Fuel Lines

Jonathan Farrugia jfarrugi at umich.edu
Thu Aug 26 23:40:34 EDT 2004

okay i wasn't going to pipe up on this again but here goes.  i too work on
vanagons.  i just finished putting a new engine in 1984 vanagon from
arizona a few days ago.  i changed all the fuel lines in the process and
i never saw this supposed plastic breakdown on the fuel system.  the van
lived in arizona from new until two years ago.  other plastic parts broke
on this van during the rehab but nothing in the fuel system.  mostly
stuff in the engine compartment where it gets really hot next to the
engine.  i also drive a 84 vanagon that i did a engine conversion on.  it
started life in california then moved to montana late in its life, now
its in michigan.  i've been through the fuel system on that a couple of
times and have had no problems.  in addition to those data points i have
parted out two other vans of the same vintage and have never seen a
plastic line fail.  as note here the plastic lines in this vehicle are not
in the engine compartment like they are on the golfs and jettas

keep in mind that the stock fuel system on these vans incorporates plastic
fuel distributor pipes at the injectors, and the digifant golfs and jettas
also have plastic fuel distributor pipes.  these have plastic nipples
molded into them to accept the rubber fuel hose.  there was no
brittleness there when taking the old cracked dry rotted fuel lines off.


On Thu, 26 Aug 2004, Huw Powell wrote:

> >> Are there any durability issues with the plastic lines used on the
> >> old VWs?
> >
> > I have an '85 Vanagon which uses some plastic bits for fuel line
> > connections. They have brittled in the last 19+ years. A couple of
> > the pieces have crumpled with very little pressure.
> > As stated above, the get brittle. When replacing lines, I tried a
> > light twist on one piece and it fell to bits quite easily. I replaced
> > it with non-plastic.
> >
> > So, all in all, I'd venture to say the plastic is great for 15 or so
> > years, then starts to go downhill. I'd be suspect of any in older
> > cars, and have started replacing all the remaining pieces in the vw.
> > This car also has nylon line in a few places. This has held up fine:
> > still flexible and quite capable of carrying fuel under pressure.
> That was my gut feeling.  Although I have seen some fuel leaks on metal
> lines at the rubber doohickeys, my '82 coupe is still happy on it's
> original lines, so if you are lucky and don't get the rust-through, the
> metal will last a really, really long time.
> --
> Huw Powell
> http://www.humanspeakers.com/audi
> http://www.humanthoughts.org/
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