Reliable race plumbing is a crucial component in movement of cooling, fuel supply, oil and other liquids throughout your car. Hoses and related hose end fittings are an application that many racers do not cut corners on when it comes to preventing any leakage. A simple drip spotted by a starting line official may stop your day of racing, or even worse, a significant leak can cause an oildown with catastrophic consequences.
Many racers rely on crimped hose ends to provide leak-free reliability in their AN-style fittings and related high-pressure hoses. With this level of plumbing hardware, most race fabricators are accustomed to contacting their motorsport hose supplier of choice to custom order section of plumbing by providing the required length, fitting size and unique “clocking” specification for each hose.
Russell Performance, a division of Edelbrock, has developed its ProClassic Crimp-On hose end program. These hose ends offer the advantages of permanently crimped AN fittings that can be custom assembled in your own shop.
We fabricated a Flex-A-Lite fan-powered transmission cooler within the interior panel between our rear wheel tubs of our Project Rover bracket Camaro, which we'll be plumbing with the Russell ProClassic II hose. Our cooling line lengths were first calculated and we then used a a heavy duty pair of cutting shears to make clean and square cuts to the hybrid nylon/stainless braided hose.
The key to this program begins with the combination of Russell’s own line of engineered hose ends and crimp collars that can be used with numerous styles of Russell brand hose. A hand-powered manual crimper supplied by Russell then permanently crimp-fastens the fittings onto your hose.
Each hose end comes from the factory packaged with a crimp collar and ranges in size, including -4, -6, -8, -10, and -12 AN fittings. They can be purchased individually or in bulk packages in quantities of 25.
Once your hose is cut to the required length, the barbed AN hose fittings and crimp collar are pushed onto the hose. With a simple pull of the crimper lever, an over-center crimping process presses the collar onto the hose and barbed fitting for a permanent connection.
The Russell hand-powered manual crimper is easily bench mounted. We used a heavy section of angle iron to fabricate a mount for temporary use in our bench vise when needed. By removing the side cover we installed the individual clamp dies to match our -6 AN fittings.
If you ever wish to alter the length of a hose, the crimp collar can be carefully cut away and removed. We have performed this task a couple of times by using tin snips to cut the collar away without damaging the AN fitting barb. Replacement crimp collars are available separately to reuse the same barbed AN hose end.
A selection of multiple hoses are available for use with the ProClassic Crimp-On Hose Ends. The ProClassic and ProClassic II hose offer the black braided nylon hose. You can also use the crimp-on program with Russell’s braided stainless steel Pro Flex hoses.
Our grouping of Russell Pro Classic II hose and black/silver hose ends are available in straight, 45-, 90-, 120-, 150-, and 180-degree angles. With our crimp sleeve over the outside, the lightly lubricated barb fitting easily pushes into the braided nylon hose.
Despite the remote location of the cooler on Project Rover, the matched 6.5-inch Flex-A-Lite electric fan pushes 300 cubic feet per minute of air through the 17-row stacked plate cooler. The passages in the unique cooler design keep the fluid in a constant state of turbulence as the fluid travels through the cooler, thus causing the heat to transfer more efficiently. This cooler is also equipped with dedicated AN fittings on the inlet and outlet for leak-free connections.
We align the outer sleeve with our crimper dies, firmly engage the lever and we now have a foolproof crimped hose end. When your local friends find out that you can permanently crimp hose assemblies in your shop, you will become quite popular. Just tell them to bring their own Russell supplies and plenty of refreshments.
Compared to the typical location near the radiator, there is a method to our effort. In addition to relocating every possible ounce of weight balance rearward on the currently nose-heavy Camaro, with this layout we are also reducing the chance of any possible transmission fluid leakage from ever getting under the front or rear tires.
As we begin our install, we located our fittings onto the respective transmission and cooler fittings, then routed and measured our hose length. With some brands of crimped fittings, you would need to record the proper “clocking” of your angled fittings in relationship to each other when ordering a custom line.
The clocking process records the relationship of one end of the hose to the other when making the hose assembly. This fabrication practice is necessary to prevent the need to twist the hose to align the angled fittings onto your two connection points.
All Russell Crimp Hose Ends have been designed with swivel fittings which require no clocking of the fitting ends to create a proper connection. These fittings are available in standard AN connections and O-ring boss fittings for popular use with fuel system components.
With our braided nylon lines installed, our cooler can readily force cooling air into the vented trunk area. Not only does the Flex-A-Lite cooler feature a 500 psi rated burst strength, but the heat transfer rate of the stacked plate cooler design is also nearly double that of an average “tube and fin” cooler.
For our install, we are using the Russell ProClassic II hose which features the lightweight braided nylon design. This hose utilizes a chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) synthetic rubber inner line that can take up to 350 psi of pressure demands.
Compared to the Pro Classic line of Russell hose, the Pro Classic II also incorporates an additional bonded multi-braid stainless wire within the CPE inner liner. This design helps prevent hose collapsing and improves bend radius when routing hoses in tight areas.
All Russell crimp hose ends feature a swivel movement fitting. This allows you to "clock" the angle of any fitting before tightening, such as within the tight confines of our Powerglide transmission connections.
We place our crimp sleeve onto the end of our hose. Then, we lightly lubricate the barbed fitting and push it into the braided nylon hose. With our matched crimping dies installed into our Russell crimper, we then align the sleeve to the edge of the crimping dies as per instructions. Finally, a firm pull on the lever firmly compresses the collar and completes our assembly.
Even though we are confident in our hose quality and crimped fittings when it comes to running part of this plumbing within the interior of our race car, we encased the entire length of the transmission cooler lines with protective thermal sleeve to provide an increased level of safety.
With our -6 AN lines now connected between our Powerglide transmission and remotely located transmission cooler, the Russell crimp connections will give us the peace of mind that we have constructed a leak-free transmission cooling system that will keep us “dry” during each round of eliminations.
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