May 14, 2010

Fuel Lines - 3.5 Hrs.

After all this time, and with all the problems with the center cover behind me, I feel like I can finally make some forward progress. Today I started on the fuel lines. Bending the 3/8" tubing is a new challenge, testing your patience and your skills. I'm learning that if you really take your time and exercise patience, the chances of success are much higher. I learned this the hard way, after ruining several pieces on my first attempts. So now I'm taking it slow and carefully. Having fuel passing through the cabin is a serious issue with me and I want this done right. So I'm paying special attention and giving more scrutiny than ever to the perfection of the fit of these lines. I don't want any kinks, scratches or weak spots in the tubing from overworking it. And I don't want any stresses left in the tubing from an imperfect fit. All that said, it's an enjoyable part of the project for me.

Andair's plans would have you run the line from the pump to the left, and then sort of zig-zag across the tunnel to the firewall on the right. That made no sense to me. Especially since I'll be running my brake lines through here next. And evenually, wires and cables, too. So I chose the more direct route, routed to the right and then straight forward. Seems simpler and much cleaner to me.

So, here it is, the forward end of the fuel line from the pump to the firewall. As simple as it looks, there's much more to this than meets the eye. The aft end of the tube comes up through the hole in the cover and goes through some complex curves before hooking up to the pump. So it has to be done just right. With the soundproofing material that I installed taking up 1/4" of the clearance under the cover, there's no room for error. I put a couple pieces of masking tape on the floor to mark where the hole in the cover is, so I could hit the spot with the bend in the right place. I almost tossed these crossbeams, since I won't be using them. But then it occured to me that they would be useful for the fitting of this fuel line. I was able to secure the pump assembly exactly in place where it will be, and then proceed to fit the fuel line without the cover in the way. It took me almost 3 hours to do this fuel line and get it right. I started at the firewall and worked back from there. Slow patient work, thinking through each bend carefully before proceeding, can result in a perfect fit. It paid off. My hope was to get this line finished, and then remove the crossbeams, drop the cover in place, put the pump assembly on and have it fit perfectly.

And that's exactly how it worked out! Slow and patient is the key here. At least it was for me. Below is a closeup shot.

Next, I'll be fitting the short aft tube that runs from the filter up to the fuel valve.

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)