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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My '94 Caprice wagon has ceramic coated headers. The AC hose runs very close to the headers and the edge of the control arm.

Several years back, the AC hose blew because it rubbed up against the control arm (the edge of it which moves up and down) and eventually wore through. My mechanic replaced it with some generic Chinese hose. That one failed due to heat from the header. The second Chinese hose got wrapped with heat shield stuff, but it also failed due to heat. Then I bought an AC Delco hose and had him install that with the heat shield wrap, and that one lasted.. until last weekend. (I'm not sure what kind of wrap it was--does it look like just regular header wrap? I'm done going to that mechanic so I can't ask him what he used.)

I haven't dug in to be totally sure, but I'm pretty confident that it rubbed up against the control arm again and wore a hole in it. The heat shield wrap seems to be sufficient for heat protection, but I'm looking for a definitive solution that won't rub through easily if the hose ends up touching the control arm as well. What do you guys recommend?





 

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Some stainless braided sleeve over the fiberglass header wrap will eliminate the wear due to the control arm.

https://www.techflex.com/metal-shielding/flexo-stainless-steel?part=SSN1.00SV

Be a bit careful though as the braided stainless is very tough and will wear on the control arm instead. The below is wear on a brake vacuum booster from a -6 braided stainless hose (Vibrant) for a turbo oil feed line. The hose looks perfect whereas the booster has a hole worn through it! This took a year or so (20k miles), but something to be aware of.

 

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Flesh, Just a thought here. How about cutting out a piece of thin gauge sheet metal and tying it, then use that header wrap to take care of the heat? Or using the wrap and then some sheet. Can you tie the two lines together also to move it away from the control arm? I think the second idea would look better. Use worm clamps to hold the sheet on.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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I remember just bending the line enough to clear after noticing it chafe. I'll have to go check it now to make sure still ok. Thanks. I did put alum. heat tape around ABS line(s) on the other side since they don't bend so easy.
 

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Every B-body is slightly different mostly due to suspension part & motor mount wear so that AC line can rub against the upper A arm. Add headers and that real estate near the AC line gets pretty tight

I just bent the AC line away enough to clear A Arm and then used heat wrap (not header wrap) around the AC line so headers would not affect it although they are VERY close to it

You can buy split loom heat wrap in various diameters from places like Summit which work very well to wrap the line and they are self adhesive. I use it on the one temp sender wire that needs protection from exhaust ,manifold and headers
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Some stainless braided sleeve over the fiberglass header wrap will eliminate the wear due to the control arm.
https://www.techflex.com/metal-shielding/flexo-stainless-steel?part=SSN1.00SV
Be a bit careful though as the braided stainless is very tough and will wear on the control arm instead. The below is wear on a brake vacuum booster from a -6 braided stainless hose (Vibrant) for a turbo oil feed line. The hose looks perfect whereas the booster has a hole worn through it! This took a year or so (20k miles), but something to be aware of.
I like this idea. My old mechanic had actually ground away a little of the edge of the control arm to try to prevent the rubbing, so if the braided stainless line rubs away on it even more, that doesn't bother me one bit. I'll get some more header wrap and some of the steel line to protect the hose.

EDIT - Do you recall what diameter you bought? 3/4"? 1"? 1 1/4"?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just bent the AC line away enough to clear A Arm and then used heat wrap (not header wrap) around the AC line so headers would not affect it although they are VERY close to it
You can buy split loom heat wrap in various diameters from places like Summit which work very well to wrap the line and they are self adhesive. I use it on the one temp sender wire that needs protection from exhaust ,manifold and headers
Why heat wrap instead of header wrap? Do you recall specifically what you ordered? (There are tons of hits for "heat wrap" on Summit.)
 

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I like this idea. My old mechanic had actually ground away a little of the edge of the control arm to try to prevent the rubbing, so if the braided stainless line rubs away on it even more, that doesn't bother me one bit. I'll get some more header wrap and some of the steel line to protect the hose.

EDIT - Do you recall what diameter you bought? 3/4"? 1"? 1 1/4"?
It's best if you measure the OD of what you have with the heat wrap installed. I'm guessing you'll need 1" or so, but you'll have to check. The braided stainless is a tube so you'll have to make sure it's installed on the hose before the hose is installed on the car.

"Heat wrap" is fiberglass sleeve with the shiny foil outside to reflect the radiant heat as much as possible. "Header wrap" is just the fiberglass cloth with no shiny foil.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's best if you measure the OD of what you have with the heat wrap installed. I'm guessing you'll need 1" or so, but you'll have to check. The braided stainless is a tube so you'll have to make sure it's installed on the hose before the hose is installed on the car.

"Heat wrap" is fiberglass sleeve with the shiny foil outside to reflect the radiant heat as much as possible. "Header wrap" is just the fiberglass cloth with no shiny foil.
Okay, so I should just order the hose and the heat wrap, install the heat wrap, then measure and order the braided stainless cover. That'll take a bit longer, but if that's the only way to guarantee properly-sized braided stainless, then that's what I'll do.
 

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Okay, so I should just order the hose and the heat wrap, install the heat wrap, then measure and order the braided stainless cover. That'll take a bit longer, but if that's the only way to guarantee properly-sized braided stainless, then that's what I'll do.
Since the stainless comes in 1/4" increments, and can get bigger by "shortening" it or smaller by "lengthening" it - you can likely measure the OD of the hose, get the thickness of the heat wrap from the manufacturers specs (assuming it's split and you'll wrap it tight), do some simple addition and get the stainless cover in the right neighborhood so you can do it all at once.

https://cdn.techflex.com/assets/pdfs/catalog/ssn.pdf

Looks like it grows/shrinks +/- 1/4" in the size range you'd be most likely to use.
 

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Why heat wrap instead of header wrap? Do you recall specifically what you ordered? (There are tons of hits for "heat wrap" on Summit.)
Vibrant Performance makes the "reflective" heat wrap split loom in various widths in 4' lengths. I bought mine at Summit

You can also buy sheets of reflective heat wrap on Summit or similar sites (has foil like coating over fiber type heat material) in various sizes and just cut to shape you need, wrap it and use either zip ties or bailing wire to secure it

The split loom stuff is very plug & play

https://vibrantperformance.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=1531_1355_1358_1368&osCsid=23cc449c0fbedb2730b8f283bc544b7a
 

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. BallSS idea is a good one too but doesn't take care of your abrasion problem.
I just bent the AC line away enough to clear A Arm and then used heat wrap (not header wrap) around the AC line so headers would not affect it although they are VERY close to it
Mark

IMHO the Op needs to clearance his AC line so there is no rubbing on A arm (as I mentioned in my post). This can be done by gently bending the metal AC tube some

Then if there tight clearance with the header use some form of heat wrap mentioned around the AC line
 

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Mark

IMHO the Op needs to clearance his AC line so there is no rubbing on A arm (as I mentioned in my post). This can be done by gently bending the metal AC tube some

Then if there tight clearance with the header use some form of heat wrap mentioned around the AC line
BallSS, I agree getting the line away from the arm would be the best, If Flesh can get the clearance. I imagine he will because I have seen this issue come up one than once on here. I was not maligning your solution. (It seemed to have worked for you) I DO kinda like what FUB did there though.

Mark: Snowman- 33
 

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No worries Mark

Back when these cars were new many had issues with the AC line rubbing and rupturing on the A arm. Mine did rub as I could see a witness mark in the rubber part so way back then just "bent" it up & away and its still there

Now 20+ years later with these cars..."settling" and having headers, lowered, etc cars with AC lines that did once clear no longer do so gotta do what you need to do to resolve the problem

Op has coated headers as do I. It is amazing how close something can be to the headers and no harm when wrapped with one of several heat barrier products

Been wrenching on the 67 Camaro more lately (the SS has been done for years now :) ) and can't say how refreshing it is to work on a 52 year old Chevy. Simple....although motor mounts are still the typical PIA. Just did a tranny swap on the 67
 

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Can't we just grind off whatever part of the arm is making contact with the AC line?

I have headers on my car. My AC worked fine for years, however last year developed a leak after the a arm wore through the lines. Only thing that changed was I lowered the car. My shop fixed the issue...but time will tell if it lasts. If it doesn't, unless there's some reason I shouldn't...I'm just gonna tell them to grind off whatever is rubbing.
 

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Can't we just grind off whatever part of the arm is making contact with the AC line?

I have headers on my car. My AC worked fine for years, however last year developed a leak after the a arm wore through the lines. Only thing that changed was I lowered the car. My shop fixed the issue...but time will tell if it lasts. If it doesn't, unless there's some reason I shouldn't...I'm just gonna tell them to grind off whatever is rubbing.
If you are able to get under the car yourself....look to see if your "shop" did in fact clearance the line or just wrapped it with something that will itself wear through at some point.

The upper edge of the A arm that is the typical point of contact can be ground down but access to it with the lines, exhaust, etc. will make it difficult to access with a grinder or cut off wheel tool
 

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When I replaced that A/C bulkhead line assembly, I took my time installing it on and off the back of the compressor stud, while going back and forth to the bench vise. I literally spent about 20 minutes doing this to first get the hose away from the header.
I then wrapped each hose with old heater hose with nylon wire ties. You can only see most of the one line, with the 2nd wrapped with red heater hose behind them as seen here:

 
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