Here are a few photos of my experience with replacing my old fuel injection hoses on my 1986 VW Vanagon GL, 2WD, water-cooled, digifant, gas, non AC, Westfalia. I should start by saying big high five to Ken Wilford for his cool video on Vanagon fuel line replacement procedure and imploring us do-it-yourselfers to take pride in our work. I always do when it comes to my Volkswagens! Ken also asks that you purchase the kit from him, however, I already had a fuel line replacement kit from GoWesty.com so I was set to begin the project. I went with their upgraded kit which has the best quality hoses for longest life.

The kit does not necessarily come with instructions but I have a lot of previous experience under the deck lid so I jumped right in. This is what is left over from the GoWesty kit from the project so far. The larger fuel hose section is the direct connection from the fuel tank to the fuel pump. I still need to replace that. Waiting until I have used up most of the fuel so I don’t have to drain so much gas in order to replace this one. The smaller hose is what is used in the engine compartment for the fuel injection lines.

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GoWesty fuel line kit parts (complete kit not shown here FYI)

 

What I normally do with any repair procedure is to take some ‘BEFORE’ pictures to remind me of how it looked when the vehicle was (still working). Air filter removed for easy access and visibility, taking pictures into a dark engine compartment can result in useless images, unless you know how to adjust the exposure to show the dark areas in better detail.

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Right side of engine, cylinders one and two.

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Left side of engine, cylinders three and four

Documentation started, I also like to break out the blue painters tape and start labeling the parts I am about to remove. I also like to remind myself of the firing order of the VW boxer engine (one – four – three – two).

Location of VW Boxer engine cylinders and distributor reference. Technical diagram!

Location of VW Boxer engine cylinders and distributor reference. Technical diagram!

Documentation assured now, battery disconnected, I start removing the parts. I released the pressure bolt at the T-connection, no fuel or air spewed out, but I kept a rag under it just in case. I disconnected the fuel line supply hose at the plastic flange, then removed the flange screws which secure it to the bulkhead. Then I removed the 3 inch hose that connects to the plastic fuel supply line behind the firewall. Some fuel leaks out at this point, not from the plastic fuel supply line but from the hose connected to the T-connection. Here is a photo of it reassembled so you can see how it all went together. The plastic flange is no longer used when the system is upgraded with the new hoses.

vanagon fuel line flange

vanagon fuel line flange

All hoses out now, I have reassembled them so that I can easily make my measurements for the new hoses.

old fuel injection lines for reference

old fuel injection lines for reference

 

Here is the left side. WOW! Not a moment too soon!!!! This Vanagon grew up in Boston, I guess they have some rust issues there. I could smell gas every time I opened the deck lid. Two of the metal clamps had completely rusted away, nothing was holding those hoses on, a miracle there was never a fire.

Left side fuel injection set

Left side fuel injection set

Here is the right side, at least one hose had been replaced recently by a previous owner.  Why anyone would only do ONE is probably because it appeared while on vacation and they just wanted to get the van back on the road so they could make it home. It is so much easier to do them all at the same time for you DIYers.

Right side fuel injection lines

Right side fuel injection lines

Time to measure hoses, cut them to lengths, and then remove the original hoses from the parts you will re-use. You will re-use the fuel distributor, the black plastic cleans up so nice it looks new. This is one of the benefits of doing your own mechanical projects, you can spend the little extra time to make things look good, you’ll feel so proud when you open the engine compartment, so own it.  You can also re-use the fuel injectors if they are operating correctly, mine were fine.

Clean vanagon fuel distributor

Clean vanagon fuel distributor

Here are the new hoses installed on the right side set, the GoWesty fuel line kit comes with crimp style clamps. The kit also comes with new rubber gaskets for the fuel injectors. I am reusing the plastic sleeves that protect the hoses.

New Vanagon fuel injection hoses with crimp clamps

New Vanagon fuel injection hoses with crimp clamps

The fuel supply line is replaced with a single hose that connects directly to the plastic fuel supply line. Where it passes through the bulkhead they supply a double flange grommet which fits in the original hole and provides a safe passageway for the hose to slide through.

GoWesty's double flange grommet

GoWesty’s double flange grommet

Grommet installed.

double flange grommet installed

double flange grommet installed

Here is a shot of the right side reinstalled with the new hoses and gaskets on the fuel injectors.

New hoses installed on vanagon fuel injection system.

New hoses installed on vanagon fuel injection system.

New fuel injection hoses on the T-connection and the pressure regulator. The fuel return line is not new, looks like a previous owner had replaced that very recently. If I have enough hose I will replace that just so I know it’s good.

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New fuel injection hoses on the T-connection and the pressure regulator. The fuel return line is not new.

Probably one of the most satisfying projects I have done, it’s obvious from the condition of the original clamps and hoses that I was living on borrowed time. This was easy for me to do, took about 5 hours total with lots of pauses to sit and stare at it. If you are unsure about your ability to do this type of project safely, don’t worry about trying it yourself. I would recommend that you have your local repair professionals do it for you. If you have the original fuel injection hoses still on your Vanagon, you will feel so much better having brand new ones installed.

 

7 Comments

  1. Steve
    February 26, 2014

    Thank you for such a beautifully photographed repair sequence. You have inspired me to tackle this project and your greta work is to be commended.

    • admin
      February 26, 2014

      I do appreciate you saying so, have fun with your project!

  2. Pete
    March 20, 2014

    Very helpful and inspiring photo doc. I needed it. I received the GoWesty kit a few weeks ago and hoped to tackle it today but got cold feet. It seemed to me it was going to be really hard to get behind that plastic piece that is prone to failure to put the new clamp on where the hose meets the hard plastic lines. Is jacking it up on stands going to give me better access?

    • Kenny
      March 20, 2014

      I did not put the vehicle on jack stands, though I did remove the passenger side rear wheel to gain better access.

  3. Chard
    April 13, 2014

    My van sprung a leak today on the small hose that connects to the hard plastic fuel line. I am going to repair tomorrow. Question: Does the plastic line/7mm fuel line connection have a barbed adaptor inside it that the 7mm fuel line is inserted over? Any help is appreciated.

    • Kenny
      April 13, 2014

      I do not believe the plastic fuel line has a barbed end, I think it is smooth the entire length. I remember that the new fuel hose just slid onto it smoothly.

      • Chard
        April 14, 2014

        Thanks for the reply! You are correct. The hard plastic line just slides right into the rubber line. That was a super tricky piece to get at for sure. I don’t think I have a knuckle that was spared trying to get at it. That short piece of line crumbled in my hand. Upon further inspection it looks like that was the only segment of line that hasn’t been replaced, but I am still going to replace everything when the Gowesty fuel line kit arrives.