How to make a Poor Man's Fuel Heater
Build and install your very own Fuel Heater, like I did! In my search for ways to save gas, money, and our environment, I found this simple yet inexpensive way to do all three! Since heated fuel vaporizes quicker, it burns more thoroughly when mixed with cooler-denser air. This increases fuel efficiency and reduces wasteful emissions. Of course, one cannot overlook the added benefit of extra power...
Things You'll Need:
* 3-4 feet/.914-1.219 meters of fuel line
* 3 fuel line hose clamps
* Fuel Filter
* flat head screw driver
* pocket knife
* Shop Rags
* 1 Zip-Tie
* 2 linear feet/.61 meters of Aluminum Foil
* Duct Tape
* Cost of Fuel line & clamps is about $6.50 US
1. Replace the neoprene fuel line from the firewall forward, if your fuel filter is inline. This particular fuel line pre-heater went on a fuel injected pick-up truck. But, it will work just as well on a carbureted vehicle, substituting 'Fuel Pressure Regulator' for carburetor. And yes, this also makes for a decent diesel fuel heater as well. This simple modification should increase fuel economy by about 1-3 MPG, under normal operating conditions!
2. Answer any questions about the fuel line diameter or length needed, now. Before you take anything apart, do your shopping! Having trouble determining the line diameter? Just compare it to the fuel filter specified for your vehicle/engine size, at the auto parts store.
Poor man's fuel heater
3. Perform a 'dry fit,' by laying out the fuel line as illustrated and cutting it to length. Eliminate any sharp bends in the line, and watch for things it could rub against (see the Tips section, below). Wrap the radiator hose 3x and secure the fuel line with a zip-tie. While you're at it, don't forget to attach your new fuel filter, paying attention to the direction-of-flow arrow.
Assembling the fuel heater now means less spilled fuel later!
4. Release the fuel system pressure, by removing/replacing the gas cap at the tank. Some vehicles have a Schrader type pressure-relief valve on the injector rail. If yours has one, cover it with a shop rag and depress the pin slowly by using the blade of a screw driver.
** SEE WARNINGS! **
Poor man's fuel heater
5. Remove the original line to the Fuel Pressure Regulator. Attach and secure the replacement, using a new clamp.
6. Remove the other end of the original line and the old fuel filter. Attach and secure the fuel line (from the tank) to the inlet-side of the replacement filter, using a new clamp. Attach the new fuel (heater) line to the outlet-side with a new clamp.
7. Insulate your three line wraps with Foil and secure it with Duct tape, after making any necessary adjustments for fit.
8. Clear out all excess materials & tools from the engine compartment, start your engine and check for fuel leaks at the clamps. - You're done!
* If you are working in a tight spot, and there is no way to route your line so that it doesn't contact a bracket or sharp edge, you can cut a small section of left over line, split it lengthwise, slide it over the line at the contact point and zip-tie it in place. Check this periodically, to be sure it isn't rubbing through. If it is, replace it.
* Before performing this modification, you might consider the benefits of a complete tune-up. I also wrote an article titled 'How to Tune-Up a Car Yourself.'
* This modification will not void your Warranty.
* This same thing can be done using steel line, but it is more costly and difficult to work with.
* It is better to buy too much fuel line than not enough.
* This modification works just as well on machinery of all types & purposes.
* NO SMOKING!
* Route your fuel line away from sharp edges, moving parts and exhaust manifolds.
* It is always a good idea to wear chemical resistant gloves and eye protection when working with fuels and solvents.
* While steel line may transfer more heat, it could leak fuel at poor-fitting connections. Flexible fuel line puts less strain on connections.
* If you live in an exceedingly hot climate, preheating the fuel may cause "vapor lock," especially on old carbureted vehicles. This may only be a winter time solution, for you. But, the fuel savings will usually outweigh the cost and effort required.
* Insulate this fuel line with something more heat-retentive than foil at your own risk!
Copyright 12/12/2008 All Rights Reserved. Questions? Comments? Contact Me