TECH: BRAIDED HOSES

Braided hoses and up­rated fit­tings are ex­cel­lent re­place­ment parts for age­ing rub­ber pipework prone to fail­ure…

Performance Vauxhall - - CONTENTS -

Braided hoses are ex­cel­lent re­place­ment parts for age­ing rub­ber pipework prone to fail­ure.

Big brake con­ver­sions, in­creased en­gine fu­elling de­mands and high­per­for­mance trans­mis­sion up­grades are just a few fea­tures of mod­i­fied mo­tors which push the lim­its of stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tion rub­ber fluid trans­fer hoses and their ac­com­pa­ny­ing fac­tory fit­tings. The so­lu­tion is to fit steel braided hoses, per­haps adding Air­force Navy (AN) fix­ings for good mea­sure. Not only will braided lines with­stand higher pres­sures, they’ll dis­si­pate heat far more ef­fec­tively. They’ll also al­low for strong hose ends to be fit­ted, re­moved and re­fit­ted sev­eral times with­out risk of fray­ing, dam­ag­ing or weak­en­ing of parts. They look great too. Im­proved func­tion and en­hanced form? What’s not to love?!

Hoses

Two ba­sic braided hose types ex­ist. The pri­mary type is rub­ber (or syn­thetic rub­ber) tube with an in­ner half-braid cov­er­ing matched with a full-braid outer stain­less steel layer. This type of hose has a work­ing tem­per­a­ture range of be­tween -50°C and +150°C and is well suited to fuel, oil and cool­ing sys­tems where light­weight ma­te­ri­als, flex­i­bil­ity, in­creased re­sis­tance to heat and sure-fire dura­bil­ity is re­quired.

The sec­ond type of braided hose is a Te­flon tube with a sin­gle-braid outer cover. The work­ing tem­per­a­ture of this type of hose is be­tween -73°C and +232°C. It’s a far more ag­gres­sive type of hose, ideal for brak­ing sys­tems and where un­usu­ally high pres­sure fuel, oil and cool­ing ap­pli­ca­tions are present, such as motorsport en­vi­ron­ments.

Us­ing ei­ther of these two op­tions as your start­ing point, you might be tempted by twin-layer syn­thetic hoses with a half-braid sand­wiched be­tween each layer. There’s also the op­tion of ul­tra-strong, su­per-light, Kevlar-braided hoses for se­ri­ous motorsport ap­pli­ca­tions and

Per­for­mance Vauxhall read­ers who in­tend to build a cus­tom four-wheeler to as­sist their crime­fight­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Gotham. Or some­thing.

Hose ends

AN fix­ings are sup­plied with ei­ther male or fe­male ends in a wide va­ri­ety of sizes to suit your cho­sen ap­pli­ca­tion. As you’d ex­pect, the ends screw to­gether to com­plete a joint. Or­di­nar­ily, the male end is fixed to the car’s sup­port­ing com­po­nent (e.g. fuel tank, tur­bocharger hous­ing or oil reser­voir), but in the case of brak­ing sys­tems, the male end of the hose fit­ting takes the form of a banjo union with a threaded fix­ing.

A key ad­van­tage of AN fit­tings is that unions can be straight, an­gled or even able to turn a hose 180° to al­low the plumb­ing of be­spoke pipework in the tight­est of ar­eas. Adap­tor unions can also be used on an AN sys­tem. Util­is­ing these parts gives you the flex­i­bil­ity of adding ex­tra an­gles to the hose line, and you could even use them to in­crease or de­crease hose bore to suit your re­quire­ments. Ad­di­tion­ally, AN unions will al­low you to split a sin­gle line into mul­ti­ple lines via T or Y-piece sec­tions.

Fit­ting

Most braided hose man­u­fac­tur­ers sup­ply ready­made kits (e.g. braided brake hose so­lu­tions) for var­i­ous makes and mod­els of car. If your pride and joy hap­pens to be a bit rarer than the rest, then fluid trans­fer hose man­u­fac­tur­ers, in­clud­ing HEL, Goodridge, Speed­flow and Hosetech­nik, will be happy to make a be­spoke kit for you. If you’re feel­ing ad­ven­tur­ous, you can mea­sure the length of hose re­quired, work out the AN fix­ing di­men­sion needed and make your own kit. The box­out to the right shows you how to do it.

outer weave of stain­less steel braid. nip­ple in­serts into the hose.

The me­chan­i­cal fix­ing of the hose oc­curs when the stain­less steel braid is trapped un­der the socket nut. The stepped in­ter­nal face grabs and holds the braid. Cut­ter cuts into the hose. In­ter­nal Vi­ton o-ring seals the nip­ple in­sert on this straight hose end. Most an­gled hose ends are a sin­gle piece from seat to nip­ple in­sert.

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