Repair Leaky Fittings on Tanks: 5 Real-World Examples

posted in: Hard Line Sealing | 4

The ability to repair leaky fittings that are attached or welded to a tank is invaluable.

Brand new to the industry is Fitting Fixer—an inverted 37° cone that’s coated with diamond dust. Fitting Fixer repairs scratches, dings, imperfections, and other unimaginable damage, leaving an optimal sealing surface.

Below are five examples where people were able to repair a leaky fitting on their tank or pump and avoided the headache of having to replace the attached fitting:

1. Leaky Fitting on Radiator

This example is the most common. There was an imperfection on the fitting’s surface that was preventing a good seal. This usually occurs from over tightening.

Rick Milanazzo used our 3/4″ Fitting Fixer tool to repair the imperfection on the fitting that was causing the leak.

“I repaired the damaged welded in bung on my radiator in about 30 minutes without removing it from the car. After using the Fitting Fixer, I took my car to the track and there was no more leaking. Without this tool I would have had to incur the costly process of removing the radiator, having the old fitting cut off, and a new one welded on. I highly recommend this product.”

Check out the video he made of the repair:

 

 

2. Damaged Fittings on Aircraft Boost Pumps

This example comes from the aircraft industry. The fittings on an aircraft boost pump were leaking due to imperfections.

Mark Aney used our 1″ Fitting Fixer to repair the surface on all the fittings.

“Used the -16 Fitting Fixer on 2 aircraft boost pumps where the fitting was part of the main housing that was leaking. The 37 degree angle cleaned up perfectly and the housing was saved.”

Repaired fitting on aircraft boost pump

 

3. Damaged and Painted Over Fittings

This example is not the most common occurrence you’re going to find, but it illustrates just what could happen and what’s possible with Fitting Fixer.

Dave Bris sent his tank out to be powder coated only to get it back with one of the fittings covered in paint and two with damage from a tool that was used to remove the paint. Turns out the powder coating guy didn’t cover the fittings before he painted the tank.

Dave used our 3/4″ Fitting Fixer tool to resurface all three of the fittings on his tank.

Image of repaired fittings on tank

 

4. Gouged Fitting on Aftercooler

Here’s a prime example of how the sealing surface on a fitting can get ruined. Andrew Chau had a nasty gouge on one of the welded-in fittings on the aftercooler for a supercharger.

“The gouge in the fitting came from a cheap fitting which had an imperfection on the thread. When I threaded the fitting on, it must have dislodged some aluminum and when the fitting tightened onto the seat, it gouged the finish.”

Andrew used our 3/4″ Fitting Fixer to resurface the fitting and bought a new female fitting for a leak-free connection.

Repaired fitting

 

5. Dented Fitting on Oil Pan

Last but not least is the case of the dropped oil pan. This mishap left a dent at the end of the sealing area of the fitting. A little extra work was necessary for this repair, but certainly less than what the alternative would have been.

Brad Shamo used our 3/4″ Fitting Fixer to resurface the fitting’s sealing area.

 

“I had a damaged fitting on my oil pan and used the fitting fixer. This was very helpful so I didn’t have to pull the motor and take the oil pan off. It worked fantastic, making a nice new sealing surface on the fitting. It is a very good quality tool and customer service is fantastic. I would recommend purchasing one if you need to do a repair!”

 

In the video below, you can see how he made the repair:

 

Stop Fighting Push Lock Hoses

 

The fastest, easiest method of installing push lock hoses onto barbed fittings is with the EZ-ON HOSE PRESS. If you assemble a lot of push lock hoses, this tool will save you time, money, and frustration.

 

Go to the EZ-ON Hose Press Product Page

 

Push Lock Hose Assembly

We created the EZ-ON Hose Press for push lock hose and fittings that are used in the automotive industry, but soon after it hit the market, we started getting inquires from the industrial, agricultural, and biotech industries.

The most common question we get is “Will your tool work with our hose and fitting” and our answer is always “yes” because the vise will clamp both straight and angled fittings

…and if it doesn’t, it can be modified to work with almost any type of fitting.

This is important because it’s the angled and elbow fittings that are often the hardest to install because you can’t just push them up against a bench or the floor. Also, a lot of hose assembly tools on the market aren’t designed to work with angled fittings.

Push Lock Hoses

The EZ-ON Hose Press is so simple to use, it almost makes installing push lock hose fun.

Here are the steps:

  1. Secure the fitting in the stationary vise.
  2. Clamp the hose into the travelling carriage.
  3. Push the hose over the first barb to get it started.
  4. Use an impact gun or ratchet with a 17mm socket to drive the hose onto the barb.

 

EZ-ON Hose Press Push Lok Hose Tool
Install Fragola Series 8000 Push-Lok Hose faster and easier than ever with the EZ-ON Hose Press 409B.

 

Before there was a push lock hose assembly tool available, people would install this hose by using heat and/or lubrication. To heat the hose, you have to boil water or use a heat gun.

Heating the hose can be problematic because:

  • You can overheat the hose. This can cause the hose to become too brittle and could lead to failure.
  • It’s not very convenient. What if you install hoses on location?
  • You can burn yourself. Okay, not likely. But handling boiling water has its risks. Why even put injury into the equation?

 

Dorman Fuel Line Quick Connectors

The nylon fuel line that is used for fuel injection presented a challenge to install with the EZ-ON Hose Press. Because of its small size and flimsy material, the line would tend to collapse or “accordion” when installing it.

To solve that issue, we designed custom clamps and adapters that secure the both the line and the connectors. The EZ-ON Hose Press installs the straight, elbow, and union connectors easily.

 

The EZ-ON Hose Press installs Dorman Fuel Line Quick Connectors in seconds
The EZ-ON Hose Press installs Dorman Fuel Line Quick Connectors in just seconds.

 

Go to the Nylon Fuel Line Tool Product Page

 

Plastic Tubing

Recently, we’ve had a lot of medical device companies come to us to help solve their problems of installing the small, plastic style tubing that is used on their medical devices.

At the time, we were not familiar with this style of tubing and fitting, so we got some samples for testing. When we received the samples, we couldn’t believe how difficult it was to work with. The tubing is so small and so stiff that we could barely get them half way onto the barb.

Although the EZ-ON Hose Press was originally made for 1/4″ to 1″ hose sizes, the clamps that come with it are removable, so we were able to design clamps that work on 3/16″ tubing.

 

EZ-ON Hose Press plastic tubing assembly tool
Assemble plastic tubing with the EZ-ON Hose Press.

 

What People are Saying

“Wow, just WOW!

In a world full of disappointments, this bad-arsed tool does satisfy. Built like a tank, will last my lifetime, and makes a painful and difficult chore a breeze.  Pays for itself in one morning of quick and easy hose assembly. Grips so nicely that it will seat hose already covered in woven fiberglass fire sleeve. Too koul.”

– Robert Taylor

“Best $250 I have spent in quite some time. I ran fittings for an entire fuel injection conversion in about 20 minutes! Priceless!”

– Matt Sanford

“This tool is AMAZING!!!! We use the push locks on everything here at Nerd Rods from out custom fuel systems, to power steering return lines (not the pressure power steering line obviously) and oil cooling systems on the transmission and engines. Heck we probably use 12-30 ends on each chassis leaving our shop and at 14-20 chassis a year, that’s A LOT of ends.

I did the first car with the push lock ends and had bruises on the insides of my palms after two days of fighting with them to get them all seated. Got this tool and did a whole car in a matter of hours. It paid for itself on the first car (in time alone). Here we are 20-30 chassis projects later and well over 300 ends, probably closer to 400, and we’ve finally worn out the little plastic jaws (just call, they have replacements if you use it that much).  It’s a killer tool everyone should own, hands down!”

– Russell @ Nerd Rods

 

More About the EZ-ON Hose Press

The EZ-ON Hose Press is a great option for assembling push lock hoses. It’s size and shape allow you to work in a small area or to take it with you to a job site. All you need is an impact gun or ratchet with a 17 mm socket.

Here are the details:

  • Installs 1/4″ to 1″ push lock hose.
  • Works with both straight and angled fittings.
  • Includes plastic vise jaw inserts to protect fittings.
  • Comes with a custom carrying case.

How to Clamp Braided Stainless Steel Hose and Fitting

posted in: AN Hose Assembly | 0

Clamp braided stainless steel hose and fitting

Over the years I’ve done my share of AN hose assembly projects. These jobs can be a piece of cake or a major pain in the neck. As most of you know already, the biggest hurdle to cross is inserting the hose into the socket. If you don’t get a clean cut on your braided stainless steel hose it can be a nightmare getting it into the the fitting. That’s why I invented the AN Hose Assembly Tool to funnel the frayed ends into the nut.

Once you get the hose into the socket and installed all the way to the threads, most of the ugly stuff is behind you. However, there is one more potential obstacle that can be just as frustrating. When you go to screw the fitting into the nut, the AN hose can push out of the end you just installed it into.

Recently, I discovered a way to clamp braided stainless steel hose with AN vise jaw inserts. Place the inserts so that they are sticking half way out of the vise. As you can see in the photo, both the fitting and the hose are secured tightly. You probably don’t need to mark the hose anymore, but it’s never a bad idea just to be safe.

The Surseat Mini allows you to fix leaky brake line fittings by lapping tubing flares

How to Fix Leaky Brake Line Fittings

posted in: Hard Line Sealing | 2

If your brake line is leaking where the flare joins the fitting it is important to address the issue immediately and with a legitimate solution.

I was fed up with the unreliable, “band-aid” fixes out there when I was repairing a leaky brake line on my Packard Coupe. As a result, I created the Surseat Flare Lapping Tool.

Why Brake Lines Leak at the Flare

Brake lines will leak at the flare when there is a poor connection with the seat of the fitting. This type of leak is commonly known as a weep. It is the result of a tiny imperfection in the flare that occurs while flaring the tube. No matter what flaring tool I used, I never got a clean, concentric finish that enabled the flare to seat with the fitting. Furthermore, it didn’t matter if I was using steel lines with a 45° double flare or stainless steel lines with a 37° single flare.

 

A before and after image of flared tubing
On the left you can see tiny imperfections on the flare. The flare on the right has a “lapped” finish.

 

Why Brake Lines Leak at the Fitting

Most of the time the cause of a leaky flare fitting connection has to do with the flare, but there could be a problem with the fitting. Fittings can get damaged by over tightening them with an imperfect flare, by dropping them, or from some other accident where you end up with a ding. A damaged fitting can be very problematic, especially when it’s built into a radiator or welded into a tank.

Click here to see how to repair a damaged fitting

 

Fitting with score in the conical surface
A leak in the fitting could be the result of a score in the conical surface of the fitting.

 

How to Seal Flare Fitting Connections

Lapping is a tried and true practice that goes back 100 years. Even with the best equipment, mechanics always lapped engine valves to ensure they wouldn’t leak. It occurred to me that lapping the flare on the brake line could get the tube to seat with the fitting.  I decided to apply this principle to flared tubing, and it fixed the leak I was getting in my Packard.

Here’s how to lap flared tubing:

1. Unscrew the brake line from the fitting.
2. Clamp the appropriate-sized collet around the line.
3. Connect it to the Surseat lapping tool and secure it with the lock spring.
4. Spray some lubricant to the lapping head before using it.
5. Rotate the lapping head back and forth about 6-10 times.
6. Clean and inspect the flare. There should be a smooth, concentric finish. If not, repeat step #5.
7. Remove the brake line from the Surseat and reconnect it to the fitting.
8. Bleed the brakes and check the seal.

 

 

How to Check for a Leak Where the Flare Joins the Fitting

If you have your brake or fuel line out of your vehicle, there’s an easy way to check to see if there’s a leak at the fitting.

First, plug the end of the tube that you are checking by screwing in a cap flared tube nut or anything similar that will seal off that end of the tube. You can also purchase Earl’s Performance Pressure Test Kits if you don’t have anything that will work.

Next, submerge the line in water and run air through the opposite end of the tube. If bubbles appear at the fitting, the seal is no good. Repeat the lapping process until you get no bubbles.

 

The bubbles on the left indicate a leaky brake line fitting
On the left you can see the bubbles coming out of the fitting indicating a bad seal between the flared tube and fitting. The bubble-free fitting on the right indicates a good seal.

 

Real-World Examples

Here are some testimonials from people that have used the Surseat lapping tool to seal their flare fitting connections:

“I have been double flaring brake lines for street rods for 30 years with great success. My latest project, a 32 Ford Roadster, had 6 fittings that I could not get to seal. After continuously trying to tighten the fittings, hoping that the joint would seal, I couldn’t eliminate the weep in the brake system. I remember seeing this tool at the Street Rods Nationals and decided to order one to see if it would solve my problems. I disassembled the entire brake system and lapped every flare with the Koul Tool P45. Then I reassembled the brake system and didn’t have a single issue. From now on, I will lap every fitting I make just to make sure I get a proper seal on my brake fittings. The tool is easy to use and certainly performs.”

– Bill Kantos

“I use the Surseat flare lapping tool when building the hard line brake system for my 410 sprint cars. My flaring tool is good, but even when using the best of tools, sometimes the flare seat just doesn’t seal perfectly without excessive tightening of brake connection. Your Surseat lapping tool results in a perfect seal without excessive tightening. The tool provides a lapping action on the formed flare. You can see the lapping marks around the flare which indicates that you will have a perfect seal upon assembly. Use of the tool takes only minutes and prevents having to replace lines due to leaks.”

– John Shewbrooks Racing

More About the Surseat

The Surseat flare lapping tools have a precision, diamond-dust coated lapping head that will hone tubing flares to enable them to seat with the fitting. They come in three different models:

  • The Surseat P-51 has interchangeable 37° and 45° lapping cones and will do 3/16″ to 1/2″ inch tubing. This is your “complete kit” for brake and fuel lines.
  • Surseat “Minis” are designed specifically for brake lines. The smaller size and rectangular shape of the P-45 and P-37 make it easier to work in tight spaces inside the car. Each model has a single 45° or 37° lapping head and collets to secure 3/16″ or 1/4″ brake lines.

Click here to shop Surseat lapping tools.

 

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