- pbrktrt wrote:
- Thank you for the response albertj. I work the counter at a NAPA store and unfortunately we don't have kits that will make the bends the factory line makes. I will search the stainless replacement, that sounds really good.
Well, I am not saying do this but here is a comment from experience. In 2010 I posted that I had not tried forming the plastic fuel line. Unfortunately I got my chance earlier this year. Short answer is it's not too tough.
Long answer: Nylon tubing is made by melting nylon pellets and then extruding the melted pellets through a die to make the tubing. Before it gets too cool it is wound on spools. This is why most cut pieces you see have a slight bend. The "dirty little secret" is it doesn't hurt to heat and bend it yourself, and it doesn't take much heat. When I did a fuel line repair (not on the Riv) I just took a hair dryer (not one my spouse liked though), heated the tubing with the warm air (install the end that already has fitting and then shoot area to be bent with hair dryer). When it is warm enough (a hair dryer will take a while, a real "heat gun" will go MUCH quicker but might blister the lines if you don't use good finesse). The lines will bend without a hassle; bend it to shape then immediately spritz it generously with cold water (the canonical old Windex bottle, just with water only) and Wha-La, the tubing now has the bend you made. Some bends (tight ones) you might want to make incrementally using a rod as a prop so the line does not get crimped -- conceptually kind of like using a mandrel to bend steel pipe. If you can do the bends off the car then instead of the water spritzing thing just use a bucket or pan of cold tap water to set your bends. To calibrate - you have to dunk the end of the nylon fuel line in boiling water and hold it there about a minute to get it soft enough to slide the barb in easily.
You will get a good gestalt for what you are doing once you are into it a while. Do not try to force the lines into a bend they are not ready for, or they will kink (this is a real issue with the boiling water method). The lines will blister if you over-heat them (this is a real issue with the heat-gun method, can't happen with boiling water method). Allow at least an hour for each line and an half-hour to practice on scraps to get the hang of it.
I wish I could say it was more complicated or "well you have to hold your mouth right" or some nonsense but hey, there's no more to it. Remember - you can also form the tubing by dunking in boiling water, it's just the right temp but you have to then have a good pattern for shaping your bends; in hindsight it was probably less hassle doing it on the car although again you have to be careful not to blister the line or burn your fingers. It is not a quick job.
Since you work at a NAPA why not get some scrap tubing if any is around and do a couple practice bends?
EDIT: I found other threads you really should look at:http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t7299-pin-hole-in-fuel-line