Just aft of the transfer case crossmember, on the inner frame rail at the rear passenger torsion bar mount, is the Toyota 3.0L V6 fuel filter.
Looking forward from just under the passenger side torsion bar mount. This is another time I love having a body lift.
An infrequent maintenance item on the Toyota truck 3.0L V6 involves replacing the fuel filter, just as one would do on any engine as the mileage starts to increase. However, the Toyota engineer who located the fuel filter on the truck/4Runner certainly had a robust sense of humor: the filter is located on the passenger side inner frame rail right at the rear torsion bar mount. Never mind that there's 18" of open frame rail just behind this location..... Well, I guess it is well-protected when wheeling.
Nevertheless, the filter is not terribly difficult to access and replace. To replace it, all that is needed is a 14mm box wrench for the fuel lines, a 12mm socket for the filter mounts, some rags, and a drain pan.
IMPORTANT!This EFI engine retains fuel pressure at all times. Therefore, gas will be in the fuel lines into and out of the filter, and in the filter itself. To relieve the pressure, the vehicle can be started and the fuse for the fuel pump pulled, letting the engine run dry. Electing not to run my EFI system dry, I decided to work cautiously, and allowed the lines to bleed upon removal. Be extremely cautious when doing this: I had just under a full gallon of gas drain into the pan. I also had a fire extinguisher at my side for an emergency, and I removed the positive battery cable prior to doing any work.
I allowed the lines and filter to bleed; caught the gas in a drain pan and used it in my lawn mower!
Using the 14mm wrench, loosen the input line from the gas tank at the back end of the filter. This line is accessible from underneath, although with the body lift on my truck I found it just as easy to get at it from the top. Be prepared to catch and recover any gasoline! Then remove the fuel line from the forward end of the filter: this one could be tricky because you must get to it from above the filter, and space is at a premium.
Here, the filter and its bracket are removed. The new Toyota filter includes the mounting bracket.
Once the lines are removed, use the 12mm socket to remove the two bolts that locate the filter assembly on the frame rail.
The old filter assembly can be removed, and the new one put in place. Because you may have to "persuade" the lines into the new filter just a bit, do not completely tighten down the assembly yet: leave some slack to manipulate the filter so the lines can be started into the filter.
The new filter assembly from Toyota is situated, then lightly torqued down until the fuel lines are started.
Begin tightening the line nuts. Since there is no way to get a torque wrench in here, I used the point on the threads that had been discolored from the elements (and mud) as an indication of how far to tighten them. Once I had the threads about half-way done, I tightened the filter against the frame rail, then finished off the fuel lines.
The new filter's in, all ready for another 60,000 or so miles!
When complete, attempt to start the engine. I cranked it briefly to allow pressure to rebuild in the lines and filter, turned it off, then it turned right over.
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