Plumbing 101: Part 5

Click Here to Begin Slideshow Over the past four issues, we examined AN hose, hose ends, various fuel components and so on. Once you have the key components determined and the mounting points figured out, you can turn your attention to assembling hose. In this segment (and the next one) we’ll take a step-by-step look at how to assemble Perform-O-Flex hose and Swivel Seal fittings. Assembling Earl’s Perform-O-Flex hose and Swivel Seal fittings is very straightforward. You just can’t take shortcuts – otherwise you can end up with a leaking fitting. During the assembly process, you have to be careful so that you don’t damage the fittings, leave unsightly (and potentially faulty) gaps and generally make a mess of the fittings and your fingers (cut braided hose is sharp)! As we pointed out in the earlier segments of this series, there are several different types of hose ends available today. One is a tapered style while the other is a cutter style. The cutter style (such as the Earl’s Swivel Seal fitting shown in the accompanying photos) is assembled in a slightly different manner than tapered style hose ends. Most knowledgeable folks in the racing industry will tell you that the cutter style hose end is more secure than the tapered style. There are a few differences in assembling various types of hose ends; however, cutter hose ends are almost as easy to assemble as the tapered style. In case you’re wondering, the system shown in the accompanying photos works for both cutter and tapered style hose ends. Proper tools and supplies are also important when assembling hose ends. You should use a proper set of AN fitting vice jaws (Earl’s Performance has a nice one, P/N 1004ERL). This tool locks the fitting in place without damage, allowing you to properly engage the fitting threads. Another tool you might consider is the Koul Tool. This is a unique tool that’s easy to use. It allows you to insert the hose end socket into the tool and twist in the hose, and socket assembly is complete in less than 10 seconds. It also saves your fingers from sharp cuts on the actual hose. What follows is a step-by-step look at assembling hose and hose ends (we’ll start with this issue and finish it in the next one):

Plumbing 101: Part 5

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Over the past four issues, we examined AN hose, hose ends, various fuel components and so on. Once you have the key components determined and the mounting points figured out, you can turn your attention to assembling hose. In this segment (and the next one) we’ll take a step-by-step look at how to assemble Perform-O-Flex hose and Swivel Seal fittings.

Assembling Earl’s Perform-O-Flex hose and Swivel Seal fittings is very straightforward. You just can’t take shortcuts – otherwise you can end up with a leaking fitting. During the assembly process, you have to be careful so that you don’t damage the fittings, leave unsightly (and potentially faulty) gaps and generally make a mess of the fittings and your fingers (cut braided hose is sharp)!

As we pointed out in the earlier segments of this series, there are several different types of hose ends available today. One is a tapered style while the other is a cutter style. The cutter style (such as the Earl’s Swivel Seal fitting shown in the accompanying photos) is assembled in a slightly different manner than tapered style hose ends. Most knowledgeable folks in the racing industry will tell you that the cutter style hose end is more secure than the tapered style. There are a few differences in assembling various types of hose ends; however, cutter hose ends are almost as easy to assemble as the tapered style. In case you’re wondering, the system shown in the accompanying photos works for both cutter and tapered style hose ends.

Proper tools and supplies are also important when assembling hose ends. You should use a proper set of AN fitting vice jaws (Earl’s Performance has a nice one, P/N 1004ERL). This tool locks the fitting in place without damage, allowing you to properly engage the fitting threads. Another tool you might consider is the Koul Tool. This is a unique tool that’s easy to use. It allows you to insert the hose end socket into the tool and twist in the hose, and socket assembly is complete in less than 10 seconds. It also saves your fingers from sharp cuts on the actual hose.

What follows is a step-by-step look at assembling hose and hose ends (we’ll start with this issue and finish it in the next one):

Plumbing 101: Part 5 1

These are the two types of hose end generally available: Earl’s hose end at the top is engineered with a "cutter," and the other is not. On the outside, both types of hose end look pretty much the same.

Plumbing 101: Part 5 2

This is an Earl’s Swivel Seal hose end with a "cutter." It’s designed to physically slice into the inner hose liner, which in turn makes for a more secure hose engagement. They’re slightly more difficult to work with. Keep in mind that if you must remove the fitting, the hose will need to be shortened.

Plumbing 101: Part 5 3

In contrast is a tapered hose end. With this setup, the hose slides over the nipple and is fastened by the thread compression. These hose ends are definitely not as strong in terms of connection as a cutter hose fitting.

Plumbing 101: Part 5 4

Prior to slicing a piece of hose, wrap it tightly with duct tape and clamp it in a vice.

Plumbing 101: Part 5 5

There are a lot of ways to cut braided Perform-O-Flex hose. This is my personal favorite: A 4-1/2-inch angle grinder with a cut off wheel installed.

Plumbing 101: Part 5 6

You can see how clean the cut is here. If there are stray stainless strands following the cut, dress the hose lightly on a bench grinder.

Plumbing 101: Part 5 7

Koul Tool makes a neat tool for assembling AN hose. There are several different kits available. This example covers the most common sizes (6AN, -8AN, -10AN).

Plumbing 101: Part 5 8

To use the tool, disassemble the hose end. Note the red circle. That’s a spacer that may be required for certain hose ends with short sockets (not necessary for Earl’s hose ends).

Plumbing 101: Part 5 9

Fit the Earl’s socket inside the plastic tool as shown.

Plumbing 101: Part 5 10

Close the plastic tool and add a small amount of grease to the taper in the tool (at the point where the hose enters the tool).

Plumbing 101: Part 5 11

At this point, clamp the Koul Tool into the Earl’s aluminum vice jaw set and simply twist the hose into the hose end socket. The process is much easier than you’d think, too.

Plumbing 101: Part 5 12

Next, push the hose into the socket until it reaches the threads as shown in this photo.

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