Was browsing and came across your post.
Don't know about your '01, but on the '03s teflon fuel lines run to the connectors that attach to the gas filter.
On the '03, there are two going into the filter and one going forward to the engine.
I found that using the tool to disconnect the gas filter proved to be a PITA, so I cut off all the original connectors, and replaced them with aftermarket fuel system repair lines and the attaching hardware, which consists of quick disconnect fittings attached to a length of teflon fuel line. You can just squeeze with your fingertips and slide the connectors off the gas filter - no fiddling around with any tools. And the connectors "click" into place, tight onto the filter.
On the other end of the disconnect fitting is a length of teflon fuel line, which ends in a union piece made of brass that slides in and is clamped into the existing line if it's teflon or rubber - the repair kit is also adaptable to "regular" steel fuel line by using an intermediate piece of fuel injection hose and clamps.
If I recall correctly (on the '03, anyway), the fuel lines are 5/16s, two going in, and one coming out; but, of the two lines going into the gas filter, one connector is 3/8, and the other is 5/16; the connector on the engine side is 5/16.
In any event, I don't think that you have to drop the tank to repair your problem. The repair kit is available for pretty near all makes of vehicles as far as I know. Most mechanics should know about it.
In the meantime, I'll see if I can find some old pieces of this type of repair line and connectors that I had from about a year ago, and maybe take some pics.
Another real bonus is that it takes literally seconds to disconnect the fuel lines with this system
If you're still keeping up with this thread, post and let us know how it's going.
'03 Ranger Supercab, Flareside, 4.0 liter V6 SOHC, auto, 4 x 4 w/FX4 Off-Road Package (Level I)
Last edited by north44; 01-21-2009 at 12:52 AM.