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Author Topic: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 3 - Fuel Rail Removal  (Read 15432 times)
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« on: January 01, 2011, 09:54:15 PM »

Wanting to still feel like I'm making some progress with all the holiday stuff going on, I snuck away for an hour or so today to get the fuel rail off the engine.  This post will be rather short compared to others as it's pretty simple.

A few words of caution and warnings here:  This will be about the first time since starting this teardown that you'll more than likely come into contact with dangerous chemicals, namely gasoline.  Use appropriate eye, skin, and lung protection, do this only in a well ventilated area, and avoid creating any kinds of spark - including static electricity.  Do any of this at your own risk.  You and you alone are responsible for anything that happens should you decide to undertake any of these instructions.

First place to start is to relieve the fuel pressure on the lines going to and from the fuel rails.  There is an 'official' method for doing this in the shop manuals involving installing a fuel pressure gauge.  I don't have one, and had no desire to purchase one just for this one purpose, so again I improvised.

At the left end of the back rail, there is (or should be) a small black plastic cap that unscrews kind of like a tire air valve cap:

Unscrew and remove this cap and hang on to it:

Without the fuel pressure gauge, you need to find something to depress the valve to relieve the pressure.  A nail, screw, small piece of metal, maybe even a pen, just something that will fit in there that you can push on to relieve the pressure.  HAVE SOME RAGS HANDY AND WATCH YOUR EYES AND MOUTH WHEN YOU DO THIS!!!!  Fuel will come out of here when you depress the valve, but it's not very much.  That may depend on how long the car's been sitting since last fired up.  Mine's sat for months so I didn't have much pressure left here and thus not much fuel came out.  Even once the pressure is relieved, there's still fuel in the rails, which I'll get to in a minute:

Once it feels the pressure's been relieved, put that cap back on so you don't lose it and no dirt gets in the rails:

Next, we have to get the fuel lines off the other ends of the rails.  These metal lines are formed for a tight fit and have no give to them to remove them.  They are held in place together by a metal clip:

Use a 10mm deep well on a short extension to get the reach you need to clear the manifold:

With the clip out, you can see how it slips over both fuel lines and is held closed by that bolt:

Now the fuel lines are free and have some give to them so you can get them out of the rails:

Now, use a 15mm open end wrench to loosen the nut on the back fuel line:

Pull firmly but not recklessly on the line to get it out of the rail - GAS WARNING: More than likely some gas will come out of the rail when you get this line out.  Shouldn't be a huge amount - just what's still in the fuel rail.  Have rags handy and eye protection.  The O-ring in there makes a fairly tight seal, so it takes some coaxing.  Prying GENTLY with a screwdriver or bar between the line and the side of the manifold may help loosen it - just go slow and gently - you don't want to kink, bend or break these lines.  Use more of a rocking motion to ease the line out:

A T-30 Star bit will remove the small screw holding the fuel pressure regulator to the front rail:

This screw strips VERY easily.  I got the best results by putting the bit in, and tapping it a few times with a hammer to make sure it was seated all the way in, then attached the ratchet.  If you can't get this screw out, you could try to remove the nut under the regulator and just leave it attached to the fuel rail.  The biggest wrench I have is a 19mm and that didn't fit it, so I'm guessing it's up in the 21mm size or so - or crescent/pipe wrench range.

Regulator removed.  Note bracket still on the end of the fuel rail:

Regulator bracket.  This just slides out of a groove in the end of the rail that you'll see in a second:

Just slide that bracket off:

Now we are ready to take the whole fuel rail assembly out of the car.  NOTE:  You do NOT have to do this step if you don't want to or are hesitant to.  As long as the fuel lines are disconnected and the wiring harnesses are all disconnected, the fuel rail can just come out with the manifold if you wish.  But, if you want to get to your injectors to clean them, replace the O-rings or just see where they are, here's what you do next:

There's 2 bolts holding the rail assembly to the manifold.
On the front right it's a 10mm:

On the back left it's an 8mm:

The rail assembly is now free, BUT, there's one last wiring connector to get free yet.
Disconnect the Coolant Temperature Sensor connector from the thermostat housing:

And yes, if you're wondering after all this, THAT is where your thermostat is - under that housing where that sensor screws in at.....

Now, GENTLY pry up on the ends of the front rail evenly, then the back rail.  The injectors are just press fitted into the manifold with rubber O-rings.  Gentle prying with just your fingers should get them to pop out. If a ring stays in the manifold or even falls down into it, don't fret about it, you should be able to fish it out once the manifold is off.  Once you get all 6 injectors to pop out, you should now be able to lift the entire rail assembly out of the car and place it on your bench.

Some shots of the assembly from different angles:

Straight on as you see it in the car:

Left end (side that faces the belt end of the engine - showing black cap):

Right end showing where you removed the 2 fuel lines from:

Looking down on it from the top showing wire harness:

Upside down showing the injectors:

And now, with that out of the way, our engine now looks like this:

and we are now staring at the holy grail for these engines, the infamous Lower Intake Manifold - source of many a leak and headache for owners of this engine...

That's all for this post - the next thing I will tackle is going to be that manifold, so stay tuned!

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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 09:57:21 PM »

Something I meant to add to the post that I forgot.....This is just the way I did this.  If Brenner or anyone who's done this more often that I or is more knowledgeable about relieving the pressure, etc, please feel free to comment.
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 10:06:47 PM »

Oops, I made an err......used the wrong pic for showing the underside of the rail assembly...should be this:

One other note:  If you get the itch to remove the injector harness MARK WHICH ONE GOES WHERE!!! They are NOT interchangeable and are NOT the same!!  If you goof up, it will fire the wrong injector at the wrong time!  That said, if you forget, each plug uses the same color ground wire, but each signal wire is a different color.  You will need the shop manual and/or wiring diagram to show you these colors.  If you need this, let me know and I can scan it for you.  You can see in some of the pics that I used some white model paint to number the plugs permanently.  Paints, bright Sharpee, fingernail polish, anything that won't come off to mark these wires should be done!
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