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When I place a new fuel filter on the carb, it seems as though the filter has another few full turns before it seats; but it is so tight that I stop. That is probably the prudent thing to do; but I fear a leak. How can I avoid a leaking, or unseated condition.

My engine is the Cleveland with an Autolite 2100 carb.
 

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The filter has a 1/8" pipe thread and does not "seat", so what you are doing is indeed prudent. Teflon tape or otherwise apply sealant on the threads and turn until "reasonably" tight.
 

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Ditto above, it won't leak.
 
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