Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses

Click Here to Begin Slideshow There’s a lot more to hose clamps than just the conventional worm gear jobs that we’re so accustomed to. Sure, it’s no secret that hose clamps don’t make any power, but if you’re a racer, convenience (ease of maintenance) and security definitely have their merits. Of course, some will say: “So what?” We suppose if you don’t care too much about how the final product looks (or how well it functions), it’s easy enough to wander down to the local auto parts store and buy some cheap oversize worm gear clamps, stick a fork in it and call it done. On the flipside, for a tiny bit more cash (in some cases, we’re talking dimes on the dollar), you could end up with some pretty cool clamps. There’s more, too: If you sit back and look at the engine tucked in your race car, you might find there are more hose clamps involved than you first imagined. So how do you get them perfect for your application? It sure isn’t difficult. Just check out the accompanying photos. While we’ve only skimmed the surface here with a few examples, you’ll see there’s plenty of choice out there. You just have to dig a little to find it. Here are some of our clamping solutions. This is a collection of clamps from our own small stockpile – the first is an aircraft job, second is an old racer t-clamp, third is a thumbscrew clamp and last is an OEM tower clamp. All of them look better than swap meet or hardware store clamps (at least in our book).

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

There’s a lot more to hose clamps than just the conventional worm gear jobs that we’re so accustomed to. Sure, it’s no secret that hose clamps don’t make any power, but if you’re a racer, convenience (ease of maintenance) and security definitely have their merits. Of course, some will say: “So what?” We suppose if you don’t care too much about how the final product looks (or how well it functions), it’s easy enough to wander down to the local auto parts store and buy some cheap oversize worm gear clamps, stick a fork in it and call it done. On the flipside, for a tiny bit more cash (in some cases, we’re talking dimes on the dollar), you could end up with some pretty cool clamps. There’s more, too: If you sit back and look at the engine tucked in your race car, you might find there are more hose clamps involved than you first imagined.

So how do you get them perfect for your application? It sure isn’t difficult. Just check out the accompanying photos. While we’ve only skimmed the surface here with a few examples, you’ll see there’s plenty of choice out there. You just have to dig a little to find it.

Here are some of our clamping solutions. This is a collection of clamps from our own small stockpile – the first is an aircraft job, second is an old racer t-clamp, third is a thumbscrew clamp and last is an OEM tower clamp. All of them look better than swap meet or hardware store clamps (at least in our book).

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 1

Truth is, OEM style “Wittek” tower clamps can prove clean and reliable plus, they don’t have a big worm gear tail on one end when tightened.

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 2

They’re available in a large size range too. The little ones obviously work perfectly on heater or bypass hoses, because that’s what they’re for.

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 3

It won’t affect racers much, but for restorations, you can actually get tower clamps date coded. This one is the second month of 1969. FYI, the reproduction parts companies sell these. Wittek clamps were (and, we believe, still are) manufactured in Chicago. These tower clamps were also originally used on John Deere and International Harvester tractors!

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 4

Worm gear clamps don’t all have to be ugly. Here’s a viable option - this thumbscrew configuration is pretty neat. It’s manufactured by a company called Aero-Seal. These are available from aircraft parts houses (Aircraft Spruce & Speciality sells them).

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 5

Aero-Seal clamps are built from stainless, but the thumbscrew is cad-plated carbon steel. Five different sizes are available, covering sizes from 7/16-inch through to 1.5 inches. That should cover most hot rod applications.

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 6

This is an old racer piece from the seventies. Moroso sold these clamps back then and you can sometimes find them at old speed shops or at swap meets. We still dig them because they’re super functional. More in the next photos:

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 7

Up close, you can see that they were designed so that removal was quick and easy – by a number of means, including the “t”-handle, with a nut driver or by way of a simple flat blade screwdriver.

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 8

The key here was that the clamp was easy to remove between rounds at the drag strip.

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 9

Here’s a look at how the t-clamp installed on the upper rad hose. As you can see, it’s easy to access.

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 10

This is a high-end Oetiker stainless steel, stepless screw clamp. Used in aircraft applications, the tongue-in-groove design provides a 360-degree seal, but the clamping surface is always smooth. Compared to other hose clamps, these are in the Cadillac price range. Expect to pay $3-5.00 per clamp.

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 11

The Oetiker aviation clamps have a small clamping range – this one is 2-1/8 to 2-3/8-inches. They offer 29 different clamps ranging from 13/16-inches to 6-1/2-inches (for ducts). When picking them out, be sure to have your hose dimensions (OD) figured out.

Clamping Solutions: Clean, Secure Ways to Secure Hoses 12

Like the t-clamp shown earlier, the Oetiker clamps can be tightened by way of multiple means – here, a screwdriver or nut driver can be used to work the clamp.

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