Fuel Filter Installation

by Eric Shoemaker 2 min read

3 Comments

Fuel Filter Installation

I’ve heard this argument time and time again. I actually had a mechanic tell me once that he “refused” to put the fuel filter anywhere but the engine compartment. Bad idea. A fuel filter puts pressure on the inlet tube of the carb. If that comes loose; well, game over for your vintage Volkswagen. Never fear, moving your fuel filter out of the engine area is very simple!

For illustration, my fuel filter is already installed and I’m replacing it. Let’s take a look at a few simple parts you’ll need, all of which we carry here in our shop.


Alright, let’s get to work. Jack the car up and remove the drivers side rear wheel.

Fuel Filter Installation on a Vintage Volkswagen

Remove the heater tube. This will expose where the fuel line exits the chassis.

It’s time to check the fuel line. Is it rotten? If the fuel line is in good shape, you need to clamp it off right where it exits the chassis. Good old vice grip pliers seem to work fine. Gas is a precious resource — why waste a single drop?

Once it’s safely clamped, you need to cut the line in prep for the filter. A little gas might run out, but don’t sweat it. I usually wear gloves, and hold back the urge to strike a match.

You can now insert the new filter. Make sure you insert it top side up. That’s how the filters are made to be placed. You might have an extra bit of fuel hose at the top. Trim as needed, and slip the top of the hose onto the filter. (Look at that nasty old filter).

Pretty dirty, huh?

It’s now the moment of truth. Turn the key, start the engine, and watch fuel pass through the line. Success! You’ve now moved your fuel filter to where it should be. By default, VW did not run a filter. The OG German fuel pumps had it built-in. Also, there’s a screen in the tank.

We hope this helps!

Have you installed or replaced a fuel filter in your vintage VW? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!

--
Photography: Timm Eubanks

Eric Shoemaker
Eric Shoemaker


3 Responses

Eric Shoemaker
Eric Shoemaker

September 06, 2017

Glen, John,
Thanks for the kind words. We agree, it’s these small yet critical maintenance items that keep our old VWs on the road.

john r brandl
john r brandl

April 21, 2017

Excellent article. On my 67 Beetle I placed mine at the front just as it exits the fuel tank and before it enters the metal fuel line in the pan. On my friend Bill’s 66 Beetle I placed exactly where you have this one!

Glen Bamforth
Glen Bamforth

April 21, 2017

This has been on my to-do list since I bought my 67 last fall. I wasn’t sure just how far back on the line to place it. Thanks for the photo. That looks ideal.

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