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Author Topic: RS Headlight Vacuum Hoses  (Read 742 times)
Posts: 183

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« on: June 09, 2014, 07:38:25 PM »

Hey guys, I am now in the process of restoring my RS headlight vacuum hoses.  I am looking for some help in deciding to try to clean up and restore my hoses, or to buy reproduction.  The reproduction hoses I have seen have several problems with them.  First, the large size hoses only have 3 ribs on them not 5 like my originals. Second, the diameters are off.  They are a bit small.  My original check valve has Trico logo on it and the filter has AC on it.  I have found the AC filters, but not the Trico check valve.  The reproduction tie straps used on the hoses do not have enough lock ridges on them and are too hard (my originals are softer, almost rubbery).  The reproduction straps also have an extra knob on them about an inch or so from the slotted end.  These incorrect straps appear to be the same as the ones AMK sells.  Now for the questions.  First, does anyone make a hose set that is like the originals (or very close).  Second, I am posting a picture of my hoses, are they able to be restored?  If so, what process is needed to bring them back to life?  Thanks for listening, any help will be greatly appreciated. 


1969 SS/RS 350 Convertible
Dover White with Black Top and D90 stripe, Red Standard Interior
Hero Member
Posts: 1151

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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 07:47:27 PM »

If they are not dry rotted and cracked I would definitely use the originals..  Try soapy warm water.  If you need something stronger then dilute Power Clean or Purple Power and try on an area that isnt seen. 

Darrell Cook

1967 LeMans Blue SS/RS L35 clone
1968 Rallye Green SS L78 - unrestored original
1968 Matador Red Z28
Posts: 239

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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 08:19:14 PM »

I agree the differences can be frustrating. The warm soapy water is a start. Try finishing the hose with a tire dressing that could bring back some of the color. The ends could be trimmed  to find a fresh end diameter.  The straps clean up well with a splash of laq thinner and a clean rag. Keep the thinner away from the hoses it will wipe off the color coding stripes.

68 SS/RS L35 Th-400 LOS
69 Pace Car L48 Th-350 LOS
Posts: 110

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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 09:43:43 PM »

Try PB Blaster, it says on the can that it helps rejuvenate a toilet tank flapper which is made of rubber.

68 RS Conv 327/210hp, Powerglide Factory AC
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owner since 4-Apr-1976

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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 11:10:05 PM »

regular old GOJO with lanolin works well in cleaning and 'rejuvenating' rubber parts....

Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2014, 11:34:29 PM »

Dishwashing detergent (I prefer Dawn), warm water and gentle scrubbing (use a cloth to prevent scratching), followed by either soaking in Armor All regular or clear Detailer's Advantage protectant. Soak them inside and out, or immerse if you can to get inside the hoses, which further protects and restores them. Wipe them down, blow out any excess inside the hoses, and let them dry out for a bit. You'll be amazed at how they soften up and look. I've used this technique on original vacuum hoses on Therm A/C air cleaners for a number of years, and it works perfectly.


1968 Z28 M21/U17 BRG/W
1969 Z28 X77/M20/VE3 LeMans/W
1969 L78 X66/N66 Cortez/BVT
1969 Z11 L48/M35/C60/C06
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 04:34:01 PM »

I took a little different approach in that I'm not as concerned as I was 20 years ago about head bolt markings or the number of ribs on the RS vacuum hoses.  I replaced all of the headlight vacuum hoses on my '69 RS back in 2004/05 when I had the front end of my '69 RS spread all over the garage.  Very glad I did.

I want my car to look "original" but at this point in my life there is a limit.  To me it is no different than putting an original wiring harness back in the car - it is 45 years old, has been exposed to the elements of the engine compartment, and it really doesn't matter (IMHO) whether it looks ok or not - it is 45 year old technology rubber and wiring - it has seen better days and it only goes down hill from here.  I took a similar approach regarding distributor points.  It was time to throw them out in the snow and install a Pertronix (or equivalent) kit with their upgraded, higher voltage coil.  If the car doesn't run and operate properly (especially regarding safety related items) the rest really doesn't matter.

If you don't do anything else, by all means please replace the rubber hoses that go through the firewall to the headlight switch.  My car has power drum brakes and with the booster and master cylinder installed, at least for my hands, it is impossible to reach down and replace those hoses without taking everything apart.

Just my two cents - good luck.


Richard Thomas
1969 RS
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