GARY F

Stupid question

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I should know this after fully restoring two 60s Pontiacs, .   I have a 37 Olds that I want to make a new gas line from the fuel pump and to the carb with a filter. Can I use copper instead of steel? Thanks

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Copper work hardens and really shouldn't be used there. There are copper-nickel alloys now (cunifer, ni-copp, etc.) that are considered good enough for brakes, and should be fine if you want something copper-ish.

 

Copper was sometimes used for fuel lines back in the model-t era. I think nearly everyone was past that by 1937, at least under the hood. A 37 Olds will probably have copper tubing as the fuel pickup in the tank, and transfer to steel at the first fitting back near the tank.

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I would get a roll of steel tubing and roll out a new line. Copper attracts the eye. My first thought would be that a plumber fixed it.

 

Nice car, is it a 6 or an 8?

 

Bernie

  • Haha 2

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

I would get a roll of steel tubing and roll out a new line. Copper attracts the eye. My first thought would be that a plumber fixed it.

 

Nice car, is it a 6 or an 8?

 

Bernie

It is the 8 cyl.  Motor turns over easy. Waiting for the fuel pump & carb to come back from the rebuilders to see if it runs. Then I will go from there.

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I used the copper nickel line for brakes and fuel on the REO I’m rebuilding. It’s DOT approved, bends easily by hand and flares easily too. 

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And again, another vote for Cunfer, NiCopp, Copper Nickel alloy. Volvo has been using the stuff for what, 50 years? You will love the way it bends and flares. I use the SUR&R brand, available in kits with the nuts.  For a fuel line, you probably do not need the nuts, just bell (not flare) the end slightly for a good fit to a rubber hose.

 

I got tired of replacing my brake lines AGAIN when using steel. Salt salt salt ........?

 

A collector car that never sees rain, snow, salt could get by with steel, but now with Ethnaol fuel going through it, I would still stick with Cunifer.

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I generally use steel, as I have the tools to work it.

 

Historically: aluminum, brass, copper, and steel have all been used; and copper a LOT later than some would think. Oldsmobile was still using copper in 1966 on their performance models.

 

Jon.

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1 hour ago, billorn said:

Heres a thread where someone just did what your doing on a Lincoln.

 

I had not seen that one, lots of reading. Using the Control F to find "fuel" helped.

 

I know about copper nickle but I would still do mine stuff in steel. I have used it a lot, can make straight runs from a roll and bends without kinks. My flares come out good and if I don't like one I just redo it. The only corrosion I have seen on replacement steel lines is at clamping points. I insulate the two metals when I clamp a line. And, on old cars, I am usually replacing 40 or 50 year old lines. Replacing a 1937 vintage part with its equal doesn't cause me concern.

 

When an alternative is offered with its main benefits being that it is easier to work with I don't get real excited. I won't go out of my way to do things the hard way, like my Wife and all her family, but if something takes skill and practice to master, the results please me.

 

But its late morning. I think I will just steel away to the garage.

Bernie

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Jon, then you already have the tools and techniques to work with Cunifer.?

 

Well Bernie, keep doing it the hard way ......

 

The main reason to use Cunifer is it lasts in our environment. Being easier to use is a side effect. Whereas using stainless steel line is long lasting in environments, but way more difficult to use than regular steel line.

 

Seriously, I am speaking of your newer cars that get driven in the salt, like when you had to go to work everyday . You actually have steel lines last more than 15 years up there? All the upstate New York vehicles that make their way down here are having steel line failures from the salt used up there. Of course we also use a brine solution that is rotting frames and steel lines here too. I gave up using steel lines on daily drivers and since I already have the Cunifer in stock, I use it for everything. I keep rolls of all three sizes on hand.  also buy the stainless steel flare nuts from Summit Racing. And the stainless steel brake line armor (the spring looking stuff used on GM brake lines to protect from rocks). Dressing the lines with the armor and new flare nuts makes it look like you bought OEM lines.

 

I did say that a collector car that isn't driven in the salt/rain/ or use Ethanol laced fuel should have no issues with steel lines for years.

 

And no, using that coated steel line is not helping, as you must damage the coating to flare the lines, so rust starts...... I've replaced that also on cars down here.......?

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My un-restored/regularly maintained 1925 Franklin Sedan has a Copper fuel line from the factory... still works perfectly.

Just thought I would mention it.

Cheers

 

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One thing about copper is it transfers heat. This is why welding and cutting tips are copper.  A copper fuel line minimizes  boiling fuel and vapor lock.  If you are worried about work hardening, anneal the flairs I do this anyway because they seal better.  In my experience the copper never work hardens in a long run, only next to the flairs.  I keep them original.

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