How to protect AC line from header and control arm? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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How to protect AC line from header and control arm?

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?






--'94 Caprice "SS" wagon, 0.30 over, high-volume oil pump, LT4 hot cam, 1.6:1 rockers, ported aluminum Corvette heads, shorty headers, PCM4Less tune, 4.10s, shift kit, side-exit dual exhaust with Flowmasters, OR X-pipe, F-body gauge cluster, Bonneville front and rear seats (working electrics), Bravada console shifter, Bilsteins, 12.7:1 Impala steering box, Boss 338s with 255/45R20s, bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting.
--'04 Mustang Cobra, '15 Audi S4
--1125R, 1050, VMax, VFR800, DRZ-400E

Last edited by TheFleshRocket; 06-26-2019 at 10:22 AM.
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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 10:25 AM
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I use an old radiator hose, cut a piece of it, slice it lengthwise, wrap it around the AC hose and secure it with thin bailing wire.

"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates
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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 10:38 AM
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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-shiel...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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Last edited by Fix Until Broke; 06-26-2019 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Fix pic link
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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 10:47 AM
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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.

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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:14 AM
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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.

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:20 AM
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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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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fix Until Broke View Post
Some stainless braided sleeve over the fiberglass header wrap will eliminate the wear due to the control arm.
https://www.techflex.com/metal-shiel...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"?

--'94 Caprice "SS" wagon, 0.30 over, high-volume oil pump, LT4 hot cam, 1.6:1 rockers, ported aluminum Corvette heads, shorty headers, PCM4Less tune, 4.10s, shift kit, side-exit dual exhaust with Flowmasters, OR X-pipe, F-body gauge cluster, Bonneville front and rear seats (working electrics), Bravada console shifter, Bilsteins, 12.7:1 Impala steering box, Boss 338s with 255/45R20s, bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting.
--'04 Mustang Cobra, '15 Audi S4
--1125R, 1050, VMax, VFR800, DRZ-400E

Last edited by TheFleshRocket; 06-26-2019 at 11:28 AM.
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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BALLSS View Post
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.)

--'94 Caprice "SS" wagon, 0.30 over, high-volume oil pump, LT4 hot cam, 1.6:1 rockers, ported aluminum Corvette heads, shorty headers, PCM4Less tune, 4.10s, shift kit, side-exit dual exhaust with Flowmasters, OR X-pipe, F-body gauge cluster, Bonneville front and rear seats (working electrics), Bravada console shifter, Bilsteins, 12.7:1 Impala steering box, Boss 338s with 255/45R20s, bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting.
--'04 Mustang Cobra, '15 Audi S4
--1125R, 1050, VMax, VFR800, DRZ-400E
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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFleshRocket View Post
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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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fix Until Broke View Post
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.

--'94 Caprice "SS" wagon, 0.30 over, high-volume oil pump, LT4 hot cam, 1.6:1 rockers, ported aluminum Corvette heads, shorty headers, PCM4Less tune, 4.10s, shift kit, side-exit dual exhaust with Flowmasters, OR X-pipe, F-body gauge cluster, Bonneville front and rear seats (working electrics), Bravada console shifter, Bilsteins, 12.7:1 Impala steering box, Boss 338s with 255/45R20s, bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting.
--'04 Mustang Cobra, '15 Audi S4
--1125R, 1050, VMax, VFR800, DRZ-400E
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