Anyone who's attempted a buildup has probably found themselves installing fluid components like steel braided hose, aluminum fittings and specialty adapters. Thread sizes, thread pitches and sealing surfaces, however, can be difficult to interpret and AN (Army Navy) plumbing, as it's commonly known, can be a complex thing. AN plumbing was developed by the aerospace industry as a military standard but its usefulness in terms of your Honda are many.
Understanding the pros and cons of such plumbing is important. Few people get the basics yet settle upon such upgrades nonetheless. This lack of understanding has led more than a few on an exploratory trip down the Home Depot plumbing aisle only to return with something suitable for a bathroom sink, not a B-series. Alas, this is where the fine line between automotive plumbing and home improvement swelters into a giant gap. Granted, the brass parts bin is tempting-such fittings are less expensive than their aircraft-style aluminum counterparts and are arguably easier to source, however, the differences between the two are many, despite the outward appearances.
Ill-informed plumbing know-how can lead to eye-catching, public displays of destruction, like those derived from fuel and oil leaks, and the consequences of their coming into contact with scorching hot exhaust components. Although spontaneous roadside displays of fire can be quite the spectacle, especially at someone else's expense, plumbing a car properly remains the preferred option. Understanding the fundamentals, being sure to select the correct hose, adapters and hose ends is a simple insurance policy against catastrophic failure.
Eliminating OEM-issued hard brake and clutch lines isn't always a good idea. Flexible stee
Steel Braided Hose: There Are Two Kinds
Most associate competition plumbing with stainless steel braided hose paired with shiny red and blue fittings but there's much more to it. Internally, steel braided hose is comprised of synthetic rubber or Teflon. In the case of rubber, a steel braided sheath is embedded into the hose with a second sheath covering its outside. Rubber-based hose is best suited for oil and fuel lines-both for pressure and temperature-as well as cooling system and fuel lines. Typical operating temperatures range from minus 40 degrees F to as high as 300 degrees F, depending on the brand. The other type of steel braided hose utilizes extruded Teflon, which is also covered with a protective steel braiding and is pressure tested as high as 4,000 psi. Teflon-based hose is conducive to hydraulic systems, like those for clutches and brakes but can be used for most anything, including certain exotic fuels typically not compatible with rubber.
Contrary to popular belief, steel braided hose is not always superior nor is it invincible and it does have its downsides. Rubber-based braided hose features larger bend radiuses when compared to OEM rubber hoses, which can make fitment difficult. Steel braided hose is also abrasive and can easily rub holes into softer materials, like rubber radiator and cooling hoses. Engine vibrations that can cause steel braided sheathing to wear against harder materials can damage the hose itself-whether rubber or Teflon-causing a rupture when subjected to pressure. Steel braided hose is also not particularly suitable for slipover barb fittings or clamp-down applications since the braid prevents both the expansion and contraction of the hose and barb. If you must use a hose clamp, you might want to consider an alternative hose. Of the two types of steel braided hose, rubber-based is the more pliable. Although similar in appearance, Teflon-based hose is stiffer and requires entirely different fittings and assembly procedures. Earl's Teflon-based Speed-Flex hose works only with their Speed-Seal hose ends that use brass olives for sealing against one another.