How to Replace the Fuel Line on a VW Bus

July 11, 2009

I have noticed a couple hits to my blog using the search term ‘How to replace the fuel line on a VW bus’. I have mentioned fuel lines a couple times, which is why I assume the traffic is coming here, but I do not have info on changing them at all. Since people seem to be searching for it I may as well show y’all!

This was performed on a 1965 Deluxe, but should be similar for a large range of busses.

What you will need:
Slot screwdriver
Channel Locks
Box Knife
Large wire cutters
Tube clamps (not sure what they are really called)
New fuel line (get the size for your tank. if you don’t know take the old line to the store. at least 6 foot, too much is better than not enough though)
Fuel filter (not necessary unless it is really gunky, but you may as well change it)

The VERY FIRST thing you should ALWAYS do when working on your fuel system is disconnect the battery. This can be done as easily as disconnecting the ground strap that is most likely near your compartment hinge. Make sure it is not resting on anything metal or conductive when you take it off. I usually set mine on top of my battery.

Now that we are not going to catch on fire(sadly this has happened many times before. Talk to Clara on The Samba to hear her heart-wrenching story) you have a couple options. First, you could drain out the gas by siphoning or drain it through fuel line, or second you could take the risk of dumping gas all over yourself and try to change the line with gas still in the tank. Personally, I choose to drain it out through the current fuel line. It’s clean and you only need your wirecutters and a gas can to do it. It does take some time though.

Grab your channel locks and tighten the screw down till it will clamp and hold your fuel line. Now crimp the fuel line several inches above the filter. Cut the fuel line with your wire cutters as close to the filter as possible. Some gas may dribble out from the line now, and make sure the filter is tilted up or it’s contents will be all over you. Regardless of how you drain the gas tank, there will be some gas in the line. Stick the end of it in your gas can and make sure it all comes out. Put the lid on the gas can and move it somewhere safe that you will not knock it over.

Now roll under your bus and find the other end of the fuel line. It will probably be near your starter, over the axle. Loosen the clamp with your slot screwdriver and pull the line off. If it does not come off take your box knife and make a cut lenthwise from as high as you can reach down an inch or so. Now it should tug off easy. If the line is still in decent shape keep it around marked as not for a fuel line. Small hoses can come in handy.


Since you are down there, you may as well see if you can get the post your fuel line connects to off and see if there is any gunk clogging your tank. I had that clog and I tried tuning everything on the motor before I realized what it was.

This is what the piece you take off looks like:

This is what my clog looked like. Hard for any gas to get through that!

Alrighty, you are halfway there! Thread your new hose. You want to make sure that you leave a foot or two extra near your fuel filter. Every time you take out your motor you will have to cut the fuel line again. Though if you do that often you may want to think about getting some disconnects to preserve the line.

Once your hose is all threaded, roll back under the bus and push that line back on to the post coming out of the tank. Sometimes this can be difficult. If you have trouble try heating up the end of the line to make the rubber a bit softer. If you still can’t get it on heat it up again, and apply some lubricant to the post. Be careful not to get any inside the tank. Tighten the clamp down again and that side is done!

Head back to the engine compartment. If you are replacing the fuel filter now is the time. A bit of fuel may still be in the filter or the line, so be prepared. Now slide the line on the end of the filter and tighten the clamp there as well. Do not over tighten it, if your fuel filter is plastic or you risk breaking your stem and will have to put another filter on.

Congrats! You did it! Replace the fuel in your tank and fire the old girl up. The fuel pump has to get the fuel moving again, so your bus may not start right away. Turn it over a couple times and you should be in business!

Happy Cruising!

Oh, by the way. If you catch on fire, blow up, get squished, or any other thing should happen to you while changing your line don’t blame me. You should always take proper safety precautions and fully understand the entire operation before doing it.