Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby Rudi » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:14 pm

dbboss wrote:I'm gonna stick w/the rubber fuel line. Easy to change every other year & I like being able to use the large clear in-line fuel filters like is used on larger lawnmowers. The sediment bowl doesn't catch everything. My fuel lines don't run anywhere near to where they'd touch the manifold or anything hot.


Most of the plastic style inline fuel filters do cause problems with gravity fed systems. BtDt, didn't listen to the masters when I first started with Cubs. After a while this old coot started listening. This is my solution to prevent crud and dirt in the fuel circuit - How To Upgrade A Cub Fuel System
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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby KETCHAM » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:15 am

I'll add my 2 cents...Been riding a HD most of my adult life.It has rubber fuel line that goes from side to side on top of the front jug.Like anything else,it will go bad after 10 years.I've replaced it a few times.My brake lines are steel on my truck[1996] and have been replaced twice now.Main thing is to pay attention to things and try not to let them go bad before it happens.I have steel on my H and one of the cubs.The other had a brass nipple J-B Welded into it so it has rubber.I did this 8 years ago so its about time to replace.The same will go for the coolant hoses and belt..Kevin
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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby Rudi » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:48 am

dbboss wrote:I'm gonna stick w/the rubber fuel line.


And this is an example of a Krispy Kub :(

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photo courtesy of Yogie - Cub, medium well !
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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby Super A » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:06 pm

dbboss wrote:I'm gonna stick w/the rubber fuel line. Easy to change every other year & I like being able to use the large clear in-line fuel filters like is used on larger lawnmowers. The sediment bowl doesn't catch everything. My fuel lines don't run anywhere near to where they'd touch the manifold or anything hot.


Sounds like you're keeping the line inspected regularly for problems. Personally, I think that is reasonable. I think steel is "best" but your approach is at very least "ok." Those in-line filters (IIRC they make them for gravity flow systems as well, correct?) do add an extra layer of "security" as far as catching trash!

At our club plowday today, I didn't look at all the older Farmalls but several I checked out up close had, you guessed it, rubber fuel lines. We plowed all day and nary-a-one caught fire. :wink:

Come to think of it, the closest I have ever come to a tractor fire was electrical in nature; it had nothing to do with fuel.

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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby Landreo » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:46 pm

A few years ago I searched for information related to copper, neoprene, and steel fuel lines related to safety. I could find nothing definite related to safety of one over another.

The copper line on my heatpump and refrigerator do not seem to be cracking despite lots of vibration. The ethanol in fuel may not be the best for a copper fuel line.

Steel lines are easy to find and make but can also rust. The layered metal brake lines may be less prone to rust. The only leaking fuel line I can remember that I replaced was a steel line, it rusted until it developed a leak.

Rubber, neoprene, lines are common. All the vehicles in my driveway have a rubber line somewhere in the fuel system. Boats can have both rubber and copper lines. I have not found any real data that the neoprene lines are unsafe. Others may have access to databases that do show them to be unsafe but they seem to be everywhere. Neoprene is fire resistent but will burn or decompose if hot enough. I have not seen neoprene melt but it may under the right circumstances. More likely it would just decompose.

Tygon tubing(s) will melt, keep away from the exhaust.

For the safety folks, there is an analysis method called FMEA, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis. How can something fail, how likely is it to fail, and how bad would it be if it failed. Individuals can do their own informal FMEA in their head and determine what fuel line is for them and their tractor.

I avoid FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and try to find data or theory to support any decision I make. The photo of the burned cub is FUD since, at least from the original post, the exact reason for the fire was unknown. It may have been from a fuel line leak but maybe not. Don't be fooled by FUD, look for real data.

For fuel line filters: If you put a 6 volt battery in your 12 volt car it may not work well. Don't blame the battery, blame the person who used the wrong battery. A gravity fuel filter will work in a gravity flow fuel system. If the masters are saying otherwise then they are wrong. The link for Rudi's modification includes a inline filter. From the photo it is a gravity fuel filter. That will work. ANy filter that is rated larger than 60 or so microns should not significantly obstruct the flow when clean.
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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:50 pm

Landreo wrote:All the vehicles in my driveway have a rubber line somewhere in the fuel system.

This is one of your FUDs, a marginally related point that generates doubt about the original premise.

Typical motor vehicles have drivetrains that use soft mounts. The resulting relative motion between the chassis and drivetrain requires flexible fuel lines somewhere between them. That situation doesn't apply to a Cub tractor. In a car, the rubber sections were always outside of the engine compartment or very low where they were subjected to less heat and usually below the flames of any small engine fire that is likely to happen from any other cause. They never ran through a narrow passage between an exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe. In the old days, when mechanical fuel pumps were directly bolted to the engines, the flexible lines were always on the input side of the pump. Thus a leak would allow air in rather than gasoline out. The pressure lines from the fuel pump to the intake system was typically solid steel.

Newer cars have the fuel pump in the tank and the lines are pressurized. Those pumps usually have a shut-off that kills the pump in an accident or when the system detects a failure. A gravity feed tractor system won't shut itself off. It will keep feeding the fire until the tank is empty.

As far as your anecdotal evidence about the rusty fuel lines goes, my experience is just the opposite. I have replaced a lot of rubber hoses over the years. Whether they are fuel, vacuum, pressure or whatever, almost every one of them was attached to a steel tube. Hardly ever has the steel tube needed replacing.
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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby Super A » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:07 pm

Landreo wrote:
I avoid FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and try to find data or theory to support any decision I make. The photo of the burned cub is FUD since, at least from the original post, the exact reason for the fire was unknown. It may have been from a fuel line leak but maybe not. Don't be fooled by FUD, look for real data.




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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby Rudi » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:52 pm

Landreo wrote:I avoid FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and try to find data or theory to support any decision I make. The photo of the burned cub is FUD since, at least from the original post, the exact reason for the fire was unknown. It may have been from a fuel line leak but maybe not. Don't be fooled by FUD, look for real data.


Actually the point being made is not as you suggest as FUD but actually what a Krispy Kub looks like, irregardless of the cause. In that particular case IIRC, it was in a barn fire. Beside the point. Don't know what the point/cause of ignition was, just that the Cub ended up pretty Crispy. So using an available pic to describe an end result is not FUD, but confusing FUD with an image used to clarify a term is FUD. I also agree strongly with the points that Jim raised.

Sometimes I find far too much effort is expended justifying illogical outcomes. "If one wants to avoid FUD in this situation then the obvious and safe choice would be to abide by what the IH engineers determined to be the proper course of action when delivering fuel from the tank to the carburetor " :!: After all, we are trying to ensure that none of our members end up with a Krispy Kub or worse - injury to themselves or others. Maybe that is why we really support the steel lines instead of alternatives - Safety 1st !!
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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby gitractorman » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:04 am

I've owned and worked on literally hundreds of tractors, Cub Cadets, Farmall & IH Cubs, Lo Boys, John Deeres, Simplicity, and Wheel Horse tractors, from brand new, to 60+ years old. Nearly all of them came from the factory with rubber fuel lines, except for the Farmall & IH Cubs, and Lo Boys. Guess what, I've replaced the rubber fuel line on nearly every single one that came from the factory with a rubber fuel line, even ones that were only a year or two old. Matter of fact, I keep a roll of rubber fuel line here and it's one of the first things I check if I'm working on someone else's riding mower. On all of them, the rubber line was either split, leaking, swollen, melted, or hard/brittle and falling apart. However, I've never replaced a steel line for any of these reasons. The only reason I've ever replaced a steel line is to make up one that looks better.

Even on the 1951 Cub that I just finished restoring, someone had installed a rubber fuel line and in-line filter.... guess what, it was leaking! The very first thing I did to the tractor was replace it.

Image

Image

Some of us that have offered our advice have worked on and restored hundreds of tractors, so there's just a little bit of experience talking here. Man, you can do whatever you want. Hell, put a rubber line on and replace it every year if you want. The rest of us will spend that time out doing something productive or having fun! :lol:
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Re: Why Steel Fuel Lines ?

Postby Landreo » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:35 am

A classic example of FUD is a add that ran in a presidential election. It was a child picking the pedals off of a flower when a mushroom cloud came into the background. The implication is that one candidate would set off a nuclear war. Before my time so I do not know the proposed policies of each candidate but that was FUD, I do not believe there was any evidence that the one candidate was likely to set off a nuclear war. Worked well for the folks that ran the ad, their side won! Unfortunately, added nothing to a real policy debate. Gun control, climate change, etc are also good places to hear or see FUD, from both sides.

A photo of a burned cub linked to a comment about a rubber fuel line with no data is FUD.

A comment about a rusted steel fuel line during the discussion of failure modes is not FUD, that is a potential failure mode of a steel line. I also posted a few comments for a neoprene line.

Neoprene lines and Tygon tubing seems to be common on cars, trucks, motorcycles, lawn equipment. I cannot find evidence that they are a hazard. If others have that information then please post since it would be useful.

I have not posted in this thread my preference since it I do not think it is useful what fuel line I prefer. As I posted, folks can do their own FMEA or risk assessment based on information rather than FUD or emotions. It seem some folks want everyone to do what they feel is correct rather than letting folks make their own decision. Look at the evidence then make your own decision.

I have no strong feeling either way but prefer a steel fuel line both for looks and what I believe is a small safety margin. I also believe that folks are smart enough to make their own decisions without FUD or emotions from me.
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