[T3] FI Fuel Hose

Jim Adney jadney at vwtype3.org
Fri Jun 25 14:51:58 PDT 2021

I probably bought my first hose to replace bad FI hose on my Type 3 around 
1971. Since that time, I've bought hose from many different sources, slowly 
finding good and bad hoses. Very early on, I discovered that 5/16" hose with 
the black rubber cover was a good choice, but I always had my eye out for a 
good source for the OE style with the woven fabric cover. I never found any.

It's my understanding that the early OE hose was 7 mm ID, but that required 
too much stretch and was replaced, I don't know when, by 7.5 mm hose. 
Even that later hose tended to crack, under the woven cover, and leak, near 
a connection.

Over the years, I've tried to find good hose that I could sell at reasonable 
prices. This was always made difficult by the fact that SAE (the Society of 
Automotive Engineers) set hose ratings, but I could not find what those 
ratings meant. (SAE requires $$$ to access their ratings online.)

A few years ago, someone here posted this link:


If you go here, they lay out the basic meanings of the various SAE hose 
ratings. These are all versions of J30Rx. Most of what I sold in the past was 
probably R3 or R7, as those are very common and our 30 psi FI systems 
don't require anything more.

Note that Volksbolts is selling good hose from Denmark, but they're in the 
UK, so that's not so unreasonable. I'm sure that hose is good, but I don't see 
the point when hose that's just as good can be shipped a couple thousand 
miles less.  

It seemed that every time I found a good source for quality hose, that source 
dried up soon after I settled on it. Now I've been looking once again, this 
time with the SAE ratings in mind. I'd like to get really good hose with low 
permeability to gasoline, just to live up to my environmental responsibilities, 
but I'd rather not pay an arm and a leg for it. (That web site calls this 
permitivity, but that's the wrong word.)

I found a good hose that meets the permeability of R14 while also having the 
R9 100 psi rating with a minimum bend radius of 2", which is lower than 
anything else I've ever seen. The price is a little higher, but I'm guessing this 
is to be expected. The catch is that I'll have to buy 150-250' of it.

It takes about 22' to redo an entire FI car. I can probably still sell this new 
hose for the same $3/ft or $60 for 22', plus shipping. Let me know if this 
might be something you'd be willing to invest in someday.

For those of you with carbs, I don't have any hose advice to offer. Just be 
careful of the brass fuel inlet/outlet tubes on your fuel pumps and carbs. 
Those can come loose and dump raw gas all over your hot engine. Fires 
from old, neglected fuel hose is one of the major killers of our old cars, both 
carbed and FI.  

HINT: Never add an inline fuel filter in a place where it will add weight to one 
of those brass inlets or outlets.

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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