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Old 06-18-2019, 09:02 AM   #1
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Fuel lines and mounting quiestion.

Aluminum, copper, or stainless steel for fuel lines, pros and cons. I'm leaning toward copper because I can get the valves I am planning to use in brass.

Also, how are your fuel lines mounted? I'm thinking of using P clamps like the pic below. SS of course.

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Old 06-18-2019, 09:05 AM   #2
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My 1983 Trojan 44 FBMY uses these (called Adel clamps in aviation, anyway...) clamps on the copper lines ran back then at the factory.

All still good.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:09 AM   #3
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I just use fuel rated hose with hose barbs and clamps. Simple.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:18 AM   #4
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Our 32-year-old boat has all copper fuel lines, very neat, out-of-the-way original installation and they all seem very sound. I’ve read that fluid turbulence in tight bends can wear thin-wall copper out but have never experienced this. The tubing is mounted with copper straps, usually two screws on each, but I see no reason your SS hangers wouldn’t work.

The only drawback, IMO, is when it’s time to rearrange things. You have to cut, bend and—in my case—flare anew everything you change. I plan to leave the fuel supply/return lines and manifolds as they are, but when I redo our fuel transfer/“polishing” system, I’m thinking about going with hose with professionally swaged flare fittings for ease of installation.

I’ll be watching this thread for all ideas. So thanks for bringing this up.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
I just use fuel rated hose with hose barbs and clamps. Simple.
This is my method as well.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:48 AM   #6
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Discovered 2 small leaks in return lines where they made 90 bend and were clamped with copper strap. Probably vibration related.

Replacing total fuel system with hose, barbed fittings, and clamps. Will be using P clamps to secure hoses. I have bending and flaring tools but hose installation is simpler, quicker, and cheaper.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:23 PM   #7
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I just use the proper fuel rated hose. Be sure that you use the correct hose for the particular installation.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:28 PM   #8
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I use copper fuel lines. But the copper has to be well secured against vibration and a section of fuel hose should connect the copper to the engine to mitigate vibration in the lines. Copper needs closer mounting brackets than hose. Where there is a chance of rubbing, I put a short piece of hose over the copper.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:32 PM   #9
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My boat was built with rubber fuel lines in 2001. During the refit 2015, I made some plumbing changes to the fuel transfer and polishing system. While I was at it, I replaced all the fuel and return lines as they had gotten stiff. While it's not likely that I'll own the boat in 2030, it occurred to me that a day or 2 of labor and several rolls of hose is a very modest price to pay for peace of mind. While copper is certainly a good choice, nobody is likely to do any preventative maintenance or replace the tubing until they've had a bilge full of diesel.

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Old 06-18-2019, 02:02 PM   #10
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But copper is so purdy and I've been on my back upside down doing boat yoga to replace a flexible line. It rubbed through at the end of the barb. The line was double clamped and had a straight run but still chafed through.

I will probably use a combination of both. I have the tool to do flared lines. Being a new install, I'd rather have hard lines in areas that may be hard to see or get to for inspections.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:28 PM   #11
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My boat does not use an easy to understand fuel manifold. I would like to replace it. The factory did such a great job of running color coded copper fluid lines with appropriate fittings such that I am more likely to create a disaster than solve anything. Everything is cooper lines except the last 3 feet to the engines.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
My boat does not use an easy to understand fuel manifold. I would like to replace it. The factory did such a great job of running color coded copper fluid lines with appropriate fittings such that I am more likely to create a disaster than solve anything. Everything is cooper lines except the last 3 feet to the engines.
I am planning two tanks. Not much room on a 27-28 foot boat. I'll probably use two 3 way valves, one for fuel to the engine and one for the return lines.

The only other tanks I am planning at the moment is a waste tank and two water tanks. I haven't totally eliminated propane yet for cooking. That will use copper line and will need to be labeled or marked every so many feet to prevent me or someone else making a big booming oopsie.

Oh, I am planning a diesel heater so I may need a small gravity flow header tank. I'm thinking gold plated copper for that run into the cabin and over to the heater.
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