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  1. #1
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    Fix an old bike pump with fuel line

    This summer has been hard on any rubber stuff in my garage. My spare tubes have all dry-rotted. Worse than that, the hose on my old Nashbar bike pump developed a ton of cracks and started leaking.

    I found a cheap fix and now I'm back in business! 3/16" rubber fuel line from my local auto parts store fits perfectly.

    You can also buy replacement heads and hoses online, but the fuel line seems to be quite a bit better quality -- hopefully car fuel lines don't rot to pieces every ten years -- and you can make sure it will fit at the store rather than order and hope.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  2. #2
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    That's cool, I will keep that in mind if I need it someday.

    I have a different pump problem that needs a quick fix, if you have any bright ideas. I got a free pump from my LUVBS (UV=Used/Vintage -- I just made that up!), it was free because it doesn't work. It doesn't work because it's missing a screw-on cap to cover a hole. I'm not sure why it has a hole (with a threaded port), maybe there's some kind of service/maintenance that could be done through it. But what I need is like a bigass schraeder dustcap, like 1/2" across or so.

    I was thinking about trying to fill the hole with gorilla glue, but not sure if it would be for sure airtight, and it wouldn't be very reversible. Any idea what kind of cheap rubber thing I could buy from which I could carve a conical stopper that would hold >100psi?

    Or other ideas? Maybe I could get some automotive tubing or hose, and hose-clamp it onto the pump and then tie it off, maybe stuff a ball bearing or marble in it first? I'm just not sure how good of a seal I'll be able to get with those threads.

  3. #3
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    I'm surprised the fuel line will tolerate the 100+ psi used for most bike tires. I've replace bike pump hoses with a section of air compressor hose of the right diameter. This stuff is designed for well over 100 psi and is relatively cheap. Any auto parts or better hardware store carries it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I'm surprised the fuel line will tolerate the 100+ psi used for most bike tires. I've replace bike pump hoses with a section of air compressor hose of the right diameter. This stuff is designed for well over 100 psi and is relatively cheap. Any auto parts or better hardware store carries it.
    Hmm, good point. This hose looks pretty sturdy; we'll see if it holds up.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    That's cool, I will keep that in mind if I need it someday.

    I have a different pump problem that needs a quick fix, if you have any bright ideas. I got a free pump from my LUVBS (UV=Used/Vintage -- I just made that up!), it was free because it doesn't work. It doesn't work because it's missing a screw-on cap to cover a hole. I'm not sure why it has a hole (with a threaded port), maybe there's some kind of service/maintenance that could be done through it. But what I need is like a bigass schraeder dustcap, like 1/2" across or so.

    I was thinking about trying to fill the hole with gorilla glue, but not sure if it would be for sure airtight, and it wouldn't be very reversible. Any idea what kind of cheap rubber thing I could buy from which I could carve a conical stopper that would hold >100psi?

    Or other ideas? Maybe I could get some automotive tubing or hose, and hose-clamp it onto the pump and then tie it off, maybe stuff a ball bearing or marble in it first? I'm just not sure how good of a seal I'll be able to get with those threads.
    Hardware store should have screw-on brass caps in the plumbing section...
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

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    You mentioned that you got a head for the pump on line. I would like to get a head for my pump that would fit a schrader valve. I want the head to clamp onto the valve.

    What I want to do is use a presta to schrader adapter and use a joe blow pump with its own pressure gauge.

    I have seen some of the expensive bike pump heads that cost as much as $80. This seems quite high. I keep thinking that I can get a small electric compressor with a schrader clamp on head for a lot less than $80 and once the compressor wore out I could then take the schrader clamp on head off the compressor and use it on my hand pump.

    So is there anyway that I can cheaply get some parts to assemble my contraption.

  7. #7
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    There are a lot of heads and hoses on Amazon for under $10. But I didn't go this route; I bought some fuel line at the local AutoZone.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...bike+pump+hose
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

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    Thanks so much for the link. I will check them out. It looks like something should work for me.

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    As long as the hose can stand the pressure any hose in the right diameter should work for a pump. Transmission lines can take more abuse just in case.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    I have a different pump problem that needs a quick fix, if you have any bright ideas. I got a free pump from my LUVBS (UV=Used/Vintage -- I just made that up!), it was free because it doesn't work. It doesn't work because it's missing a screw-on cap to cover a hole. I'm not sure why it has a hole (with a threaded port), maybe there's some kind of service/maintenance that could be done through it. But what I need is like a bigass schraeder dustcap, like 1/2" across or so.
    That "hole" may be where the check valve goes and the ball check was held in place with the original screw in cap.

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    You don't need anything super duty for a pump hose, as long as the ID is fairly small.

    Then pressure exerted stress on the wall of the hose is proportional to the ID, so with a small ID just about anything is OK. You can experience the effect of diameter on pressure strength whenever you blow up a balloon. It's hardest to get started, but once the balloon gets larger the effort goes down, even though the skin is under higher tension.

    I've used PVC tubing from Home depot, both reinforced and not reinforced and both work.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I've used PVC tubing from Home depot, both reinforced and not reinforced and both work.
    I can assure you from experience that unreinforced 1/4" ID Tygon tubing won't take 100 psi. The BANG! startled everyone in the lab when the 100 psi regulated air line was inadvertently blocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I can assure you from experience that unreinforced 1/4" ID Tygon tubing won't take 100 psi. The BANG! startled everyone in the lab when the 100 psi regulated air line was inadvertently blocked.
    Yeah, 1/4" ID is too big for bike pumps, the barbs on mine call for tubing with an ID closer to 1/8". When I use unreinforced I go smaller because it's easy to stretch over the barb, Otherwise it/s 3/16" ID reinforced (for my pump's barbs)
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    Kind of unrelated, but I needed to join two naked ends of hose together to repair a pump and I couldnt find a barbed "butt connector" style piece at any of my local hardware stores. So I ripped an old presta valve out of a discared tube and jammed half of it into one hose and the other half into the other. Then secured the two ends with hose clamps and it has worked great! It has seen shop use (7 days a week) for a couple months now.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ranko Kohime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I'm surprised the fuel line will tolerate the 100+ psi used for most bike tires. I've replace bike pump hoses with a section of air compressor hose of the right diameter. This stuff is designed for well over 100 psi and is relatively cheap. Any auto parts or better hardware store carries it.
    Fuel lines generally carry between 50-70 PSI, in a normal fuel injected car. And most likely, by federal mandate, they must have a burst strength some multiple of their normal operating load, which means I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a bicycle pump.

  16. #16
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    One caveat on the fuel line- Be sure you buy the style for HIGH PRESSURE FUEL. It will have a reinforcing layer and you can see threads on the end when its cut.

    -SP

  17. #17
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    That "hole" may be where the check valve goes and the ball check was held in place with the original screw in cap.
    Thx for the info HillRider, but I don't understand what those words mean? What's a "check valve" and a "ball check"? Would my pump not work if I just find some kind of plumbing endcap that fits on and seals airtight? I've "tested" the pump by just sealing the hole with my thumb, and I can get air to come out of noozle, so I was thinking the pump would be fine if I could just close off that hole.

    FWIW, the pump has a pressure gauge, and that's inline with the hose to the noozle, so I don't think this spurious hole could have anything to do with the gauge.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy25 View Post
    One caveat on the fuel line- Be sure you buy the style for HIGH PRESSURE FUEL. It will have a reinforcing layer and you can see threads on the end when its cut.
    Yeah, looking at the fuel line offcut I happened to have on my desk, it looks like it can easily handle a few hundred PSI.

  19. #19
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    There are several types of auto fuel lines available. Looks like Phantoj go a piece of EFI hose vice a piece intended for an old carburator equipped car (low pressure). A modern EFI can hit over 100PSI. More than likely the friendly auto parts store either only had the high pressure hose (not usual these days) or he figured out what the customer was going to do with it (the geek in lyca shorts holding a bike pump was a hint I guess) and sold him the right piece. All is good that ends well...

  20. #20
    Senior Member StevePGN10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj View Post
    This summer has been hard on any rubber stuff in my garage. My spare tubes have all dry-rotted. Worse than that, the hose on my old Nashbar bike pump developed a ton of cracks and started leaking. I found a cheap fix and now I'm back in business! 3/16" rubber fuel line from my local auto parts store fits perfectly.
    I can't remember if I repaired my pump with fuel line or vacuum hose, but it has worked well for years. It had a problem early on when the head would pop off under pressure. I fixed it with a short length of copper wire wrapped around the hose over the barb and crimped it with a pair of pliers. A real cheapskate's delight.

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