Saturday, August 24, 2013

Installing KITT's Fuel And Brake Lines

When I got off of work yesterday afternoon I started by applying the third coat of POR-15 to the bottom of the frame where the steering gear box mounts. The repair welds look much better with two coats of POR-15. I decided not to use the UV resistant BlackCote that we used in the rest of the engine bay because I did not want to reopen the can for one coat in such a small area. You can really see the difference in the finish between the two. The self leveling feature of POR-15 is just nothing short of awesome.

Installing KITT's front to rear fuel and brake lines was the next thing on my list. I started by installing the two brackets I had previously cleaned and painted.

I was not really sure what the best approach would be for installing the lines. The lines are all pre-bent just like they were from the factory, but I knew they would still require a little tweaking here and there. I decided to install the clips with only one flange so that I could open the clips to hold the lines in place while I checked the fit. I only turned the screws in enough to hold the brackets in place.

I started with 1/4 vapor line and routed it along, hooking it into clips as I went.

This method was working well, or so I thought. I had just started to put in the third fuel line when all hell broke loose. These lines are pre-bent to fit, but that also means they are under pressure and likely to spring if you do any adjusting at all. This had not occurred to me. Just as I was attaching the third clip to the main fuel line, everything exploded. I quickly covered my face as the shrapnel consisting of screws and clips flew all around me. One of the lines smacked me really good across the face. I needed to find another installation method.

After I found all the clips and screws, the furthest one ending up outside about 12 feet down the driveway, I decided that I would start by installing the 3/8" main fuel line and actually secure it properly in the clips using both flanges. Since this line goes up and over the transmission tunnel I would need the bracket to hold this portion in place. There is a stud for this bracket fabricated at the top of the transmission tunnel, however I could not locate the nut to secure this bracket in place. It was not in the bag that had the bracket. I looked all over for it and came up empty, so I started looking through the bags of hardware that I knew were not going to go back on the car, such as the front ground effects. There happened to be a nut just like what I needed in that bag, so I cleaned it up with the wire wheel and got back to work on the lines.

This time I secured each clip snugly, turning the screws in more about 3/4 of the way and using both flanges.

I installed the bracket for the transmission tunnel loosely so that I could check the fit across the front frame rail and K-member. You can see the nut that I cleaned up with the wire wheel in this picture.

Everything seemed to line up and fit properly, so I installed the clips. Then starting with the one farthest front, I tightened these down permanently. I did this all the way back to and including the transmission bracket. With this portion of the 3/8" fuel line in its proper place, I knew that it was not going to move on me and that anything that needed to be adjusted would have to be done from this point back.

Dad came over to help just after I finished running the 3/8" fuel line. I repeated this process for the other two fuel lines working down in size from the 5/16" line to the 1/4" line.

Once I was happy with how the lines were routed I tightened down all the clips and installed the S-clips for the brake line.

The last area I needed to work on was the driver side front subframe connector. It had covered up one of the stock mounting points for a line clip. I ended up reusing one of the old fuel line clips because it incorporated a clip for the brake line. I drilled a small hole in the subframe connector mount and used the clip to secure the lines above the bolt heads on the mount.

With everything from the firewall to the rear of the car in place I secured the rest of the clips for the lines in the engine bay. This ended up being the easiest line to install.

My next task was installing the front to rear brake line.

Here is a video showing how the lines are routed and where they are attached to the frame. Filming while rolling on a creeper is not the easiest, so I apologize for the shaky video.

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