shape on the "carburetor". These are not only cheaper to manufacture, but also convenient for interchangeability (Table 1).

Is this unification of filters really important? Imagine yes. Indeed, on a “foreign-made” service you will be charged fifty dollars for the original filter and the same amount for its replacement, not to mention the loss of time. Queue, checkout, round trip - half a day as it never happened. Isn't it better to buy a twenty-dollar filter from a well-known company in a store and replace it yourself? Work for ten minutes: unfasten a couple of clamps and remove two bolts … If there was no regular filter in the store - it doesn’t matter - buy a little smaller one. By wrapping its body with electrical tape, you can increase the diameter to the nominal one, so that the bracket clamp holds the filter tightly, preventing it from moving when shaking the machine. If desired, you can adapt a larger filter, but then you have to make a new bracket out of sheet steel.

A separate group is formed by fuel filters of individual configurations. The most avid inventors of non-standard forms are Japanese firms. In the table. Figure 2 shows the drawings of filters with dimensions, but not all varieties are presented - there are very rare ones that are suitable for only one modification of a car that has been produced for two to three years. Designations of filters - from the catalogs of the most active companies in our market, a dash means the absence of this model in the list of manufacturers.

It is less common to apply a filter of a special configuration, different from the regular one, but this is also possible. Entrance and exit here can be performed either as a fitting for the conical expansion of the fuel pipe, or ring, with a bypass bolt (see. Fig.). In the first case, a matching thread is necessary (the union nut of the tube cannot be replaced in any way), and in the second case, only the diameter of the bolt is important - it is not difficult to select or drill another one with the desired thread. Well, a resident of the hinterland, having obtained a filter that is completely unsuitable for his car, will go even further: he will make adapters with thread for thread, and at the same time a new bracket. Do not forget the most radical solution: saw off the fittings of the inlet and outlet lines and connect a straight-through filter with hoses. For example, the 56mm Toyota, Mitsubishi or Daewoo bracket will have excellent filters 1, 2, and 7, and the 74mm Mercedes will have the most popular 5 filter on every corner.

In general, the scope for creativity is obvious, the main thing - do not rush to get a wallet. In any case, when you do it for yourself, it’s more accurate than at the service, where they can tear the threads of the nozzle or, on the contrary, pull it out, which in both cases is fraught with fire.

As for filters for diesel engines, this is a separate, big topic - and we will turn to it …

Plastic fuel filters for carburetor engines.