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Replacing Steel Fuel Lines
11-05-2010, 04:08 PM
2000 Intrigue GLS 3.5L 143k
(though I expect the fuel lines to be pretty much the same on all years)
I need to replace all 3 fuel lines and 3 brake lines (right front was already replaced by a garage back in the spring when it blew out) because they are all severely rusted - yeah for Michigan winters + Salt!
I have a friend who is going to work on this for me (I'm not much of a mechanic - especially for this heavy-duty stuff), but only 2 (feed & vapor) of the 3 fuel lines are available from GM (return is not available) -- and they are over $100 each.
Has anyone replaced any or all of these? Did you buy the ones from GM or make your own? What sizes are the fuel lines? (I know the brake lines are 3/16") Any suggestions at least for making the missing return line? What kinds of fittings do these have on each end? Do you need any special tools?
Also, any suggestions for preventing the new lines from rusting?
I appreciate any help I can get!
11-05-2010, 04:35 PM
If they are as rusty as you say, a nice bottle of PB Blaster will come in handy.
Also, as with the brake lines, the right tool can make all the difference. There are wrenches made specially for line fittings. They go by many names. They can be called "flare wrenches" or "line wrenches" and there is also a version in socket form known as "crows feet".
Here is basically what they look like:
As you can see there is a small section removed so that the line can pass through and then you can get the socket onto the fitting, this is much better than using a crescent wrench or vice grips, and can make all the difference when removing a rusted fitting, especially considering they are usually made of soft metals.
I will warn you they are pretty pricey, I picked up a set of the crow's feet sockets at harbor freight for pretty cheap, and have been pleased so far with them. It is possible to buy a set of box end wrenches and make your own by cutting out a small section of the wall....safety glasses!
Thats about as much advice as I can offer on the mechanical side of things, Im pretty sure you can buy fuel line, I know you can buy brake line in various sizes and they really shouldnt be much different. In fact if you can get the right fittings, Id say go ahead and use brake line. Brake lines are built to handle much more pressure than an electric fuel pump puts out, and brake fluid is much more corrosive than gasoline, so why not?
Also the only thing that comes to mind for rust prevention would be to paint/coat the lines in some sort of rust preventor, this would be really tedious, but im sure its possible. The ones you have now have lasted 10 years with no treatment whatsover, and probably not being cleaned like they should...do you expect to still have your Intrigue in another 10?
11-05-2010, 10:05 PM
All the lines can be fabricated fairly easily, then fitted to the plastic hoses at the ends. Many supply houses will have the plastic quick connectors for the tank, filter, and engine ends of the steel tubing. Most places will have appropriate fittings to couple the brake lines to the ABS unit and hoses at the wheels/rear axle. It takes time, but is not difficult with a good tubing bender (i.e., Imperial Bender), tubing cutter, and proper hand tools.
You can also purchase line sets from the factory or the aftermarket from a company called "Fine Lines" and probably others. Either way, bleeding the brake system will be necessary and may require a scan tool to actuate the ABS solenoids and motors.
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