Fuel Filter Installation

Fuel Filter Installation

Avoiding a fire.. 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 classic Volkswagen. Never 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. 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.

Fuel Filter Installation on a classic Volkswagen

Remove the heater tube. This will expose where the fuel line exits the chassis.

It’s time to check the fuel 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. 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 onto the filter. (Look at that nasty old filter).

Pretty dirty, huh?

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 to 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.

We hope this helps!

Have you installed or replaced a fuel filter in your vintage VW? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!

Photography: Timm Eubanks


  • ben cherner

    Just bought my ’67
    would like to relocate my fuel filter.
    seems like a hassle to remove the heater tube to replace the fuel filter, does anything need to be removed to replace the filter if it is placed as it exits the fuel tank? How often should you replace the filter? once a year?

  • Robert

    Wow … seeing that cream-colored ’67 brings back fond memories of my red ’67 that I bought when I was 15 … I spent almost as much time working on it as driving it LOL.

    Beautiful old car. First year with 12 volts … last year with the old-style bumper.

    I should get another 67 and restore it properly.

  • Eric Shoemaker

    Glen, John,
    Thanks for the kind words. We agree, it’s these small yet critical maintenance items that keep our old VWs on the road.

  • john r brandl

    Excellent article. On my 67 Beetle I placed mine at the front just as it exits the fuel tank and before it enters the metal fuel line in the pan. On my friend Bill’s 66 Beetle I placed exactly where you have this one!

  • Glen Bamforth

    This has been on my to-do list since I bought my 67 last fall. I wasn’t sure just how far back on the line to place it. Thanks for the photo. That looks ideal.

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