How to Wrap a Fuel Lineby Timothy Burns
An automobile or marine engine's rubber fuel line feeds gasoline from the gas tank into an engine's carburetor system. Before modern fuel injectors, gasoline poured into a carburetor reservoir, and was atomized as it flowed into the cylinders. This old-style carburetor was subject to "vapor lock" under high temperature, and/or low air pressure conditions. When operating a vehicle with an older style carburetor equipped engine, insulating the fuel line can help prevent the dreaded vapor lock.
Select a high temperature rated pipe installation that features an inner diameter equal to the outer diameter of the vehicle's rubber fuel line. The external diameter of standard rubber fuel lines is 5/8 inch.
Identify the rubber fuel line in the engine compartment. Visually trace the fuel line from the carburetor toward the rear of the vehicle or fuel tank. Typically a fuel filter is inserted in the fuel line, midway between the gas tank and the carburetor. Visually inspect the entire fuel line between the fuel filter and the carburetor.
Cut lengths of Memtech pipe insulation, or similar product, which will easily snap over the existing rubber fuel line. Typically the distance between the fuel filter and the carburetor is no more than 8 feet. Cut individual links of pipe insulation so as to snap over the fuel line in between any tubing bends or mounting clips.
Slip each piece over the existing fuel line. When the installation is complete, the individual pieces will form a continuous insulating surface along the length of the fuel line between the carburetor and the fuel filter.
Wrap the front and back ends of the pipe insulation, and each joint in between the individual pieces of insulation, with black vinyl electricians tape. Wrap each end of each piece, and wrap the installation joints so as to form a continuous, insulation barrier.
- Other insulation kits, such as the TechFlex fuel line insulation kit, provide an unbroken woven tube of insulating materials. This material cannot be slit lengthwise and wrapped around the fuel line. In this case, disconnect the fuel line from the gas filter's outlet nipple. Slip the unbroken insulator over the fuel line, working it forward into the engine compartment all the way to the carburetor. Secure each end of the woven insulator with a zip-tie or vinyl electricians tape.