Summershandy

Replacing original fuel line '54 Pontiac Star Chief

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I had really really wanted to replace my aging fuel line with a one piece prebent line. After removing the hold down clips and inspecting, I felt this looks almost impossible to do. I've read that lines like this are installed at the plant before the body is put on. I can hack the original one off but again, I can't see fishing the new line back in it's same place. Especially for that kind of money. Shipping is a killer too. Maybe I can bend 2 or 3 pieces and join them? Anyone had the similar problem and what did you do for quality and looks? Thanks!

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For those who don't know me, I'm the guy that asks a question then does it, Mr "I can't wait" if you will....usually. To save you all having to reply, I removed my original fuel line with maybe a little trouble from the rear. There's a lot of flex from the straight portion so there's more give than I thought. I'm going to bend my own and pay most attention at the front. I'm going to leave the rear rather straight for now for ease of replacement. I think I have enough room do the bending with the gas tank out. Suppose I could make 2 sections and join them with compressions but I like the idea of one piece. I posted just in case someone like me comes along again and wonders if it's doable. I think it is. 

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My method is to remove the old line then bend a new one using the old one as a pattern, taping the new line to the old one as I go. Then fit the new line. Sometimes it is necessary to do a fuel line in 2 pieces joined by a compression fitting. I use standard plated steel gas line from the parts store.

 

*correction I meant flare fitting connector not compression fitting sorry*

 

Also I tape over the ends of the tube so no dirt can get in and only remove it when it is time to connect to the gas tank or fuel pump.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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I just replaced some fuel line and so I had to brush up on my copper tube flaring techniques. Everything I read said that compression fittings were for water or air only. Any liquid or gas considered dangerous should be done with a flared fitting. The consensus was that compression fittings will loosen with vibration whereas flared fittings will not. All natural gas or propane lines are flared, as are any older copper gasoline automotive fuel lines I've seen. The copper flare used is a 45 degree, also called SAE type. Maybe this is outdated information, but it was certainly true in 1954.

A one piece line certainly has an advantage. Whatever fittings you use will likely be accessible.

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I agree with you guys. Thanks for the tip Rusty and 23hack for the motivation. I've made compression fittings work for me in the past...how I'll never know!

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An afternoon in the garage and I got it. Funny thing is I bought a tube bender only to kink the line for the first bend. I threw that thing on the workbench and between my hands, knees and the help of a piece of pipe locked in the bench vise as a helper I'm done. The tape idea helped a lot and for those offset bends a lightly locked vise grip helped. Thankfully there were no real 90 degree bends. I'm happy because the cost of a prebent line, currency rate with over sized shipping was going to be a heck of a lot more! I did it for $25. I just recommend having patience when doing it. 

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Compression fittings are NOT safe, and do not pass DOT or most state inspection requirements, they are considered sub standard in the industry.

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When did Pontiac stop using compression fittings? The ones they used weren't ferrules like you find at the hardware store, but something called a "threaded sleeve". It was a form of compression fitting. My 1936 Master Six uses these, and I saw a newer Pontiac carb on Ebay, probably a 1941, with one hanging on it.

 

Summershandy: Nice job!

 

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Thanks guys! I'm really happy with the fit of the line also. It just looks like a mess of bends on the floor but when you get it in there, the bends fit really good. I changed out the hold down clamps to rubber style adel clamps. They didn't have 5/16" so I used 1/4" that seem to fit well. 

 

I think the compression fittings that edinmass is referring to would be the ones from the hardware store mainly for water lines in plumbing. I've used them in the past with great success however I'd be leary with flammable liquids. I do however, have one connecting my oil stove line in the garage with no leaks. 

 

Bloo's fitting are on my car also. I've removed them many times with no leakages. 

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Another tip, use your flaring tool to make a slight bulge in the end of the line if you are going to slip a neoprene hose over it, this will insure that it can't come off. Factory lines usually have this. You only need to squash the end a little, don't crank it right down.

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