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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK! I give up! Just how many different caps and filters does the 99 7.3 have? When my van broke down in Taos in 2012, I had the garage replace the fuel filter while they had the top of the engine removed. Now, after 19000 miles, I decided to replace it. Those butt heads in Taos, threw my cap away, and put in a one piece; I didn't know that. I bought a 'motorcraft filter', just the filter, and then discovered that I had no cap. So, I bought a cap from O'reilly's , dorman 902-203 and it, with the mc filter, was too tall and it bottomed out without sealing. I returned it and bought a Duralast one piece filter and cap, and it was too tall. So, now I have a one piece filter and cap that doesn't work, a filter with a separate cap and it don't work. So, I'm flabergasted. My van was built in Nov., 98 and I found a different cap number, 902-208, but I don't know if it fits. So, can anyone offer any information on this delima
 

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Clev, have you tried the NAPA gold one piece? It has a square oring instead of beveled and has the bottom oring that goes on the element. The pleating is designed/ coated to help separate water as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, Maryland, I haven't. At this point, I'm not even sure what to ask for. The 3 situations that I described, the filter bottomed out and the O-ring was still loose at the top.
 

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I used one of these NAPA Gold 3818 Fuel Filters (Manufactured by WIX and same as WIX 33818) and like Nick said, it is a 1-piece so the cap is integral to the filter element.
The description is here: http://www.napafilters.com/wp-content/uploads/New-and-improved-NAPA-3818.pdf

You might double check your vehicle but entering in a 1999 Ford E350 it indicates this will fit:

FIL 3818 | NAPA Auto Parts

Note: It looks like you should automatically receive a 10% discount when you order online and pick up at store.
 

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What is the Motorcraft fuel filter P/N that you currently have?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Motorcraft FD4596 Fuel Filter and the Dorman 904-203 cap. Like the different up pipes for the early 99, I think the filter and cap must also be different. I'll pick up the wix tomorrow.
 

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Motorcraft FD4596 Fuel Filter and the Dorman 904-203 cap. Like the different up pipes for the early 99, I think the filter and cap must also be different. I'll pick up the wix tomorrow.
Well the FD4596 (Motorcraft/Raycor) cross-references directly to the NAPA 3818 (Wix 33818) so they appear to be identical dimensions.

From 1/12/98:
The fuel bowl from 1998.5-2003 is Ford P/N: F81Z-9155-AC
Filter Cap: F81Z-9G270-BA
Cap Diameter (in): 5.75
Cap Height (in): 2.25
Filter: FD-4596

Prior to 1/12/98:
The fuel bowl from 1994-1998 is Ford P/N: F6TZ-9155-AB
and the filter cap is: F5TZ-9G270-A
Cap Diameter (in): 4.75
Cap Height (in): 1.5
Filter: FD-4595

These appear to be the only two fuel bowls and their dimensions are quite different in both Diameter and Height so if your cap is the correct Diameter for your fuel bowl then the issue is most likely that your filter element is not "seating" completely.

Clear as mud?
 
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Remember the original Motorcraft filter has the tapered O-Ring at the top, so you need to make sure the taper is in correctly or it will leak. The NAPA Gold Filter has the square O-Ring, and they work well. Always keep an extra in the truck.
 

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Well the FD4596 (Motorcraft/Raycor) cross-references directly to the NAPA 3818 (Wix 33818) so they appear to be identical dimensions.

From 1/12/98:
The fuel bowl from 1998.5-2003 is Ford P/N: F81Z-9155-AC
Filter Cap: F81Z-9G270-BA
Cap Diameter (in): 5.75
Cap Height (in): 2.25
Filter: FD-4596

Prior to 1/12/98:
The fuel bowl from 1994-1998 is Ford P/N: F6TZ-9155-AB
and the filter cap is: F5TZ-9G270-A
Cap Diameter (in): 4.75
Cap Height (in): 1.5
Filter: FD-4595

These appear to be the only two fuel bowls and their dimensions are quite different in both Diameter and Height so if your cap is the correct Diameter for your fuel bowl then the issue is most likely that your filter element is not "seating" completely.

Clear as mud?
big difference between the 2....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, Arctic. Because of your last post with dimensions, I finally got this job finished. I used a small measuring device and measured the height of the bowl from the inside; 2 7/8 inches. I measured the filter (no cap); 2 7/8 inches. I measured the cap; 2 1/4 inches. Everything matched, so why would it not fit? I wet the o-ring and center rubber of the filter with diesel and slid/twisted the filter into the bowl. I got it as far as I could and it still stuck out of the top about 1/4 inch. I pushed and twisted harder and nothing moved. But I knew that the filter and the bowl were the same height, so the filter had to go down a little further. Using a big wrench, I gently tapped the top of the filter and it gradually went all the way down. Next, I attempted to screw on the cap, but just like the filter, it got just above the tapered gasket and stopped. I took it off, wet everything down with diesel again, and then it went all the way and seated. I've had this van for over 17 years and have changed that filter myself at least 5 times with no trouble, every time, except the last time in Taos, when they tossed the cap. I cannot imagine what, if anything, they did that has made this so difficult this time. Anyway, thanks for all the advice that I received on this topic.
 
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Funny you mentioned this I had the same issues when I 1st got my van. I dont remember how I solve it though too long ago, & didn't keep notes.Sorry
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To my knowledge, diesel, the center post in the fuel bowl is solid; no spring. The rubber grommets in the center, at the top and bottom of the filter, were extremely tight around the center post, which prevented it from going all the way down to seat.
 

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The vey top of tower must push down on rod to open ( no element no flow no run ) valve and have entry ovals in tower align creating passage to allow the fuel into tower. The valve is in bottom that gets manipulated by a pin that connects to top of tower.
Take a look at my thread " 7.3 fuel bowl rebuild". Sorry still don't know how to do links
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The van runs great but is hard starting. Normally, it would start in 3-4 cranks, but now, when cold, and after 'wait to start', it won't start on the first attempt. It will just crank. After 8-10 cranks, turn the key off for a few seconds, then it will start after a few cranks. I've driven it twice since the new filter for a few miles each time; is that enough to purge the system?
 

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Clev, generally after opening up the fuel system, you want to pressure it up a few times before starting. The highest pressures are attained when pump runs before starting. Then when I do start mine up, I take it out and run it pretty wide open for 15-20 minutes straight on the highway.
 

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Clev, also forgot to add that hard starting is what led me to this forum, which helped me solve my problems as well as causing my ongoing $1.2 million (exaggerated, but not by much) van rebuild. I found that you need good batteries with lots of cranking amps, the in tank fuel filter cartridges are probably clogged unless you've cleaned them, van owners should be hesitant to add fuel additives before checking for tank delamination issues (the additives are great for your engine but also worsen delamination in silver coated tanks), and if your truck cold starts much easier after having it plugged in for an hour or so, then it is time to first test your glow plug relay and maybe your glow plugs too. I went with a Western Snow Plow relay and it's been great ever since. It is smaller than the Stancorp relay and way more heavy duty than the stock relay. It's also only @ $25! First just run it wide open though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, stock; this is the first that I've heard about an 'in tank fuel filter'. Can you provide a link, or elaborate a little? I've had the van 18 years, it has ~140,000 miles, and they have not been cleaned.
 

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The filter in tank, or what I found in mine, was in a plastic housing that is attached to the pick-up sender unit. I believe it has two barbered tabs that are released & then the guts can be taken out. When I took mine apart, they were all jumbled up and full of crumbs & such. I removed the unit entirely & fabed up a straight tube. The only thing I questioned about removing it was, it has a little vernatherm to control re circulation of fuel when the temp is right. If I observed correctly (maybe useful in cold weather)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, bork. If I have to go to the trouble of dropping the tank, I will probably consider deleting the fuel bowl and installing an external fuel pump/filter/water separator.
 
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