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I'm pretty sure that my fuel filter needs to be changed. How difficult is it to change? Any tips, tricks or advice would be helpful? Also, what brand/make filter is recommended? I haven't looked underneath the Jeep to find what needs to be done but when I had a Dakota, the actual fuel tank had to come off. Thanks in advance.
 

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i'm afraid that it's in your fuel tank on the tj as well. definately call around for pricing as i've seen some of the major parts store chains vary by as much as $100 for the pump/filter assembly. could i ask what led you to determine it was bad?
chris
 

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That's what I figured. Well maybe not totally bad but I am doing a tune up on the Jeep and since it has 60k miles on it, I think it's time to change the fuel filter. Also, when idle, it seems like it might be missing. It just idles differently than it should. We tried changing plugs, wires, cap and rotor and it is still doing the same thing. It's not major but I'm pretty sure that the fuel filter needs to be replaced
 

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sometimes a miss can be related to some watery gas or even just some old spark plugs. as long as your doing the tuneup i'd wait for everything else to get swapped out first before changing the fuel pump/filter. pretty pricey part and maybe it's not causing the problem?
good luck,
chris
 

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I think a partly clogged fuel filter or marginal fuel pump would cause problems at highest gas flow such as high speed driving of hard acceleration. Perhaps it is clogged fuel injectors if everything electrical (wires, plugs, etc) is new. Dirty fuel injectors can cause problems at any RPM.
 

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siphon the gas out of the tank and take out all but 2 the nuts holding it to the frame, i think there are 7. Then remove the filler and vent hoses and begin to slowly remove the final 2 nuts and lower the tank- a floor jack is handy here. the tank should drop enough for you to release the electrical plug and fuel line. there is a return hose that will split and should be removed too. lower the tank to the floor and from under the jeep. Now use a hammer and a block of wood to unscrew the retainer from the top of the tank. After this is off uou can lift the pump/sending unit from the tank- do this gently as to not bend the fuel level arm. A new pump and filters can be had from Oreilly's for about 85.00.
This takes about an hour to do and they are notorious for problems on 97 thru 200 model tj's. I would start with a fuel system cleaner first.
 

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The TJ's fuel filter is, as described above, mounted on the fuel pump and regulator assembly. However, it's huge and designed to be a lifetime filter that should never need changing. Also, virtually all of today's major U.S. brands of gasoline contain adequate amounts of fuel injector cleaners to keep the 4.0L's injectors clean as a whistle.

If your engine is running rough, I sincerely doubt it's a clogged injector or fuel filter. And I'd have to say that as a '97 owner who follows this kind of stuff religiously, these are not notorious points of failure for early TJs... though gas gauge senders certainly are. :)
 

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you all see to know a bit about fuel systems so i figured i would ask. i bought my jeep and is seemed that the previous owner did alot of high rev mudding. so my idle seems tobe a bit rough. but my main concern is the 10_15 seconds it takes of turning over before it starts. could it be a Fuel pressure regulator? or possibly a leaking injector? because sometimes it starts and smells like its dumping fuel or super rich. any thoughts?
 

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The slow start is very likely caused by a leaky check valve located inside the fuel pressure regulator. When the check valve leaks, it lets all the fuel that is supposed to remain in the fuel rail next to the fuel injectors for a fast start to instead drain out back into the fuel tank. The slow start is from the time it takes the fuel pump to get the fuel back up to the fuel rail.

A rough idle is often caused by either a dirty throttle position sensor (which cannot be cleaned, only replaced) or sometimes a dirty IAC (idle air controller) which can be cleaned and restored back to operation. :)
 

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This seems like it may be related to an issue my jeep has been suffering from. It seems to buck a little rather randomly when driving and when slowing down (or so it seems) the engine will run rough sometimes. For the first time today it actually stalled on me. I replaced the TPS on it (which was a living hell, previous owner stripped the torx bolts on it). Soon as the TPS was replaced it felt sluggish (I dont think they reset the ECU, I'll try that with some guidance). Any ideas? possibly dirty IAC (which is also stripped btw >.<) FPR or hose leak?
 

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The ECM will quickly relearn what it needs on its own for the new TPS. The IAC really only affects idle rpms. At the worst, a dirty IAC (they seldom actually go bad) will cause the engine not to idle unless you hold the rpms up a bit with the accelerator pedal.
 

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hmm, ok so your guess is dirty IAC? is there a way to clean that without taking it out? as I dont have the tools to get it out seeing as the torx bolts are stripped.
 

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and as you pointed out, i did have to give it a bit of gas to keep it from shaking/stalling on slow downs/stops. if that helps confirm any.
 

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Use an aerosol can of throttle body cleaner (3M brand is good if you can find it) to clean the throttle body's interior which will allow you to likely get the IAC cleaned good enough as well.

Start the engine and spray the cleaner into the throttle body while keeping the rpms up. Make sure to get some of the spray into the IAC's air passage inlet slot just above the buttefly valve plate that is opened to get the rpms up. That slot is where the IAC gets all of its air through to feed to the engine during idle when the butterfly valve plate is closed.

The engine may die a few times as you spray into that slot which is ok, just restart the engine. That slot won't suck air in unless the throttle body plate is closed so there is a fine balance you'll need to maintain towards keeping that plate closed enough to have the IAC suck in the air and cleaner to do any good towards cleaning the IAC, and spraying in so much cleaner into the slot at or near idle rpms that it kills the engine which does no harm.

Use the entire can of cleaner and get as much of the cleaner into that slot so it can clean the IAC's solenoid actuated plunger that meters the air past it.
 

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Will the throttle body cause issues even if it appears to be clean? I did a deep clean on it a two years ago where I took it all part and cleaned it, ran sea foam through it and it was dirty then. It doesn't appear to be dirty now but is running sluggishly.
 

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Like said, most throttle body related items tend to be idle problem related, though the TPS can cause some problems above idle. Big thing, use OEM parts, a lot of the A/market stuff is poo poo, especially fuel pumps unless you go with Bosch.

As for sluggish performance. You start with the basics, is the air filter blocked up? Easy fix. Is it time for a tune up?
You can look at the plugs they will tell you a lot if you know how to read them. Hook up a vacuum gage, can tell you if you have a restricted exhaust system. A fuel pressure gage will let you know if the pump is up to spec.

Spend time checking/diagnosing, not throwing parts at a problem when guessing.
 
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