The MGA With An Attitude

As noted on the prior page, MGA fuel vent pipes are a pain to install as original. As such they are commonly installed wrong without proper strain relief, resulting in the copper tubing being broken, most commonly within a few inches of the top end. A new pair of pipes is not terribly expensive (currently around $30/pr). This may seem different if you have to buy them more than once. My prior practical advice for non-concours cars was to connect the short broken pipe with hose and drop it down between frame and inner fender. Easy fix, easy service, cheap and functional. But if you want to restore the pipes as original, here's the skinny.

Fuel vent pipe size and bango fitting If you are any hand at soldering this should be a cheap fix, and it may even pay well for your time. Pick up some 3/16" (4.75mm) OD copper tubing, which may be available from a local hardware store. Look for 1/32" (0.75-0.08mm) wall thickness, 1/8" (3.2mm) ID. The stuff is about $1-USD per foot in 50-foot rolls, likely a little higher in smaller quantity. Cut to the lengths required, deburr the ends, and polish/clean the OD on the end to be soldered.

Fixture the banjo fitting in a third hand jig (vice or clamp or pliers in the hand of a helper). Do not pinch or damage the flat side sealing surfaces of the banjo fitting. Or fixture the tubing in a vice and hold the banjo fitting in a clamp. Either way you may need at least three hands to do this. You may want to pre-tin the end of the new pipe with a touch of solder, but do not get solder inside the pipe. Heat the banjo fitting until solder melts, and pull out the old pipe. Heat the fitting and the new pipe until you can push the joint together, verify a good solder joint (cold solder joint not allowed), and let it cool. Verify free flow (no solder inside the pipe), and it's done.

Last step may be a sip of your favorite beverage while you contemplate how much money you saved, and perhaps how much time you saved not waiting for delivery of another parts order.

On August 20, 2013. Jim Giunta in Bristol, Pennsylvania, USA wrote:
"I just finished making new overflow tubes for my 1500 as the old ones were short and quite ratty. A quick trip to Manny, Moe, and Curly netted a pair of brake lines for under $10. After desoldering the banjos, sanding and fluxing the tubes, I soldered them up like they were plumbing. The first bend was hardest so I got a bender from HF. The trick was getting to the P-clip. One benefit is that the new pipes are steel like the originals. They even came with a nice olive plastic (Teflon?) coating that won't corrode. The whole job start to finish was about 2 hours. I left them long until last thing then cut them both with a mini tubing cutter". -- Jim
Fuel vent pipe and bango fitting
Photo compliments of Del Rawlins in Anchorage, Alaska, USA

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