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What a mess!

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by teamhickman, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. teamhickman

    teamhickman 1/2 ton status

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    So I was working on the truck today and took it for a quick drive to see how it was running after setting the timing and "playing' with the carb. I got about 2 blocks from the house and it started shooting oil from the engine compartment (no hood) and all over the windsheild.

    So after shutting it down and coasting to the curb I got out and saw the problem. The PO had installed a PLASTIC oil line for the oil pressure gauge?!?!?!?!?!? Needless to say, the line broke at the fitting to the block. I guess I'm luck it didn't break under the dash but damn, it's gonna take me a bunch of time to get it all cleaned up. He had covered it with vacuum line so I never thought to check to see if it was plastic.

    I thought everyone knows not to us plastic line for a high temp high pressure application like oil pressure. As I understand it, after time, the plastic gets brittle and breaks. Is this a "Fluke", anyone else running plastic line?

    Gonna be a fun day tomorrow.... :)

    Thanks,

    Andrew
     
  2. thedrip

    thedrip 1/2 ton status

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    Plastic line is what comes with almost every gauge on the market that comes with line when you buy it. Scary thing, too.
     
  3. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Yep, the one that came with the Autometer on my truggy is plastic too. Even high dollar oil pressure guages typically come with plastic tubes now.
     
  4. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Yep, mine came with a plastic tube too. Never did care for that much and I had planned on swapping it out. Now I'm definitely going to swap it out.
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    As long as it is supported against excessive "flopping" or localized flex (like a rigid mount that it works against much like bending a wire against vise jaws till it breaks) or chaffing, the plastic tube should be fine for that use. The pressure is not really that high nor is the heat high enough to cause major problems (since the oil does not pass through, the only heat transfer is radiant or VERY small convection). In fact, the modern polymers used to make those tubes quite likely have a longer service life than copper tubing which also will fatigue and break.
     
  6. thedrip

    thedrip 1/2 ton status

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    If you're going to break the plastic, you're going to break the copper too. In fact, with how much an engine moves around compared to the rest of the truck, you will probably break the copper first. Braided stainless, or a high pressure rubber hose (small hydraulic line or similar) is the only way to go.
     
  7. mosesburb

    mosesburb For Rent Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Unfortunately copper breaks too (and makes just as much of a mess--mine was in the interior though--my headlight switch will never rust now). The best luck I have had with lines is switching to steel braided line. I have used copper line on my vehicles though. The best luck I have had is sliding a piece of 5/32 vac hose over the line (to act as a po-boy vibration damper) and somwhere between the engine and grommet where it goes through the firewall, make a coil about two inches in diameter with about three wraps. Closer to the engine is better than closer to the firewall. I have had no failures with this setup in my vehicles as well as customer vehicles. I think the most important part of installing ANY line is not to overtorque the line nuts. The need to be tight, but don't reef on the thing until it stops turning completely because you will create a stress riser right at the ferrule (or nut, depending on what style setup you have) and end up with another unscheduled rust-proofing session.
     
  8. 70jimmy

    70jimmy 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Been there. Borrowed my Chevelle to my brother one time and he's a clutz and knocked into the guage with his knee beaking the line. He called me up and couldn't figure out why oil was shooting on his shirt after he started the car back up. @#$$#%&%^&^#$$%%

    I went at 3 a.m. mind you and took 5 minutes to fix the problem. DORK!!

    He wonders why I don't let hime drive any of my stuff anymore????
     
  9. teamhickman

    teamhickman 1/2 ton status

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    Well, it sounds like braided line is the way to go. I've had several in the past, all set up like Mosesburb mentioned, a couple of coils near the block and I've never had one break. I'll have to look around and see if I can find braided line that will work for this application or it's back to copper.

    Thanks for the input!

    Andrew :thumb:
     
  10. teamhickman

    teamhickman 1/2 ton status

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    Thats to funny :haha: I'll bet that was a serious mess to clean. I am lucky that it didn't break under the dash, That would have been a huge pain in the ass.

    Andrew



     
  11. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Sounds like I do need to at least add the coils. I was a geek about it and cut the line to fit and look all pretty with out excess. :rolleyes:
     
  12. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    My 70 K5 still has the OE steel line for oil pressure. How come noone uses steel lines anymore????
     

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