1995 Plymouth Neon Fuel line

Tiny
GRUNDVIGI
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 PLYMOUTH NEON
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
I need to replace the hard fuel line from the fuel filter to the fuel rail and I cannot find a pre bent line anywhere. Does anyone know where I can find on or can someone tell me what kind of line to get and how to bend it.
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Monday, September 6th, 2010 AT 5:49 PM

14 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi grundvigi. Welcome to the forum. If you're looking at a line that runs under the center of the car, there was a recall to replace the fuel and brake lines. The supplier didn't coat them properly to resist corrosion. I replaced a bunch of them at the dealership years ago and saved some of them that never had seen road salt yet. I use them on occasion for replacement fuel line on my cars, but they are very hard to form a double flare on for use as brake lines.

Since this was a safety-related recall, my understanding is they should still be available from the dealer unless they figure one set per car was sufficient. The next place I'd look is in a salvage yard in a city where they don't throw a ton of road salt on an ounce of snow. I removed parts from a 20 year old car in Nashville with a simple wrench. Those same parts up here in Wisconsin would have been rusted tight years ago. The chain of yards I visited is called "Pull-A-Part". You pay your buck and haul in your tool box in one of their wheelbarrows. They have at least 16 yards. I visited 12 of them in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. Extremely clean and well organized. They will print out a list of cars like yours and point you to them. There's always a couple thousand cars at each yard and they bring new rows of cars in each day.

There are other similar chain salvage yards around the country but I never saw any as clean as Pull-A-Part. Their parts are extremely low priced too and the people are very friendly.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, September 6th, 2010 AT 6:43 PM
Tiny
GRUNDVIGI
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Thanks caradiodoc. Unfortunately I live in eastern Michigan so everything gets covered with salt in the winter. I was unaware those lines were recalled but mine do look pretty bad. I will try the dealer but if the price is to high what will I need to bend my own?
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Monday, September 6th, 2010 AT 7:18 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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I don't remember what kind of end is used on the fuel lines, but if it plugs into a quick connect fitting, you won't be able to form that end yourself. An alternative would be to use rubber fuel hose but it has to be rated for fuel injection systems because the pressure can exceed 50 psi. Also use the special band-type hose clamps that have a nut and bolt on the side. The common worm screw clamps will cut into the hose and won't clamp tight enough. Where the hose slides onto a metal tube or pipe, the tube must have some type of bump or raised section to catch the clamp and prevent the hose from sliding off. A double flaring brake tool works well, just don't form the full size flare. Just a small raised area is sufficient.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, September 6th, 2010 AT 7:42 PM
Tiny
GRUNDVIGI
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It does use quick connects. Thats where the problem arose from, I tried to change the fuel filter and fuel pump but I couldnt get the quick connect off the rusted line and I feared it would break. How would I get the rubber hose on the filter with the quick connect end. I could cut the quick connect off but the line is plastic so I couldnt flare it.
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Monday, September 6th, 2010 AT 10:27 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You might have to use a filter from a different model. My '88, '89, and '95 Caravans use a filter that is attached with a pair of 4" long rubber hoses to the two steel lines. My Dynastys use quick connect fittings. They are 3" long metal tubes with rubber hoses crimped onto their other ends. The dealer has repair kits available for that style. The kit includes four quick connect ends, two straight and two curved, two pieces of hose, and four hose clamps. You could use two of the fittings from that repair kit and a Dynasty / Spirit filter, or the older Caravan filter which I think comes with the hoses and clamps. If your metal line is rusted, like mine was, ... Twice, you can use bulk steel brake line but remember to form some kind of ends so the rubber hoses can't slide off. That bulk line won't cost more than a couple of bucks per foot.

As for bending steel line, I put the tips of my thumbs end to end and use them to slowly flex the line while putting pressure on it to bend it. If you go slowly, you will see it start to kink before you get that far, then just move over a few inches and continue bending. Many auto parts stores rent or borrow tools now too. There are bending tools that are pretty self explanatory and not very expensive. They do a nice job by holding the tube by the sides so it can't kink.

I think you will be able to slide a rubber hose over that bulge that the quick connect end attaches to. To make it slide on much easier, use a silicone spray lube. It goes on like water and evaporates quickly. It works real nicely for hard-to-reach heater hoses too. It makes rubber parts REEEEAL slippery so they slide onto metal parts easily. The slippery goes away when it evaporates.

The Chrysler dealer's parts department has Silicone Spray Lube under the Mopar brand, but you can buy smaller cans from Walmart and auto parts stores. If you do use quick connect fittings, you might consider coating the internal spring and release collar with another Mopar product that I use almost every day. That's Spray White Lube. It's a lithium-based grease that flows in with a liquid that evaporates and leaves just the grease behind. It will help prevent that internal spring from rusting. I used it on all brake line fittings, power steering hose fittings, and alignment adjustments on every car on which I did the "new vehicle prep". That's where we checked lug nuts, screwed on antennas and license plate brackets, and made sure everything worked. When those cars came back for service years later, the alignment adjustment points and brake bleeder screws came free just like if they were new.

Even if you use rubber hoses with hose clamps, once the repair is finished, use that Spray White Lube to coat the clamps. One of my fuel system leaks over the years was due to the four clamps rusting away. You should never have to worry about replacing your fuel filter again unless, like on my van, the original filter actually started leaking at the seam at 180,000 miles. Chrysler filters rarely become plugged but a lot of people replace them thinking they're going to solve a problem. Your Neon might be different, but on most Chryslers with a pressure regulator by the engine, and a fuel return line to the tank, you will never solve a running problem by changing the filter. It is more common to develop a plugged pickup screen in the tank, which also happened to my '88 daily driver. The symptom was engine stalling when the largest volume of fuel was supposed to be flowing which was, believe it or not, during coasting. After fighting for over four hours to get through three Minneapolis interstate bypass road construction projects, the van ran fine at highway speed, then stalled when I let up on the gas three hours later at the turnoff for my town. Under any kind of load or heavy acceleration, the engine ran fine. Let up just a little on the gas and it would die and not restart until I had waited about a minute. I became real good at turning the engine off, coasting for a half mile to the next stop light, then restarting the engine just in time to take off again.

If you want me to, I can explain why the largest volume of fuel flows during coasting, but it is enough to just understand that 99 percent of the fuel flowing through the filter goes through the pressure regulator and right back to the tank. Just a tiny taste is bled off to go through the injectors and into the engine. When that larger volume is requested, that's when the plugged pickup screen becomes a problem. Mine was full of rust-colored mud.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 AT 3:31 AM
Tiny
GRUNDVIGI
  • MEMBER
Thanks again, my neon doesnt use a return system though, its just 1 line from the filter to the fuel rail, the filter has 3 lines on it, 2 go to the pump and 1 to the hard line, they only used this on the 95 I believe, 96 and newer have the filter and pump in 1 assembly inside the tank. I dont think I could use a different filter because of the system my neon has. There would have to be a filter with 2 quick connect lines to go on the pump and 1 with a flare for the rubber line.
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Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 AT 12:04 PM
Tiny
GRUNDVIGI
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Im sorry, looking closer there is a return line, I dont know what I was thinking, even so my filter still uses 3 lines, all three are quick connect, I am now also wondering if the pump is even the problem. In order to start my neon you must turn the key over for much longer than you should have to before it will start, the weird thing is that sometimes it will start just fine but if it does than I know it will stall out a minute later, if it takes a long time to start then it wont stall out. Also it performs the same whether the engine is hot or cold, I thought bad fuel pumps usually wont work when the engine is hot.
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Thursday, September 9th, 2010 AT 6:00 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hmmm. It's pretty common for GM fuel pumps to quit while you're driving, but Chrysler pumps almost never do that. With high mileage, worn brushes in the motor will cause intermittent failure to start up.

The long crank time suggests fuel pressure is bleeding down when the engine is off. That could be caused by a leaking injector, a leaking check valve in the pump, or a leaking pressure regulator, or its o-ring. The regulator and pump check valve are not serious in themselves but an injector can let raw fuel wash the oil film off the cylinder wall if the fuel runs into the cylinder. If it puddles in the intake manifold, it will just burn off when the engine is started. It can also dilute the engine oil if it runs down the cylinder wall. Of the three causes, the leaking injector is the most common. You would have to connect a fuel pressure gauge and check it before starting the engine to verify if loss of pressure is the problem.

I don't understand why the length of cranking time would be related to stalling a minute after the engine has been running. On one of my Caravans, the long crank time is constant, not intermittent, when the engine is warm. The way I can overcome the long crank time is to cycle the ignition switch to "run", wait a few seconds, tun if off, wait a few seconds, turn it to "run" again, wait a little, then crank the engine. Every time the ignition switch is turned on, the fuel pump will run for one second. That will get the pressure up for starting.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 3:24 AM
Tiny
GRUNDVIGI
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Is there any way to find out which injector is leaking if I verify that pressure loss is the problem? Or is it common to just replace all 4 during the job.
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 7:06 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I've never done it but I've seen other mechanics remove the fuel rail with the injectors still attached. At that point you can watch for wetness developing on their tips. You might be able to look into each cylinder after removing the spark plugs. They make tiny cameras for this purpose, but you have to remember, the fuel could stay up in the intake runners and not dribble into the cylinder.

There are places that specialize in rebuilding injectors. GM has had a huge cylinder misfire problem and a huge excessive emissions problem due to working injectors that are simply mismatched. They install a handful of injectors out of a large boxful. Chrysler injectors are flow-matched by the supplier, (Bosch) and a matched set is installed in every engine. For that reason, replacing just one injector could lead to a slightly lean or rich exhaust condition that the Engine Computer will try to correct by changing fuel metering to all four cylinders. Doesn't mean that WILL happen from changing just one injector. It means it COULD happen.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 8:33 PM
Tiny
GRUNDVIGI
  • MEMBER
I found reman injectors for $30, im gonna try that next week. Thanks for all your help, I have some more questions unrelated to the fuel, should I start new threads for those?
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 8:46 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Lay it on me. If it's related to something I don't feel qualified to answer, I can delete the post so you can start a new thread. Other people will see this is an on-going conversation listed with numerous replies so they won't even read the new questions. Starting a new thread will insure everyone reads the questions.

My specialties are in electrical, suspension and alignment, brakes, and some heating / ac and engine mechanical issues. Engine performance and transmissions are my weak points.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 9:08 PM
Tiny
GRUNDVIGI
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Ok so im leaking engine oil a very small amount and at first glance it looks like its leaking from the pan gasket, but when I went to replace the gasket I noticed first that changing the pan gasket is way harder than it had to be but more importantly it wasnt the pan gasket, it was leaking from between the oil pan and trans pan. Im hoping you tell me its not a rear main seal. If so I think that is a job beyond my knowledge and tools.
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Saturday, September 11th, 2010 AT 8:08 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Rear main seal is not a common problem; oil pan is. First check up higher by the valve cover and cam plug(s). Oil from a leaking oil pan will travel around the lip, but the clue is nothing will be wet above it.

There's two things you can do that might help find the source of the leak. One is to wash the area and add a small bottle of dye to the oil. After driving a few miles, you shine a black light on the suspect areas. The dye will appear bright yellow. The second method is to pressurize the crankcase with a "smoke machine". You might be able to rent one from one of the auto parts stores. By using one of the supplied rubber tips, you can inject a white non-toxic smoke into the dipstick tube. The pressure is only two psi but that was plenty to find a half dozen leaks on my '88 Caravan. The last one appeared to be the rear main seal but a second test showed it to be a pin hole rusted through the upper part of the oil pan. Scraped the rust off and put a dab of Mopar RTV gasket sealer over the hole. Haven't leaked a drop of oil in over five years and the engine has 379,000 miles on it.

Caradiodoc
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Saturday, September 11th, 2010 AT 6:20 PM

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