Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
October 10, 2014

Filter Finder

OK, this is going to sound like a stupid question, but I just bought an ’88 Mustang GT convertible and I can’t find the darn fuel filter on the car! I’ve always wanted a Fox Mustang and got a great deal on this convertible. It’s in good “driver” shape and just needs some typical Fox TLC items like door lock actuators, carpet, weatherstrips, and so on. I’m currently giving it a full tune-up with new spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor, and so forth, but I don’t know where the fuel filter is and the parts counter guy was no help. This filter is pretty big so I would think it would be easy to spot. Any help would be appreciated for this “newb.”

Mark Reynolds
Via the Internet

The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask, Mark! You’re going to have to break out your floor jack and jackstands for this, as the fuel filter is actually located under the car, just in front of the fuel tank and over the axle housing on the passenger side. Make sure the filter you purchased came with two new fuel line retaining clips. These clips, when pulled out to remove the filter’s lines, are NOT reusable. In a nutshell, pull the two fuel line clips, pull the lines off, loosen the hose clamp retaining the filter, and remove the filter (I put the rubber caps from the new filter on the old one to minimize fuel spillage that usually goes right to your armpit!). Installation is the reverse; slip the filter into the bracket, taking note of fuel flow direction on the filter. Then install the new fuel line retaining clips in the end of the two lines. Lastly, slide the lines onto the filter, ensuring you hear a solid “click” and pull back on the lines just to be sure they are securely attached. One last thing on your tune-up; you didn’t mention a PCV valve. The Fox Mustang’s 5.0L engine does use a PCV, but it is not in the valve cover on the ’86-and-up EFI applications. You will find it at the very back of the lower intake. It takes a bit of digging, but trust me, there’s a PCV valve back there!

Clunking Culprit

Hi, I hope you can help me out. I have an ’01 Mustang GT that I am the second owner of. It has 112,000 miles on it and it is all stock except for a cold air kit, lowering springs, mufflers, and staggered wheels/tires. I love the car and being a woman I get a lot of attention in it too! The one annoyance I have with it though is a clunking sound from the rear of the car when I shift. My boyfriend helped me put it on jackstands (I want to learn all about fixing my own Mustang!) and we looked at the driveshaft, exhaust, and other components, but nothing looked out of place or was touching the frame. Do you have any ideas where this clunk could be coming from? It’s the only thing wrong with my baby and I want to fix it now! Thanks so much!

Michelle Watson
Via the Internet

Kudos to you for wanting to get a little grease under those manicured nails! I’ll bet you anything the clunk you are hearing when the car shifts is the upper control arms making contact with the axle housing. I’ve had this happen on two other Mustangs. Both had high mileage and worn-out upper control arm bushings at the axle housing. The bushings need to be pressed out and new bushings installed. Maximum Motorsports ( has a great tool to easily remove the old bushings and install the new ones using simple hand tools. Pick up a set of the stock Ford rubber bushings, press them into place, and replace the upper control arms if there are any sign of fatigue, cracking, or elongation of the mounting holes. The picture I’ve supplied here shows the control arm rubbing the axle housing due to the bushing slop I am describing. It’s a little hard to see with the control arm bolted up, but a sharp eye and a good flashlight should be able to spot it. Good luck!

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