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  • Copper Fuel Line?

    OK, so here is the deal. I am plumbing in my fuel pump for FI and for some odd reason, the folks around here want more than $3-$5 per foot for the standard steel lines that one normally uses (not even stainless!). Anyway, the other day I picked up some nice 3/8" refrigeration copper (>1000psi rating) for about $1/ft. I had to buy a 20 foot roll, but hey that is a good deal.

    anyway, This stuff is nice and I can even bend it by hand instead of using a tubing bender, so anyone have any reason why I shouldn't use it for my fuel line? I'm running TBI, so we are talking about 20 psi max.

    I won't need all of it as I only need to run 1 line (the return will go through the old feed line). Maybe I'll build a still with the rest?

  • #2
    Dang it,I had a nice reply all typed out, and my computer decided to go on the fritz as I hit the submit button!

    Anyway, yes, it will be fine. I've used copper for fuel and return lines for years. Just avoid sharp edges and any rubbing, just as with a steel line. HB

    Comment


    • #3
      Copper Fuel lines

      Will the copper work with the higher pressure PI fuel systems?

      I am about to start an upgrade to a 5.3L FI Chevy and need to rerun the fuel lines.

      Will need to handle 60PSI

      Thanks

      Louis

      Comment


      • #4
        Way to soft of a metal. Will stress crack in no time. Theres a reason they don't run copper. Way to soft.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by redtail View Post
          Way to soft of a metal. Will stress crack in no time. Theres a reason they don't run copper. Way to soft.
          Now not meaning to argue, I really want the correct answer here, but this is the refrigeration line we are talking about. In theory it should be designed to work in repeated cycling at a much higher pressure than I or even louism58 will be using.

          I always assumed that they used steel because it is cheaper than copper, well normally it is anyway.

          Say don't they use copper tube when plumbing a mechanical oil pressure gauge?

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          • #6
            Hey just my two cents. Run what ya want.

            Comment


            • #7
              not a pressure issue...

              Tracaym, it will handle the pressure with no problem. Redtail has a point about it being 'soft' though. However, Hill points out to be careful with your routing in order to avoid vibration/rubbing. It most definitely will not handle what steel will in that respect. You'll need to make sure you have some sort of 'transition material' like a conversion to hose when it gets up near the motor. (Which you were probably going to do anyway.) If it's exposed somewhere to road debris and flying projectiles it could mean trouble. For the difference in the price of the steel I'd say give it a try. (That steel price is ridiculous, man...)

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              • #8
                well you certainly can run copper lines but i can list at least a few reasons why you shouldn't:

                1. DEA might come seize your jeep under federal moonshining laws
                2. that puke green color as it oxidizes
                3. can you say, copper thief
                4. copper is a gay metal, hence the color
                5. friends constantly pinching off fuel line as joke

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                • #9
                  You are talking Type K tubing it can handle pressure and some chemicals we use it where I work (Refinery) the other people make some valid points, it is soft kinks real easy if a small rock was to hit it, it could puncture also gas is very harsh I know you know this, we do not use copper in any hydro carbon service anymore, the gas will attack the copper and make it brittle from the inside out, the lab has big words for this but I could not spell them hell I cant even say them


                  LOL

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by the Captain View Post
                    well you certainly can run copper lines but i can list at least a few reasons why you shouldn't:

                    1. DEA might come seize your jeep under federal moonshining laws
                    2. that puke green color as it oxidizes
                    3. can you say, copper thief
                    4. copper is a gay metal, hence the color
                    5. friends constantly pinching off fuel line as joke

                    Actually I think that would be ATF or whatever they are calling themselves now.

                    And you are right, the meth heads have been raiding a lot of construction sites for copper wire and pipe.

                    Originally posted by redtail
                    Hey just my two cents. Run what ya want.
                    Like I said, I am just trying to figure this out. You have to admit that is seems rather odd that the recommended applications says refrigeration and LP gas up to 1000 psi, but as soon as you say 20 psi gasoline, people look at you funny.

                    I'll give the copper a shot, it is going inside the frame and yes, I will have the FI hose near the motor so it doesn't fatigue and work harden.

                    It should work until I can get a decent price on the steel line. Anyone know where a guy can get 10 feet of 3/8" steel tube for under $15?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RonS View Post
                      You are talking Type K tubing it can handle pressure and some chemicals we use it where I work (Refinery) the other people make some valid points, it is soft kinks real easy if a small rock was to hit it, it could puncture also gas is very harsh I know you know this, we do not use copper in any hydro carbon service anymore, the gas will attack the copper and make it brittle from the inside out, the lab has big words for this but I could not spell them hell I cant even say them


                      LOL
                      Looks like our posts crossed, that was however the answer I was looking for. Hydrogen embrittlement. I completely spaced that one, I should know better. I'll have to really look hard for the steel tubing now.

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                      • #12
                        ther is a large chemical difference between LPG and good old gasoline

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RonS View Post
                          ther is a large chemical difference between LPG and good old gasoline
                          X2. You don't have to worry about Hydrogen Embrittlement with regular gasoline. Moonshine is a lot more potent than 93 octane!

                          I've run copper fuel lines on tractors, skidders, my dump truck and my Jeep. Been running it for over 20 years with no problems. Being as my dad and I both worked in the pipe trades, (plumbing and pipe fitting) we always had it around, so thats what I used.

                          The PSI won't be a issue, it will handle 10 times + what you'll be running.

                          It is softer, but a rock will pinch a steel line just as easy as a copper one.

                          Just my 2 pennies.

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                          • #14
                            Unfortunately, because of our shortsightedness as good ole deal seeking Americans, we are outsourcing most of our raw steel to china and taiwan. Because they are making (for us . . .) really cheap tools and other throw-away crap products that we keep buying at harbor freight, wal-mart, etc; then breaking said crap and buying more crap. The result is that foreign markets are paying more than us for iron and steel, hence the huge price increase across the market! Yeah consumerism! And yeah for stupid people! And yeah for 3-5 dollar a foot steel tubing. . .

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                            • #15
                              Copper Fuel lines

                              OK, since I have not started my conversion yet I ahve time to figure out what to do.

                              I think I will shop around for braided steel fuel lines rated for FI for the feed. even if it cost a bit more. That way I will not have to deal with it again. I hate doing a job 2x when if it was done right at time 1 I would not had had to go back.

                              Can I use the installed current fuel line for the return? Or is it too small? If I only have to run one new line that would be good but will do what has to be done

                              thanks

                              Louis

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