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Technical Ref: the red/see through fuel line...need to know

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Thunder Road, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 701

    fortynut
    Member

    I have always thought red plastic fuel lines were used by the 'hold my beer and watch this' element. Anything that deviates from a purely performance angle is against the grain that I was taught keeps you from hitting the wall. I know you who are red line believers think I am a geek, but riddle me this. Will red plastic fuel lines pass SCTA guidelines for safety? That's my standard of being acceptable. Maybe I am not good enough to be traditional as using the 'red' stuff, but then again my mother used to ask me, "If all the other kids jumped off a cliff, would want to be like them, and jump off, too?"
     
  2. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,016

    Cosmo49
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    LOL, use steel lines, bend carefully, install , then paint red.
     
  3. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 12,972

    tb33anda3rd
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    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    that has been mentioned, but at some point a flexible line is needed due to motor movement and vibration. do not use steel lines to go from frame to engine.
     
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  4. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 916

    texasred
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    from Houston

    There is always somebody that needs to piss on the electric fence himself
     
  5. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,528

    Ned Ludd
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    Besides making it a bit brittler at that moment, cold should actually be good for plastic. I'd rather try to find a way to accelerate plasticizer loss. That would require high temperatures and dry conditions. Try a good few hours in an oven just short of the flame point of the hose? You'd want to get anything volatile in the composition of the plastic to evaporate, so you can test what's left. Then some days under a sun-tan lamp to see how the by now possibly compromised material holds up to UV, and pressure test again.

    I'm not offering any hypotheses; I'm as curious as you are.
     
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  6. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 12,972

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    i have two more tests in mind. one involved my barbecue grill. i would fill the hose with water and a temperature gage. i too really want to see what it takes to get it to fail.
    for the two plus years i only ever used high test [94 octane], i am not sure if that is why it held up? maybe a lesser grade used more ethanol?
     
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  7. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 908

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    I used it in 1968 when I rebuilt my Y-Block. I wasn't bu 17 and thought it looked good and would last longer than rubber lines. I was really surprised a year later when I took it off and it was brittle and starting to crack.

    Can't blame that on ethanol. It was 103 Octane Leaded Hi Test.
     
  8. Old GW
    Joined: Feb 21, 2016
    Posts: 26

    Old GW

    Using plastic fuel lines on an engine is about as safe as using a plastic fuel filter.close to the engine.
     
  9. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 6,072

    5window
    Member

    Different kinds of plastic=different response. I am not sure that you're not comparing apples to oranges. But, I am not certain about that,either.
     
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  10. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 3,318

    Bandit Billy
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    I'm enjoying the Mr Science approach but unless the tests are being conducted with 15% ethanol crap gas they are not real world. Note: I am not suggesting BBQing a fuel line full of gas! Maybe a better test (no open flame) may be to use heat lamps for the temp, in steel buckets for containment, outdoors. Three buckets, three fuel lines, one with water, one with 15% ethanol "gas" and one with clear "no ethanol" gasoline.
     
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  11. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 8,344

    Blue One
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    from Alberta

    The old myth busters gang were interesting too for a group of morons. One got tired of their nonsense quickly.
    Apparently they are planning to reboot the show with a new group of morons, maybe they have an opening and would be willing to test red plastic fuel hose. :D
     
  12. So-cal Tex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,325

    So-cal Tex
    Member

    I will offer some real world experience ,not rumor, because I have had the red plastic fuel lines from Charlie Price at Vintage Speed on my '36 Roadster for over 10 years with no problems, yes it is hard and turned a little yellow however I have had worse luck the black rubber line that started leaking after a few years of under hood heat on amy '68 Charger........ maybe the plastic fuel line offered now is better quality than you guys remember from the '60's????
     
  13. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 390

    Beanscoot
    Member

    ...and no matter how many successful tests are done, there are those who will point out that there needs to be further testing (by someone else, of course).
     
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  14. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
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    i had a few other tests in mind. the hose spent some time plugged and full of water in the bird bath. after a bunch of freeze thaw cycles. it still held pressure. DSCF0007.JPG DSCF0008.JPG
     
  15. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
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    i heat my house with an outdoor wood boiler. for those that are not familiar with them, they are a giant wood stove inside a water tank [basically] . you load it with wood, the unit i have will hold a few wheel barrows of wood and when it is really cold will eat a cord a wood a week and it keeps the water in the tank between 170 and 180 degrees. it does this by blowing air into the burn chamber until the temp reaches 180°, then the fan shuts off and the air door shuts, smothering the fire until the temp drops to 170°, air door opens and fan starts etc...
    i thought this might be a good way to keep some heat on the fuel line. bad idea. i did not realize how hot the chimney exhaust got up to. there is about 8' of pipe above the fire. i knew the stuff wood burn and melt i should have measured the temp of the chimney exhaust, i was hoping for a few hundred degrees of steady heat. DSCF0011.JPG DSCF0010.JPG DSCF0009.JPG
     
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  16. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
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    a few hours later and a bunch of heat cycles and i noticed this........... DSCF0012.JPG DSCF0013.JPG even melted the zip ties.
    bad test. but i still have the short piece from the rear carb...........so stay tuned.
     
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  17. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 6,072

    5window
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    No 15% ethanol fuel around here that I am aware of. 10% or 0%, that's it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  18. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 390

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Wow, that stuff is crap!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 3,318

    Bandit Billy
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    Looks more like bacon
     
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  20. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 8,710

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    I have yet to see what the attraction to this stuff is to have so much attention put on it.
    I know, people are going to say "well, what attracts you to your choice in fuel hose".
    My response is; it works, no worries, no surprises.
    Does it pass the "traditional" test?
    I guess that depends on the crowd one runs with.
    Does my choice in fuel line give me peace of mind?
    Damn right it does!
     
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  21. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 6,072

    5window
    Member

    Well, like everything else, some folks like it, some don't I am not a fan of a few "traditional" themes-like a zillion louvers on every surface, or even beehive oil filters. I like simpler than fancy. But that is me. If your preference differs, I have no problem with that. I happen to like, but don't use, red fuel line. It doesn't quite fit the theme of my car.

    I do like the stress tests being run.
     
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  22. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 12,550

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member



    Better yet.. use steel lines and fit the red plastic line over it....Fits like a glove....no pun intended.
     
  23. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 12,972

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    abrasion test? decided to do a couple more tests using the line that went to my rear carb. st patricks weekend is the time to plant snow peas here in southern new england so i zip tied the hose to the tines of my roto-tiller. conditions: temps in the thirties, no real frost in the ground and a fresh layer of compost was spread over the surface. this is an established garden not hard packed virgin soil. multiple passes, tilling 8+" deep. one zip tie broke. when finished i cut the line loose and pressure tested it.
    planted the peas and transplanted some garlic. DSCF0001.JPG DSCF0002.JPG DSCF0003.JPG DSCF0005.JPG DSCF0004.JPG
     
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  24. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
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    before i do a better test to see how much heat it will actually handle i decided to fill the hose with 89 octane gas, plug the ends and hung it out on the garden fence post to sit in the sun. will leave it there and monitor it for a few months. DSCF0006.JPG
    DSCF0007.JPG
     
  25. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 390

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Extra points for the "Fun Power" B&S engine on the rototiller.
    Once upon a time kids took engines off of rototillers to put on Go-carts, but it looks like you put a cart (or Kart) engine on a rototiller!
     
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  26. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 4,778

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Haven't followed this thread but I still have a short section of what was once red plastic hose between my carbs. Had it going back to the pump but thought better of it after I had to tighten the clamps several times. I've kept the one piece, it's kind of handy being able to watch the fuel pulse through it on startup since the carbs are often dry if left sitting a week or two. Also when I run out of gas, which has happened more times than I care to admit.

    Capture.JPG
     
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  27. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,723

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    With the crap gas we have now I wouldn't worry about a cracked fuel line. ;)
     
  28. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,528

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    @tb33anda3rd : Another test, hopefully to silence the Temperance Society on here: fill a hose with straight vodka and leave it out next to the other one.

    The problem with the 10%-15% ethanol blends is that they're at the worst possible spot on the miscibility matrix for gas/ethanol/water, and that causes water separation issues. Surely no-one is suggesting that the fuel line is soluble in water? When you get to higher concentrations of ethanol that problem disappears. Under certain conditions a high-alcohol fuel can actually act as a fuel-system dryer, by keeping any water in the system in solution.

    Apart from a few compounds the thing which really doesn't like alcohol is cork. It puffs up. In a wine bottle that makes the cork a very effective seal as long as it remains in contact with alcohol, which is why wine bottles are customarily kept on their sides. But in the gland around the jet at the bottom of an H-series SU it is a different matter. Still not hard to solve.
     
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  29. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 3,318

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    I have tried this one myself, I pour the vodka in one end of the tube and the other end in a half empty coke bottle. The test is rather inconclusive so far but I will continue trying in the interest of science and safety. I'm thinking of adding ice.
     
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  30. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 12,972

    tb33anda3rd
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    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i went to a fuel seminar held by a rather large equipment dealer near here. they had a scientist from an additives company that spoke about the alcohol in the fuel. [this was when oil prices were sky high] he said he had taken random samples from gas stations and tested the amount of alcohol in the supposed 10% fuel, he regularly found much higher and even took a sample that was 35%. the major point of the seminar was to inform their customers about the damage the fuel was doing when it sat in a small motor [weed wacker, chain saw, mower etc...]. what they, and i have found since, is the alcohol actually draws the moister out of the air, to the point the water forces the alcohol out of solution, then, the alcohol, which was added to bring the octane to usable levels evaporates. thus in the short time of just a couple months renders it useless. to top it off it eats away at the aluminum carb bodies......loose, loose.
    is vodca the same as ethanol? i can cut the remaining test piece i have in half. hate to waste either....
    these tests are half serious, half for fun........
     
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