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Offline poomwah

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metal hoses????
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:56:45 PM »
Ok, I have had one of my stupid ideas.  I was looking at my engine and that metal heater hose got me thinking. 
  Is there a way to replace any other hoses with metal? and what would you use? copper?
PVC? 
 I've got some wacky ideas where I would love to have as MUCH hard line as possible.

Offline amc49

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Re: metal hoses????
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 09:19:48 PM »
Well, it doesn't look as clean and you were all concerned with that. However, I routinely solder up copper pipes to replace soft rubber lines to avoid buying the heavily overpriced molded to shape hoses. On like a Focus car with 9 hoses I've saved a solid $100 bill doing so, both mine and the Contour have virtually no rubber hose except the main upper and lower radiator hoses, all else is metal with a short rubber leg on each end. I use bulk straight heater hose that is like 1/4 the price of formed hoses. I started that process way back on Tempos and a 2.3 '74 Mustang II, the heater manifold I had soldered up way back in the '80s.

First time around it will cost about the same but the refit at around 125K miles will cost maybe $20-$25 for what was around $130 worth of hoses on the Focus cars. There's a stupid plastic 3 way manifold on the radiator of Focus that actually costs more than the copper refit, and the refit lasts forever. The plastic will break maybe 3 times over the life of the car.

I use steel brake line (cheaper than copper) on like small 5/16 or 3/8 bypass/bleed lines, the rubber chosen there is ATX oil cooler line for blowout resistance, it's priced high enough though that again using super cheap brake line makes up for it. I just use like 4" of rubber ATX line on either end and then it lasts much longer. I don't even bother to flare slightly the ends but I use double clamps at each connection.

One thing to remember, the solid lines will restrict you more in engine work, for instance the Focus has two bypasses to the plastic reservoir and when doing work on pass side like mount, or alt, or timing cover you could simply lift the reservoir and flop it over upside down to get it out of the way without disconnecting anything. With metal lines that is not so possible, they are too rigid. I compromised to make it to where I could flip tank almost as much. You look for those types of things when planning it out. As you move from car to car you mod your thinking slightly to get best all around result, all a learning process.

It ends up really not that ugly and when showing people they can't believe until looking under the hood, they they always give me the high five there. It's custom looking AND I make money doing it. I like my stuff as we called it in the '60s, SANO, or everything buttoned down and in it's place. I hate wires or harnesses flopping around, hoses, anything that can bring the car down, it's stupid to work on one then go down later for a silly reason and it virtually never happens to me.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: metal hoses????
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 10:32:12 PM »
I've used copper tubing for heater hoses over the years too. If you want to spend some time buffing it to a shine then using high temp clear on em they look sharp. I've used those cheap braided cover kits & fake AN fittings over the short rubber connections to add some flair.
 
Over the years I've found chrome plated tubing in large diameters at surplus stores & used it for upper/lower radiator hoses with the cheap braided covering trick on that rubber too.
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Offline poomwah

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Re: metal hoses????
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 08:43:23 AM »
I was actually thinking of airbrushing the pipes

Offline amc49

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Re: metal hoses????
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 04:15:09 AM »
Airbrushing leaves a pretty thin layer of paint, it would abrade to show through with almost no brushing against the painted surface at all. Better to just use rattle can and an epoxy based paint.

Offline poomwah

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Re: metal hoses????
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2014, 09:05:30 AM »
If I used an epoxy based paint for the basecoat, then I could airbrush the design on top of that, then clear coat it.
 I thought it would be neat to replace hoses with hard line, then paint them to look like a copper head