Archived Message
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
I want to replace the flexible fuel pipe that runs between the fuel pump and the metal fuel pipe. My question is that on the original pipe where it connects to the pump it is a crimped fixing, can I simply cut the crimp off and refit the new braided fuel pipe with a new clip and finisher.
Alan McLean
25/09/2012 @  09:37
Under topic: V8
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Flexible fuel pipe on pump
All I can tell you is that all the flexible fuel pipes on my V8 conversion are fixed by stainless jubilee type clips and have never given a moments bother. My car has fuel injection so there are higher pressures than you would get on a carburetted car but the clipped connections have never leaked in 3 years and 13,000 miles.
Mike Howlett
26/09/2012 @  14:50
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
Use SAE J30R9 grade fuel hose from a supplier such as and avoid any supplier that says their hose is suitable for any fuel but doesn’t know what grade it is.

Although this is written with VW’s in mind it is applicable for MG’s with carbs or fuel injection.
Geoff King
26/09/2012 @  19:27
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
We have had a series of articles on the V8 website on the effects of ethanol on the fuel supply system, including my article following a visit to Burlen to learn more of the changes they have made for their SU systems, but could you expand a little on the information you have provided so fellow members can follow it. On checking the Goodyear website link you provided I see that with regard to "Fuel Injection Hose SAE 30R9" they say "Gasoline, ethanol extended gasoline, oxidized sour gas, diesel fuel, biodiesel, lubrication oil" which begs the question to what level of ethanol in petrol is their rubber hose suitable? We currently have E5 petrol in the UK and, from my report a month or so back of the outcome of a BSI meeting, it now seems clear E10 will be in our pumps from early 2013. So the ethanol level a rubber fuel hose can cope with is important issue if an enthusiast is considering replacement. Alan McLean's question touched on two points - dealing with the crimped fixing and the underlying replacement of the hose. I felt a good quality clip supplied by Jubilee would be suitable and Mike has indicated he has used them with good results but I did wonder why crimping was used originally - was it simply a production line convenience?
Victor Smith
26/09/2012 @  21:48
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
Jubilee or worm drive clips that are required to work at around 0.5" dia do not remain round and are to be avoided, they do not crush the hose uniformly and eventually leak. Much better and safer to use screw type clips which are designed to work effectively on small diameter hoses, like fuel and heater hose. All reputable hose and clip manufacturers and good fuel system specialists will advisa accordingly, there was a recent article to this effect in SF.
Tony Lake
27/09/2012 @  22:29
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
You are right and looking back at the article contributed by Ian Jennings, the managing director of Jubilee Clips, you can see they also supply the type of clip you mention called Jubilee Junior, a nut and bolt clip.
Victor Smith
27/09/2012 @  22:58
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
Worm drive clips, of the correct size, clamp well down to 3/8” diameter. The only hose smaller than that on my car is for the windscreen washers and I don’t have those clamped at all, the other hoses for the fuel injection and coolant are secured with worm drive clips and have been leak free for more than 10 years.

Ian Jennings, the managing director of Jubilee Clips, confirmed that their smallest size worm drive clips were suitable for 9.5mm to 12mm (approximately 3/8” to 1/2”) hoses.

Crimping is a nice cheap way for manufacturers to secure the hose but a worm drive or screw type clips is just as good when it is time to replace the hose.

It is as important to select the correct size of hose to suit the pipe as it is to choose the type of clip - the bore of the hose should be slightly smaller than the outside diameter of the pipe. And particularly for the Ethanol enhanced fuel we have forced upon us, the correct grade of hose must be used – regardless of what MG fitted many years ago. SAE J30R9 grade hose is used successfully in the US with 10% of Ethanol (E10).

I have replaced the fuel hoses on the Weber carbs fitted to my other classic with SAE J30R9 and I will renew all of the fuel hoses on my fuel injected V8 while it is laid up during the winter – when I built my car I was more trusting of suppliers than I am today and fitted hose that was sold as suitable for fuel injected systems, but I don’t know which grade of hose it is.

I will be keeping a close eye on the hose condition; those engine fires in the link that I posted earlier are all too real.
Geoff King
29/09/2012 @  20:45
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
I'm glad Geoff has stated the case for worm drive (Jubilee) clips on small hoses. I used the smallest size worm drive clips on all my fuel hoses, and have had no trouble with them at all. I have lots of hoses since I have an external swirl pot and two fuel pumps, one low pressure, one high pressure, as well as feed and return fuel plumbing.

I am a bit concerned about Geoff's comments on fuel hose material. I built my V8 GT four years ago using hose stated to be fuel hose, but it isn't the grade Geoff mentions. Should I be replacing it all with the "ethanol proof" type? Do you have a supplier of that hose please?

The other worry is the copper fuel pipe - is that OK with E10?
Mike Howlett
29/09/2012 @  22:24
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
I will hunt out the link tomorrow but if you do a V8 website homepage search for "Burlen and E5 and E10 petrol" the link to an article I did on a visit to Burlen (who now handle SU carburettor and fuel systems) should come up and be available via a link and there you will see comments on their experience with ethanol in fuel and the changes they have made with fuel hose and other parts. However in an earlier NEWS item you will recall E10 is due to arrive in UK pumps in early 2013 unless you can get 97 in some locations where it is ethanol free or nearly so.

Gates make an ethanol resistant fuel hose and there are distributors in the UK.
Victor Smith
29/09/2012 @  23:00
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
Gates Ethanol resistant fuel hose is grade SAEJ30R7, although a hose from any manufacturer that complies with or exceeds the SAE J30R9 (or DIN 73379-3D) specification should be ethanol resistant. This is one supplier:

The Gates 3225 hose as recommended by Burlen here: meets the requirements of SAE J30R7; this grade of hose has been shown to deteriorate in a matter of months in, to quote from a QinetiQ for DfT report, ‘a particular model of campervan produced by a global vehicle manufacturer’.

SAE J30R7 is often sold as suitable for all fuels but in my opinion should not be used with Ethanol enriched fuel, even for low pressure carburettor systems and certainly not for fuel injection. I would also avoid braided hose unless the underlying hose can be seen to be marked SAE J30R9 – if you can’t see the grade or the hose is not marked don’t use it.

Ethanol will corrode aluminium, brass and copper, how quickly I don’t know, neither do I know the % of Ethanol that will cause a problem but I’m inspecting my fuel tank for leaks on a regular basis – E10 fuel has been sold here (France) for several years.
Geoff King
30/09/2012 @  12:35
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
I should have qualified my reply about small diameter worm drive hose clips with the observation that hoses sealing any fluid should be stretched over a bead by 5-10% of their inside diameter. At 1/2 inch or 12 to 13 mm outside diameter one is at the limit of reasonable roundness with worm drive, they can and will allow leakage simply because they distort to an oval shape which in turn provides an uneven clamping force adjacent to the bead. Any reputable fuel system specialist will provide a good screw and nut alternative, particularly important on the crazy pipe transporting fuel between the carburetter float chambers on the GTV8 which does not have a bead to stretch the I.D.
Gates Barricade hose is good for all ethanol dosed fuels, again available from fuel system specialists.
My understanding is that all fuels contain a degree of moisture which can become acidic, ethanol is more soluble in water than petrol and so higher dosed fuels will probably have a higher water content. All fuels have to pass a corrosion test which requires an inhibitor in the fuel to meet the standard. If the vehicle is in regular use the residence time of corrosive acids is pretty short and unlikely to be an issue, will be interesting to hear about real world experience in relation to corrosion of fuel tanks and fuel system components.
The Brazilians have been running high ethanol fuels for years, they know how to design for it. VW publish a very helpful document explaining the design criteria for a fuel system related to ethanol content ranging from do nothing at 10% right up to change everything for flex fuel at 100% ethanol. I'll find it and publish the website details.
Tony Lake
30/09/2012 @  21:17
Flexible fuel pipe on pump

I agree that a worm drive clip that is too large for the hose will distort and maybe you will agree that a screw and nut clip that is too large for the hose won’t clamp at all. Both types of clip will clamp satisfactorily if they are the correct size for the hose.

Gates Barricade hose is a SAE30R14 grade suitable for applications up to 50psi and should be satisfactory for carbs, but not fuel injection - I still didn’t use it for the carbs on my VW.

Perhaps the relatively high temperature of the VW air-cooled engine causes premature failure of the fuel hose and makes it more likely for any leaks to result in engine fires. And perhaps it is a coincidence that the frequency of hose failures and leaks appears to have accelerated since the introduction of E5 fuel but there are too many reports from the VW community of failure of fuel hoses for me to ignore and I use SAEJ30R9, so far without problem.

Incidentally the campervan produced by a global vehicle manufacturer mentioned in the QinetiQ report for DfT is probably the VW type 2 air-cooled Campervan produced from late 1949 to 1979. Mine was built in 1977. Reference doc.
Geoff King
30/09/2012 @  23:36
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
The article with my report of a visit to Burlen in November 2011 is at:

Mark Burnett discussed what damage they had seen with ethanol fuels on SU carburettors and fuel systems and the alternative materials they have used including Viton tips on needle valves. He also mentioned "no damage has been seen with the traditional brass floats and there have been no signs of biofuel attack on the solder used to join the upper and lower sections of a brass float. Brass is an alloy of copper
and zinc."

I should have mentioned in my reference to Gates fuel hose that I was referring to their Barricade hose. An update note on the current situation on the upgrades a classic MG owner needs to make to the fuel system on their car when using biofuels would be very useful particularly as E10 is arriving in the UK in early 2013.
Victor Smith
01/10/2012 @  09:02
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
I apologise for the incorrect information I gave earlier; Gates Barricade fuel injection hose obviously IS suitable for fuel injection systems. In my defence I was looking at the specification of the Gates Barricade carburetion hose.
Geoff King
01/10/2012 @  10:14
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
I’ve just read this on another BB. Please read.

“Fuel pipe research (long!) - for discussion!

You may recall that I had a rant about rotting flexible fuel pipe a while ago.

In the end I did a lot of internet research, and came up with the following observations:


* Since getting my car on the road 7 or 8 years ago I have had to replace rotted flexible fuel hoses 3 times. Each time the hose has cracked and was dripping fuel everywhere.
* I have always used decent quality hose (Gates, or similar).
* It seemed to happen randomly but especially after a long spell in the garage, whether due to bad weather or whatever. (significant point #1)
* Some other people had similar problems.
* More people were using similar hose and having no problems (significant point #2)

Results of research

* Petrol has changed significantly over past few years - it now contains more alcohol-based substances, which are very corrosive to normal rubber.
* Hoses in the USA are marked with an SAE code, e.g. SAE J30R9, according to its ability to resist modern fuels. As much of the hose bought in the UK is made (or sold) in the USA then these markings may appear here.
* There are 4 significant groups of SAE codes:
Unmarked hose - will probably be for the original petrol formula, without modern additives (but see later comments).
30R6 - This is the standard for the petrol formula of 5 - 10 years ago, for fuel injection. The bore may or may not be lined with Nitrile.
30R7 - This is the standard for the petrol formula of 2 or 3 years ago, for fuel injection. The bore is lined with Nitrile.
30R9 / 30R10 - This is the current standard. The bore is lined with Fluoroelastomer/Nitrile. 30R9 has Fluoroelastomer/Nitrile on the inside, while 30R10 has it inside and out, which allows it to be used immersed in petrol (e.g. in a fuel tank).
* There is also a marine grade for use in boats - ISO 7480 A1 - that is roughly equivalent to 30R7-and-a-bit, with added fire resistance.
* One of the causes of fuel pipe failure described in the USA literature is stale modern fuel, not so much the fuel itself. These fuels become extra-corrosive when they get old.
* The USA seem to use a higher percentage of alcohol in their regular fuel - but we're not far behind in Europe.

What got me angry...

* Gates in the USA only make and sell fuel pipe of grade 30R9 or better (they even have brand-new super-grades). Gates in the UK distribute unmarked hose to motor factors that, if you are lucky, is only 30R6. Why don't we get the same? Are they dumping their surplus stock on the UK?
* The Gates sales rep for the UK and Europe didn't know that the USA grades were far higher than his offerings - he didn't even know the trade names for the USA products (shown in every USA Gates catalogue).
* 30R9 is freely available on the USA eBay, at sensible prices, made by big-name manufacturers such as Gates and Goodyear. It is never (or maybe rarely) available on the UK eBay. Only the excessive postage stopped me from buying it there.
* One on-line supplier (Think Auto) advertised that their hose is 30R9, but when it turned up it was unmarked. I recognised that it was stuff that I'd used previously and told them so. To their credit they apologised, refunded my money AND paid for the return postage.
* There is a general ignorance about this whole issue - when I asked for a specific grade of hose many suppliers didn't comprehend, while others were almost abusive ("Our stuff is good enough...!).
* The one who did supply the correct hose, Hose World, advertised it as 30R10 on their website, the bloke on the phone didn't think it was any special grade when I asked, and when it turned up it was 30R9, which is what I was after in the first place!
* If you search on any USA car forum about fuel pipe you will see that most people are fully aware of this issue, and the need to use modern hose. There seems to be a general ignorance in the UK.

Last thoughts and recommendations:

It was almost certainly stale fuel that rotted my fuel hose(s).

1. Don't buy general-purpose hose from a motor factor, unless it has at least 30R9 printed on it. Even stuff off the Gates stand isn't good enough.
2. If you are getting it via the internet or mail order, don't be fobbed off by excuses. Only the proper stuff is safe for long-term use.
3. If you are going to leave your car unused for a month or so, consider draining the petrol, especially if you are unsure of your fuel pipe grade.
4. If you really can't get 30R9, consider getting ISO 7480 - this is easily available from marine suppliers in the UK (but see point 3). All proper fuel hose in this grade has to be marked, to meet regulations.

Additional thought

Re-reading some of the websites I found during this research reminded me of an important indication of fuel pipe decay - smell.

If you go into your garage and there is a stink of petrol, but you can't find a leak, then it is very likely that vapour is permeating through the fuel hose. If this is the case then it is a fair bet that the hose will fail sometime in the near future... maybe not immediately, but sometime.”

The last paragraph is of particularly concern for me; my fuel injected V8 has started to smell although there are no obvious leaks.
Geoff King
01/10/2012 @  10:46
Flexible fuel pipe on pump
Tony et al,

I have sent a message to Gates to locate a local supplier but do you know of a fuel system specialist in the UK (or Europe) that supplies Gates Barricade fuel injection hose by mail order? A Google search was unsuccessful - unless I wanted a wooden five bar gate.



PS. I won’t mention that Gates recommend worm drive clips for their hose.
Geoff King
01/10/2012 @  14:06
Flexible fuel pipe on pump

On the assumptions that
a) most of the corrosive properties of ethanol augmented fuel comes from the absorbed water
b) stale fuel is largely "stale" because the higher volatility components have evaporated off
would it not be easier to seal a petrol tank for lay-up rather than drain off the fuel? It's difficult to drain off fuel as few tanks have a drain plug and the take off pipe is always some way off the bottm to avoid sludge and (traditionally, when it wouldn't mix..)

On this basis, for the winter lay-up, I propose to fill my classic tanks to the brim (to give minimum surface area of fuel) and then close a polythene bag in the filler cap to make a "seal" so that water absorption from the atmosphere is minimised. Anybody see any flaw in this?
Bob Owen
01/10/2012 @  16:30
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