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Old 13th April 2005
ProfZ's Avatar
ProfZ ProfZ is offline
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Location: Meriden CT
My Saabs: 1990 900S 3-door auto. 1988 900S 4-door 5-spd.
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Default Splicing plastic fuel line

Yesterday, I did something stoooooopid

I was cutting out the rotted carpet in the driver's-side footwell. Disgusting job--the carpet was still wet and sticky from the antifreeze that had dribbled on it last year when the heater valve died. You can see where this is going...

Slashing away, I nicked one of the plastic fuel lines in the forward LH corner of the floorpan. Of course, fuel started seeping out instantly

Having recently redone the line-to-banjo connection at the fuel rail, I knew that the plastic line can be spliced to other materials. But even if I could find the necessary 1/4" barbed metal connector (and I even thought of brazing one up from 2 cut-down banjos), it would be impossible to push into the 2 parts of the line; the plastic is that tough.

I experimented with a spare piece of the fuel line, and found that the plastic is very strong under compression; I could not crush (implode) the tube when applying even pressure from all sides at once. This suggested a fix:

(1) With a sturdy utility knife and a block of wood as an "anvil," make 2 cuts through the fuel line to eliminate the damaged portion. The cut at each end of the line should be square (perpendicular to the line's center axis).

(2) Cut a 1" piece of 5/16" (innner diameter) rubber fuel hose.

(3) Insert each end of the fuel line into the piece of hose, trying to get the ends as close as possible to each other. Fit 2 tiny hose clamps on the hose (don't use the squeezy-springy ones); the strength of the plastic lines means you can screw the clamps down as tight as you would with metal lines.

That's it (what--you expected more?)

I've just driven the car for a whole day, and no leakage

*edit* I used regular fuel line, because the splice is so short that ballooning won't be a problem. For replacing longer sections of fuel line, you should get fuel-injection hose (which has stronger walls).

Last edited by ProfZ; 15th April 2005 at 07:48 PM.
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