Friday, May 30, 2008

How to Select the Proper Race Hose

How easily fluids flow through your racecar is essential to car performance. Race hoses are used to transport brake fluid, coolant, fuel, steering fluid, fire extinguisher gases, hydraulic oil, and so forth. A failure to transport any of these properly can be dangerous for both the car and the driver.

Unfortunately, all race hoses are not created equal, and if you want top performance from your racecar, it's wise to choose just the right race hoses for the occasion. Here are some things to consider when shopping for race hoses.

Race Hose Material and Design

Before shopping, note the different types of race hoses available. There are custom race hoses protected by braided stainless steel, which work great when you need extra protection and high temperature and/or chemical endurance. These can be expensive though, so be sure to size them properly and buy only what you need. To furnish an entire car with braided stainless steel hoses, the price can range from $300 to $500 and up. An alternative to braided stainless steel is Aramid Fibre braiding, which is often used for small-bore applications. It is extremely strong and flexible, and is resistant to expansion under high temperatures and pressure.

Also, note the difference between convoluted and smooth race hoses. A convoluted racing hose has alternating grooves and ridges either on the inner or outer surface, or both. Convoluted race hoses provide great flexibility and protection against abrasion. Smooth bore type hoses are smooth on the inside and are designed to handle higher velocity gas flow requirements. It is recommended to know the velocity of gas flowing through the hose before deciding whether to use a convoluted or smooth racing hose. Some companies, such as Goodridge, provide race hoses that are convoluted on the exterior but smooth on the interior. This offers the benefits of both in one single hose design.

Consider Race Hose Applications

Before buying a race hose, consider how and where it will be used as well as the number of hours to be used, the surrounding environment, and the types of chemicals it will come in contact with during use. How much flexibility is needed? Is there an affordable alternative to higher priced hoses for the same purpose? Consider the level of chemical resistance that is required and also if the same hose will be used to transport multiple types of fluids.

Sizing Your Race Hoses

Be sure to size your race hoses correctly before making a purchase. Hose sizes are usually expressed using the bore or inside diameter (ID). With certain applications, however, the outside diameter should be considered as well depending on the type of fittings to be used. If you need special sizing for your project, come companies offer custom race hoses and hose fittings to meet specific needs.

Temperature and Pressure

Race hose materials vary by their ability to withstand certain temperatures and pressure. Know the minimum and maximum temperatures the hose will be exposed to in its outside environment as well as the minimum and maximum temperatures of the fluid that will flow through the hose. Also note whether the pressure increases in surges, or if the pressure is constant. Measurement for working pressure is either positive (PSI)/Bar or negative (In. Hg)/mm Hg.

Also consider the types of hose fittings available for the race hoses you are considering. The fittings should be lightweight and durable, but should also be available for different needs. Hose fittings might be flexible, permanent, re-usable, or adjustable.

There are many types of race hoses, AN fittings, and other racing products available online so you can easily find the ones that meet your needs. Look for convoluted or smooth bore PTFE race hoses that meet all your requirements. Use these tips to shop wisely and avoid hassles and lost money later.