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. Not to 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. However, the process is the same.
Let’s take a look at a few simple parts you’ll need.
Alright, let’s get to work.
Jack the car up and remove the drivers side rear wheel.
Remove the heater tube. This will expose where the fuel line exits the chassis.
It’s time to check the 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. (Don’t fear, you can do this!) 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 on to the filter. (Look at that nasty old filter)
Pretty dirty, huh
Old and new.
Once finished, make sure you add those fuel clamps. Yes, I’m yelling at you.
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 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.
Put the heater hose and tire back on. Now you won’t have to worry about this happening:
Lastly, your engine compartment looks a lot cleaner without the filter.
Hope this helps.