Fuel lines

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spadpilot
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Fuel lines

Post by spadpilot » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:02 pm

I am in the process of assembling my 1917 Speedster and have come up with a question (not the last one) for the forum. What kind of fuel line would be best....brass or steel or......?
Best
Dave
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babychadwick
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Re: Fuel lines

Post by babychadwick » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:32 pm

Ill be using aluminum for the speedster im working on

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Re: Fuel lines

Post by HalSched » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:34 pm

Steel brake line. I've heard copper doesn't hold up. ???


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by DHort » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:57 pm

Copper works fine if you get the thicker copper. Not the stuff they use for supplying WATER TO THE ICE MACHINE.
i DO OT KNOW WHAT IT IS CALLED, you might have to ask around. It is still used the same way, with felt gaskets or neoprene, no
compression parts..


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Tiger Tim » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:23 am

With a name like Spadpilot, I have high hopes for this speedster...
Image

Also good to know copper might work, I have a roll in the garage and need a new fuel line for my T too.


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by wayne sheldon » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:08 am

I like that name "Spad pilot"! And the shot of one of my favorite speedsters from one of my ALL TIME favorite movies is a day-brightener! Of course, what is not to like about Clara Bow!!!!!!!! (Except for the fact she has been gone for half a century?) And the fellow cranking "the Shooting Star" is Charles "Buddy" Rogers, famous bandleader and singer from the roaring '20s as well as part time actor. He was later married to America's sweetheart Mary Pickford. I have an original 78 record of Charles "Buddy" Rogers singing, he was pretty good. Now if I could just remember what the song was?

Anybody with an interest in model T speedsters, early airplanes, or WWI history, really should watch that movie. The first Best Picture Oscar (although I do not believe it was yet called "Oscar"?), still considered by many film historians as some of the best aerial footage ever shot for a movie! An incredible amount of history in that film.


As for fuel lines. I have used copper tubing, with all good results myself. However, some experts say that a chemical reaction between the copper and the gasoline can cause problems. A more common problem, is that copper tubing has a tendency to develop cracks due to vibration. Although I have never had a real problem with it that way, many other people have. Brass tubing is better, if you can find and get good quality brass tubing. Many people prefer to use steel brake lines. They are intended for use under adverse conditions, not prone to cracking, and have a good history of long-term reliability. I basically would recommend the steel brake lines, with one cautionary note. I consider the new so-called gasoline with alcohol in it to pose a risk of water incursion and potential inside rust issues. Only time will tell whether my concern is real or not. If a car is driven often enough, there should not be a problem. But if a car were to sit a lot? A low point in the fuel line could possibly develop a pinhole and leak. Internally copper plated steel brake lines may prevent that rust potential. But, there again, is that issue of a chemical reaction with the gasoline. I suspect that reaction is not enough to cause problems, and think I like the copper plated steel brake lines the best.

Size of fuel line is also a consideration. I don't recall what the Ford factory size was, however, it was fairly small (may have been 3/16"?) Quarter inch is often used, and favored by many due to higher fuel flow speeds for the higher speeds we tend to drive today. Some people favor an even slightly larger size, about 5/8", for better flow pulling long hills. However, the flip side of that flow speed, is that although the volume per minute speed is increased, the flow speed (time versus inches traveled) is somewhat slower as the fuel line gets larger. That in turn causes a greater tendency for vapor locking because the slower travel speed exposes the fuel inside the line to pick up heat from mufflers, head-pipes, and manifolds as well as the crankcase itself. Many people with antique automobiles (some model Ts, but many non-Fords) after increasing fuel line size have then had to replace it back to something smaller to reduce vapor locking issues.

Just a few considerations about fuel lines.


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:10 am

Just to be sure ... you never mention the name of the movie you suggested ... I’m guessing it’s Wings. Clara Bow and Rodgers were in other movies together.

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Re: Fuel lines

Post by doodlebugt » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:21 am

Hey Wayne, Fast driving :-) Maybe 5/16.
Wild cherry II could perhaps use 5/8.
Keep the hammer down.
Yours in jest
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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Alan Long » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:40 am

All three of our T’s are running the straight thru NH Holley with 5/16” Copper Tubing and a modern shut off valve
in the line. I believe that size tube is sufficient for the standard T (maybe not for a Speedster) as the bottleneck of
fuel supply now is in the Carburettor. I have never experienced vapour lock or fuel starvation at high speed. I also
like the logic that if your tank has less than 4 gallons in it, it’s empty!!
Alan


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Billdizer,Spencer In » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:12 am

My concern with both copper and aluminum lines are that both will "work harden" and crack due to vibration after time. There is a newer brake line sold that is sold as nickle/copper that is the copper color, that does not harden, rust, or seem to react to anything and is very easy to form, resists kinking, and if needed, can be double flared easily with great results. The only problem is the price is higher. I just bought a 25' roll of 1/4" to repair brakes on my SUV, and it was about $45.00. You can buy individual lengths of pre made brake lines rather than bulk. Just another option to consider!


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Original Smith » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:47 am

I've had copper on my '13 for 58 years, and it's still on there. However, if you use the 1/4" brake line as mentioned above you will have a good solid original looking gas line. The originals were always brass, and zinc plated.

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Re: Fuel lines

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:02 am

Good info in the the thread. A couple of things I noted to consider - fuel flow and line flexibility. 5/16 od seams to be commonly used and in checking the "thick" copper and steel tubing they have 1/4 id. Copper and aluminum have their issues (splitting..) as do steel (rust & corrosion). In checking into the nickle/copper brake line appears to be the easiest to work with (Copperhead(TM) is a seamless copper nickel alloy brake line that is as strong as steel, corrosion resistant and easier to work with than any steel or PVF brake line on the market. It will bend by hand and is kink resistant allowing the installer to easily maneuver it into position which cannot be done with conventional steel tubing. The material has yield and tensile strength similar to steel but it cuts brake your job in half!) Example - O'Reilly has 5/16, 7ft for $16.99.


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:03 pm

The only time I've ever seen copper crack is when some yokel used compression ferrules with fittings that should take felt/rubber. In each case, the fitting was tightened so many times, the ID of the tube was seriously necked down and a crack had started at the compression ferrule/tube interface.

I've used thick/walled copper tubing for years with absolutely no leaks or any signs of fatigue. However, I just did my dad's depot hack with steel brake line as I could not locate 1/4" thick copper in the one day I was in town and can state with certainty that I will never go through that exercise again. Forming the curves forward of the engine pan ear, to get the line to the carb was difficult and made the line impossible to subsequently remove for further fitting. All further fitting, cutting and fastening was performed under the car, when I really wanted to do it from above

With respect to restrictions, your choice of supplimental cut-off valve at the carb can possibly be a source of restriction, and the float valve in many if not most instances will be the biggest restriction which no choice of non-stock tubing size can remedy.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!

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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:30 pm

I use steel brake line because of reading about brass or copper lines cracking. I never experienced it myself, only read about it. So far I've had no trouble from the steel line. I haven't had any trouble making it fit, probably due to unorthodox routing. While I shun disturbutors* and other modern "upgrades", I'm impure enough to stray from having all things strictly stock. One of my impurities is where I put the fuel line.


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by HaroldRJr » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:30 pm

I'd suggest steel brake line with a short length (maybe three or four inches) of good quality neoprene approved fuel line at each end. This would provide flexibility and also insulate the fuel line from vibration. If you were willing to go to the extra time, trouble and expense, I would "double clamp" each neoprene hose/steel line joint with marine grade hose clamps, available at any marine supply store. This is because automotive hose clamps from all the auto parts stores, even if stainless steel was advertised, the screw on automotive type clamps is just conventional steel, while "MARINE" hose clamps are ALL stainless, even the screw! Learned this from "experience" with a sailboat bilge full of cook stove kerosene due to a hose clamp that finally let go due to the hose clamp screw threads rusting away! FWIW,....harold

P.S. In my opinion, if fuel approved neoprene hose is ok for half-million dollar dragsters and race cars, its' good enough for Model T Fords!


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by wayne sheldon » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:57 pm

Mark O, Yes "WINGS" !!
(Thread drift alert!)
I don't recall any other movies with both 'Buddy' Rogers and Clara Bow. The other 'Buddy' Rogers film I really liked was "My Best Girl", but that was with Mary Pickford, whom Buddy later married. That was a cute movie with a silly, simple (and way over-used) plot, however charmingly done. Most of the films Buddy was in were "talkies" during the '30s.
Clara Bow made a bunch of movies, mostly silent ones. I have seen several of those, including "It", and "Dancing Mothers". Clara had personal "issues", and difficulty handling success. By the time talkies were becoming common, she was not in good shape herself, and had difficulties in everything she did. She was not able to make a good transition into sound films, and made less than a dozen of them. I saw one of them many years ago, but don't even recall which movie it was. Her performance in it was not good, and quite sad to see.

Back to more good advice on fuel lines.


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spadpilot
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Re: Fuel lines

Post by spadpilot » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:18 pm

The Forum is truly a first class resource......especially for know-nothings such as myself. After having paid close attention to everyone's input, I have decided to install copper nickel alloy lines. I do appreciate all of you for taking the time to respond.....priceless information unobtainable anywhere else.

In the coming weeks I will be posting photos of the progress on my '17 Speedster.

Again....many Thanks to all.

Best,
Dave
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Re: Fuel lines

Post by wayne sheldon » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:56 pm

I look forward to pictures of your Speedster! I have had five of them over the years and enjoyed many miles of driving them.


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Nv Bob » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:50 am

I use 1/4" brake line with good results but since i pit on the of seems fuel starvation is happening
So going run a larger line 5/16" or 3/8"
Down 3/4 of the way to the carb and 1/4" line rest of the way?
I not fan fuel pump running 40-45 keeps up just fine but when o drive in traffic seems starve but start right up


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Scott_Conger » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:46 am

NV Bob

I'll quote myself from above:
With respect to restrictions, your choice of supplimental cut-off valve at the carb can possibly be a source of restriction, and the float valve in many if not most instances will be the biggest restriction which no choice of non-stock tubing size can remedy.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Nv Bob » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:45 pm

Scott true
One correction i put 3/4" meant to say 3/8" heehee
My stromberg OF fills on the bottom side of the float bowl and rebiulding an NH try befor i change the fuel line
Randon fuel starvation happen when pulling up to a stop
Not at speed witch seems odd since the foat is as high as i can go
Im also trying another style shut off valve


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:28 pm

Bob

that is odd, and I am wondering if you are somehow getting a fuel surge during stopping that sends the float "up" and the float valve is then sticking shut momentarily

If the existing float valve is using a Viton tip, I have seen where they get forced shut once and that puts a ridge on them that sometimes tends to stick them shut until a vigorous shake works them loose again (typically the car starting to run rough). This happens primarily when someone "taps" the valve to seal it as though it were a nickle or stainless steel face and not an elastomer. If it's viton, it is worth a look to ensure there is no "ring" or flat edge on the taper part of the valve

best of luck with your little issue and hope it is resolved quickly and fairly painlessly
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


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Re: Fuel lines

Post by Nv Bob » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:14 am

Car never runs rough like turning off the key
Of stan howel rebiuld and yes vinton tipped
Im switching back once get nh finished up
See it thats the issue

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