Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making your own fuel lines for your RV airplane

If you've not yet worked significantly on the firewall forward portion of your RV airplane project, let me warn you: fuel and oil lines are unbelievably expensive. I learned that lesson the hard way: Buying the stock fuel and oil lines based on Van's drawings.

There are too many engine combinations (mine is an IO-360 from Mattituck with vertical updraft) to make buying stock fuel lines worthwhile. Even if you could get them to fit on your engine, you'll likely be making some concessions to efficiency -- and maybe even safety -- to get them to fit.

It's possible, of course, to have your fuel and oil lines custom built, and certainly there are plenty of RVers out there with enough money to build their airplanes merely by writing checks. I am not one of those people, however, and I strongly believe in the basis for building your own airplane: recreation and education. I've learned so much from building my RV-7A so far, that I enjoy the challenge of understanding how things work.

(Read more on RV Builder's Hotline)


  1. Bob...

    Consider firesleeve. More cost - ugh! - I know. But worth peace of mind.

    PS - from the photos, your workmanship looks first class - very nice.

  2. I should have been more clear. I left the firesleeve off until after I had the lines pressure tested. In fact, I was at the hangar tonite installing that. Unfortunately, I have to take the right-angle fitting off to slip it onto the larger line.

  3. I wanted to make my own too Bob. I chickened out and just ordered them. Whats another $350? Haha. They look like you are doing a very nice job. Will try and sell all the wrong TMX hoses on vans to recoup some $$. Cheers, Rick