What is the Useful Life of your Race Car Plumbing?

Today most of us who race cars, boats, or anything we can find with a high performance motor are using specially designed plumbing for fuel delivery, oil lines and water systems. There is a common misconception out there that once you have the special plumbing it will last for a lifetime, but unfortunately that’s simply not true. Aluminum AN fittings will last a long time and sometimes the life of the race car, but that is not the case with wire braided rubber hoses.

Today, racers are running into situations where our racing fuel producers are adding proprietary chemicals that we do not know about. They tend to be very secretive about what some of these substances are and what effects they can have on race plumbing. Racers have always known that methanol is hard on fuel lines and that braided lines need to be replaced on a regular basis, at least every couple of years.

However, today we are finding more situations where racing gas is damaging fuel systems after several racing seasons of use and reuse, with the recommendation to users that they change out their hoses every couple of years to avoid potential problems and damage to an expensive race engine.

With these additives, the interior wall of the stainless steel-braided, chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) hose is drying out and cracking, leading to possible leakage and contamination of the fuel system, plugged jets or injectors.  The steel-braided exterior of the hose is masking these potential problems.

One major advantage to the Phenix Industries-designed, American-made hose ends is that they are manufactured as a compression style hose end and, as such, it is a simple matter to change out the worn out hose and reuse all the hose ends and adapters.

By contrast, cutter-style hose ends are much more difficult to reuse, since rubber left inside the cutter itself is difficult or impossible to remove, to be reused with new stainless steel-braided replacement hose. Both styles work very well but it is our opinion, at Phenix Industries that the compression style is easier to reassemble, much more reusable, and in the long run saves the racer money.

The hose portion of a plumbing system is one of the cheapest parts of your race car to replace, so please be careful to fully check and replace hoses on a regular basis.

After forty years of racing and driving different types of race cars, I can honestly tell you the only thing that has ever scared me about racing – is fire.  Don’t find out the hard way by trying to save a couple hundred dollars on regular maintenance of old, deteriorating stainless steel-braided, chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) hose, replace them today.