Banana Bracket Weld, Fuel Tank, Vapor Canister, Fuel Lines, E-Brake Cables, Rear Brake Lines, Reservoir Lines

   Posted by: kdavis

Long Holiday Weekend = Lots of Progress!

Banana Bracket Weld

After really doing some research on this whole weld-or-not-weld thing with the 3-link upper (banana bracket) bracket, I decided to go ahead and weld it in.

Thanks to a nice mig/flux core welder loan from my brother in law, I was able to weld in the bracket, so no more worries there, and I can add as much horsepower as I want. Having never welded before, the welds are butt ugly, but I ground them down, and they are good welds from a structural standpoint. A little grinding and some paint, and they actually look fine. If I were fussier, I could have cleaned them up even more with the grinder, but I chose not to. Other than one missing bolt that’ll be here Friday, and the final adjustments, the 3-link is now officially installed.


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Rear Brake Lines and Reservoir Tubes:

Once the 3-link was in, I could mount up the rear calipers and discs and finish up running my rear brake lines. I took some time pondering the routing, especially from the master cylinder down to the 4″ tube, and think I found a good route that will be hidden and look nice and clean.

I ended up doing a couple of double flairs on my own tubes (left over bits that I had broken from a longer bit), so I was able to get the lines right where I wanted them. I’m still waiting on my bulkheads (the part between the flex line and the hard line), and I need one coupler, then it’ll all be done and ready to bleed. I ordered a self-bleeding kit from harbor freight that another forum member recommended. We’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed for no leaks.

I also measured and trimmed up the rubber hoses from the master cylinder to the remote reservoirs in their new permanent position. The fittings on the m/c are simply pressure fit, so a little work with a pair of pliers helps get them into the desired position. I left a nice loop, cut them to size, and clamped everything down.

Note about caliper positions: I found it suggested on the forum that you put the calipers on the front of the discs (vs. the rear as my pics show.) This is apparently more suited for IRS applications, and I found it unnecessary. This was especially true given that I already had my differential cover on, and filled, and swapping the brackets side to side would have been a HUGE pain. If you want to put them there, MAKE SURE you do it before you put the axles in since you have to switch the brackets.


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E-Brake Cables:

The emergency/parking brake cables are a bit of a pain, but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with. I’m currently just planning on using the standard parking brake position. Everyone complains about it since you can’t get to the brake while you’re strapped in, but frankly, I kind of like it out of the way, and I don’t really want to drop another $200 on a lokar handle, new boot, and all of that. Additionally, I like the idea of having my transmission tunnel top as clean as possible.

The main issue I had with the cables was a lack of c-clips for them, and the fact that the whole they run through in the caliper was too deep to get a clip on anyway. I took the grinder and opened up the notch a bit, and then fabricated my own c-clips with some washers. More work than I thought, but better than a trip all the way into town. They’ll work fine just like this.


Fuel Tank and Fuel Lines:

I had already painted the fuel tank cover with some rubberized undercoating, so it looks pretty OEM, and should blend in nicely underneath the car. The install wasn’t bad, but I didn’t realize most guys are using a spacer on the passenger side strap because it’s simply too short to work effectively. After a little rework loosening the bolt, and then some more of my handy galvanize pipe, and I had a nice spacer that worked fine. I elected to use longer bolts as well, which made getting the nuts on easier as well.

The whole process went pretty easily as well thanks to the old standby ratcheting straps (you can use those things for anything,) and the lift.

All of the fittings went in pretty well, although as others have encountered, my fuel pick up tube was a little long. I put a small s-bend in it to take up some slack, and all was well with it.


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DIY “Vapor Canister” for the Fuel Vent:

The fuel tank has a one-way valve for pressure release and to make sure you can put fuel in it with back pressure. Since I’m running a carb setup, there’s no return line, and some have reported getting some gas smell from this fitting. The solution that others have used is to put a charcoal filter on the end of this line to capture the vapors. I followed suit. Since I had seen anything from a cheap fuel filter, a keychain air filter, and a pipe-bomp looking sprinkler head setup, I figured pretty much anything goes. I had a GM fuel filter that had the wrong fittings on it laying around (wrong for the suburban), so I figured it would be perfect. I was also fortunate in finding parts to an old ice maker that had the exact size tubing and ports I needed, as well as an o-ring and even mounting holes. All I had to do was cut off one fitting, fill it with charcoal from an aquarium filter, and I was good to go. It should work perfectly.


Fuel Lines:

For the EFI guys or guys running an electric fuel pump in the tank, the preferred route for fuel lines is just opposite of the rear brake lines, running on the passenger 4″ main tube.

I’m running a carb with a mechanical fuel pump (on the driver’s side), so I decided to run mine on the same side as the brake lines, and ran down the driver’s side 4″ tube, just on the outside of the brake lines. I then crossed along the main brace behind the bulkhead. I connected this to the flexible rubber line, and anchored everything down with clamps. It’s not as pretty as some others I’ve seen, but it’s all hidden anyway, and should work fine, and it is well protected.

On the engine side, I basically just bent around the 4″ tube, then came up, and pointed right at the location of the fuel pump. I’ll just jump that gap with a small piece of flexible fuel hose (same as at the tank side.)

I still need to trim up the new OEM style fuel filler hose and put on the FFR rubber connector (to accommodate a different angel to the filler on top of the body.


Next Steps:

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my engine parts show up this week, and I know the last of the brake parts will be here. I plan on getting the brake system finished and bled next weekend, which means the tires and wheels can go on, and she’ll be a roller!

If the engine parts show up, I might start working in that direction, but it’s more likely I’ll concentrate on starting the wiring since it’s easier when everything is out of the way. With no EFI/Computer to worry about, the engine bay stuff is pretty straight forward, so I can run the front end items without the engine in.

As always, all pics can be found here: