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Fittings | Lines - Universal Fittings and Lines

Fittings and Lines to Complete Your Project | Which fits, which doesn't?

Here's the situation: it's Sunday morning. You're starting a project/update/repair on your car that you've been told will only take half an hour or so to complete. An hour has passed, and you're still searching through a few cups of coffee full of fittings for the last one needed to complete the chore, but nothing seems to fit. Furiously, you jam a few fittings together with enough Teflon tape to bandage your entire head, but your rod is now leaking like a juice box. 

So you're off to the local garage where someone behind the counter wants to know the make, model, and year of the car, and if it's got air conditioning. Then he points you to a cabinet full of fittings, most of which are in the wrong bins, and now the challenge is to figure out what's compatible with what, so you waste even more time trying to make things screw together. We are here to guide you through the impossible task of finding the right fitting and lines for your prized steed.

When dealing with pipe fittings, finding the right size can be confusing. At one time, the pipe's size was determined by the internal diameter of the pipe-a misconception that continues today, even among some of those who sell living things. The correct method for determining the car pipe's size is now determined by the Dryseal American Standard Tapered Pipe Threads (NPTF) Guidelines of the Society of Automotive Engineers. With this system, the pipe's size is not consistent with either the inside diameter I d) or the outer diameter (od) or the thread pitch. The proper way to determine the pipe's size (up to 1 1/4-inch) is to measure the thread diameter and subtract 1/4-inch. For example, remove 1/4-inch from 1-inch thread od to obtain a nominal 3/4-inch pipe size.

While NPTF fittings are designed to produce leak-proof mechanical seals, some seal, such as Teflon tape or Teflon-based paste, is usually advisable. When using either, be careful not to get inside the assembly. The best way to do this is to stay away from the first two threads.

An AN hose is used for fuel, oil, coolant, and hydraulic fluids. AN stands for Army-Navy as the specification was developed based on a standard for flexible fluid connections used during the Second World War. They are often used in aviation but, like most high-performance aeronautical equipment, eventually ended up in racing cars and later in streetcars. AN uses a 37-degree flared fitting to form a metal seal. 

People use AN fittings because they look cool and provide a secure fitting that seals hoses better than traditional nipples and hose clamps. They are an available connection that provides a reliable seal. AN fittings can also be used to pass through leak-free bulkheads like those found outside fuel cells.

The two most common types you will see used by your home mechanic or small racing team are reusable hose ends or push lock. The reason for this is that they can be assembled and serviced using hand tools. They're both about the same size and form factor. 

The reusable hose end uses a two-part system to hold the hose in place. They are typically used with a braided hose, either stainless steel or nylon braid. They come in a variety of sizes, angles, and colors. They are slightly heavier but are said to have a more secure hose clamping method than push locks.

Teflon tape can prevent leakage and make it easier to tighten and disassemble fittings later and can reduce/eliminate thread galling, and protect corrosion-proof fasteners. However, some places should never be used, such as the engine's electrical transmitters and the cooler line fittings in automatic transmissions.

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