Special tool? 2004 Focus, fuel filter connector

Is such a tool on the market?
The answer is NOT an angled plastic tube remover because sliding off the tube is NOT the problem. The problem is releasing the lock tabs.

As the attached photos show, one must squeeze the tabs together and then push them into the connector in order to release the lock, and the connector is mounted with the lock tabs out o sight. Worse, the fuel filter is recessed between the fuel tank and chassis structure. there is no way to put a finger on each tab from opposite sides - no way short of first cutting off a finger.

Given a sufficiently small right-angle clamp (a specialized type of vise grip, one could make an appropriate tool by filing a 1/16" ledge on each jaw. Then one could squeeze the tabs inward from underneath the vehicle and then pull the clamp downward, At worst, the frame of the connector then would hold the tabs in the released position, and one could use a small screwdriver to finish releasing the lock.

But so far I have not found a sufficiently small right-angle clamp.

Any help would be appreciated

Here you go.



No special tools needed, just your fingertips and a small pocket screwdriver. It’s hard to explain in type, but once you figure it out the next one will be quite easy. But if I remember you’ll want to take the line loose at the end not on the filter, and then remove the filter with the line still attached, and work on it that way.

Tester, you did not read even the first line of my post. That is the very tool that does not address the problem in the least.

Asemaster, you did not view the photograph. There is no way of contacting the release tabs with fingertips. But yes, I was able to release the other connector (and the connectors of two tubes that were blocking access) by just that method.

I finally succeeded, once the weather warmed up. It is barely possible, provided that one has small hands.
In addition to all of the precautions in the (very poor) Haynes manual, and disconnecting two additional connectors (by asemaster’s method) to get lines out of the way, you also will have to pry two metal tubes out of the tube guides to bend THEM out of the way.

One filter connector also can be removed by asemaster’s method.

Then don’t even think of removing the filter with the line still attached. The final line is way too short and connects to the upper side of the tank. Despite the lack of space, you will need the filter rigidly held in its clamp to remove that final connector. For that last connector, I needed to work one tab loose by fingertip; hold it in place with one screwdriver while forcing another screwdriver under the white portion of the connector (and it fell out several times, then, with both screwdrivers in place, I forced the other tab loose; then forced both tabs downward; placed finger across tabs; and used the first hand to FORCE the white tab down. This project doubled my knowledge of foul language.

The special tool is highly desirable.

Ford has shown their ignorance many times in regard to fuel filters. From the location of the filters to the varying tools (often on the same car) needed to remove the filters; sheer stupidity.

The filters on my Lincoln, the Lincolns my sons used to own, and my daughter’s late model Mustang have a different method of disconnect on each end of the filters.
Apparently the hairpin clip and pocket screwdriver was not complicated enough… :wink: