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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody. I have 137,000 miles on the Rav and thought it was time to change the "Lifetime" fuel filter. I ordered a Beck Arnley fuel filter from Rockauto a few years back and had it sitting on the shelf in the garage. My fuel mileage has been going down hill for years and I was hoping this would help the situation.


I searched this site, youtube and google for procedures to change the fuel filter. There are none for the 4.3. Evening searching for fuel pump replacement and fuel tank replacement yielded nothing. So here is the story of my DIY for the fuel filter. Total time was 2 hours using an air ratchet, hand tools and working slowly.


Here is the replacement O-rings and gasket that I bought from the dealer. I did not use the third item, ending in A0027. I sure it was there somewhere but I did not readily see where it went. I got my parts list from the local Toyota parts dept. They pulled up the fuel system page and told me what I needed. Maybe if someone has a page from the 2AZ-FE factory manual showing the break down of the fuel pump assembly, they could post it. The parts dept did not have access to the factory service manuals and I do not have a set.



I first raised the Rav up on 4 jack stands and disconnected the negative ground cable. I had the floor jack handy to support the tank and a one foot square piece of plywood to keep the fuel tank from tipping also. This did not help keep it from tipping. I had about 2.5 gallons and it sloshed around making the tank slowly list from front to back when I was trying to lower it. It is a good idea to have a helper to hold it steady as you lower and raise it back into position.


I did not see a fuel pump fuse to disconnect to bleed off the fuel pressure. It was not necessary in my opinion. There was very little residual fuel pressure.






Under the drivers side at the front of the tank are a few connections. (Electrical connector, 3/4 inch fuel vent pipe and small roughly 1/4 inch fuel pressure line.) All of these connectors are the quick disconnect kind and did not require any tools to remove. Remove these connectors.


Along the center of the tank running front to back are the electrical lines for the fuel sending unit for the gas gauge. There are small u-shaped rubber niches that the wires sit in. I removed the wire from the rubber holders and pushed it out of the way.





Move to the back of the tank near the right rear wheel and find the fuel filler rubber tube and the vent tube next to it. Remove the clamp and disconnect the filler pipe at the vehicle body. Also remove the vent line next to it by squeezing the pinch clamp with pliers and sliding it along the rubber line. Move towards the front of the car about 1 foot. Pull the vent line out of the plastic retaining clip. I pried the clip and wiggled the hose out. I stuck the end of the hose up into a hole in the body to keep it out of the way. I was too lazy to grab a clamp or zip tie.






There are three straps holding the tank to the chassis. There is a 10 mm bolt holding a retaining clip for the E-brake cable on the rear strap, driver's side. Remove it as it blocks one of the bolts for the rear strap. Remove the two 14 mm rear tank retaining strap bolts and strap. Remove the front two 14mm bolts and retaining strap. Place a floor jack under the tank to support and remove the middle two bolts and strap.









Lower the tank about 8 inches. There is a fuel line connecting to the right rear of the tank. Disconnect it and make sure no other lines are still hooked up. Lower the tank to the ground. Disconnect the electrical connector and fuel line on top of the fuel pump access panel. Its a roughly 6 inch diameter circle near the back on the tank.





I cleaned the top of the tank so no dirt would get into the tank when the access cover was removed. Remove the eight Philips head small bolts (8 mm, I believe) on top of the access panel. There are two springs integrated into the pump assembly so the cover may jump when the last screw is removed. Pull the pump out of the tank and disconnect the rubber fuel line inside the tank by squeezing the clamp.



I used a large bin for disassembling the fuel pump assembly. I worked slowly and carefully. The plastic assembly was still very pliable and no parts snapped or broke.

Disconnect the electric wire connectors on the filter side and the plastic strap holding the filter to the fuel pump assembly. Unhook the blue fuel line connector on the bottom outside of the assembly.


Assorted junk under the sock of the fuel pump inlet.


Pop out the round metal cylinder next to the filter and pump and replace the o-ring on it and install into the new filter.











The pump will now pop out of the filter. Remove the filter side of the black hose. I pryed it off, cut off about 1/2 inch to get a cleaner edge when I reassembled it. Replace the two O-rings on the pump.




The fuel filter media was very black and the residual fuel was like black coffee. Notice how dirty the filter media is in the hole. The new one was stark white. Yikes!














Snap the pump into the new filter. Don't forget to run the electrical wire through the new filter and connect both ends.


I also cleaned the sock at the bottom of the pump. There was a lot of dirt and strangely, metal slivers like when you drill with a drill bit. I cleaned it and the pump basin housing with brake clean and reassembled. Make sure to use a new gasket for the access panel cover.


Assembly is a reverse of the procedure. I had a helper to balance the tank while I replaced the straps and bolts due to having about 2 gallons of gas in the tank. The fuel would slosh and make balancing a little tough. Once everything is back together, connect the battery and cycle the key about 10 times for a few seconds to prime the fuel system.


I dumped out dirty fuel two different times.



This above pic was the fuel from the front of the tank when I disconnected the line. This made it past the filter into the fuel system going to the engine.

This is just my experience with this DIY. I am not responsible for any damage to your car. Feel free to add any steps you think may help. Good luck.
Pete
 

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Great write-up! :thumbs_up:

Please be sure to let us know what performance changes you notice after driving it for a while...power, fuel economy, etc.

Thanks!

.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Excellent write up! I can't believe you never downloaded the service manual. I've been posting this for years:

These service manuals are ready for downloading at the link listed below:

2001-2005 RAV4 Manuals

2006 RAV4 Factory Service Repair Manual
2006 RAV4 Owner's Manual
2007 RAV4 Wiring Diagram Manual
2008 RAV4 Wiring Diagram Manual
2011 RAV4 Wiring Diagram Manual
RAV4.3 Miscellaneous Documents
2011 RAV4 Repair Manual (supplemental)


MyDrive - Ihr Schweizer Online-Speicher


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Excellent write up! I can't believe you never downloaded the service manual. I've been posting this for years:

These service manuals are ready for downloading at the link listed below:

2001-2005 RAV4 Manuals

2006 RAV4 Factory Service Repair Manual
2006 RAV4 Owner's Manual
2007 RAV4 Wiring Diagram Manual
2008 RAV4 Wiring Diagram Manual
2011 RAV4 Wiring Diagram Manual
RAV4.3 Miscellaneous Documents
2011 RAV4 Repair Manual (supplemental)


MyDrive - Ihr Schweizer Online-Speicher


Username: [email protected]

Password: Secret

Note: Username and password are case-sensitive!

:facepalm: I can't believe I never found that in all my searches on here. :doh:


I did just fill back up with gas. The Rav feels a little more nimble in the acceleration department. I am interested to see what the MPGs do. My torque converter has been deciding to lock up a little sooner than normal during 35-40 mph driving. It gets a little confused and lurches/surges at this speed as it engages and disengages. On the hwy the TC is fine and locks up appropriately. The rpms aren't any higher than normal, but it still was only getting 23 mpg going 65-70 mph. For the record, I drive the thing like a grandpa. There is always "an egg" under the gas pedal, figuratively. I hope the fuel filter will be the culprit, as I have addressed all the other suspects first. (air filter, vacuum leaks, alignment, dragging brakes, underinflated tires, o2 sensors, catalytic converters, etc)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I finally went through a full tank of gas and there was some improvement, but not much. I was seeing about 10 miles more at every 1/4 tank interval. Before fuel filter: 3/4 tank remaining: before; 80 miles, after; 92 miles. 1/2 tank remaining: before; 140 miles, after; 145 miles. 1/4 tank remaining: before; 195 miles, after; 205 miles. low fuel light: before; 230 miles, after; 243 miles. Throttle response and power are still the same as before, excellent.


mileage before was 18.1 mpg. After the fuel filter change, I calculated 19.65 mpg. It is still not where I want it to be, so I'll be investigating some more. The rear catalytic converter is original and I have not touched the coolant system yet. I have read some info on websites saying that a malfunctioning coolant system will keep the car in the "warm up loop", affecting gas mileage. The car runs perfect in regards to coolant temperature and has never overheated. I will be doing a coolant flush, water pump, t stat and all hoses for preventative maintenance. I am not throwing any CELs either.


The only other thing that I think might be doing it is dirty fuel injectors. I have been using techron fuel system cleaner/additive for a few months and have noticed no difference. I read that there are 17 holes in each fuel injector for the fuel to atomize. Maybe I have a clogged or leaking injector. I listened with a mechanic's stethoscope and each injector is clicking like it should.


I am getting a little frustrated that it is not something readily apparent. If anyone has any ideas, please chime in. Thanks


Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I Did check the voltage of the air fuel ratio sensor up in the exhaust manifold. I mistakenly thought that was an oxygen sensor at first, but everything i read says that the first one is now referred to as the a/f ratio sensor and the downstream one is an oxygen sensor. I have yet to check the downstream one. I have no check engine lights either. Trying not to throw parts at the car. I need to do the voltage test on the oxygen sensor. I'm just getting a little tired of climbing under this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: up to 19.9 mpg city now. Going to replace the rear catalytic converter and check the rear oxygen sensor this weekend.
 

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I have the manuals JuneBug made available, but you noodled it out well without 'em.
Thanks for the pictures!

The only thing I can add is the recommendation by Toyota to replace the pads on the tank.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I decided to make a test pipe out of the rear catalytic converter and see how the rav4 runs before taking the plunge and spending money on a replacement. Just as i suspected, the rear cat was clogged. I could barely see a light being shined through it. When i ran it as a test pipe, there were noticeable performance increases through out the entire rev band. Time to swap in a new one i guess. I thought the rav4 felt pretty strong during acceleration before, but now it feels a lot stronger. I'm going to check the mileage on this tank and see if there is hopefully an improvement.

Unrelated question: i have seen the tech stream cable on eBay. Is that where everyone is buying it? Is there a diagnostic function that allows you to see what temp the coolant sensor is indicating or voltages from the oxygen sensor while the engine is running?
 

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So I decided to make a test pipe out of the rear catalytic converter and see how the rav4 runs before taking the plunge and spending money on a replacement. Just as i suspected, the rear cat was clogged. I could barely see a light being shined through it. When i ran it as a test pipe, there were noticeable performance increases through out the entire rev band. Time to swap in a new one i guess. I thought the rav4 felt pretty strong during acceleration before, but now it feels a lot stronger. I'm going to check the mileage on this tank and see if there is hopefully an improvement.


Unrelated question: i have seen the tech stream cable on eBay. Is that where everyone is buying it? Is there a diagnostic function that allows you to see what temp the coolant sensor is indicating or voltages from the oxygen sensor while the engine is running?
Wow, I never thought of checking this out. So have you fixed it properly yet? If you have, has it maintained the positive results???

To answer your questions, Yes and Yes. If you've never used one, you'll be blown away by all the different stats you can read. even the temp of both that catalytic converters!

Also, to comment on something you said earlier about the A/F sensor and the O2 sensor, you're right. The first one is an Air/Fuel sensor and this one is the sensor that the ECM uses to adjust the A/F ratio when in closed loop. The second one is located after the (1st) catalytic converter and is a less accurate oxygen sensor. The ECM uses this purely to check that the cat is functioning properly. It is not used for any other purpose.

Also, gotta say a BIG Thanks for the great photos of the fuel filter changeout. I've been wanting to do it for a while and your experience has motivated me to go ahead, so Cheers!:wink
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just found this thread again. I guess I didn't click the email notifications for replies. Sorry for the slow reply.


The cat removal didn't really affect the mileage. It remained crappy at 16-17.7 city driving until it got to around 93F in the summer. Then it jumped to 19.9 mpg on its own. I do notice a much increased exhaust smell. I had my doubts about the rear vents being stuck open, but now I know they are. I ordered the Tech stream cable, set it down and went to use it the follow weekend and it grew legs. I can't find the darned thing. I need to hook it up and run some diagnostics. I read another thread about the charcoal canister causing poor mileage. I am going to research it and maybe take apart the old one and see how it is put together. Maybe I can see a way to repair it rather than buy a new one for $600.
 

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Love this! Got a 2006 also so I'm dropping a comment to get any later feedback you may end up leaving! I'm currently between 21 and 24 mpg. Depending on if the wife or i drive 😏
 
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