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Replacing Fuel Lines (revisited)

More tips on Fuel Line replacement
From: Dave Mccallum
Year(s):  All
Symptom(s):  Old or leaking fuel lines

-Have all replacement materials on-hand. I used the factory-recommended
replacement fuel line (7mm Id x 3mm wall thickness) and clamps, but others
suggest alternatives for various reasons. Be sure you have a replacement
fuel filter also. I also replaced my fuel pump, keeping the old pump as an
emergency spare under the bench seat. 4 meters of line left enough to keep
as spare for field repairs.

-Empty the gas tank *almost* all the way by using it,
but not enough to run the fuel pump dry. Or drain by
pulling the outlet hose from the tank, but be sure to
have the storage capacity for the fuel.

-Pull the fuel pump relay from the relay box on the
left-hand side of the engine compartment. It's the one
furthur from the compartment wall. Then try to start
the vehicle. You won't hear the fuel pump when you
turn the key, and if the van does start, it will soon
stop as the fuel in the system is used up. You've
just remove *most* of the fuel from the system and depressurized it.

I worked in the direction of fuel flow, to make sure
I got all the line replaced. The general procedure
is to remove the old line, cut the new line to matching
length, then install.

-Pull the line from the tank to the fuel pump. This
line is larger than the 7mm ID line in the rest of the
system, and doesn't need to be injection line as the
fuel is not pressurized at this point. I used 7/16" ID
fuel line from Pep Boys here (as I recall). This was
the only part where I had to improvise, as I couldn't
find a source for the factory line. I believe it is
11mm ID originally, but I don't have my ETKA in front
of me.

-Replace the short (~2") line between the pump and
filter, and replace the filter, noting the directional
arrow on the filter body.

-Replace the ~7" line from the filter to the rigid
plastic fuel pipe. Some replace the fuel pipe with
more rubber fuel line, but mine was in good condition.

-The most difficult connections to get at are for the
short piece of fuel line between the other end of the
fuel pipe and the plastic firewall fitting. I had to reach
up from underneath the vehicle to get at these. I replaced
the firewall fitting with continuous run of fuel line
through the firewall, protected by a grommet where it goes through the
metal. That modification gets rid of 2 clamped connections, and bypasses a
part that many have had trouble with, as it is prone to breaking.

-The line in the engine compartment is straightforward, but
I had to slit the short pieces between the fuel rails and the injectors to
get the lines off the barbed fittings.

-The factory installed a protective sheath over much of the engine
compartment fuel line to aid in preventing puncture. Mine didn't have this
sheath, so I covered the fuel line in contact areas with sections of 5/8" ID
heater hose.

-The outlet line from the fuel pressure regulator goes through a grommet in
the firewall on the left side. Just on the other side of the firewall is the
clamped connection to the rigid fuel pipe that returns unused fuel to the
gas tank.

-Don't neglect to replace the ~7" section of line between the rigid fuel
pipe and the inlet fitting on the fuel tank. Mine had never been replaced,
and the 16yr old original line literally crumbled in my hands as I pulled it

-Replace the fuel pump relay, replace the gas in the tank,
turn the key from "off" to "on" (not "start") several times
to repressurize the system, then turn the key to "start".
Mine fired right up, and the fuel delivery system is working great ~5000
miles later.

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