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Fuel line deterioration

 
Author Hal

On driveway
#1 | Posted: 22 Oct 2014 17:56 
I removed the tank on our 2002 SV Caterham recently, and was surprised by the state of the rubber fuel lines, which showed bad cracking on the outer curvatures, right through the outer layer to a fabric layer underneath.

The car has only done 20,000 miles, from 2002 to 2004, with about three weeks use in 2006 in our hands.

Worth checking.....

Author Hal

On driveway
#2 | Posted: 30 Nov 2014 21:05 
I got new line via Stationary M25 traveller and fitted them so no more cracked line woes for me!

Also a new fuel level sender gasket....

Author Caterham Zetec
Driving through town
#3 | Posted: 1 Dec 2014 10:21 
When I changed form carbs to injection early in 2005 I obviously need new hoses. Following the advice of a fellow sevener who had recently carried out the same conversion I bought TFE hose and fittings from Think Automotive. It was nice quality stuff but not easy to work with in a car that had been on the road for many years with engine, gearbox diff, prop in place. On a new chassis with no mechanical bits and the opportunity to remove some panels it would have been much easier.

Anyway, I used the TFE hose from the HP pump to the fuel rail, fuel rail to regulator and regulator to swirlpot but to make life easier I used "proper" quality rubber hoses (from a well known supplier of kit car parts) from the main tank to the LP pump, LP pump to swirl pot, swirl pot to filter, filter to HP pump and the bleed from the top of the swirl pot to the main tank.

Move onto August 2009. Set off in the car and the smell of petrol was really strong. After a couple of miles I stopped and checked and quickly found the bottom of the swirl pot was damp with petrol so returned home. By then fuel was actually dripping onto the drive. I touched a couple of hoses and they simply snapped into pieces with more petrol running onto the drive. To get the swirl pot off I had to remove the seats and carpets, the drivers side carpet under the seat was soaked in petrol, I must have been lucky that day.

So I bought some more "proper" quality rubber hoses that were said to be compatible with modern fuels from a different national supplier of fuel system components, fitted them and enjoyed the car again with the intension of checking them frequently and replacing after another 4 years.

November 2013, car off the road, hoses still looked OK but decided to change them as intended while I had the opportunity. Once off the car they were far from OK. They were badly cracked but had not leaked at that time.

So the decision was made to replace the lot with TFE hose and fittings. Mods were made to the swirl pot and new unions bought for the LP pump. Complete pain to fit but all completed with much swearing and bloody knuckles etc. At the end I had to leave the 12mm hose that connects the bottom of the swirl pot to the filter then HP pump in rubber since I could not get a suitable sized TFE alternative and if I had found one I doubt if it would have been possible to work it into the space available. So that is still rubber with a 2 year replacement cycle. At least its easy to access.

So check you hoses regularly.

Author Hal

On driveway
#4 | Posted: 1 Dec 2014 19:35 
What's the line running from the rear to the engine bay made of? I didn't think about replacing that as I thought it was metal!

That's a rather scary story...

Author Caterham Zetec
Driving through town
#5 | Posted: 2 Dec 2014 08:55 
Hal:
What's the line running from the rear to the engine bay made of?

On my 1992 car (X-Flow originally) it was some form of hard plastic. A short length of rubber at either end to connect it to the pump, tank, regulator and carbs, bought form local pipe supplier. That survived from 1992 to 2004 and was still OK when removed. In fact I still have it in the garage somewhere and the last time I found it the rubber pipe was still perfect. The hard plastic pipe is still in the car, couldn't be arsed to remove it.

Author Nigel Riches
Planning a blat
#6 | Posted: 11 Dec 2014 05:19 
Hi Hal, my first post at this site, so might not get to you if its moderated?
I have just finished installing a 2l zetec motor, and decided to do away with as much rubber pipe as possible, using it only to join the lengths of stainless steel tubes, which hopefully will outlast any rubber component.
It took a fair amount of measuring and bending, but I feel it looks better than hose.
The original pipe in the car as delivered in 1982 was a P.T.F.E. tube of 5/16" diameter, this stuff is just about indestructible, just as Caterham Zetec describes.
Regards Nigel.
1982, zetec 2l, ali and BRG, and good old Clamshells

Author Hal

On driveway
#7 | Posted: 20 Dec 2014 12:35 
Nigel Riches
Stainless sounds good. Mine is still the hards plastic from front to back, seems to be holding up fine, unsurprisingly as it's only 12 years old, and the car's had less than 3 years use!

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