1/2" Pickup and Return. How?

Fuel and Air Systems

  1. subcom

    subcom Well-Known Member

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    I'm upgrading my fuel system because my volume requirements have increased and would like to change my factory pickup and return lines to 1/2". I'd like to remove the pickup assembly and replace the 3/8" with a 1/2". I think I can bend up a steel line or similar to match the shape of the original pickup tube, but how do I attach it to the round plate? I saw somebody do it with JB Weld (which I don't like), I've seen others suggest soldering. How have you guys done it and what tools and materials are required?

    Thanks!
     
  2. momoparman

    momoparman MOISMYHOME

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    AN fitting.
     
  3. subcom

    subcom Well-Known Member

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    What kind of AN fitting? Is there some kind of threaded one that will seal on the plate without requiring welding/soldering? Thanks.
     
  4. jbc426

    jbc426 Well-Known Member

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    I used a step drill bit, a narrower one. It tends to leave a step pushed out on the back side of the hole when used on sheet metal. That aids in mechanically holding it. After the hole is sized for a slight interference fit with your 1/2" steel line, I silver solder the two parts together. Use real silver solder, not the cheap substitute available at hardware stores these days. I picked up mine from a welding supply store at a cost of about $50, including the liquid flux, a roll of real silver solder and an acid brush.

    I pre-bend the tubes using a tubing bender and added a radius lip on the ends I added line to. They make tools to add the radiused ridge near the tip of the line. Those are available at Summit and other tool suppliers. The stick into the end of the tube and are rotated as you tighten them. This slowly extends several ball bearings outward making the radiused lip about 1/4" back from the end. It helps hold the line on.

    I add a few inches of submersible rated fuel line to the return line and a second piece of tubing to allow the returning fuel to re-enter the tank down low, so as not to create a lot of bubbles when returning fuel to the tank.
     
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    • AJ/FormS

      AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s FABO Gold Member

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      I did similarly to above. I think it's worth noting that the hole you make larger needs to have the back-side pushed or peened out(rather than just drilled), as that will support the new line,provide a soldering flange, and provide years of trouble free motoring.I did the peening using a socket,a bench-vise, and a carpenter's nailset.
      I only went to a 3/8 line for my little 367cuber,and socks were available for that size. IDK about 1/2" socks.
       
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      • subcom

        subcom Well-Known Member

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        Thank you all for the great ideas and suggestions. I'm reading up on silver soldering right now.
         
      • AJ/FormS

        AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s FABO Gold Member

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        HVAC guys have equipment and training and experience in this work. Since the soldering part is probably less than a 15 minutes, I would just bring it over to a trained tech and let him have at it. Probably cheaper,too.
         
      • momoparman

        momoparman MOISMYHOME

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        Jegs for AN fittings. I believe a #8 is 1/2"

        Simple nut on back, crush washer or Viton o-ring in between the sending unit face and the fitting on the outside.

        No leaks and only a few bucks.
         
      • g413

        g413 Well-Known Member

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        I'd be tempted to bronze weld it. It doesn't get much stronger or more leak proof than that.
        Plus it is easy to do.
         
      • momoparman

        momoparman MOISMYHOME

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        Drilling a hole in a piece of sheet metal will be way easier than welding. Additionally you don't have to worry about the welds cracking or the cover warping from heating it up.

        You can do the work yourself at your own pace rather than having to hire someone.

        I personally always look for a way to get out of hiring someone else. I'm picky and it's hard to get the quality I expect.

        Not saying that welding or soldering wont work, because it will. AN fitting is just easier to do.
         
      • Rudy`s Ride

        Rudy`s Ride Well-Known Member

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        I used to repair sending units all the time when I had my rad shop. Just do as JCB426 said and you will be fine with solder. I never had 1 come back leaking.
         
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        • mguner

          mguner How many is too many?

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          I liked soldering a brass 90 in the bottom of the tank with slots cut across the part that goes into the tank so you don't get a stagnant bottom.
           
        • famous bob

          famous bob mopar misfit FABO Gold Member

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          you can find 3/8 and 1/2" pick up tubes on ebay if you look enough . you can also run the lines thru the frame rails, even if you have subframe conn., I did .
           
        • jbc426

          jbc426 Well-Known Member

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          The only problem with using AN bulkhead fittings is that there is limited room on the sending unit to attach one, let alone add a power fitting for an in tank pump.
           
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