|[Click on Photo]
Figure 1: Fuel lines entering grommet in front end of tunnel
Figure 2: Fuel lines exiting out of the rear firewall
Figure 3: Fuel lines in front of car underneath gas tank
Figure 4: Right-angle fittings exiting firewall
Figure 5: Fuel lines bent underneath the fuel pump
Figure 6: Fuel lines in engine compartment
|| When 914s originally left the factory, they were
equipped with fuel lines made of plastic that ran down the center tunnel. With time, these
lines can age and become brittle and crack, leading to dangerous fuel leaks either
in the center tunnel or near the rear firewall. When I installed my 2.7 six engine in
my 914, I decided to replace
these fuel lines. The process is not too difficult, and requires a long
afternoon to complete.
The first step in beginning the replacement is to
gather all the parts you'll need to complete the project. To replace the lines
that run within the center of the car, I used Edelsman brake lines with English
flared fittings on each end. These are the same types of fittings that are used
on the 914 brake lines, although those fittings have a metric thread. Where the lines
exit the rear firewall, I used right angle fittings to make the bend around the
corner to the fuel pump a little easier. Here's a list of what you'll need:
- 3/8" brake lines 60" in length with flared fittings
- 5/16" brake lines 60" in length with flared fittings
- 3/8" brake lines 40" in length with flared fittings
- 5/16" brake lines 40" in length with flared fittings
- 5/16" right angle elbow flared to NPT
- 3/8" right angle elbow flared to NPT
- Female NPT to flared adapter
- Female NPT to flared adapter
- 1/4" and 5/16" Rubber Fuel hose (about 5-6 feet total)
- A roll of Teflon tape and eight small hose clamps
- A small pipe bender
Pelican Parts can provide you with all the parts that you need in
a single kit for assembly. Drop us a line if
you're interested, or visit our ordering page for
more information on ordering your parts from us.
The first step in replacing the fuel lines is to remove the fuel tank.
I would recommend the removal of the front hood, which is usually a two-person job. I
wouldn't recommend attempting it yourself, or you might drop the hood when you
least expect it. Following the removal of the hood, you need to empty the gas tank.
This can be accomplished a variety of ways. You can remove the belly pan from
underneath the rack and pinion, reach up through an access hole underneath the tank, and
clamp the rubber lines leading from the bottom of the tank. Then the lines may be clipped,
and the tank lifted up on its side where it can be drained at a later time. This
method sometimes works well, and sometimes spills gasoline all over the place. Another
method is to hook a line up to the fuel pump. A long 1/4" clear hose from Home
Depot should do the trick. Clamp the lines leading to the pump, and then disconnect
the supply line to the fuel injection. Connect the long hose to the fuel pump,
and place the other end in the gas tank of another car. Turning on the ignition will
then let the fuel pump empty the tank. Note: this will not work with a car equipped
with the 1.8 injection system. In order to get the fuel pump to run
with a 1.8, you need to directly wire the pump to a 12V source. Make sure you
don't run the pump backwards by mistake. After the tank is empty, clip the lines that
lead from the bottom of the tank. You can throw these away, as it is best to use new
fuel lines. Remove the top overfill canister and disconnect the fuel sender line. This
step is often overlooked. Loosen the strap that holds the tank in place and lift
it out of the car.
Here's some more tips on emptying the tank from Andy Green:
To get the 1.8 fuel pump to run (so that you can empty the tank,
simply remove the air filter top, carefully stick your finger in to the air meter and
gently lift the flapper (with the ignition on). This is easier than hot wiring the pump,
and probably a lot safer for the electo-mechanically challenged. You can put the
drain hose on the output side of the pressure regulator then flip it out of the engine
compartment, over the left side of the car, into your container. This works well since you
are standing on the left side to actuate the pump--it is easy to cordinate the flow and
the hose, as well as not overflow the container. It can all be done from on top of the car
and you don't have to mess with the pressure side of the lines. Also, on either 2.0, 1.7
or 1.8 be careful not to over run the pump when the tank empties. The fuel cools it--no
point shortening its expensive little life!
At this point, it probably would be a wise idea to carefully inspect and
clean the tank. There is almost always a whole bunch of crud in the bottom of
the tank. Finding someone with very small hands to reach down into the tank helps a lot.
Also, inspect the tank on the outside for areas of rust. I've heard reports of holes
forming in tanks where they rest against the felt pads in the inside of the front
Once the tank is out, you can remove the old lines. Disconnect the
plastic lines from the rubber ones that lead to the fuel pump. Again, throw away these
lines and replace them with new ones. The cost of new fuel hose at about a dollar
a foot is a worthy investment. Once the lines are free, pull them out of the plastic
clips attached to the firewall. At this point, move to the front of the car underneath the
dash and gain access to the center tunnel through the access hole near the gas pedal.
This will require the removal of the front carpet and/or the center console if
you have it installed. This port can be seen in Figure 1. Pull the two lines out of the grommet
that fits in the wall. The plastic lines have steel ends on them where they go through the
firewall. Proceed back to the rear of the car, where you should be able to pull the
lines through to the engine compartment. You may have to twist and yank on them
in order to get them out. You can poke and prod them to through the access holes
along the center tunnel.
Once the lines are out of the car, you can install the new ones.
Prepare the lines by cutting off one end of the line and removing the nut fitting.
It is not necessary to deburr the line just yet, as you will need to make
another cut when you size the line. Cover the ends of the lines with tape so
that you don't get debris inside them. Insert the two lines into the grommet at the
firewall and feed them through the center tunnel. This may require some prodding
through the various access holes in the center tunnel. I've heard reports of this
being a difficult process, but mine went in real easy. It certainly is easier
with the engine removed from the car.
Now you need to size and cut the lines. Remove the grommet from the
front of the car underneath the gas tank. Bend the lines to feed into
the hole where the grommet used to be. Push the lines into the gas tank
compartment as far as they can go. Now measure the length at which the lines hang
out in the back of the engine compartment. I made my lines sit as close to the
firewall as possible as to not interfere with the motor. This is shown in Figure 2. Measure how much you need to cut
off, and then remove the lines from the car. Make sure to add a little bit extra (1-2
in) because you will have to bend the lines to make them fit right into the forward
grommet, as shown in Figure 1.
When cutting the lines, make the smaller return line a little bit longer,
as the two right angle fittings at the firewall will interfere slightly if they are
the same length. At this time, it would be wise to deburr the edges of the
lines with a small file or Dremmel tool.
Now, replace the lines in the tunnel and replace the grommet that
you removed in the gas tank compartment. Now comes the tough part. You need to
bend the ends of the lines in order to get them to feed into the grommet. This takes
quite a bit of patience, and is the most difficult part of this task. I have no
real advice on this one except not to over bend the lines; they will not go through the
grommet if they are at a significant angle. The lines should stick out of the grommet
about 1-2 inches, as shown in Figure 3.
Once the lines are in the tunnel and through the grommet, then
you can replace the gas tank. I suggest using 1/4" and 5/16" diameter fuel
hose to connect to the tank. I also suggest using a length of about three feet,
so that you have plenty of working room in case you need to remove the tank
again (to install the front sway bar, perhaps?). Clamp every line, even if there
wasn't one there to begin with. Make sure when replacing the gas tank that the line
doesn't get caught and pinched between the tank and the wall. Make sure that all
your lines and hoses are out in the open before you replace your tank; I recently had
to remove and replace the tank three times in about an hour when I realized that
there were wires or hoses left underneath.
Now, you can attach the right angle fittings to the lines that are
extending from the firewall as shown in Figure 4.
I originally used brake line fittings as shown in the photos. However, after
getting the car back together, I had problems with them leaking. Instead of using the
right angle fittings, I decided to use some braided flexible hose instead. This solved all
of the leaking problems, because I think that I damaged the pipe fittings during their
installation. After you put the fittings on, then you need to bend and cut the 40"
lines to lead to the fuel pump. This can take a couple of iterations as the proper
bend and length is not intuitively obvious. These bends are shown in Figure 5. It may make sense to buy extra
brake lines (at $3 each it's worth not having to make an extra trip) so that you have
at least another chance if you bend the lines the wrong way. The entire setup in the
engine compartment is shown in Figure 6.
The black metal mount attached to the bulkhead is my 914-6 motor mount. When you reinstall
the fuel tank, be careful to check to make sure that there is no leakage around
any of the connections. Remember that there will be more fuel pressure in the lines
when the tank is full, then when it is almost empty.
There you have it - you shouldn't worry about your fuel lines leaking
again, and you've increased the safety of your car. If you have any
questions about this job, drop us line...
JP Noonan has the following to add:
Well I went to put in new
fuel lines in my center tunnel. My car is a 75 so the pump was originally up front. The
problem is that on 70-74 the feed nipple from the tank is 9mm and the return nipple is
7mm, this must be what the tech article was based on. However the 75-76 have both nipples
as 7mm. Sooo I bought 5/16" line and 3/8" line to replace what was two 7mm
(5/16") lines. The 3/8" line fit but just barly. now I have it in there I have
to step down to 5/16" line. So to amend the article I would sugest that if you want
to replace lines in a 75-76 BOTH lines should be 5/16". Also I would recomend using
wire lube or dishwashing soap to aid in pushing the lines through the gromets. Also a
problem that may arise (I wont know until I drive the car) is that the lines may
rattle together. One way to help this would be to cover the lines in shrink tubing as they
are fed through the fire wall.