Project 1964 Lincoln Continental: Fuel Line Funhouse

Nothing says I love you like a puddle of gasoline on the floor in the morning. A couple of days after fiddling with the inner fender business mentioned earlier, I walked into the garage to the overwhelming smell of dino juice emanating from a spot directly under the inner fender. That'll show me. Taking the panel back off as well as a secondary inner panel, revealed a sweaty, smelly, series of tubes rusting away. Among them were the fuel delivery line, fuel return line, and brake line. The brake line was perfectly fine, but the fuel lines were messy. Now, there is a right way to repair this and there is the quick-and-dirty way to do it. Obviously I chose the dirty way. Jalopnik in no way advocates what follows; though time-tested, this repair method may result in you randomly catching on fire, but it's cheap, reliable, and fast.

Obviously the right way to do it is to source the all new lines, which run as one piece from the wheel well to the fuel tank. This would be obscenely expensive for a $2,000 car. A quick trip to Murrays and $12 worth of brake line and compression fittings and the repair was underway. First step is to clear out the underbody tar from the area in question, unbolt the retaining clips and pop the lines out of the flex hoses that make the connection from the wheel well to the engine bay. Next, with the help of a measuring tape and Mr. Pipecutter, the rusted lines are trimmed well past the corrosion point but with a little to spare on the new pipes. A word of caution for you cheapskates looking to make this same fix, if you have parallel fuel lines being replaced, make sure that you offset the cut point on the fuel lines. If you don't, the compression fittings will be sitting next to each other, and there is no way you will be able to get the retaining clips to do their job properly again.

Project 1964 Lincoln Continental: Fuel Line Funhouse

Next we prep the brake/fuel lines, again, a pipecutter and reamer are most useful here. With those expensive fittings and flanges now removed (fittings are now acting as weights for the light fixture pulls), we move on to bending things to fit. When bending, take things slow, especially if you have the cheap ass one sided pipe bender. The key here is to make bends gradually, and keep the bending action controlled to a point within the die. If you bend the pipe outside the die it will kink and render your tube useless. See, look how nice the replacement looks here.

Project 1964 Lincoln Continental: Fuel Line Funhouse

That bending is pretty much the hardest part of the whole process. After that, it's a matter of putting the compression fittings on the old lines, fitting the new lines to their home and tightening everything down. Make sure to run the fuel pump and start the car at this stage in order to confirm that you did indeed fix the problem. This car of course has a mechanical fuel pump, and combined with the 7.0-liter V8, the old battery died before getting fuel to it. After a charge, the fix was confirmed when the beast roared to life. Things were buttoned up and panels returned to place. I'll have you all note this represents the first new parts for car while under my custody. I am considering it a milestone.

Project 1964 Lincoln Continental: Fuel Line Funhouse