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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One work - NIGHTMARE.

I'm well up for doing jobs on the van but this was a tricky one. My MOT is due soon and as I had an advisory last year for corrosion on the front to rear brake pipes I decided to do them.

No photos I'm afraid just the text. It was freezing cold and my hands were filthy and covered in brake fluid so I wan't in a mood to play David Bailey.

A quick look underneath the van showed that the offending area was by the back of the fuel tank - not good news as very difficult to access and the pipes were pretty rusty. The two front to rear pipes are both in two pieces - the front part goes from the brake pipe block on the bulkhead to about 2 feet rear of the fuel tank. The second part goes from here back to the load compensating valve.

I knew that I would need to replace some or all of the front part of the pipes which would mean removing the fuel tank for access - not good but it had to be done.

Fortunately I only had a quarter of a tank of fuel, any more than this and the tank would probably be too heavy to remove easily. The tank removes as follows:

Open the fuel filler flap and remove the metal ring that goes around the inside lip of the rubber shroud to press the shroud against the body. Get a small flat screwdriver in at the bottom and prise the ring out. With the ring removed, remove the rubber shroud by pulling the edge of it away from the body and then sliding it up off the fillr neck.

Remove the 10mm bolt that retains the top of the fillet neck to the body - accessed through the hole around the fuel filler cap.

Jack up the passenger side of the van so the front wheel is about 6" off the ground. Place an axle stand under the front subframe just behind the wheel. I then used a big plastic storage box and shoved it under the fuel tank - you need something sturdy that'll allow the tank to drop down about 3" - 4".

There's 3 straps that retain the tank, remove the outer two first and then remove the middle one. Be ready for the tank to drop down onto your packer, its not very heavy in itself - the weight is whatever fuel is in it so ideally as little as possible is best. Watch for the fuel sloshing in the tank, it can wake holding the tank sefely more awkward.

With the tank dropped down 3 or 4 inches, reach over from the back of the tank in the middle and remove the fuel gauge connector by squeezing in the 2 ears on each side of the connector and pull it apart. With the connector removed you now need to carefully remove whatever is holding the tank up and get it down on the floor. I just went for it, grabbed the tank and pushed out the plastic box. No real effort or fuss but the two fuel pipes did come unclipped from the clips on the floor and were being stretched a bit so I disconnected them from the tank. Use 2 M8 bolts to plug the ends of the pipes.

I didn't remove the tank completely from under the van as the filler neck was still poking up into the body but the tank was now low enough to access the brake pipes so I just chucked an old towel on top of the tank so I could rest my head on it while working.

My original plan was to cut the pipes above the tank and add a new piece that would join up to the rear section but after cutting the pipes and catching the fluid that drained out, I hit a snag. I've got a hand held brake pipe flaring tool but I'd recently broken the 3/16" die and the one I ordered to replace it hadn't arrived yet. Also the original brake pipes are steel and are usually too hard to flare with a hand held tool. I've also got a bigger flaring tool but that needs to be clamped in a vice so I couldn't flare then end of the old pipe in situ.

This meant that I needed to either replace the whole front section or flare the end of the existing piece with my vice mounted flaring tool. In either case I had to remove the front part of the pipes and this is the nightmare. The brake pipes are the first thing fitted to to the body, before the wiring, subframe etc.

There are 3 clips that each hold 4 brake pipes on the sloping part of the floor behind the bulkhead. The two rear pipes are the inner two and the front pipes are the outer two. These clips don't attach to the floor, they just clip the 4 pipes to each other so thay can be slid along the pipes to access them more easily. I unbolted the two inner pipes from the brake pipe block and after a couple of hours of cursing I succeeded in removed the two pipes rearwards over the top of the tank without destroying them and retaining some of their shape. Looking at the pipes it's obvious that replacing them in one piece wasn't an option as the shape is complicated and difficult to route with the wiring and engine in place.

I just put new unions on the end of the front part of the pipes and flared a new end in the vice. The front part of the pipe were then re-fitted and new sections about 2 feet long were made up in Cunifer nickel copper pipe to join up to the rear part of the pipes.

The pipes are now the original steel pipe back to a point just above the fuel tank with a new flare on the end. Then Cunifer pipe from here to a point about half way down the van and finally the original steel pipe back to the load compensating valve.

I bled the brakes and checked for leaks before I re-fitted the fuel tank just in case the joints above the tank leaked. I gave the pipes a good spray with cavity wax before re-fitting the tank so they should now outlast the rest of the van.

Fuel tank re-fitting if fairly easy but to help, bend the body bracket that retains the filler neck outwards an inch or so to make sure the tab on the filler neck goes behind it as it's offered up.

Total time to do this? Well it took me about 6 hours in a cold garage while the will to live ebbed away. I would say that if you need to replace any part of the front section of the front to rear brake pipes then this is what you're looking at. If you've got a hand held flaring tool that'll flare steel pipe then you'd probably save 2 to 3 hours as you wouldn't need to remove the complete pipe. When I get the replacement die for mine I'll do a test flare on a piece of the old pipe to see whether it's possible but I'm not optomistic.

TOP TIP-

Avoid doing the job in the first place - If your van's a keeper and you're pipes are ok then an annual liberal covering with Waxoyl should mean you never need to do this horrible job.
 

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I did this job to a mates van last year for an MOT Retest.
Basically cut the old pipes front & back of the tank.
Feed the new pipe with tape over the end to stop dirt ingress (unflared) over the tank.
Once through flare and attach to the front existing flare.
Measure up and flare the rear and attach.
Then artistically push what is left of the old pipe ends to hide
Them over the tank.
Worry about them if you ever have to lower the tank in the future. :)
 

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So is this possible to-do without removing the fuel tank in theory? I need to replace mine for the mot was wondering if its doable with a standard eBay kit pipe unions and flaring tool that's included?
 

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Useful thread! I bought my t4 last summer and brake lines have been replaced recently but they haven't clipped in place, any tips on how to do this myself it can't be that hard!
 

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*<:)>
One work - NIGHTMARE.

I'm well up for doing jobs on the van but this was a tricky one. My MOT is due soon and as I had an advisory last year for corrosion on the front to rear brake pipes I decided to do them.

No photos I'm afraid just the text. It was freezing cold and my hands were filthy and covered in brake fluid so I wan't in a mood to play David Bailey.

A quick look underneath the van showed that the offending area was by the back of the fuel tank - not good news as very difficult to access and the pipes were pretty rusty. The two front to rear pipes are both in two pieces - the front part goes from the brake pipe block on the bulkhead to about 2 feet rear of the fuel tank. The second part goes from here back to the load compensating valve.

I knew that I would need to replace some or all of the front part of the pipes which would mean removing the fuel tank for access - not good but it had to be done.

Fortunately I only had a quarter of a tank of fuel, any more than this and the tank would probably be too heavy to remove easily. The tank removes as follows:

Open the fuel filler flap and remove the metal ring that goes around the inside lip of the rubber shroud to press the shroud against the body. Get a small flat screwdriver in at the bottom and prise the ring out. With the ring removed, remove the rubber shroud by pulling the edge of it away from the body and then sliding it up off the fillr neck.

Remove the 10mm bolt that retains the top of the fillet neck to the body - accessed through the hole around the fuel filler cap.

Jack up the passenger side of the van so the front wheel is about 6" off the ground. Place an axle stand under the front subframe just behind the wheel. I then used a big plastic storage box and shoved it under the fuel tank - you need something sturdy that'll allow the tank to drop down about 3" - 4".

There's 3 straps that retain the tank, remove the outer two first and then remove the middle one. Be ready for the tank to drop down onto your packer, its not very heavy in itself - the weight is whatever fuel is in it so ideally as little as possible is best. Watch for the fuel sloshing in the tank, it can wake holding the tank sefely more awkward.

With the tank dropped down 3 or 4 inches, reach over from the back of the tank in the middle and remove the fuel gauge connector by squeezing in the 2 ears on each side of the connector and pull it apart. With the connector removed you now need to carefully remove whatever is holding the tank up and get it down on the floor. I just went for it, grabbed the tank and pushed out the plastic box. No real effort or fuss but the two fuel pipes did come unclipped from the clips on the floor and were being stretched a bit so I disconnected them from the tank. Use 2 M8 bolts to plug the ends of the pipes.

I didn't remove the tank completely from under the van as the filler neck was still poking up into the body but the tank was now low enough to access the brake pipes so I just chucked an old towel on top of the tank so I could rest my head on it while working.

My original plan was to cut the pipes above the tank and add a new piece that would join up to the rear section but after cutting the pipes and catching the fluid that drained out, I hit a snag. I've got a hand held brake pipe flaring tool but I'd recently broken the 3/16" die and the one I ordered to replace it hadn't arrived yet. Also the original brake pipes are steel and are usually too hard to flare with a hand held tool. I've also got a bigger flaring tool but that needs to be clamped in a vice so I couldn't flare then end of the old pipe in situ.

This meant that I needed to either replace the whole front section or flare the end of the existing piece with my vice mounted flaring tool. In either case I had to remove the front part of the pipes and this is the nightmare. The brake pipes are the first thing fitted to to the body, before the wiring, subframe etc.

There are 3 clips that each hold 4 brake pipes on the sloping part of the floor behind the bulkhead. The two rear pipes are the inner two and the front pipes are the outer two. These clips don't attach to the floor, they just clip the 4 pipes to each other so thay can be slid along the pipes to access them more easily. I unbolted the two inner pipes from the brake pipe block and after a couple of hours of cursing I succeeded in removed the two pipes rearwards over the top of the tank without destroying them and retaining some of their shape. Looking at the pipes it's obvious that replacing them in one piece wasn't an option as the shape is complicated and difficult to route with the wiring and engine in place.

I just put new unions on the end of the front part of the pipes and flared a new end in the vice. The front part of the pipe were then re-fitted and new sections about 2 feet long were made up in Cunifer nickel copper pipe to join up to the rear part of the pipes.

The pipes are now the original steel pipe back to a point just above the fuel tank with a new flare on the end. Then Cunifer pipe from here to a point about half way down the van and finally the original steel pipe back to the load compensating valve.

I bled the brakes and checked for leaks before I re-fitted the fuel tank just in case the joints above the tank leaked. I gave the pipes a good spray with cavity wax before re-fitting the tank so they should now outlast the rest of the van.

Fuel tank re-fitting if fairly easy but to help, bend the body bracket that retains the filler neck outwards an inch or so to make sure the tab on the filler neck goes behind it as it's offered up.

Total time to do this? Well it took me about 6 hours in a cold garage while the will to live ebbed away. I would say that if you need to replace any part of the front section of the front to rear brake pipes then this is what you're looking at. If you've got a hand held flaring tool that'll flare steel pipe then you'd probably save 2 to 3 hours as you wouldn't need to remove the complete pipe. When I get the replacement die for mine I'll do a test flare on a piece of the old pipe to see whether it's possible but I'm not optomistic.

TOP TIP-

Avoid doing the job in the first place - If your van's a keeper and you're pipes are ok then an annual liberal covering with Waxoyl should mean you never need to do this horrible job.



replacing pipes front to rear can be done without dropping the fuel tank . there is just enough room at the side of the tank to remove the old pipes from the pipe clips , and feed the new one's through .
 
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