How to Change the Fuel Filter on a Ford 5.4

by Grace MclainUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Fluid catch pan

  • Quick disconnect tool

  • Fuel filter

The fuel filter on a Ford vehicle with a 5.4-liter engine requires a special tool for removal. The fuel filter is the most important component in the fuel-cleaning process on the Ford 5.4. The fuel leaves the tank and enters in the inlet port of the filter. The sediments in the fuel are then trapped inside the fuel filter. Then the fuel leaves the filter out of the outlet port and goes back into the fuel line. From there, the fuel goes into the engine.

Park the truck on a level surface and shut the engine off. Unscrew the cap from the gas tank to relieve the fuel pressure.

Crawl under the driver's side of the truck. Look for the fuel filter inside the driver's side frame rail underneath the cab. It is a canister filter inside a bracket that is mounted to the frame rail. There are two safety clips on both sides of the filter that hold the fuel lines to the filter. Pry the safety clips off both ends of the fuel lines with a flat-head screwdriver.

Place a fluid catch pan on the ground underneath the fuel filter. Slide the end of the quick disconnect tool into the end of the fuel line. Press the end of the tool inward, and the fuel line will unlock from the fuel filter port. Gently pull the fuel line straight off the port. Do the same thing to the second fuel line on the other side of the filter. Let the lines hang down and drain into the catch pan. There is only a small amount of excess fuel in the lines.

Slide the fuel filter out of the round bracket. Discard the old filter into the catch pan. Slide the new fuel filter into the bracket, with the "flow arrow" indicator on the new filter facing the engine. The arrow represents the flow of the fuel through the filter. The arrow must face the engine and away from the gas tank.

Slide the fuel lines straight onto both fuel filter ports until you feel them lock in place. Gently pull back on the line to ensure that the line is locked securely. Remove the catch pan from underneath the truck.

Screw the gas cap back on. Turn the ignition key on and off three times to prime the fuel filter full of gas. Crank the engine.

Inspect the fuel filter and the fuel lines for leaks while the engine is running. Then shut the engine off.


You can purchase a fuel line quick disconnect tool for a 5.4 Ford engine at most auto parts stores.


Always wear safety glasses when working around gas.

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