The MGA With An Attitude

At 03:19 PM 3/15/2007 -0600, Charles Holwerk wrote:
"Would you consider using a copper fuel line?"

I have a slight phobia against soft copper tubing for fuel pipe, but only because of road hazard protection. Lots of race sanctioning organizations don't allow it because of work hardening with vibration and fear of stress cracks. But it's probably okay on a daily driver street car.

"I ordered one from Moss, thinking it would be a quality part, but it is just some copper tubing with the fitting brazed (poorly) on the ends".

I would have thought they would be supplying mild steel fuel line, as original. Supplying copper in place of steel without notice in the catalog is dirty pool. The first thing would be to call Moss and ask why they are peddling copper in place of original steel fuel pipe. See what they say first, then send it back if you're not happy about it.

You might also post a couple of notes to the mgs email list and the MGA BBS on the UK server. If you really want to give Moss a dig in the side, post a note on the Moss Motors MGA BBS, and see what Moss has to say about it in public.

One other guess: Moss also sells cupronickel brake pipes that look a lot like copper tubing but are much more durable similar to steel lines. Any chance your new fuel pipe is cupronickel rather than copper tubing?

".... I assumed (and we know what that causes) that they would have an original type steel line."

Yes, unless otherwise stated in the catalog. Victoria British runs big business based on substituting any cheap material in place of original equipment, but Moss usually doesn't do that without some notice.

"So my question stands, would you use the copper?"

I would prefer steel, but I could live with copper in a pinch. My car still has the original 50-year-old steel fuel lines.

"If not, any ideas on where to get a nice stainless steel one?"

If you can silver solder the end fittings you could make your own from stainless tubing. I don't know if there's much advantage for stainless over mild steel tube. If you paint it well, mild steel should hold up okay for decades.

Addendum, October 2008:
This issue is now resolved. Original fuel pipes were steel, but replacement pipes are not currently available as prefabricated steel parts. Reason is apparently that full length or pre-bent pipes are bulky and therefore difficult to stock and ship. Replacement parts are therefore made form copper or 90/10 cupro-nickel tubing (90% copper and 10% nickel). These can be loosely rolled for storage and shipping, and easily formed to fit at installation.

The problem stems from different laws in different countries and the method of distribution of car parts. In Europe (UK in particular) the fuel lines can be made from plain copper tubing. In the USA plain copper is not allowed, so the replacement pipes are made from cupro-nickel tubing. There is a common supplier for these parts using copper for the European market and cupro-nickel for the American market.

The problem related above was apparently the result of some parts originally supplied to a UK vendor being moved to the USA inventory, resulting in some copper pipes being sold in the USA. The problem has been settled (we hope) with this particular customer, and the Moss USA inventory has been corrected to supply only the proper (intended) cupro-nickel replacement parts. The Moss USA parts are now clearly marked to indicate the material used in the tubing (so it can be identified without spectral analysis).

Thank you for your comments -- Send e-mail to <Barney Gaylord>
©2007-2008 Barney Gaylord -- Copyright and reprint information