Register now to get rid of these ads!

Customs copper oil pressure line vs plastic

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ned5049, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. ned5049
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 306

    ned5049
    Member

    Went to the parts store in my Merc recently. When I got out I saw a streak of oil behind the car on the pavement. I had used a plastic tube for the oil pres gauge that came with the gauge set. Told myself I would put something better on but never did. The plastic completely broke off right at the fitting on the engine. [Olds 350 R code.] If I had't stopped when I did, it would have bled out, maybe before I noticed the pressure drop. I picked up a copper installation kit at adv auto and installed it . Oil pres reading a tad higher. Interesting ! I feel confident using the copper but would like something better. Thought maybe a 1/8 inch braided line to the firewall to a coupler I've in Summit and then a short copper line to the gauge. Any ideas out there?
     
    das858 likes this.
  2. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 614

    B Ramsey
    Member

    I can't believe they sell the plastic line still. Killed one of my dad's engines when I was little. Never used them since. Always copper tube.
     
  3. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 6,913

    noboD
    Member

    Copper will break, it work hardens from vibration. Use cunifer tubing, a copper nickle alloy that is flexible and easy to form.
     
  4. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 368

    badvolvo
    Member

    My 1959 Vette still has the original copper line installed in 59. A little coil on it absorbs the vibrations, expect it will outlast me.
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,545

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've had both break right at the fitting at the gauge in the past. A bit of hot oil on the leg lets you know you have a problem real quick.
    Agreed that a couple of loops/ coils at each end go a long way to dampen the vibration.
    I'm going to look into the cunifer tubing now that I see it suggested though.
     
    deucemac, chryslerfan55 and Hnstray like this.
  6. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,685

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Exactly my experience many decades ago.....hot oil on the leg does get your attention. In those days nylon/plastic lines were unheard of, it was copper that fractured. The loops at either end are the answer and were routinely used on most factory installs of mechanical oil pressure gauges. Mopars of the late '40s/early '50s used a rubber pressure line between the engine and firewall. Ironically, the line that broke and doused me with oil was in my '53 Plymouth that had copper (or maybe steel) between the firewall and gauge.....o_O

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
    chryslerfan55 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  7. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 368

    badvolvo
    Member

    I had one of those plastic lines (supplied with the gauge by autometer) blow on my turbo 6 back in the day while making a 1320' pass. It broke inside the car, sprayed my legs down with hot oil. BUT I was thrilled to find out what it was, I was expecting something worse. We plugged it at the fitting on the engine, refilled with oil and raced the rest of the night and won the event. If it didn't spray my legs, I expect I would have blown the engine before I noticed it.
    I'm sure there are better options than the copper, but it is traditional.
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,460

    squirrel
    Member

    years ago Chevy used copper lines on the oil pressure gauge on the trucks, they held up pretty well. Then they switched to steel lines, with a few coils, and they did ok...although I did have one break, but it had an engine swap and was not following the original routing.

    I learned about plastic lines and heat a long time ago, I use copper on mine. I've had a copper line crack and start leaking, but it didn't break off. Had a lot of miles on it, by the time that happened.

    So...I'd suggest you use copper, and replace it regularly every 50k miles or 10 years, whichever comes first.

    The fancy braided stuff with AN fittings, will work well too, but kind of expensive, bulky, and a PITA to install. And there are more places for it to leak from.
     
  9. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,375

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Do they even make Cunifer small enough for this?
     
  10. ned5049
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 306

    ned5049
    Member

    I did put a coil in the line at the engine fitting end to soak up vibration. Also the line was a little long and did not want to cut it. 20180801_100844 (1).jpg
     
    48chevroterco and chryslerfan55 like this.
  11. ned5049
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 306

    ned5049
    Member

    Saw a plastic line on a friends car literally slide right out of the sleeve of the compression fitting on the back of the gauge.
     
  12. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 842

    34Larry
    Member

    Also on the plastic front are those plastic looking clear fuel lines, that back in the day ran from a fuel block usually on the fire wall to the tri-power carbs. I still see them in use at shows. Hard plumbed with stainless tubing is what I did on my 57 with coils even on that install. It just looks dangerous with all that fuel passing through just above those frying hot exhaust manifolds.
     
    chevy57dude and 5window like this.
  13. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,709

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Ummmm..... What's an R-code olds 350????o_O:confused:
     
  14. We ran plastic lines on the stock cars, the copper stuff would break from the shock the cars took. Give the plastic line a couple of loops and it was happy.
     
    54vicky and gimpyshotrods like this.
  15. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 6,776

    5window
    Member

    Probably will, but you'll know if it doesn't
     
  16. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,751

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Had an OT car I had installed aftermarket gauges in. The copper line for the oil pressure gauge "telegraphed"; it went tick, tick, tick. Swapped to plastic and it went away. I can see problems with any line; all it takes is heat, vibration, and time. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  17. ned5049
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 306

    ned5049
    Member

    R code Olds is a 350 engine made by Oldsmobile in the 70's for for their cars but they also installed 350 Chevys in some models {88's}. Mine is a 77 engine
     
  18. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,213

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Yes it will, lost a near new rebuilt Chevy 250 because of it.
     
  19. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,685

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    'Rocket' ! ;)

    or under the circumstances of the day...'Real'
     
    XXL__ and Deuces like this.
  20. wood remover
    Joined: Dec 23, 2012
    Posts: 852

    wood remover
    Member

    Cant wait to see the face of the kid at napa when I ask for 1/8 th cunnifer tubing
    LOL
     
    3340, Montana1, badvolvo and 3 others like this.
  21. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,304

    Slopok
    Member

    Plastic and braided aren't traditional!o_O
     
  22. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,709

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Big deal! Your gonna bicker about it??? I've used both with no problems...

    I'm sorry.... All 3 of them! :rolleyes:
     
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,213

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Myself, I'd feel more secure with braided line, if pleasing the traditional police is an issue just cover it with black shrink wrap.
     
    INVISIBLEKID, Hnstray and Deuces like this.
  24. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 6,913

    noboD
    Member

    Google it, they do make it.
     
  25. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,709

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Great idea!!!!!!.... :)
     
  26. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 784

    4wd1936
    Member
    from NY

    No plastic for me. Funny story. Back in the 70s, I think Lincoln was president, my little girl, about four at the time, and I were coming back from picking up a couple of Christmas trees in the winter beater, a 47 pick-up with a 289 and 4-speed, old 50s radio in the dash. Cruising along listening to Christmas music my daughter says " Dad, there's oil coming out of the radio" Sure enough, in the cold the plastic oil line in the gauge above the radio had snapped and what a mess. Quick stop, bend the line over and the princess holds it all the way home still laughing. An hour or so with the steam cleaner and all was well with the added benefit of rust proofing the floor. We still laugh about it today, like to have those years back, she learned to shift a four speed in that truck.
     
    Truck64, clunker, bobss396 and 4 others like this.
  27. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,580

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    I've used both (copper and nylon/plastic) with good results
    I guess some of it is the installation and or care..! One guy above noted that his friends plastic line "slid right out of the fitting"..! I rest my case.

    In one of my cars, it has the nylon/plastic line in it. Been there for over 17 years, and it's a "daily driver..!"
    My current "daily driver" (still under construction), also has plastic oil pressure line...Teflon...stainless braid over Teflon tubing..!

    Mike
     
    Hnstray, Deuces and deathrowdave like this.
  28. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 1,606

    BuckeyeBuicks
    Member
    from ohio

    Back in HS auto shop(68-69) one of the guys had a cherry 57 Chevy Bel-Air 4 door Ht. he got from his aunt who had it since new. Like most of us he couldn't stand to leave it alone, long shackles, used mag wheels, scavenger pipes, all the cheap cool stuff. He put a oil and amp gauge set under the dash with plastic oil tubing. One Friday he was telling us he had a drive-in date with a very friendly girl we all knew to be pretty loose. Long story short, they got to fooling around in the front seat and when he fired it up to leave they got soaked with oil. He was pissed, the girl was super pissed and that cherry Chevy interior was never the same.
     
    Hnstray, deadbeat and Deuces like this.
  29. Vimtage Iron
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 497

    Vimtage Iron
    Member

    On engines where I can get away with it I use 1/4" synflex line,it is plastic but uses the same fittings as copper tubing, and you put a sleeve inside the line to keep from crushing it,its thicker walled than plastic and won't break, its rated over 150 as it is used in the trucking industry on the air systems. Cover it with the old asphalt loom covering and your in it.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  30. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,436

    choptop40
    Member

    Seems that plastic is better , the coiling is new to me...although I bent loops into my brake lines coming out of wall mounted master cylinder GM style...
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.