Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:14 pm

I get the original fuel line was steel, is that why people use steel when they make a new one?

What's wrong with rubber? Is there some reaction with the gasoline that makes it bad? It seems like a lot of small engines have rubber fuel lines.

What about copper line? Sure it's more expensive, but for just a few feet, wouldn't the ease of use be worth it?

This is coming from a guy that's planning to rebuild his carb & fuel bowl soon. And do the ball valve mod while I'm at it. and hence the new fuel line.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:23 pm

the rubber does deteriorate, and the copper gets brittle with the operating vibrations of the cub. Steel brake line 5/16 bends easily and works great

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:40 pm

DieselDennis wrote:I get the original fuel line was steel, is that why people use steel when they make a new one?.
Lot of folks will tell you that neoprene hoses are a fire hazard. Although I'm not so sure. If you look around, neoprene fuel lines are and have been used by many manufactures.

It seems like a lot of small engines have rubber fuel lines.
Yes they do. Also some manufactures use a type of plastic hose. Frequently within inches of the exhaust system/muffler.

Really your choice - what you think best for your application. If you plan on making or using some or all steel fuel line, Dale's suggestion on brake line works great.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:27 pm

Dennis:

Does the term Krispy Kub bring anything to mind? Copper line will break from the vibration and that will increase the possibility of fire. Rubber hoses can also wear and crack leading to the possibility of fire. Steel brake line isn't very expensive ... well worth the investment. I won't use anything else but steel fuel lines on my Cubs.

Does my John Deere have plastic lines? Yup, sure does - came from the factory that way. I don't much like it. Most of my outdoor equipment that has small engines such as B&S or Tecumseh all have plastic, neoprene, rubber fuel lines. But they are not Cubs and Cubs came from the factory with steel lines.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:46 am

I prefer steel lines because they are "correct" when doing a restoration. They are fairly inexpensive (a BIG plus) and durable. If I was going to make a fuel line it would be my first choice. That said I am absolutely, positively, 100% not scared of a rubber or copper line. I never really checked closely but I'm pretty sure my 'pretty' Super A has a copper line (it looks copper at least) and it has been there at least as long as I have been here--and I'm 38....

Al

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:37 am

The only other thing I could add is that your fuel line on a Cub runs right by the exhaust pipe, if you have an underslung exhaust. The first three I made up were all on Cubs or Lo Boy tractors with the underslung exhaust, and you end up running the fuel line within an inch of that exhaust pipe. There was never any choice in my mind when I actuall looked closely at them. If you have standard exhaust through the hood, then I don't think it really matters much, other than a rubber fuel line flopping around there just looks bad, in my opinion.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:16 am

Yeah, other things have plastic/rubber fuel lines, but they do not LAY RIGHT ON THE EXHAUST PIPE.

If you've got a Cub with an underslung exhaust, the exhaust pipe and the fuel line have to cross paths. It's almost impossible to run a floppy rubber fuel hose without running the risk of it laying on the pipe.

People do it and get away with it. Both my first two Cubs were set up like that when I got them, both underslung exhausts. In fact the one had the fuel filter laying right on the exhaust pipe.

Steel is a one-time deal. Once you have the line made up it'll be the last line you'll need.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:01 am

Rudi wrote:Does the term Krispy Kub bring anything to mind?

Yes it does!

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The guy I bought this from said the fuel line broke and ran onto the exhaust. He said before he could do anything it was in flames. He said he lost it and a small shed before the fire was out. A rubber line might last forever, but I want to be safe. I don't have all of mine converted, but it is slowly coming about.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:07 am

It all boils down to proper installation and maintenance , some cub owners should not have rubber fuel lines , heck some cub owners should not have cubs :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:41 pm

Ethanol that is in nearly all of our gas can be a culprit causing deterioration of non-metallic fuel lines. Many motorcycle gas tanks used to be made from fiberglass which worked well but gas with ethanol will deteriorate the fiberglass and ruin the tanks if used. Ethanol is know to degrade many materials. Will it degrade rubber or plastic fuel lines? I don't know. If rubber or plastic fuel lines are being used by manufactures, possibly they are using lines made specifically for ethanol/gas. I know the plastic fuel line in my chainsaws gas tank rotted away and had to be replaced by my dealer a while back.

Dollar wise, there can't be more than a dollar or two in any material you choose to use. Rubber is probably the easiest to install while steel may take a whole 10 minutes to fab up. Anyone that has experienced a flash fire can appreciate the fear and helpless feeling you experience when that fire erupts. Due to past experience, I keep fire extinguishers every where I have a tractor stored.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:14 pm

From a Fire Department perspective, plastic tanks, rubber or any non metallic fuel lines on power equipment containing a gallon or so of gas is not usually a big problem in the event that equipment is consumed in a barn, garage, or any other type of structure fire.

When you have gravity fed equipment containing upwards of ten gallons or more of gasoline with the tank shut off left open could make the difference between saving the structure or saving the stone or block foundation.

Yes, there are folks who never turn that fuel off and those that make a diligent effort to do so and occasionally forget.

Remember not to store your extra fuel in any building or garage attached to an inhabited dwelling, its just common sense.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:40 pm

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Should speak for itself.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:40 pm

One thing people don't realize is that copper hardens and becomes brittle with flexing and vibration there fore I don't want a full length copper fuel line on anything, Part copper part rubber gets over that part but the next to the exhaust it doesn't. I am not in favor of the correct police but I can't see shooting myself in the foot either

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:04 pm

I'm gonna stick w/the rubber fuel line. Easy to change every other year & I like being able to use the large clear in-line fuel filters like is used on larger lawnmowers. The sediment bowl doesn't catch everything. My fuel lines don't run anywhere near to where they'd touch the manifold or anything hot.

Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:20 pm

This is the fuel line that I make up.
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Works very well and I even went so far as to insert one of these inside the fuel line.
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For the full skinny on the fuel filter, go here http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=139&t=38266
I have placed fuel filters in probably half a dozen lines and have yet to have the first fuel starvation problem.

Bill