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How to Change Fuel Filters on ’03 - ’07 Ford 6.0L Powerstroke Engines

Changing the fuel filters on ’03 - ’07 Ford 6.0L Powerstroke engines is within your capabilities. It's a relatively short, two-part job. To help you out, Area Diesel Service put together some clear instructions below.

Tools You'll Need

  • 36mm Socket 6mm Allen Wrench
  • 24mm Sock or ½" Drive Ratchet
  • Turkey Baster

Supplies You'll Need

  • Fuel Filter Kit
NOTE: We prefer either Motorcraft fuel filters or Racor replacement fuel filters.
  • Paper Towels
  • Bucket or Tub—to drain the fuel
  • Coffee Can or Other Leak-Proof Container—for the old filter fuels

Primary Fuel Filter Replacement Instructions

To replace the primary fuel filter, carefully follow this 8-step process:

  1. Place the tub or bucket beneath the fuel pump—under the driver’s door on the frame rail.This is the primary fuel filter.
  2. On the side of the fuel pump, locate the allen plug—the small, brass plug.
A. Using the 6mm allen wrench, remove the allen plug.
    B. With the catch bucket directly in place, drain the fuel/water completely.
  3. Using the 36mm socket, remove the large black end cap—on the engine-side end of the pump.
NOTE: The fuel filter will slide out along with the cap.
  4. Pull the old filter and the o-ring from the cap, properly disposing of both.
NOTE: After draining the filter for a full 24 hours, you can place it in a lidded coffee can or leak-proof plastic bag to safely take it to a recycling center that accepts scrap metal.
  5. Install the new primary fuel filter into the cap. 
Note: Once seated properly in the cap, the new filter will snap into place.
  6. Install the supplied o-ring into position on the end cap.
  7. Insert the new filter and cap section into the fuel pump, using the 36 mm socket to tighten the cap securely to 19lb. per ft.
  8. Being mindful not to over tighten or cross thread it, reinstall the allen plug—the brass plug removed during step 2 above.

Secondary Fuel Filter Replacement Instructions

To replace the secondary fuel filter, follow these seven steps:

  1. Using the 24mm socket or ½" square drive ratchet, remove the blacktop cap—on the right.
    The secondary fuel filter is in the engine.
  2. Remove the fuel filter from the housing and the o-ring from the lid.
  3. Using the turkey baster, drain the excess fuel from the housing.
NOTE: Again, remember to properly dispose of the fuel.
  4. Insert the new secondary filter into the housing.
  5. Install the new o-ring onto the lid.
  6. Reinstall the blacktop cap, using the 24mm socket or ½" square drive ratchet to torque the bolt to 124lb. per in. (or approximately 10 – 11lb. per ft.).
  7. To prime the fuel system and bleed out any air, turn the ignition to the Run position three separate times—for 30 seconds each time.

    WARNING: Complete step 7 before starting the vehicle. Failure to properly prime the fuel system after installing new filters can damage the fuel injectors. That damage may be difficult to detect, as injectors can still run for a short period after damage occurs.

Let's keep that Powerstroke diesel engine running right! Good luck.