XR4Ti Archived Tech Articles

    Custom Stainless Steel Oil Feed Line and OEM Feed Line Part Number - directions for the installation of a snazzy braided stainless steel oil line to feed your turbo (please note that some engineering concerns have been expressed with this design, and this post simply reflects my experiences). Also includes the Ford part number for the OEM turbo oil feed line.

Post Date:    Tue, 12 Jan 1999
Subject:      Custom Stainless Steel turbo oil feed line - XR4Ti

List Members,

I just completed the installation of a custom braided stainless steel turbo
oil feed line on my XR4.  After finally scraping all the parts together the
cost of parts works out to be less than $35.  I'll give the parts list in a

Meanwhile, I have a query.  While working out the plumbing route, and while
the line was attached to the turbo, I managed to move the line in such a
manner that the line came in contact with the positive terminal of the
battery.  >>zzzztttt<<  The steel has a small burn mark on it and the hose,
from the point of contact to the turbo, was hot enough to nearly burn me.  My
initial concern was for all the heat transfered to the teflon liner of the
hose.  As I realized the whole thing was incredibly hot, I was less concerned
about localized damage.  Still, I am concerned about possible damage done to
the teflon liner.  Anyone with experience in this area care to comment?

Maybe next time, I'll remember to disconnect the negative cable...

Parts list:
- Autometer stainless steel (36" length) gauge hook-up kit (pn 3227), about $30
- 8" section of brake line with 7/16" inverted flare tube fittings on either
  end, pretty standard stuff, about $2.50
- 90' female 7/16 inverted flare to male NPT (same as OEM at the turbo), about $0.75

I used two adapters included in the Autometer kit.  One straight male AN to
nale NPT adapter at the turbo.  The other is a 90' male AN to female NPT
fitting.  The third adapter (last line of the parts list) is exactly the same
as the factory 90' from the oil feed line to the turbo.

I bent the 8" brake line (tube) into a 'U' on a small tube bender.  At the end
of the tube, I used the 90' inverted flare to NPT adapter.  That connected to
the 90' NPT to AN adapter.  Next in line is the stainless steel line.  I
routed it across the top of the valve cover.  The length of the line (36") is
plenty to allow the valve cover to be removed without messing with the oil
line.  Finally, I used the straight NPT to AN adapter to attach the line to
the turbo.

Excuse the unclear directions.  My brain isn't quite working right.

All in all, I am not completely satisfied with the setup, I think it's a little
slapped together.  I really wasn't able to assemble it as cleanly as I liked


Date:         Tue, 12 Jan 1999
Subject:      Re: Custom Stainless Steel turbo oil feed line - XR4Ti

List Members,

>  I'm more concerned with the 'heat shrink' characteristic of teflon and the
>  proximity to the turbocharger and exhaust manifold...  Your hose inner liner
>  may shrink and pinch off the flow...   I'd recommend a metal line.

Copy that.  I guess one of the things I failed to mention about the line is my
method of routing it.  The new route of the line crosses over the valve cover
at the same place as the intake manifold and spark plug wires.

One of my main reasons for installing a custom line (besides that nightmare I
had with the oil line in my wife's XR the day before we were married, our
wedding photos show how badly cut my hands were) is that I can keep it plumbed
away from the exhaust manifold and the turbo.

The oil line comes in perpendicular to the turbo, as opposed to the relatively
tangental direction the factory line does.  It's first bend is toward the
front of the car.  I think it is pretty well isolated from the radiant heat of
the turbo.  As for conducted heat, the flow of oil will help cool that.

I am guessing that there shouldn't be any problems, considering the use of
teflon lined brake lines.  I am sure temps are far more extreme near the
calipers on racing brakes.  Who knows.  Not an expert, just a hypothesizer

I would say that I am not the only one who has gone the custom stainless line
route, and I haven't heard of any problems as of yet.  Many thanks for the
input.  If the line fails, I'll post it to the list!!!


Update on the installation (18 June 2000)

Just after the oil line was installed on the car, I proceeded to put about 
2000 miles on in in about 10 weeks.  The oil line held up fine.  I then cut 
my commute to about 12 miles a day for the next three months (about 720 
miles).  Then the car got parked in preparation for it's conversion to a 
race car.  Since that point, the car has only received about 650 miles (in 
a year and a half).  Not much of a longevity test.

I intend on replacing the homemade line with an Aeroquip line designed for 
such an application.  I expect that cost to be around $100, including an
appropriate dry-break setup so I can run it right over the valve cover.

In the meanwhile, I have covered the stainless braided line with plastic
split-loom tubing, like the kind that covers wiring, for the sake of abrasion
protection for the nearby hoses, sparkplug wires, and wiring.

The car is raced regularly and I've had no issues to this point.


Update on the installation (22 December 2000)

The engineering concerns with the design is that a teflon liner in the hose 
(like a brake line) tends to creep under high flow conditions, such as those 
provided in an oil feed line.  When you are feeding a turbo, creeping teflon 
can block flow.  Baaad news.

The car has been fine for about 3500 miles , and it's only getting about 
1000 miles per year now that it's my racer.  I'm not in a huge hurry to 
replace.  However, I will be doing that before the car sees any high speed 
track use (ie driving schools).

Pretty or not, I covered the stainless line where it passes near the throttle 
body hose, spark plug wires, or any coolant lines, with black plastic split-loom 
tubing.  I really didn't want it wearing through any of those rather sensitive-
to-abrasion components.

It will probably be replaced by an Aeroquip line, designed for high pressure, 
high flow conditions.  Won't be nearly as pretty, but I'll route it much the 
same, over the valve cover, with a dry break inline for easy valve cover removal.  
Again, I'll have to deal with proper routing, and protection of the line, and it's
surrounding components.  However the Aeroquip line is going to cut much slower, 
if at all, through anything nearby.

One last thing.  Though teflon tends to creep, it works fine under brake line 
applications, simply because the brake line, by it's very nature, doesn't have 
the flow condiitions that an oil feed line does.


Date:         Sun, 22 Jul 2001
Subject:      Re: turbo metal oil lines
List:         imon@lists.merkurowners.org

After bending my own for about $9 bucks, I discovered that Ford had the part 
in stock, pre-bent, for about $12.50.  Here's the part number:


It an incredible pain in the tookus to replace, but bending your own and 
putting that one in is even harder (and you save $3, but spend a lot more in 
your time).  I built a stainless steel braided line version (info on my 
Archived Tech Articles page), but will be assembling a Aeroquip version later 
this year, probably including a dry break.

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Published by Chris Anglin.