Putting in a new fuel line/tank etc.
Is there a particular course the line should take from the tank to the carb? Like, should it run along the frame and get attached to the frame in some manner?
Thanks for the help..
I have the engine out of my 1915, so it's easy to see the fuel line. I'll use a couple of clips to fasten it inside the top of the frame rail so it will be away from the exhaust pipe. Some say copper lines are subject to failure from metal fatigue, so this one is steel.
Thatís a big help! It also allows me to see the course of the exhaust pipe.
Do you have a recommendation for what sort of sealant to put on threaded fittings?
It seems like it would be a good idea to come up with an exhaust pipe designed with a slight bend downward where the fuel line crosses over it, then bend back up to go into the muffler. There is more room to adjust the exhaust pipe downward than to adjust the fuel line, which must run lower than the fuel tank and higher than the carburetor, which doesn't leave much room for deviation. Jim Patrick
Michael, originally string like gasket material was wound around the pipe and the nut snugged up to jam it around the pipe. I use a 1/4" long piece of black fuel hose. Slit the outside of the hose and peel it off the fibre reinforcing. The inner piece is then slid over the pipe and the nut squishes it tight around the pipe.
Works for me and is freely available. You'll get a funny look if you go to buy just 1/2" though
Allan from down under.!
Would it be feasible to relocate the fuel outlet and shutoff valve to the far right (passenger side) of the fuel tank to the right of the exhaust pipe next to the chassis, so that the fuel line never has to cross over the hot exhaust pipe?
The photos help a lot!
Allan.. Yes, I have the little rubber hose that goes over the actual fuel line. Thanks.
My remaining question, though, is about the connection between the sediment bowl and the gas tank, and the shut off valve that screws directly into the carb - Is there a special sealer for those connections that is recommended?
steve's engine was out when the pictures were taken, so I am not quite sure of the position of the exhaust pipe with the engine in the car, but the fuel line should be bent in such a way, that it does not contact the exhaust pipe. It should be as far from the exhaust pipe as you can get it to prevent vapor lock. Also, the gas line should go down from the sediment bulb and up at the carburetor, with no raised place in the middle. So if you can go over the exhaust pipe without raising the pipe above the sediment bulb, do so. What I am trying to convey is that air or vapor raises above gasoline. It can also be compressed. So if you have a high place in the line, a bubble will form and you will have "vapor Lock" If both ends of the line are above the middle, the air will rise either to the carburetor or the gas tank, and you will not get "vapor lock.
Fuel lines varied somewhat over the years. There is a nice diagram of the proper routing in one of the service bulletins.
Thanks Norman..are you bale to answer my question about what sort of sealer to use?
I thought the fuel line was supposed to go behind the wood block at the crankcase ear. That's what the bevel is for. If you do it that way, you don't need any other clips to hold the line up.
The line is not as close to the exhaust pipe as it appears in this picture.
The original lines were brass, but steel works as well for a lot less money. I don't think it's a good idea to use copper. I use the felts included with carb rebuild kits and have never had one leak.
Michael -- Other than using the felts on the tubing, I always use aviation fuel lube for all other fuel line connections. It's available from the Model T vendors or from Aircraft Spruce.
I find it runs a lot better if you run the fuel line under the exhaust pipe so you don't vapor lock when the fuel boils from being over the exhaust.
Mike - I know that the original fuel line was brass, and I know how common it is nowadays to see replacement fuel lines of copper. And I agree that copper can and does "work harden" from vibration and such over time; I guess the question becomes how much vibration and how much time.
I'm not exactly recommending this, however, I think copper can be installed safely, or, an existing copper fuel line that has been in place for "who know how long" can be protected from vibration damage with the following method:
At each end of the fuel line, if the fuel line is connected at the carburetor end with a short piece of new modern gasoline approved fuel HOSE with double clamps, as well as the same type of short length of fuel hose at the fuel tank end, I believe this adequately insulates or protects the copper fuel line against damaging vibration. This is the way I do it on my "driver" Model "T's, except that I do use new steel brake line rather than copper. As commonly stated, "your mileage may vary,......harold
The fuel lines were brass plated steel.
Get stainless steel brake lines at any good parts store to make your own fuel lines.
The fuel line should run under the exhaust pipe and along the bottom of the frame rail no matter what is "correct".
Do not use copper tubing without a fuel hose at at one or both ends.
Mike, ford routed the fuel line at the bottom of the wood block. That created a dip that eliminates the vapor bubbles that will accumulate in a fairly level fuel line. I tried it your way and had plenty of problems. I did it Fords' way and and have had no more problems. Look on page 239 of the Service Bulletins and you will see that regardless of body style, all fuel lines should dip down to the lower frame flange.
Aaron is correct about the fuel line crossing under the exhaust pipe. It says so on page 239 of the Service Bulletins.
Aaron is correct about the fuel line crossing under the exhaust pipe. It says so on page 239 of the Service Bulletins.
If you do get stainless steel lines, be prepared to really have to work to tighten the fittings enough to get them to seal - a friend of mine put stainless steel brake lines on his 1969 Dodge Coronet and we had a heck of a time getting the fittings tight enough to seal, I guess the stainless line must be stiffer than the regular steel line.
Ya, know I don't remember a lot of vibration along the fuel line at all. My car is a 1922 Touring and I put in a copper fuel line when I was building up the car...it's been in the car for over 35 years and works just fine...what the hell are you guys doing that there is so much vibration?
Looking at the encyclopedia, I see that the sediment bowl was, indeed, located on the far right side at one point (1909 - 11). See Page 22.
Mark Srange, I will be putting stainless brake lines on a '49 Dodge soon. I have done it on many cars. Yup, they are hard to get tight but a good beefing on a Snap-On line wrench has always done it.
Martin, it isn't so much the vibration, it is the twisting of the frame on uneven ground. It is called work hardening that is like bending a wire back and forth until it breaks.
I too have used copper but would never do it again without a flex hose on at least one end.
I've been walking across the street 35 years without looking too and have never been hit.
What the hell were those guys doing that got hit?
I even made copper brake lines on trucks when I was a mechanic in the Army. Never a problem but I would not do it now.
Michael, with the sediment bowl so close to the right side it is not only harder to get at because of the exhaust pipe but on right hand drive cars the women had to walk around to the other side of the car to turn the gas on and off all the time.
Isn't the wood block in the picture above upside down?
Yes, it is. I'll fix that today, and put the gas line at the bottom where the bevel and line are supposed to be.
OK, it's all better now.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone here who helps others who are mistaken about some aspect of Model T-dom, without talking down to them or acting like a know-it-all. This is the way this Forum is supposed to work.
I've been on this forum for more than 10 years, and it has been an invaluable source of info all that time. I had two Model T mentors from whom I learned a great deal; they are now both gone, and I miss them a lot. But I still have a place to come for information, and I appreciate that. I learn something here every day. Thanks, Guys. And thanks to the MTFCA (& Chris in particular) for making this possible.
I have no dog in this fight but original Ford gas lines were not brass plated steel. They were brass. In later years Ford allowed seamed and sweated brass tubing but that tubing had to be pressure tested. Ford didn't require seamless tubing to be pressure tested. Brass and copper both have about the same properties with regard to work hardening since brass is about 60% copper and 40% zinc.
When I was a young man I worked for a year or so at Allis Chalmers in Springfield, IL. I was an assembler and part of my job was to install the brake lines on their model D road grader. Those were soft copper lines that I first had to form to a particular shape and then readjust for final fit. The brakes were applied to all 4 of the rear wheels via "trucks" on that piece of machinery and they used copper lines from wheel to wheel and then partly across from side to side with a rubber hose then attaching to the master cylinder from the main junction block that joined all of the copper lines. Not defending that design just pointing out that copper was used for lots of vehicle tubing in years past. I think there were more problems with rust on steel tubing than work hardening with copper. Copper was commonly used to join 3 carburetor fuel block setups on our hot rods. We weren't too concerned about longevity. When you are young you are immortal ha ha.
Yes John, when I stated the fuel lines were brass plated steel I hesitated a bit.
I work on so many different makes of cars that I sometimes get things mixed up. I have read a lot about similar things for Model A and early V8.
I have seen copper fuel lines on a T break. More than once. There is just too much frame flexing on a T. They need a short piece of hose at one or each end.
I was once road testing a customer's Fordor when the outside oil line from the hog's head to the front of the oil pan snapped at the front right next to the pan fitting. It had been on there for many years.
I am quite sure I heard some years ago that it is against the law to use copper tubes for brake lines now, but the original reason was that they expanded on hard brake applications.
I have replaced broken brake lines on top of rear axles where the tail pipe had been hitting it on lots of cars through the years but I would not do it again. It's too easy to just get a correct length of flared tubing at most parts stores.
I even used unions in steel lines with a copper tube fastened with a union. Bad way to do it, should never be done even in an emergency.
I am not disagreeing with you Aaron but my experience has been different. I have seen 2 cars burn up that were using rubber fuel lines. For awhile there was talk in the MTFCI to outlaw rubber fuel lines on tour. The reason was not basically that rubber was bad but that most people who were doing that were not doing it with a good design. Early 50's cars typically used a metal fuel line with tank at rear. That metal line was fastened to the frame rather rigidly and at the front in the engine compartment there was a rubber link from that point to the motor's fuel pump. The T people were simply using mid air splice of rubber to fuel line using band clamps and the mid air fuel line was free to swing around. Just not a good idea and when any of the clamps came loose the fuel line slid off and raw fuel dumped onto the exhaust pipe and away it all went. My personal experience with fuel lines snapping off has so far always been a case of someone using a metal line held with a metal ferrule at the packing nut. That provides a nice hard edge for the tube to work against and they snapped off rather cleanly at the ferrule but it did take a number of years according to the owners who claimed it had been on their car when they bought it???. I use a piece of neoprene hose for packing and snug it up enough that the line can flex but the neoprene is where the flex is occurring and that has proved to be a reliable way to do it with folks in my chapter though some of them use O rings the same way. I have the advantage of being a part of a rather large Midwest Chapter and over the years the hundreds of members and tours have made me wary of things that cause problems and we have all migrated toward things that worked for us. I always encourage folks to join a local chapter or club since that network helped keep me out of trouble in the beginning and also gave me a group to get opinions from when I was about to do something new or different. The forum didn't exist in those days.
I am not an expert, so do not quote me.
I purchased some copper tubing that is used for my refrigerator and I was going to use it except when I took it out of the packaging I realized it was very thin tubing. I decided not to use it.
I then purchased a different brand of copper tubing from a Model T dealer that has much thicker walls. This is what he uses. I did not flare the tubing. I used the felt method and added some oil to it to help with the install. Now I begin to wonder if I should have used some soap instead. However, it appears to work fine. I have the neoprene that John Regan uses, but have not used it yet myself.
Since the tubing is not flared and it is surrounded by felt, it can flex a little. This should be sufficient. Time will tell.
All my Model T's have copper fuel lines, one 46 years old 70,000 plus miles, one 17 years 20,000miles plus, third one 40 years plus on a speedster which has the copper coiled 3 times before the carby on the Fronty head which is a different application to normal. The previous owner did probably more than 100,000 miles before I got the car.
None of these have ever given any problem, the flexing is minute, if you have ever tried to break copper tube by bending it back and forth it takes lots of big bends before it splits. The fuel line never gets a fraction of that flexing.
The only failure I have personally experienced was with a steel line which broke at the ferrule at the carby on Bill Barth's Couplet. I still have the burn mark on my arm after 5 years which I got from the exhaust pipe while turning off the fuel at the tank.
Copper on a fuel line is fine in my view. Copper in a hydraulic system can cause contamination and copper in a automotive hydraulic brake system is a prescription for disaster.
Most of the new copper tubing available is made in China or Thailand and who knows what it really is. Buy all the OLD copper tubing you can find at garage sales, auctions, close outs, etc. and keep it for uses like fuel lines.
i thought the old fuel lines were coiled steel strip held together with solder?
No Kep. As John R says above the Ford blueprints all call for brass fuel line, all model years.
In a 1922 service bulletin Ford recommended this routing of the fuel line:
"My personal experience with fuel lines snapping off has so far always been a case of someone using a metal line held with a metal ferrule at the packing nut. That provides a nice hard edge for the tube to work against and they snapped off rather cleanly at the ferrule."
That's why I use flare fittings on copper lines.
Anyone ever use kunifer for the fuel line?
Every time I post this I get brickbats thrown at me. But this is the story the Bundy people told me many years ago and it remains on the web in this form. I am not aware of any Ford archival documentation supporting this story.
"The Bundy Corporation was founded as Harry Bundy and Company in Detroit, Michigan, in 1922 by Harry Warren Bundy, a former mechanic with Detroit Steel Products. Established as a manufacturer of steel tubes used in automobile gas lines, Bundy's first contract was to supply tubing for the Ford Model T, which in 1920 accounted for roughly half the cars on the road worldwide. Bundy's innovation was a tube crafted out of a single strip of steel, which was wound around twice to create a double wall capable of withstanding pressure of six thousand pounds per square inch. At first, Bundy simply sold the straight tubes to Ford whose workers then bent the product to conform to the Model T's chassis. During the initial bending process at Ford, however, the soldered seams of Bundy's tubes broke open, rendering them useless, and Bundy was forced to rethink his design or risk losing the contract.
With the help of his toolmakers, Bundy invented bending machines that could shape the tubes without bursting the seams. This early attempt at "adding value" transformed the auto industry supply business, and by 1923 Bundy had sold 3.5 million feet of tube, and Bundy tubes became the industry standard for automotive steel tubing. Within two years, Bundy moved his operations to the second floor of a manufacturing plant on Bellevue Avenue in Detroit and began selling tubing to the emerging refrigeration industry."
My association with this supplier enabled me to visit their Titeflex facility in Springfield Massachusetts where they made a flexible product in the former Indian motorcycle and and Rolls Royce assembly plant.
I've had copper tubes break off at the base of the flare. It's really no better.