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Broken Oil Pressure Gauge Line

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Old 08-20-2018, 04:42 PM
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stefansangreal
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Default Broken Oil Pressure Gauge Line

Hi all,

I was working on replacing the spark plugs on my 73 and somewhere in the process, the oil pressure gauge line that goes from the back of the block next to the distributor to the gauge on the dash broke off at the retaining nut/ferrule. Luckily I was able to notice before starting the engine or else the whole bay would've been covered in oil...

I was able to remove the retaining nut, ferrule, and fitting with ease, and am hoping I can reuse the current line (which only broke at the connection point - there's still plenty of slack to make a new connection).

My inquiry is the following:

Usually, with pressurized connections, the line must have a flange for the ferrule to grab on to. I've found a video on YouTube on how to flange these plastic lines to prep for install. Tthey require using fire near the line to create the flange using heat, but this only applies to new lines, and using this process for my situation would only make things worse (I don't want to set anything on fire).

My two options are either to buy a brand new line - $9 at Zip, or use a variable temp soldering iron with a slim tip to create the flange with using low heat.

Which would you all recommend? Has anyone encountered this problem before?

Last edited by stefansangreal; 08-20-2018 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:01 PM
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Gold Dragon
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You can re use the old parts and fittings. Make sure you clean the line up where it was broken. A new razorblade will help
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Gold Dragon View Post
You can re use the old parts and fittings. Make sure you clean the line up where it was broken. A new razorblade will help
Thanks Gold Dragon! What are your thoughts on the flanging of the line and the methods I described?
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:21 PM
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About 3 decades back my 72 oil line broke in the cockpit and i smelled and felt hot oil, big mess,

Imho plastic lines are garbage and one that broke will break again,
Get a metal line and be done with it...
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:48 PM
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Or at least a plastic line that is less than 40 years old that hasn't already broken because it has become brittle... Preferrably new?

Last edited by derekderek; 08-20-2018 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by stefansangreal View Post
Thanks Gold Dragon! What are your thoughts on the flanging of the line and the methods I described?
A flare or flange is not necessary on a compression type fitting. Make sure the new clean end of the line extends past the ferrule a bit. As you tighten the nut the ferrule should compress the line.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:41 AM
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Rescue Rogers
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Mine boke inside the cab right above my new Alpine stereo. Go with tthe copper line, you'll be happier in the long run. You can use a small heat gun vs open flame if you choose to do thatt. I just give the line a little bit past the ferrule (1/8-3/16) then tighten and let the ferrule crimp it
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Old 08-21-2018, 06:36 AM
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What Gold Dragon said, no flair needed with compression fitting. The line can usually be removed and reinstalled but the ferrule is a one time use.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:09 AM
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stingr69
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I have used the cone shaped oil line ferrules and they are reusable if you have one like that. Just cut the line clean and reinsert-reassemble. Line needs to be still serviceable obviously.

The round brass compression type ferrule are one time use if you have that one.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by stingr69 View Post

The round brass compression type ferrule are one time use if you have that one.
ONLY if you destroy the ferule/nut by over tightening. Tightened properly, they can be reused without problems.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:22 AM
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Thanks everyone,

It seems like this problem has happened before, as the ferrule was waaaaay overtightened. I'm going to try and source a replacement ferrule locally, but ultimately I'm going to opt for getting a replacement line. As derekderek mentioned, plastic over 40 years old is just too brittle, and I fear a new ferrule will only be a temporary solution.

Does anyone have any recommendations on copper/plastic lines and where I can find them for a good price? Zip's got it for $10 and there's quite a few videos on YouTube, but I'd rather go with something the community recommends.
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:32 PM
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69Vett
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please use something better, so it don't break again.
your #129 poster "my oil line broke" !
I prefer 1/8" stainless tubing.

McMaster Carr has all tubing and deliveries amazingly quick.
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:12 PM
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VCuomo
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Why not just ditch the mechanical gauge and get an electric '74 oil pressure gauge and sending unit (install the sending unit in the block just above the oil filter and plug the hole that the line is currently installed in by the distributor)? You'll never have to worry about an oil leak in the cabin that way.

Last edited by VCuomo; 08-22-2018 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 08-27-2018, 02:41 AM
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stefansangreal
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Hi all, just an update for whomever is interested.

I went ahead with a temporary plastic line for the time being. Initially, as per the suggestions of the community, I was going to opt for the copper line but it seemed more logical to get something that would work for the time being until I got to the stage of working on the interior and dash.

---

As I mentioned before, the previous ferrule at the engine connection had been overtightened, so it was impossible to reuse it with the old plastic line.

I wanted to avoid working behind the center dash until a later time, as I was hoping to focus mostly on the mechanical aspects of the car. Alas, this broken oil line changed my mind, as you will be able to tell by the following image:

there was a leak at the gauge connection which had been slowly leaking oil behind the center dash and onto the radio housing. Eventually I'll be back here again, but for the time being I went ahead and gave it a little cleanup with some degreaser:

here's the new connection at the engine level (eventually all these fittings will be replaced again):

I attached the old line to the new line with some electrical tape and twist ties (if you tighten the twist tie with an electric drill, the twist tie will break off just before overtwisting and damaging the plastic lines), and fished it through the firewall very carefully using the old line:


and here is the new gauge connection:


I'll eventually replace all of this with new fittings and copper line, but I'm confident this will hold up for the time being until I get a chance to work on the electrical system and get behind the dash again.

thanks again to all who provided input and advice. I know I'm not the first who has come across this issue, but I hope these images will aid whoever runs into it in the future.

- stefan

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Old 08-30-2018, 10:41 AM
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all fittings are reuseable, except the ferrule once it is crushed it must be replaced, no need to replace fittings,
put them on a buffing wheel and they look better than new.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:31 AM
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This looks pretty cool:
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/atm-3227/overview/

I would consider this if I was concerned about my plastic line. Of course I'd first compare this to the cost of converting to an electric pressure gauge????
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