The other day I went out to the garage with plans to go for a drive in one of the Model T’s. I was immediately confronted by a heavy gasoline smell. The first thought was to open the garage door to vent the vapors. Next I looked under the 1914 to see a drip pan under the car holding a considerable amount of fuel. Fortunately there was no fire! I had tried a newly rebuilt carburetor the day prior, and the fuel line evidently had cracked some time during or after my drive around the neighborhood testing the carburetor. The copper fuel line, of undetermined age, had failed as they always do. Time to make a new one from steel that won’t fail unexpectedly.
Copper is a relatively poor choice for fuel line. It is soft and bends easily, which also contributes to it’s weakness which is the tendency to work harden and crack in a relatively short period of time.
The existing copper line was routed over the exhaust pipe and through the frame rail, passing behind the engine mount wood block as Ford did originally. We intend to route the line forward without passing above the exhaust. Rather, we will stay towards the center of the car until the fuel line is clear of the exhaust and well below it.
Normally our car has a Holley NH carburetor fitted. We have been rebuilding all sorts of carburetors lately which requires testing the carburetor afterwards to make sure it functions properly. For that reason we have a second piece of fuel line forward of the shutoff valve in order to connect the fuel line to early style carburetors with low mounted fuel inlets.
The last part of the operation is simply installing the fuel line, tightening the fittings, and checking for leaks. We did all that, and were able to go for a ride as we had planned to earlier in the day.