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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night at the track I learned a lesson. Hopefully someone else can learn from it also.
The metal line going to my oil pressure guage snapped off at the fitting on the engine. Oil everywhere.

I had made a time trial pass and was driving down the return road when I saw oil coming out between the hood and fender. Not much, just a little at first. Thought maybe I had lost a valve cover breather, so I kept going back to the pits. About 100 yards away from my trailer it started gushing from under the hood. Killed the engine and coasted on in. Found the broken line. Plugged it off with a pipe plug. I had lost 3 (of 7)qts of oil that fast. Oil all over/under the car, dripping from the grill, front valance, even one headlight. Sidewalls of the rear slicks were coated. Shudder to think if it had let loose on the pass.

Went back and talked to the starter. He had seen a little smoke just after I passed the 1/4 mile mark. The race was 1/8, I was slowing but was still moving prob 85-90 mph at the 1/4. My guess is the line cracked on the pass and then broke on the return road. Don't think the motor is hurt, no oil pressure guage, but it sounded normal getting it on the trailer and off this morning at home.

The cause of the problem was the copper line getting brittle. I knew better than to use the plastic line that came with guage when I installed it two years ago. I thought I was doing good by getting the copper tubing kit that Auto Meter sells. The copper line is 100% track legal. Plus it ws cheaper. $10 vs $50 for the braided stainess line and fittings. Wrong place to save $40. Going through the pits over half the cars have them.

If any of you guys have a mechanical guage with copper or even plastic tubing do yourself a huge favor and get rid of it NOW! Get the braided stainless line and fittings. I'll be placing my order on Monday.

Later,
 

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Wow, good thing you had that high capacity oil pan also, sounds like you would have almost drained a stock pan if you'd been running much longer. I think I'll stick to electric gauges.
 

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I learned my lesson too. I had a plastic tube and the guage started to leak under my dash. Good thing I happened to have a towel with me, the oil leaked on to the brake pedal. It ruined my pants and my shoes too.
lol

Now I use electric guages becuase the are easier to work with, plus they don't leak.
 

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Don't feel bad, you are not the only one who has done this. I did it.

It is probably cheaper to use an electric gauge compared to the mechanical with a stainless braided line.
 

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The problem with copper is that as it flexs it gets hard and brittle. This is the reason you don't see car companies using copper for fuel or oil lines.

For some reason, I thought NHRA or IHRA had a rule against using copper lines for anything.....maybe I have brain fade????
 

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I have a cheaper suggestion. Last year my father was helping me install a new oil pressure gauge and copper line. After attaching it to the sending unit he ran it along the intake manifold, at the firewall he proceeded to bend two loops in it (gradual, not right angles!) similar to brake lines coming out of a master cylinder. When I asked him the purpose, he indicated the line will "give" at the loops rather than breaking at the sending unit / gauge. This way as the engine moves under load, the line can move with it. Great idea and it has lasted me a season of racing! Every once and a while it pays to listen to the old hot rodders
 

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That's a good idea.

Here's another tip. Check to make sure all your hose clamps are tight, even if you have ran it that way awhile. I have ran my car for 3 weeks this year without a problem, friday nite, during a test n tune, that changed. I left the line, and the car got all goofy, it fishtailed pretty hard, but came out of it so I never lifted. (FYI, it ran 10.15 @ 129 mph using up ALOT of extra track and "laying down" going thru the lights.) On the return road, I noticed the temp was substantially higher than normal, 210* instead of 180*. When I got back to the trailor, I took the hood off, and noticed the bottom radiator hose was completely off the pump
. Remember, I had close to 35 passes on the car to this point and never had a problem. That could have been very disasterous.

And now, it appears the extra heat has damaged something else since I have had nothing but problems since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got my new hose ordered. Autometer part #3236. 6ft -3AN braided hose and fittings. Called a couple of local places and nobody had it in stock. Was back ordered. Called a couple of mail order co's. Same story. Finally called Summit. They had 4 in stock.
$49.95 + handling.

Hopefully this will last a little longer. The copper line that I was using was the 1/8" that Autometer sells. Maybe 1/4 line would have held up better. It broke right at the fitting on the motor. The break was right at the compression sleeve. No sharp bends there. Just a gradual bend then up and across the intake. I had a loop in it between the motor and firewall and another loop inside the dash to help with any vibration. Guess it wasn't enough.

I really hope the motor isn't hurt. As I said the motor sounds normal. Would this leak have caused any of the bearings to get starved for oil? It still had 4 qts of sythetic in it and was not under load when it broke. Guess it was good that the line was only 1/8". A little smaller even because the compression sleeve had crushed it down a little more. The hole was about 3/32"
 
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