Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

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revaz
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Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by revaz » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:49 am

I am changing the copper/brass fuel delivery line from tank to carb with a flared steel brake line using brass adapters, couplings, and fittings. Need a consensus/opinion as to whether to use plumbers Teflon tape on the threads. Thanks in advance. Reason for doing so: I’ve had the original lines leak and break from vibration and don’t need this problem when driving across the country in June.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by d stroud » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:52 am

Willard, Teflon tape works great IF you use the yellow tape that is designed for gas use. The white tape is not designed for that. Dave
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:11 am

IMG_2366 copy 3.JPG
IMG_2708 copy.JPG
How I do it: Cut off the flares and bend the line to fit. Use the stock Ford 2910 nut and 6154 elbow. Cut off a little piece of fuel hose for a washer. It goes inside the nut. I've used Teflon tape on the elbow where it screws into the carb, but some say that's a no-no.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by d stroud » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:27 am

Steve, the only reason using (yellow) Teflon tape on the elbow would be a no no, would be if it wasn't done correctly. A LOT of people just wrap the tape around the fitting, not paying attention to how it ends up. As I'm sure you know, the first thread should be left bare. If not, the tape can be cut off and a piece end up in the carb. Other than that, I don't know why it would be a no no. Dave
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:31 am

Yep, I'm careful about how I wrap the tape, and never had a problem with it.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Scott_Conger » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:44 am

I've used yellow tape with success and was an advocate for it until I went to Permatex #2. You don't even have to remotely tighten down the elbow with #2 and thus there is Zero risk of breaking the carb (as is so often seen on NH bargains at the flea market). In the last 3 years since switching (4 T's) I have had no leaks. The added benefit is that you're not fishing out tape with tweezers if you have to remove the elbow. Not as bad as "white" tape, but still a problem.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:39 am

I've done Steve's recommendation about using a slug of fuel line in place of the felt and it's always worked quite well. As to Teflon as stated it has to be correctly installed or it will lead to trouble. The Permatex sounds good too. The monster problem really is over tightening which can easily happen when using Teflon. Slippery Devil.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Humblej » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:26 pm

I agree with Steve except I couldn't get a rubber fuel line seal to work over time and went back to the original felt seal and have been leak free for 10 years and counting. I have tried many different lines and fittings over the years including modern flare fittings and compression fittings and they all developed a leak over time. A steel brake line with the flare cut off and the original ford nut and felt seal did the trick. I think the problem lies with nothing in the fuel line design to absorb the movement of a engine vibrating and the frame twisting. A modern car has a flexible hose between the engine and fuel line to allow for movement, the model T does not. I think using a modern compression fitting or flare fitting becomes problematic. The felt seal may allow some twisting and protect the fuel line. I do not know why I couldn't get the rubber seal to work for me but had I used fuel valve lube on it it may have worked better.
As to teflon tape, I use it for pipe threads on smaller fittings, for larger fittings like 1/2 or 3/4 pipe threads I use pipe dope. Regardless of tape or dope, keep it on the threads only, if you get it on the edge of the fitting it could work its way through the system and reduce or block something... that was a lesson learned.

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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Mark Nunn » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:39 pm

Does the felt seal need to be seasoned or coated with anything before assembly?

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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by RajoRacer » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:09 pm

There are several different outside diameters of 1/4" neoprene fuel line.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Humblej » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:15 pm

Mark, use the felt seal dry.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Jeff Hood » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:58 pm

Yellow teflon tape is for Natural Gas, not gasoline. White tape works fine, but I prefer permatex #2 also.

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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by John.Zibell » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:25 pm

For threaded fittings as in to the fuel tank and carburetor use this. https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/ ... key=218206 The fitting doesn't have to be tight and it still won't leak. For straight compression fittings the rubber fuel hose pieces work well. Available from vendors https://www.modeltford.com/item/2913N.aspx
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Corey Walker » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:35 pm

The problem with the fitting isn’t so much will it seal if you tighten it as it is will it be positioned for the fuel line to fit. Cast iron will break if you over tighten a fitting into it but you can cut the threads a little deeper with an 1/8” pipe thread tap carefully so that it will screw in the right amount and face the correct way then use whatever sealer (if any) you want. I did this where I have twist oilers so that the holes for the oil are on top for shackles and forwards on the spindle bolts to make them easier to oil.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Scott_Conger » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:39 pm

Jeff

I too have used white tape successfully. I grew tired of picking the shards out of carbs with tweezers when disassembling the elbow, or tracking down an errant piece in a customer's carb when they used the stuff. I found the "yellow" stuff to be heavier and less susceptible to the shredded extrusions that the white does, and it sealed just as well. I suggested it's use for quite awhile after that. In either case the elbow must be tightened more than if using #2 and the slipperiness of the stuff lends itself to overtightening the elbow. I now suggest #2 as it seals great, the fitting doesn't have to really be tight and will never ever leave debris behind when removed.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by henryford2 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:53 pm

I'm with Scott on the perils of the incorrect use of teflon tape on fuel lines. Attached is a nice article that may help with your decisions as to what to use. Enjoy

https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/u ... ?docId=563
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by George Andreasen » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:09 pm

Corey Walker wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:35 pm
The problem with the fitting isn’t so much will it seal if you tighten it as it is will it be positioned for the fuel line to fit. Cast iron will break if you over tighten a fitting into it but you can cut the threads a little deeper with an 1/8” pipe thread tap carefully so that it will screw in the right amount and face the correct way then use whatever sealer (if any) you want. I did this where I have twist oilers so that the holes for the oil are on top for shackles and forwards on the spindle bolts to make them easier to oil.
As most of use know, pipe fittings are a tapered thread so really "crankin 'er down" will literally cause a wedging action....and split things you don't want to split.

About using an 1/8" pipe tap.... I had to grind the end of the tap, reducing its length, in order to get it in far enough. Otherwise it simply bottoms out in the carb.

Although I've used pipe tape and several kinds of "dope" over the years, I found that that those pipe dope "sticks" in a small cardboard tube work very well. Seals very well without a lot of fuss. It does tend to turn hard after time where it's exposed to the air though.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Rich Bingham » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:14 pm

FWIW. I've always used the original felt packing, never had a leak, never had a problem.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Scott_Conger » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:45 pm

For comparison, Tech Data sheets for Permatex #2 and #3. The only difference I can see is that #2 is a paste and cures semi-flexible and #3 is a viscous liquid and cures to a pliable film. Regarding use on threaded fittings, resistance to chemicals, and temperature rating, they are equivalent.

https://441py33rout1ptjxn2lupv31-wpengi ... /80011.pdf

https://441py33rout1ptjxn2lupv31-wpengi ... /80019.pdf

FWIW
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Joss » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:03 pm

Interesting thread. What would be most important is using a steel line - NEVER copper. Over the years we have lost several Model Ts and at least two owners have died when a copper line cracked and fuel caught fire.
As to Teflon tape I have never had to use it or Permatex to get the line not to leak. Again am sure some out there have driven lots more miles in their Ts.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Scott_Conger » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:55 pm

Willard

rereading your post I see that you are going to flare fittings. You will not need any tape on any thread of any fitting that is flared. The flare is it's own seal and the threads are for mechanical coupling and not sealing. The only fitting that will need sealing is the elbow/fitting going into the carb.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Alan Long » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:17 am

The question of if you use thread tape or not very much depends on what two items are actually doing the
job of sealing. For example, if you use the later style compression fittings for the “fuel line to elbow “ connection then thread tape is pointless as the sealing isn’t being done by the thread. If fuel is leaking between the nut and pipe
it’s caused by a poor seal on the collar or the two tapered points. Even the tapered thread on the “carburettor to elbow” joint shouldn’t require thread tape as the tapered threads should give a sharp edge seal. Problem is, 100 year old parts have
serviceable but worn threads and a sealing compound of some form is needed here in the majority of cases.
With the felt style seal, if fuel is dripping out along the pipe, then again the sealing function (felt) isn’t doing its job and thread tape On the threads could actually be a reason for this by not allowing the nut to tighten up enough to compress the felt.
As mentioned previously, leave a couple of threads free of sealant to prevent ingress into the carburettor
Just my experience. Alan


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Gonenorth » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:51 am

I have used blue Gorilla tape as it is fuel resistant on threads. Three years later it's holding well and no leaks. Sometimes when I think leaks may happen on connections or gaskets exposed to fuel, I smear on a thin coat of EZ-Turn and that seals well. Damming up gasoline leaks can be a challenge at times. Also used a piece of fuel line as a packing as well over the years. One practice I do pretty regularly is working some EZ-Turn into felt fuel line packings if I use them. Found that works very well for preventing drips over the long haul.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Dave Frost » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:29 am

Fuel resistant pipe dope on the elbow to carb joint is all that's needed. Works good on sediment bowl to gas tank too.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by 26troadster » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:27 am

I use Teflon tape on carb fittings and have for 40+ years. I have used it on every drag car carb and nitrous oxide system I have used for close to 35 years with no issues. Now every carb (Holley) and NOS systems say to not use tape on the connections because of the possibility of getting a piece of they Teflon in the systems. I personally have never had a leak on anything I used it on, even understand extremely high rpm conditions. Jmho


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Nv Bob » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:37 am

Have to use right kind of teflon tape its yellow made for aircrafts

What i use now in a product called "seals all"
Walmart or othe auto or home store carry it usualy it clear gas resistant sealer to repair plastic gas tanks
Nice thing is it easily removed from brass if joint ever has come appart


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Adam » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:44 am

Joss wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:03 pm
Interesting thread. What would be most important is using a steel line - NEVER copper. Over the years we have lost several Model Ts and at least two owners have died when a copper line cracked and fuel caught fire.
Now there is one for the “Rumor Mill”... Any actual documentation that this really happened, or just something you heard somewhere???


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by George Andreasen » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:36 am

Adam wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:44 am
Joss wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:03 pm
Interesting thread. What would be most important is using a steel line - NEVER copper. Over the years we have lost several Model Ts and at least two owners have died when a copper line cracked and fuel caught fire.
Now there is one for the “Rumor Mill”... Any actual documentation that this really happened, or just something you heard somewhere???
Yeah, I'd be interested in any documentation also. Of course no one would use copper on hydraulic brake lines as it won't stand the p.s.i. involved. As for gas lines copper is soft, pliable and if bent in a "lazy s" at turns will withstand vibration very well. Think of it this way, copper lines are used on refrigeration equipment (under pressure) all the time, and most of them vibrate like mad.

Bottom line is that I've used copper for fuel lines on everything from generators to tractors with no problem, so if there is an actual danger I'd like to know about it.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by revaz » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:10 am

Thanks for all your valid, varied, and interesting comments to my inquiry. I should have mentioned that I am using a Tillotson carb with a variety of couplings, flare adapters, and shutoff valve as shown. I know it looks like a plumbing nightmare, hence the reason of several chances for leaks. Given the need for alignment without being too tight and breaking, I will probably go with the Permatex #2. I hope this thread will also enlighten others as to the pros and cons of the varied methodology of sealing the gas line.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:21 am

Willard

with that much mass hanging off the carb, you would do well to secure the fuel line to the frame of the car back near the front seat riser (general location) to protect the carb from fracture. Do not allow the fuel line to dangle from the sediment bulb all the way to the carb. About 18" of fuel line extending forward to the carb from the secure point will allow sufficient flexibility of everything without stressing the fittings...particularly the elbow fitting. At least 90% of cars I see have no support of the fuel line and that can be a problem. Few know about Ford's securing clamp and even fewer use it. Make sure you have it or an equivalent.

Have a safe trip. I envy you.

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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Arnie » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:49 am

Scott:

With regards to Fords gas line securing champ, is that also for the 26/27 vehicles with the fuel tank in the cowl?

I currently do not have any securing clamp for the fuel line and want to know if I should have one and where! Or are you talking about only vehicles with the gas tanks under the seat? My gas line has a big "S" to allow the line to flex from the rigid shut off mounting to the Holley carb on the engine.

Just trying to remain safe.


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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Joss » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:01 pm

2005 in San Fernando a T copper line broke. Owner opened hood and line caught fire. The fire flared and the half full tank exploded. There are others from the 60s when I started with a Model A through the 90s with severe burns. Another death in Minnesota in the early 90s. Lots of fires with copper lines and injury if the owner raised the hood.
Agree with a fuel line shutoff. On a 26-27 not needed if you rebuild the shutoff at the tank. Just avoid the multiple connectors some have used to adapt modern carbs. Safety is more important than anything else.

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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:48 pm

Arnie

sounds like you're fitted up as stock and are fine. My comment was for earlier Ts with the tank either under the seat or in the trunk. Ford had a securing point near the pan ear on the passenger frame rail.
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by Dave Frost » Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:03 pm

Revaz, this might be a good candidate for the L shaped shut-off valve that the vendors sell. Would eliminate over half on your connections. Sort of pricey, but when playing with gasoline, would be worth it IMHO.

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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by DanTreace » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:50 pm

Will

Re-consider the plumbing on your carb....oh my :o :? That's a bunch!

Can't really do wrong with Ford method. Steel lines, large pack nut easy to tighten or remove when needed with the T-1917 tool kit open end wrench.

Add the hi-quality repro shut off too, at the carb. Keeps one from getting under and makes it a snap to drain the carb bowl when the T sits for a couple of weeks, that gas sitting in the bowl compromises the float, hinges, and needle valve.

IMG_4731 (800x595).jpg
Stock modified method in center, pack nut, but with modern gasoline tubing neoprene instead of felt, seals the best and reuses time and again. Steel line cut for it to fit fully into the connector, that way you have full support. Plus removal of the line only requires pulling back some, with a slight bend, and the gas line is free. Anchor the gas line to the frame with the Ford clip.

IMG_4250 (581x640).jpg
IMG_4270 (640x480).jpg
IMG_4272 (640x480).jpg
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Re: Teflon Tape for Carb Fittings

Post by otrcman » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:43 pm

"Now there is one for the “Rumor Mill”... Any actual documentation that this really happened, or just something you heard somewhere???"


OK, here is my personal experience with a copper line. It's a Model A, and it's engine oil, but the effect was the same.

Some years ago I bought an aftermarket oil filter kit for my 31 Model A. The kit included a length of 1/4" copper tubing to go from the block to the filter base. I kinda wondered about the use of copper, but figured for amount that I drove the car, it would be OK.

After installing the filter kit, my next errand was to take a package over to UPS. I tossed the package into the rumble seat and drove the 2 1/2 miles to UPS. When I walked around back to remove the package I noticed a line of liquid on the ground, coming from the street right up into the spot where I was parked. Ever the optimist, I thought, "Boy the last guy who parked here was in real trouble." As I returned to the car after posting the package I noticed a peculiar glint off the right front fender. And then I notice the same shine on the top of the running board. As I got closer, I realized that the fender was covered in oil and the running board was literally filled with oil. In a flash, I knew what happened.

When I opened the hood I saw that the copper line had broken at the fitting that went into the filter base. My first action was to pull the dipstick out to see if there was any oil left. One quart. Boy, was I relieved

The good news part of this story was that within less than a minute a fellow pulled into the parking lot. He was restoring a Model A and just wanted to look at the car. While we were standing there discussing the best way to get me back on the road and home, a second Model A owner pulled up to see what was going on. #2 guy allowed as how he lived very close and had fittings on hand to plug off the new filter system, and would go home and get the fittings, tools, and a few quarts of oil.

Before benefactor #2 could return, the UPS maintenance mechanic wandered out because somebody told him there was a Model A in the parking lot. The mechanic also owned a Model A. He walked back to his shop and bent me up a new steel line. By the time he had the new line installed, #2 arrived with the oil. We poured the oil into the engine and I was good to go. Nobody would take a cent for their trouble.

Lesson #1: Don't trust copper in a vibration environment.

Lesson #2: Model A guys are just great. And there seem to be a lot of them.

Lesson #3: One quart seems to be adequate for a short time.

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