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I just changed my fuel filter, the connections to which are rubber fuel line fitted over metal pipes with bulging ends -- a bit like a barb.

(There's a photo at http://i.stack.imgur.com/oH0Ns.jpg if you like.)

The hoses were an absolute beast to get off; I ended up using a pair of pliers to help me twist them enough to get started, which naturally made me worry about damaging them.

I have no idea when the filter was last changed; I assume that the hoses did, and are going to again, "settle" somewhat onto the connection. I'd like to put some kind of lubrication on the metal so that it's not quite such a fight at the next change.

The recommendation I've seen that makes the most sense to me is Vaseline -- normally, of course, one shouldn't put petroleum lube on rubber, but this is fuel line.

Fuel or motor oil, along with silicone and dish soap have also come up. I want the lube to be persistent, though -- I can't imagine that the slipperiness of gasoline will still be there in another 30 months. Dish soap likewise tends to dry to a sticky film. I've heard rumors of silicone damaging catalytic converters when its makes it way into exhaust. Motor oil on my fuel lines sounds like a recipe for fouled plugs and injectors -- but maybe Vaseline would be too?

Should I pop the lines back off and apply a little jelly, or should I just leave it be and resign myself to the struggle next time?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There isn't any kind of application you can apply to the hose to make it easier to take off at a later time. The reasoning is it would be too easy for the hose to slip off during normal operation. And by the time you replace the fuel filter again it wouldn't even be there anymore as it's not a regular maintenance object.

Just doing what you did (Twisting the hose back and forth) is the best thing to do to release a stuck hose.

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Slipping off might be a concern, and thinking about this more, any substance that lubricated the way I want would necessarily be preventing rubber-to-metal contact, which could lead to leaking fuel -- not a good idea at all. –  Josh Caswell May 25 '13 at 19:31

By the time you need a fuel filter change it is time to replace the hoses also. Simply cut the hose off the fuel line and replace it using new clamps. When you get you filter ask the person at the counter for a foot of high pressure fuel hose. There was a time when they actually included the hose section and clamps in the box with the filter.

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While I'll accept that this might not be a bad idea, I can't find any other recommendation for changing the hose every time the filter is changed. My Haynes manual explicitly says to reuse the hoses (after inspection, of course), and the FSM makes no mention of replacement at all. More importantly, however, this still doesn't make it any easier to get the hoses off the hardlines. –  Josh Caswell May 15 '13 at 19:20
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Slice them off with a razor blade. A foot of hose costs about $2. –  mikes May 15 '13 at 20:09
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Heh, I've seen manuals say to re-use the cotter pins that safeguard the wheel nuts from coming off. Uh, no thank you. I'll spend the 5 cents and replace it each time. :-) –  Brian Knoblauch May 24 '13 at 20:25

(Too late to help the OP, but for future searchers:) Aero people use United-Erie "EZ Turn Fuel Lube" (SAE or Mil Spec "G-6032D"). It isn't officially a sealant, so the clamps are still doing the work. But it is fuel resistant, thus forms a non-hardening layer between the metal and rubber parts, and you won't have to rip or distort the hoses from cranking them off next time. (Despite using this stuff, those "aero people" probably also replace every hose with brand new each time they touch anything, anyway!-)

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I use Earls hose lubricant. It's sold for assembling AN fittings onto braided hose but I like it for what you're looking for.

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Can you provide any information about its staying power -- i.e., will it still be slippery two and a half years from now? That's my main concern. –  Josh Caswell May 15 '13 at 19:22
    
Honestly I can't say over 30 months. This stuff has the consistency more like a heavy oil than a grease or Vaseline like you mentioned earlier. –  spartygw May 16 '13 at 14:36

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