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Thread: What type tubing for oil lines?

  1. #1

    Default What type tubing for oil lines?

    I'm re-assembling my 1947 chief for the first time in 25 years. The oil lines have been lost. My dad relocated the oil tank to a homemade one (made from an Indian fender) placed under the seat - like Harleys are. This allowed him to use the oil tank for more fuel; therefore I cannot buy and use stock lines. Any suggestions for currently available tubing that would be easy to form and provide satisfactory performance considering the pressure, heat and contents?

    Thanks - Larry Gibson

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    I would use a seamless tubing of brass, copper, steel, or stainless steel. Indian used copper lines, as did many manufacturers (except H-D). There is always the risk of stress cracking due to vibration; and that is why many people won't use copper, but I have personally had steel lines stress crack, and copper lines that were trouble free. Since this is a custom application, you can do whatever you want, and you may want to go to rubber lines.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #3

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    Thanks, Eric. I was leaning toward copper lines. I have a friend and co-worker who is an expert at forming copper. I think that is what we will do - probably tomorrow. I'm still open to suggestions, though.

    Larry Gibson

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    Quote Originally Posted by larrymgibson View Post
    Thanks, Eric. I was leaning toward copper lines. I have a friend and co-worker who is an expert at forming copper. I think that is what we will do - probably tomorrow. I'm still open to suggestions, though.

    Larry Gibson
    Larry, sounds like a challenge to route what with the exhaust and cylinder between the pump and your tank! Have you looked at braided stainless? Put up a photo when you're done, it would be interesting to see what you came up with.
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  5. #5

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    Yes, I thought about braided stainless. That's one of the reasons I wanted to pick some brains on the forum. I have some old photos from 1991, but they aren't too clear. I will post what we do. Thanks for the input.
    Larry

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    Indian lines use a proprietary brass ferrule. Every motorcycle I own (except for 2 panheads) use a ferrule, designed to seal on the fittings made for that bike. I always make new ferrules for when I make new gas, and oil lines. If you're going to use modern compression fittings, you'll have to change all of your fittings on the motor, and tanks. The same would apply to swedged lines. Plumbing on a motorcycles can be just as aggravating as plumbing on a house
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    Indian lines use a proprietary brass ferrule. Every motorcycle I own (except for 2 panheads) use a ferrule, designed to seal on the fittings made for that bike. I always make new ferrules for when I make new gas, and oil lines. If you're going to use modern compression fittings, you'll have to change all of your fittings on the motor, and tanks. The same would apply to swedged lines. Plumbing on a motorcycles can be just as aggravating as plumbing on a house
    Agreed, Eric,

    But the 'trap' (bad plumbing pun) we face is the puzzle of determining original tapers from intentionally distorted original ferrules.
    (T'ain't never easy, and then a guess at best.)

    If anybody has any sort of compiled reference that makes sense, we all give thanks in advance,...
    (Even if it ain't verifiable..., its a clue!)

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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    That is a good point, Tom. I generally indicate an original ferrule to set the lathe compound, but like you said; originals are often gouged, wonked, and warped. From recollection; I believe most motorcycle fittings are a nice, nominal angle. It's Harley-Davidson that often blazed their own trail.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

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    Rigid tubing is much easier to avoid obstacles with then rubber or stainless which do not hold a shape. 3/8" automotive brake line works well for fabrication and comes in assorted lengths, and is also available in different diameters. Small commercial tubing benders work quit well with patience and pre-planning.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    That is a good point, Tom. I generally indicate an original ferrule to set the lathe compound, but like you said; originals are often gouged, wonked, and warped. From recollection; I believe most motorcycle fittings are a nice, nominal angle. It's Harley-Davidson that often blazed their own trail.
    I wouldn't exonerate any marque for that crime, Eric!

    A reference would be ideal,
    ..because I'm not happy even with averages of many of the same ferrule.
    Reproductions can't be trusted (sorry if just I preached to the choir..), and I often wonder if many were produced with an interference angle to its seat.
    (Somewhere, I have Machinist's Handbooks and SAE annuals. somewhere. But neither would probably cite any proprietary designs.)

    I occasionally resort to chilling modelling clay to determine seats. Its futile. Only direct math does worse for me!

    ....Cotten
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 06-14-2017 at 10:43 AM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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