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.
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.
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).
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.
All hoses out now, I have reassembled them so that I can easily make my measurements for the new hoses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here is a shot of the right side reinstalled with the new hoses and gaskets on the fuel injectors.
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.
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.