The fuel filter is mounted underneath the manifold bolted to the engine. That isn’t the “standard location for Toyota fuel filters”, but it is for the 22RE on trucks and 4Runners. In the passenger’s wheel well, there’s a little access panel that makes it WAY easier to remove the starter and the fuel filter.
Changing the fuel filter on a 1986 Toyota SR-5 is a little harder than it should be. In this task, finding the fuel filter on this (22R-E) engine is the first challenge. Toyota hid it down low under the intake manifold on the passenger side of the engine block, completely out of sight. Once you locate its position you can tell you have a bit of a job ahead of you, because you will not be able to see what you are doing.
There is a panel in the wall of the wheel well that can be removed with four bolts, which does provide a view of what you are working on. You have to jack it up and take the rim off. But the space is still very tight. You may choose to stick with standing over the engine despite the lack of a view, since down below, you would be right there where the gas spills out of the fuel lines and filter. Plus, with your arm in there the view is again pretty restricted. This removable panel is best utilized when removing the starter.
Fuel will drain out of both the filter and the lines when disconnected, so begin by placing a drain pan under the vehicle. If you are tackling it from up top, the filter removal has to be handled by feel. And the wrench movement is going to be limited to about a quarter turn because of the tight space.
The lines are connected with bolts and copper washers known as crush washers because they squeeze down to form the best seal when tightened. Be certain to use the new ones that come with your replacement filter, as the old ones are obviously already crushed down as far as they will go and may leak if re-used.
Loosen the bolts on each end of the filter until you can turn them the rest of the way by hand. That is easier than manipulating the wrench in such a tight space. The lines are attached to the filter on each side with banjo bolts. These bolts provide a path through which the fuel can flow through the bolt, itself. Once the lines are disconnected, remove the two bolts that attach the filter to engine block.
When you replace the new filter, to make the process a little easier, first mount the inlet fuel line to the filter and tighten it down finger tight. The other line is more difficult, so it becomes your choice whether to try mounting it now or bolting the filter to the block first. Neither is very easy, but once all four connections are tightened you are done. Just start the engine and check for leaks.
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