Don't let this happen to you - and a question - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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David
 
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Yesterday I got my engine put together and started. Quick review of the mods - 350 standard bore, flattop pistons, Edelbrock VTEC 170 heads, Performer RPM Air Gap manifold, Comp XE 268 cam, Holley 750 vac by Jet Performance, Pertronix Flame Thrower HEI, Crane Roller Rockers.

While I was draining my wallet I also bought console gauges (used not repro), I already had the tic-toc-tach. The engine started right up and I set the idle to 2800 for cam break in. Oil pressure was good, too.

After about 5 minutes I look inside to check temperature, only to see large amounts of oil pouring out from under the console. I shut down and sure enought the pressure line broke where it exits the gauge.

The only thing damaged was the carpets and I have new ones on the way from Ricks. How do I prevent this from happening again? I already have a braided stainless oil line running from the engine to inside the car, and the plastic line is about 18 inches long from the gauge to the stainless line. I don't think I overtightened the fittings.

Dave
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 01:35 AM
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did you use new line and new compression fitting...get these first.Also be sure to cut straight , not on an angle.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 03:24 AM
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That is no fun. Sorry I don't have an answer for this one... I have yet to put guages in my Camaro.
Weren't you telling me a few weeks ago that you wanted new carpet anyway? At least the oil bath wasn't on the new carpet.

Good luck cleaning it up. When I'm ready to do mine, I'll probably ask you about it. Once you get it fixed, get that engine broken in and let the good times roll.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I did use a new line and it was cut straight. I'm going to try again today with another new one. The carpets are out now so I can't hurt anything else.

John - you're right that I was planning on replacing the carpets anyway, so no big deal. Although my freshly painted floors aren't as pretty as they were before.

Dave
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 04:55 AM
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The things we do to rust proof! Sorry about the mishap. I can only think the compression fitting was cocked. I've done a few of these with the plastic line and not had a problem. I know this is obvious but test it out before reinstalling the new carpet.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 05:42 AM
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You could run the line in 1/8" OD copper.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 05:45 AM
kel
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Dave,

You can do what I did to keep this from happening again. I installed a set of electronic gauges by Autometer. All you have to do is put the sender in the oil pressure fitting and runb your wire back to your gauge. No hose to break, ever!

Mine's working great. I also have the Autometer temperature electronic gauge.

Kel

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 10:39 AM
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RAY
 
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Get a longer braided stainless steel line and hook it up to the gauge and eliminate the plastic line all together. A copper line will eventually break. I have braided steel line directly to both my oil pressure and boost gauges, works great.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 11:14 AM
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Those little plastic lines are known to break.
A lot of car stereo installers know about that because they often disturb one and break it when installing stereos.
They broke one in a vette I had.

Mine broke long ago on my 67 Camaro. I replaced it with a new one and saw a couple of buddies have the same thing happen.
I plan on using a copper line next time around. Braded line would be good too. The small compression beads on the ends of the copper tube can be leaky once removed and re installed on an engine change.
David

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I put in a new plastic line today and it worked OK (no carpet yet!), but I don't trust it anymore. I think I will get an adapter so my stainless line can attach directly to the gauge.

On the upside I drove the car today and the new engine is FAST! My poor little 235 rear tires (3.73 posi & 4 speed) went up in smoke in first and second, but finally hooked up in third and fourth. I just ordered some 275's - hope it helps. I haven't stopped grinning!

Dave
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 02:46 PM
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The GM fittings for the plastic line are different than the usual 1/8" compression fittings you use on plastic or copper tubing for plumbing, which is why the gauge end will leak if you use a conventional compression fitting arrangement there (or at the block end), and the GM plastic tubing has an internal brass reinforcing sleeve inside each end to make sure it crimps the tubing wall and seals.

Do NOT use copper tubing for an oil pressure line - it will work-harden with vibration and fracture; the OEM lines you see that LOOK like copper tubing are not copper - they're copper-plated steel (steel for durability, copper plating for corrosion protection).

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 02, 06:08 PM
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glad to hear that the new engine is fun. Your parts combo should definately be putting out a good amount of power.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 02, 04:10 AM
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I've used copper in all my stuff for years and have never had a problem. I won't say for sure that the factory lines on the big block Corvettes arent copper plated steel as John Z stated, but I sure don't think they are. (I just checked the only 2 cars within my easy reach with a magnet and they don't show attraction and appear to be pure copper)

I've found that in using the plastic lines on anything, the inner sleeves are necessary to not have leaks. When using the copper, a little pipe dope, the type with teflon added, on the back side of the ferrul stops any chance of leaks from cocked feruls, etc.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 02, 11:28 AM
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Don't use the copper lines. John is right. The factory line looks copper but it is only plated that way. Yes, some people have replaced them with copper but it can crack over time and that definately makes a messy and possibly expensive project to repair. Replacement plastic line kits have the tiny fittings and are not that expensive. I would pull the gauge panel up to watch the fitting at startup.

-Mark.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 02, 02:32 PM
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i dont know about factory gauges, but the (drag) tracks we race at require the use of copper or braided line for the oil pressure gauage.(of course it depends on the tech that day) i've got several friends that have had copper for quite a while, w/ no problems. i suppose they might wear out after time, but as with anything, if you keep an eye on it, it should be o.k. of course AN braided line is a sure bet.
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