Sign in to follow this  
beerczar1976

Any tips for body-on fuel line install--50/early 50s bodies

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone. Got my fuel pump re-built by Then & Now in Weymouth, MA. Insanely fast and excellent service. Came back with a bag of goodies (all the crap that they pulled out of the original) to show that they just didn't due a cursory cleaning and re-paint. Anyway, next steps will be to drop and clean my tank (may replace the fuel sender at the same time) as well as to install a new pre-bent fuel line from Inline Tube.

Now here's my question, I've noticed on a few prior posts that it seems many folks have had to cut their new one piece line into a couple smaller pieces to get it back on the frame when the body is in place. Please tell me there's an easier way... The pre-bent one-piece line was pretty cheap, I think the shipping charge was almost as much as the line, but I'm hoping that I don't now have to hack up a brand new line to get it in place. A few others noted to try to raise the body off the frame just enough to squeeze the line thru...Can I just loosen the body mount bolts near the tight spots, or am I looking at loosening every single mount on both sides of the car? I'm hoping that buying a new fuel line didn't turn out to be a project that I can't really handle. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my '53 I sadly I had to cut the line. Since mine is going to be a driver and not judged and because I got so fed up with trying to route it correctly, I cut it. I could be wrong, but I bet you could do as you thinking with loosening the body mount bolts and get enough clearance to squeeze the line in place. I've heard of some doing this to replace the body mounts a little at a time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine's certainly a driver too. My car is over at it's winter storage garage. Funny thing is, the line from Inline comes shipped almost folded in half in a box that stood over 6' tall, so it shows that there's plenty of flex to the line. Will have to get over there and crawl under to see what's what. Maybe I'll luck out and not find that the line isn't sandwiched between the body and frame, but just runs along it/through it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my 2 cents... I have the body off of my 54 and the pre-bent line from inline isn't as close as they tell ya over the phone. the second one they sent me is at least bent the correct direction...

I am cleaning and reusing my original.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always been happy with Inline.

With that said, 55's have the long stretch like the early 50's cars do, AND without a lift AND a lot of room AND some molestation of the line, I don't think I could do it. I have done it numerous times successfully under my circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well...I just took the 20 min. ride to storage. I can see why some folks have resorted to cutting the line. I can see where Buick5563 mentions using a lift as this will allow you to push/pull/turn as necessary. I don't have a lift, but will try to at least get all 4 corners up on jack stands as high as possible. This MAY give me just enough room. The line doesn't really get sandwiched between the body and frame anywhere, but it does have to clear 4 body mount perches (mid-body); 3 towards the front, a gap, and then 1 towards the rear. I may try to use the gap area to my advantage by passing the rear section and as much as possible of the front section of the line over the rear perch and then pushing the front section forward back towards the front of the car. Leaving the line nearly bent in-half as it comes out of the box, may actually prove to help in the install; though they do instruct that the line be straightened before install. There does also appear to be one tricky section which is where the line runs thru the front frame member at almost a 90 degree turn...

I suppose I won't know for sure until I try but will be busy for the next couple weekends. I'll keep you guys posted if I managed to do it! :) Keeping my fingers crossed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I start at the back with a straightened line. Sounds like a similar body mount set up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can answer this question yourself really quickly - get the old tube out in one piece. When that proves to be an exercise in endless frustration, just cut the tube. Removing body bolts probably won't allow the body to move enough if:

You're only removing the 5 on the right side.

You're not removing ALL of the front-end sheetmetal.

For all that, it's not worth it for a tube nobody will ever see.

I did this on my '51 41D fairly recently (replaced the frame fuel line with one from IT). The front part through the frame is what's most off about it. Couple of tight bends where there isn't a lot of tube length to use for leverage in making adjustments. Not sure if IT doesn't account for springback correctly in their tube material, or if the example tube that they originally used for creating the tube bend file was different, but getting the front end through the frame was the toughest part.

I had no question but to cut the line anyway because I added an electric pump exactly between the front & rear doors along the frame. I found all the bends in the back portion of the tube where it goes up over the frame & axle and over to the tank were also over-bent. But it was pretty easy to adjust the new tube to look like the old one before fitting it in there.

If you do attempt this one-piece operation, I would recommend "straightening" that big u-turn they put in for shipping before trying to get it on the car. Once you see how "nice" the "straightened" section looks, you'll wonder why you're trying to avoid a little cut & splice...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric, thanks. I'll do my best. I'm guessing the one piece approach probably won't work, but I'm going to try. From what I remember seeing on the car, vs. what the tubing looks like coming out of the box, some of the bends didn't look right. We'll see.

I'm wondering if anyone has ever suggested to the tubing vendors that they should maybe sell a one-piece version for body-off projects, and a multi-piece version for those that are leaving the body on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A local hydraulic shop or a good garage can cut and flare your line to accept a coupling. Read what Al wrote about body mounts affecting door closing in the recent 52 76R post. Gas and lacquer thinner eventually cleaned my line. Or you could spice in a modern filter under the car and out of sight. Keep us posted.

Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this