Fuel filter roadblock and a grinding noise

Hey all,

So, thought I’d change the fuel filter on my 85 Olds Cutlass (V8, 305 Chevy) and it looked pretty simple in the Haynes manual. The filter is inside the carb, where the fuel line goes into the fuel inlet nut. Well, the fuel line and fuel inlet nut seem to be fused together, can’t get them apart…my wrench just turns over on the fuel line part, after applying enough force. The fuel inlet nut is moving a bit but I don’t see a way of getting it out without removing the fuel line from it first. Any suggestions on how to free this thing up? Didn’t want to spray much in this area…

An unrelated problem…and it is intermittent…I can hear at low speeds a grinding sound, coming from the front driver side wheel…happens during and when not braking, and it is not constant, there is a split second between each grinding sound, which increases as the vehicle speed increases. It seems to be louder when turning right, but I might be imagining that.

I jacked up that side of the car and tried to shake/move the tire and wheel by hand but it didn’t give much. Took the wheel off and don’t see anything obvious causing the grinding sound. Any ideas?

Also, is there a way to visually inspect tie rod ends or suspension components? There’s a lot of rust in the latter. I’ll try to take some pictures if that will help.

Thanks guys!


Forgot to mention…when I say the grinding is intermittent, I mean I heard it a few weeks ago, then it seemed to go away and then I just heard it again today…but then it went away after a 2nd trip. None of the brake components were overly hot to the touch when I took the wheel off.

Are they front wheel disc brakes ? Maybe a caliber is sticking but you would probably see one disc brake pad worn a lot more than the other - maybe to the point where the warning metal they put on them is trying to tell you it is time to change the pads ( and maybe a new caliper too) . You need to take the tire off and look closely at both the inner and outer disc pads to see how much is left. If you have drum brakes and it is really rusty might be chunk of rust that fell off in there making the noise.

You really need a line wrench to get those fittings loose. If the hex is rounded off already then a line wrench may not work and you’re going to have to work around it somehow; maybe carefully use a small pipe wrench.

The grinding could possibly be a brake pad getting thin and allowing the chirper, or brake wear indicator to brush the rotor. A loose wheel bearing could also affect this since it can allow the rotor to move a bit. Combined with the pad movement in the yoke it’s possible to have one come and go like this.

With the suspension parts you can do a quick check to see if anything is loose but even that is not always foolproof. A tie rod end or ball joint may be tight in one position and loose in another.
Get the front wheels off the ground, grasp the tire at the 3 and the 9 o’clock position, and note if you feel any movement in it. If you do, the problem is more than likely a tie rod end, although wheel bearings or ball joints could affect this to some degree.
The lower ball joints should have a wear indicator on them although you may need a manual with a pic to show you how this is done.

I’ll have to try and find someone with a line wrench, I only have the cheap open end wrenches.

I checked the pads and they still have lots of life left, and the wear indicator is well away from the rotor. However, the pads did look like they are touching the rotor, which I could turn by hand without any problem…still, should they be touching when the brake is not applied?
Is there an easy way to check the wheel bearing?

I’ll check the suspension parts and try the tire movement test again, with both front wheels off the ground. Will post back!

Thanks as always!

Ideally, you want to use TWO 6 pt flare nut wrenches on the fuel line to bowl connection. One on the bowl nut and one on the line nut. Place them on the nuts so they are only slightly apart with the wrench on the line side ahead (clockwise) of the bowl nut wrench. The nut positions will dictate the spacing. Pick the closest one. Squeeze both wrenches together, ideally in one hand, to loosen the connection. Doing it this way puts all of the force on the nuts in the axis of rotation giving the most leverage and least possibility of damage.

Might be time to have to use a vise grip on the rounded nut if a regular or line wrench won’t grip it any more. The needle nose vise grips are handy if a big one won’t work. But don’t use any of those cheap vise grips - they don’t have good steel and sharp precision teeth to dig in and hold it the first time without slipping and really tearing up whatever you have left of the nut. Visegrips used carefully can do the job but they can also crush the copper nut if put on too tight.

You can cut the fuel line and use a piece of rubber fuel line hose on it. You will never have to take the fuel line nut off. Ever.