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Up in smoke... Bus fires... don't let it happen to you! FAQ
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keifernet
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: Up in smoke... Bus fires... don't let it happen to you! FAQ Reply with quote

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[url=http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=266181]Up in smoke... Bus fires... don't let it happen to you![/url]


YES THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU GET A VW (BUS OR OTHER) IS CHANGE THE FUEL LINES MAKE SURE THE FUEL FILTER IS LOCATED PROPERLY AND SECURE AND BUY A DECENT FIRE EXTINGUISHER...

OR SUFFER THE CONCEQUENCES.
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TesD.... the latest victim

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=264286

GreenBrick...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=225002&highlight=flames

This is a follow up thread based on the thread above.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=225308&highlight=flames

A video link of burning bus in this one...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=242696&highlight=flames

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=183765&highlight=flames

More on prevention and mounting extinguishers

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=153244&highlight=flames

more horror stories

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=134983&highlight=flames

AlaskaWesty...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=77202&highlight=flames
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to add...

Type I engines / Early Type IV (early bay - 1968-1971 and european Type I - 1979 - and carbureted Type IV 1972-1974) be sure you

Use Cloth Braided Fuel Line - NOT rubber Fuel Line.

Make sure to remove any fuel filters from the engine compartment.

Type IV engines (late bay - 1975-1979) make sure you use cloth braided REINFORCED lines - NOT Cloth Rubber Fuel Lines - they sell them for the Porche Fuel Injection systems.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
I'd like to add...

Type I engines / Early Type IV (early bay - 1968-1971 and european Type I - 1979 - and carbureted Type IV 1972-1974) be sure you

Use Cloth Braided Fuel Line - NOT rubber Fuel Line.

Make sure to remove any fuel filters from the engine compartment.

Type IV engines (late bay - 1975-1979) make sure you use cloth braided REINFORCED lines - NOT Cloth Rubber Fuel Lines - they sell them for the Porche Fuel Injection systems.
What's up with the cloth? I've got reinforced rubber FI lines
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cloth ones insulate from heat. The rubber - while reinforced is not designed to operate in the temps that CAN happen in the Air Cooled engine compartment. Think on it - the heads themselves - if you are going up a HUGE incline - may reach close to 400 degrees. Melt City! The cloth helps stop that from happening.
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sav1028
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankx for the info, Ryan! I didn't realize the benefits of the cloth lines, I'll have to replace the rubber ones I have.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
....and helpful hints on where to get the right lines - etc.


....and install tips

HOLY CRAP, THIS NEW STICKY HAS MADE ME SOOO DAMN NERVOUS
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is great that we are going to have a "FIRE" sticky. But for once can't we keep things factual? VW used non externally braided fuel line over the whole run of T4 FI engines. After reading one of the above post I went out and looked at every T4 fuel injection system I have laying around, some on cars and others on core engines or in boxes. I was able to find the fuel loops of 6 different T4 systems ranging from an early 70's 411-412 D-jet to an '83 Vanagon. Each and every one had smooth non externally braided fuel line and since all the clamps appeared original I think it very likely that most if not all the hoses were original. I also found three WBX systems, again all the hoses were non externally braided.

Furthermore I am not sure I have ever seen externally braided FI hose, none that I have bought from my Portland VW supplier has ever been externally braided and certainly none that I have bought from NAPA or other chains. As for underhood temperatures, the Bay window bus has the lowest normal temperatures of any vehicle that I am aware of, the entire engine compartment is on the inlet side of the cooling air stream. All engines are capable of putting out a lot of heat just as much and likely more than a T1 or T4, a couple of years ago when my then teenage daughter blew a water hose on my WBX and then drove the 11-13 miles home it melted the thermostat housing and all the wiring near the head, but the fuel line did not let go or even appear damaged.

On a carbureted engine I will agree that externally braided line has a history of giving better service than smooth line, not because the external braid is inherently better, but because the normal stuff sold by FLAPS once tended to be of dangerously poor quality. The quality of regular smooth fuel line FLAPS sell does seem to have improved markly over the years though.


Last edited by Wildthings on Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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eliotkb
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've been meaning to get an extinguisher lately but i keep forgetting... not good. any one have a pic of where exactly the fuel filter should be located to be safe?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The FI fuel line is re-inforced internally, and you can see it in the cross section. The advantage to using this is the condition of the hose is easily verified, where the cloth braided hose hides the condition of the actual hose inside, (ie. cloth braided hose "looks fine" but could be dry & cracked underneath).
The FI line costs a bit more, but so does having your bus go up in flames.
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brownONE
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crap! i thought we were gonna get useful preventative information on here.

yet, people can't even agree on what's the right kinda hose to get...
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When VW people speak of braided fuel lines I take that to mean an external cloth braid. Most if not all rubber FI rated line has internal fiber reinforcement, and has very high quality rubber. The line you want to use on a FI engine will say for use with fuel injection, it will cost you somewhere between $5 and $10 a foot. If it doesn't say for use with FI do not use it. Don't depend on the vendor to hand you what you want, read what it says on the hose.

Regular smooth fuel line will also have an internal ply and may be rated as high as 200 psi which is well above the pressure of a T4 fuel injection system. This hose may have sufficient strength to handle that kind of pressure when new, but the quality is typically lacking and it will age rapidly. Again if it doesn't say for use with FI do not use it on your FI engine.

For carbureted engines the externally braided, cloth covered fuel line has a history as being of good quality, many rightfully choose to use it. If you are going to use smooth fuel line at least don't buy it from Home Depot or a hardware store. I don't go to my local auto parts to buy lumber or toilet brushes so why would I go to a HD to buy fuel line.
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grandfatherjim
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had lots of old cars, I would guess > 40, and now (finally) my first Bay. I am used to replacing old cracked rubber fuel hoses and like having known good ones in place.
But I have to say I have never seen this kind of fanaticism about replacing the hoses with respect to any other vehicle.
After having read a lot of the threads on here it still isn't clear to me what causes the fuel hoses on these vehicles to deteriorate faster than on others?
I am happy to stand corrected but really, isn't replacing them every year more than is necessary? If I jump in and drive say, a ten year old vehicle, I am not biting my nails about the fuel hoses going. Maybe I should be?
But back to my point, once they are replaced (cause for sure by 30 or 40 years they had better be attended to!), isn't it reasonable to expect them to last a few years?
Jim
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

grandfatherjim wrote:
I've had lots of old cars, I would guess > 40, and now (finally) my first Bay. I am used to replacing old cracked rubber fuel hoses and like having known good ones in place.
But I have to say I have never seen this kind of fanaticism about replacing the hoses with respect to any other vehicle.
After having read a lot of the threads on here it still isn't clear to me what causes the fuel hoses on these vehicles to deteriorate faster than on others?
I am happy to stand corrected but really, isn't replacing them every year more than is necessary? If I jump in and drive say, a ten year old vehicle, I am not biting my nails about the fuel hoses going. Maybe I should be?
But back to my point, once they are replaced (cause for sure by 30 or 40 years they had better be attended to!), isn't it reasonable to expect them to last a few years?
Jim

I think there are quite a few factors which make them more prone to burning. High heat, missing/incorrect clamps, cheap or wrong size fuel hose, hidden vent lines which are forgotten, and location of the gas tank compared to the engine are a few which come to mind. Also, these fuel lines are located right next to the distributor, a major fire hazzard if you have a cracked hose here (from Sean Bartnik's site):
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Here's a couple of nice writeups on them:
http://baywindowmafia.googlepages.com/kombifireprevention
http://www.ratwell.com/technical/FuelHoses.html
I think inspection of your hoses is key. Replace all of them when a bus is new to you, and then inspect annually, or semi-annually.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe that these cars are more prone to burning is also partly simply because of the sheer amount of tinkering (both unskilled and not) that has gotten done on them over their 30+ years on the road. I don't think Datsun Sunnys or Ford Broncos of similar vintages get half the mucking around that our busses have gotten over the years by all their (often teenage or at least very young) POs. Just a thought!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen in some cases where an extinguisher probably wouldnt have helped, how many people have managed to actually save their bus with an extinguisher? I have one just in case, but now im worried cause of tesD stated that when his bus caught fire that even if he had an extinguisher he probably wouldnt have been able to save it. Perhaps everyone's fire is different depending on where it catches fire at. Has anyone ever rigged up a fuel cut off valve such as an airplane would have? that way in the event of fire the valve can be closed electronically or manually via rip cord or something under the dash. Then you go in the back with the oven mit and extinguish it. I also like the idea of having the supressants in the engine compartment and being able to release them via button on the dash.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering the same thing. I'm gonna do lotsa maintenance as soon as I get off school for winter break, figured some fire prevention would be good. Is there something (preferably inexpensive) like vwjoe84 is talking about that could stop the flow of gas from the tank? I rather like the manual rip cord type idea, as I often don't trust electrical things...
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwjoe84 wrote:
Has anyone ever rigged up a fuel cut off valve such as an airplane would have? that way in the event of fire the valve can be closed electronically or manually via rip cord or something under the dash.


This is the simplest system that I know of that will stop the fuel flow on a fuel injected bus once the pump is shut off. Low tech and totally automatic. Get two of their Series 100 cartridge valves sized to the ID of the fuel line and set at 24" water. Install one in the line between the tank and the fuel pump and the other in the return near the tank. For a carbureted rig you would only need one.

http://www.smartproducts.com/check_valves.php
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i didn't want to jack this thread in any way, so instead i'll post a link to mine.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=266708

i needed some advice about my setup, so if anyone can help, i would appreciate it very much.

thanks
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know ill be installing a solenoid valve in my buses fuel line soon, probably in the spring, Ill just wire it to the ignition so it's only open when the key is on. Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:54 am    Post subject: . Reply with quote

The cloth covering was not intended as a heat shield. It's purpose was to prevent 'chaffing'. I only use it on the hose going thru the firewall. The rest of the hoses are reinforced FI hose 'Goodyear'. I just recently replaced all the hoses after six years of running the same type hose and the Goodyear hose held up better than the braided hose when twisted 180 degrees, no cracks.
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