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Old 12-23-2006, 07:57 PM
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Revamping Fuel System

I'm about to start on totally revamping my fuel system(1974 Nova SS). So far I have almost all the parts I need. I think.

This is what I have:
- Brand New stamped steel fuel tank, factory coating on the inside.
- 3/8 steel fuel line - 25'
- Fuel line bending tool.
- Old fuel guage sending unit
- old fuel lines(already removed)

Here is the fuel line I purchased. Just waiting for it to arrive:
http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...055014163&rd=1

Here is the new gas tank:
http://www.webdummy.net/nova/winter/DSCF0234.JPG

Old Gastank:
http://www.webdummy.net/nova/winter/DSCF0223.JPG
http://www.webdummy.net/nova/winter/DSCF0219.JPG

Place where gastank was:
http://www.webdummy.net/nova/winter/DSCF0220.JPG

1st known problem...
Fuel sending units for a 1973-1974 nova are not reproduced(from what I've found). My old sending unit is VERY rusty and the sock resembles a rusted out tube. When I pulled the unit out it was hard to tell the sock from the outlet pipe. Not to mention it was FULL of rust on the inside. The entire tube that sits inside the tank is also covered in an outer layer of rust. I'm not sure what the inside of the tube is like. I imagine its pretty gross. How do I clean this thing up? Whats the best way? Can I test its functionality before installing? Prior to removal the guage had no wires running to it so I don't know if the thing actually works. Does anyone know of a company that makes new ones? Tanks from 1975 and up look very similar to mine... Woudl they have the same sending unit?

2nd known problem...
How do I connect two steel lines? I noticed in the old fuel lines there was a 3/8 rubber hose connecting two original 5/16's steel lines running underneath the car. I'm assuming this was to allow everything to move a little if anything flexed. Is this right?

3rd...
Where should I rout the new fuel lines and how should I hang them? I've heard people saying you should follow the stock rout. Is this the best choice? I still have the original hangers from the old fuel line. Can I reuse these?

4th...
Flaring tools, what do they do and how do I use them? I can borrow for the day a flaring tool from a local parts supplier. The only thing is the guy said they take some getting used to. Any tips? Does a flaring tool roll the end of a line so that fittings can be used and they have some way to grip the tube? Should they be used to round the end of a line so a rubber hose won't slide off?

5th...
Should I replace my old fuel tank straps? How do I tell if they're still good? I would hate to have my $300 fuel tank fall our from underneath my car! I'm a student on a serious budget and can't afford another.

6th...
How should I seal the outside of my fuel tank and fuel lines? I really like the unpainted metal look but don't want it to rust out right away. A friend of mine suggested something before I got the tank but I didn't have a chance to write it down.

I think thats all. Its a lot of questions but I've never touched anything like this before and my parents tell me everyday I should have bought a civic... They aren't the type that would get their hands covered in grease

Thanks,
Luke
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Old 12-26-2006, 01:53 PM
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About the sending unit. To have a true 3/8 fuel system, you will want to install 3/8 line into the tank. You can solder a new line in or have a rad/gas tank shop do that. They can also replace that raunchy sock.

Join the sending unit to the 3/8 line with neoprene hose and a couple of good quaility clamps.

I would route the line in the original location.

Replace the straps (good insurance). I always put in a strip of rubber between the tank and straps.

I would paint the tank, with silver rust paint if you want that look.

BTW...aren't you glad you didn't buy a crappy Civic.
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
About the sending unit. To have a true 3/8 fuel system, you will want to install 3/8 line into the tank. You can solder a new line in or have a rad/gas tank shop do that. They can also replace that raunchy sock.

Join the sending unit to the 3/8 line with neoprene hose and a couple of good quaility clamps.

I would route the line in the original location.

Replace the straps (good insurance). I always put in a strip of rubber between the tank and straps.

I would paint the tank, with silver rust paint if you want that look.

BTW...aren't you glad you didn't buy a crappy Civic.

At this point in time my engine doesn't need a 3/8 line but I figured since I have no plans of selling the car and 3/8 or 5/16 costs the same I went with the larger. I'm on a very tight budget over winter to get the vehicle runnign again and I would like to redo the suspension yet. Is there anyway to seal up the old pickup line? Or am I better off just spending the money now and actually fixing it? How much do you think it would cost?

So far I know that the guy driving the cavrilier that I lit up wishes he bought a nova :p
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:10 PM
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Thing is, you dont want to be taking the tank in and out......fix it right the 1st time. Getting the 3/8 line soldered in shouldnt be too expensive.
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:14 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I'll start phoning around to the local radiator shops as soon as they're open.

*EDIT*
I just phoned around to a few places and it will be about $75 to have a new fuel line installed in the sending unit. My radiator has a broken fin so i'll probably take it in at the same time.

For finding replacement fuel straps; what should I look for? I'm hoping the fuel tank straps are fairly generic and I can simply order them from my local GM service center. Any suggestions for this? A lot of times when I call them and ask them for parts they find out they have to look it up in a book and simply tell me they don't carry them.

Last edited by topdogger; 12-26-2006 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:19 PM
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Well I'm waiting for my 3/8" fuel line to come in. Until it comes in I can't have the work done on the fuel sending unit.

I can't seem to find new fuel tank straps though. Does anyone know where I can find these?
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:13 AM
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There is nothing wrong with rubber line and clamps, in fact you have to use them between the line and the fuel pump to allow for the engine movement. Its also best to use it from the tank pickup tube to the hard line so you have some flexibility when hooking it up.

When I had a shop put in a new pickup tube, I had them make the hard line really long so that it extended past the edge of the tank. The original had a little stub with some rubber line on it. If you wanted to replace it, you had to drop the tank. If it was leaking, you had to drop the tank. Anyway, I had them bring the line all the way out and then solder it to the tank at the edge so it didn't break the solder where it goes in the tank. That way, it was one piece of hard line all the way out to the edge of the tank so you could get to it without dropping the tank.

On the subject of flaring. I like to use flares where I can for fuel line, but only if you need it. Sometimes it makes it easier to make two pieces of fuel line than trying to snake one long piece in the framerails. If that's the case, borrow a flaring tool from the parts store. Buy a female-female union and two flare tube nuts. You don't need to double flare like for brake line, but make a good clean, square cut and deburr it inside and out. Slide the nut on, flare the end, and assemble. Super reliable. Over a few years, rubber will vibrate, flex, and start feeling the ravages of fuel and environmental things. The tubing itself will rust away before that flare fitting fails.
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